Ask The Experts: Money Matters

By Mike Miles

TSP and IRAs

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Q. I will turn 70½ next year and understand I need to take withdrawals from my retirement accounts. Can I add all of my accounts together — IRA and Thrift Savings Plan — compute the required minimum distribution, and then withdraw from one account which is not doing as well as the others, as I can if I have only IRAs? I want to withdraw my entire minimum from one IRA. Or must I take a minimum withdrawal from my TSP separately from my IRAs?

A. You must compute the required minimum distribution for each account separately, but you may take your RMD from any account or accounts you wish. You should leave your TSP account untapped for as long as possible, unless there is good reason to do otherwise. I don’t see what historical performance has to do with the choice of account for withdrawals.

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