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. My plan is to retire on Dec. 31, 2018, at age 58 (under FERS). My TSP balance is just over $1 million. I plan to leave my TSP account with the federal government at this time. My current distribution in the account is as follows: G 8.83 percent; F 17.5 percent; C 31.5 percent; S 32.05 percent; and I 10.06 percent. How would you recommend that I reallocate my funds before I retire?

Q. I am under the FERS system, age 57 with 30 years of service. I am eligible to retire but will probably work another two years and retire at 59. I know that you recommend leaving TSP untapped for as long as possible. If I do this, I would need to take Social Security at 62 to make ends meet. Is this a good strategy? Many financial planners recommend waiting as long as possible to draw Social Security, so I am not sure which strategy makes the most sense.

Q. My agency, Veterans Affairs, is firing many employees for performance under the VA accountability act. I have 28 years of service after buying back seven years of military service and am 49. Will I get non-reduced retirement and access to my TSP withdrawals if I am given involuntary separation due to performance?

Q. I attained age 70 ½ this year. If I convert my TSP balance to an annuity before the end of this year, does that satisfy the required minimum distribution, or must I take the RMD this year and use the annuity to satisfy the RMD for future years?

Q. I am employed by the federal government under the CSRS system, with 44 years of service. My ex-husband recently died in December 2017 and I am getting his Social Security benefits of $1,365 per month. If I retired at the end of December 2018 would I still continue to get his SSI benefits at that same amount or would they be drastically cut, or I may not even get any? My ex-husband never worked for the federal government; he was only a veteran. I only have 24 credits worked toward my SSI benefits.

Q. I’m a career fed with young adult daughters who took advantage of myRA accounts. With myRA accounts closing out, I wish they could move their money to a TSP Roth, but they didn’t follow in dad’s (Fed) footsteps.  Could you provide some guidance on where to find low-cost L Fund equivalents?  For extra credit: Roth accounts also work as secondary emergency funding accounts for them as young adults.  That flexibility provides a opportunity to put more funds into retirement accounts than might otherwise be comfortable. Both are currently eligible for retirement savings tax credits. Options that maintain that flexibility…

Q. I plan to retire at 63 or 64, but because I came into the government late (12 years ago) my pension will not be that big. Would it be better to drawn from my TSP and claim Social Security at my full retirement age (66 and 4 months) or claim it at 64 and only withdraw from TSP as needed?

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