Ask The Experts: Money Matters

By Mike Miles

Take Social Security or TSP?

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Q. I’m retiring June 1. I’m 62 and will be 63 in September. I’m in CSRS Offset with 36 years and five months. Accrued sick leave will give me 37 years and six months. I’d like to hold off on taking Social Security. I might work when the dust settles in retirement. I have 35 years of covered Social Security earnings, so no windfall elimination provision reduction, just the CSRS Offset.

Would it be wiser to take an annual 4 percent draw from the Thrift Savings Plan, wait until I’m 66 and then take Social Security? I have $205,000 in TSP. Interest rates might increase as well, and then decide on an annuity.

I receive a survivor annuity from my wife’s CSRS record. I’m getting married two weeks before I retire. My spouse will have a nonfederal pension and Social Security when she retires. She will also be the recipient of my survivor benefit in CSRS.

A. You’re asking for individual financial planning, which can’t be provided responsibly through a forum like this. The answer to your question depends upon your goals, resources and constraints, and will require some analysis to determine.

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