Author Mike Miles

Mike Miles is a Certified Financial Planner licensee and principal adviser for Variplan LLC, an independent fiduciary in Vienna, Virginia. Email your financial questions to fedexperts@federaltimes.com and view his blog at money.federaltimes.com.

Q. I just retired under FERS at MRA and on an immediate retirement. As such I am curious about pending legislation that would broaden my TSP withdraw options. If I understand correctly, as written I have few choices currently: lump sum or monthly installments based on life expectancy. Neither option is appealing, as I may need more or less once I understand my financial situation in retirement. I was considering rolling over my balance to another institution so that I had more flexibility in terms of access to my savings. I hesitate because I heard that the TSP rules may…

Q. I’m retiring soon at 60 years of age and 30 years. I have TSP savings of about $600,000 in the L2020. My monthly retirement annuity before taxes is estimated at $3,971, which includes $1,414 in the Social Security supplement. My mortgage is $260,000 and I am paying $1,889 a month with a balloon payment due in 2022 for $244,380. The interest rate is 4.99 percent (as is the APR) with total interest percentage (TIP) of 32.9 percent. I need advice on whether to withdraw $260,000 from my TSP and pay off the mortgage or leave it. I’ll need to…

Q. I was recently talking with an investment group in preparation for retirement from the federal government in April 2020. I should have about 300 hours of annual leave accrued prior to retirement, consisting of my 240 hours allowable carryover plus what I earn prior to a retirement date of 04/30/2020. I was told that instead of taking a lump sum payment, I could direct the entire amount (minus federal tax) to my TSP account? Is this true, and how would I go about directing the lump sum payout to the TSP account?

Q. I just read an article on IRS 72(t) and SEPP regarding withdrawal of funds from 401(k) (TSP) and IRA prior to age 59.5. I’ve never heard of this and haven’t seen it mentioned in your column either. Is there a specific amount of withdrawal I should be taking monthly according to IRS rules and calculations in order to avoid penalties? I retired at age 55 from the U.S. Postal Service on a VERA retirement (FERS) in March. I started withdrawal of TSP in May. Does this IRS 72(t) and SEPP apply to my situation? Will I be slapped with…

Q. I am 59 years of age and will retire with 35 years of federal service (FERS) in five years. I have approx $250,000 in TSP. An advisor wants me to rollover $200,000 of my TSP funds into a fixed index annuity with ATHENE. He states if the market goes down it will not affect my monthly allotment. Why would I do this if TSP offers an annuity as well (single life) with lower overhead and surrender fees? In other words, is a fixed index annuity a better option than TSP’s single life annuity? 

Q. I had an accident (on my time) this year. Since my injuries impede me from performing the type of physical work I used to do, they are not offering me light duty and my sick leave is almost depleted, so I may have to retire. I’m thinking of purchasing the basic single life annuity with MetLife. I’m 63 years old and have $140,000 in my TSP. I had been planning in putting more in my TSP til age 66, but without the option to continue work I need to decide. Is this the annuity that pays the most or…

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