Ask The Experts: Money Matters

By Mike Miles

Avoiding taxes and penalties

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Q. If I withdraw my Thrift Savings Plan earlier than age 59, I will be penalized 20 percent at the time of withdrawal and have to pay 10 percent in taxes at the end of the year. What if I transfer the money into a traditional IRA and withdraw it a year later? Will I save on taxes?

A. Your premise is incorrect. Rolling over the money to an IRA doesn’t help you avoid taxes or penalties on your withdrawals. It may work against you, depending upon when you retire.

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