Annual TSP withdrawal and survivor benefits


Q. I’m a Postal Service employee who is very close to his retirement date. I was told that withdrawing 4 percent of my Thrift Savings Plan savings per year would last for a lifetime? Is this true? What if I die two years after I begin to draw and my benefits are left for my daughter who is only 38 now? Will she receive the money for a lifetime also? Or will she be paid only the balance?

A. You can’t be sure that a 4 percent annual withdrawal rate will be safe. It depends upon a number of factors, including how you invest and manage your account. Your beneficiary will paid the lump-sum balance in your account after you die.


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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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