Moving and/or retiring: 4 options


Q. I’m a 50-year-old postal clerk (FERS) with 23½ years of service, and I want to get out. I want to move from Florida back to my home state 1,000 miles away. I think I only have four options, and I’m looking for advice on what would be best for me.

1. Retire with 50/20 and either pay the penalties or defer or postpone annuities? If I do that, what will the penalties be?

2. Stick it out for another year and a half until I have 25 years of service and retire. If I do that, will there be any penalties?

3. Try to find a mutual swap close to home and work in a new office for another year and a half until I have my 25 years?

4. Resign. If I resign, what do I lose?

In all cases above, when is my Thrift Savings Plan available to me without penalties?

A. Your TSP is available without penalties as soon as you retire, if you stay within the rules. See Page 4 of the notice at for the exceptions to the early withdrawal penalty.


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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 and view his blog at

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