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. Some employees are in disagreement over the minimum required distributions of TSP accounts. We are discussing retirements beginning five years or more from now, so the new TSP rules would apply. Would moving the Roth TSP funds to an outside Roth IRA account avoid the need for minimum required distributions on this Roth portion of a TSP account or would those particular funds still be a part of the funds subjected to MRD?

Q. Do you see any advantage in periodically transferring funds from my 403b to my TSP? The 403b is invested in a life-cycle fund from Vanguard, so the fees I assume are pretty low. The only advantages I see are I currently have access to funds if needs in my TSP as I was a law enforcement officer and have provision to access this as I retired with over 20 years in federal law enforcement. But I don’t plan to withdraw for a long time (I’m 53) and perhaps the TSP fees are even lower then Vanguards? I assume transfers are…

Q. What is your opinion of the so called “bucket” investment strategy for retirement in the TSP, with a “now,” “soon” and “later” allocation? The now being a three-year time frame in the G Fund for a safe flow of income, the soon 3-5 year in the L-Income that would be less conservative and the later maybe investing in the Lifecycle Fund corresponding to life expectancy for more aggressive growth? I realize the allocations would have to be updated regularly. With such a strategy, would it be best to make adjustments monthly, quarterly or annually?

Q. I already separated from federal service. I have $65,800 in my TSP account. I’m 49 years old. I want to receive substantially equal periodic payments (SEPP) until age 59 1/2 (to avoid the 10 percent penalty). I also want to be able to contribute to the TSP via IRA rollovers from time to time after age 59 1/2. I know I can do an IRA rollover into the TSP as a separated employee, but I don’t know if I can still do a rollover into the TSP after the substantially equal periodic payments have begun. The rationale for this…

Q. I retired from the federal government (Department of Veterans Affairs) on Jan 31, 2018. I did 32 years and retired at 56. I withdraw all my TSP funds and, of course, federal tax was taken out. When I file my 2018 taxes, do I pay the NYS/city taxes? I don’t have enough to itemize.

Q. Will the TSP allow retirement withdrawals by fund allocation? I want to set aside a portion of my account in the G Fund for secure monthly income. I would like to keep the remainder as a growth fund – primarily invested in stocks and bonds. I want to avoid drawing any percentage out of this growth fund during temporary or cyclical market reversals. If this withdrawal strategy is not allowed, is transferring funds out of TSP the only way to achieve my money management goals?

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