Q. I’m trying to understand why the Thrift Savings Plan calculator that allows “monthly” or “lifetime” projections automatically defaults to the required minimum distribution amount at age 70½ when my (expected) withdrawals are more than the Internal Revenue Service RMD limit. Which takes precedence: the IRS RMD which produces a significantly smaller amount of TSP payout, or the amount I wish to take out?

A. You must take at least the RMD amount each year to avoid a substantial 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 fedexperts@federaltimes.com and view his blog at money.federaltimes.com.

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