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Author: mrfett Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 294  
Subject: Taxes, TSP and Military Retirement Date: 4/3/2009 12:49 PM
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I'm trying to plan how to setup my wife and I's TSP plans and Roth IRAs. My wife will retire from the Army with 30 years as an O6 at age 56, so she gets 75% of her high3. Both of us will have significant TSP accounts as well as Roth IRAs. My annuity from FERS won't start for 3 years after my wife's retirement starts, and it will be significantly less than hers.

All of our retirement investments are going into Target (Lifecycle) index funds. My question is two parts:

1. I know conventional wisdom says tap the TSP money first so that the Roth money continues to accrue tax free, but does this change when you have a high retirement income?

2. If it turns out I should tap the TSPs first, how do I do so without getting a massive tax hit (since my wife's retirement income will be pretty high)? The best strategy I've heard is take out chunks of the money each year and transfer it into a Roth IRA until age 70, with the idea being to minimize the tax hit each year. If this is the proper strategy, then I'll be sure to have the TSP funds in a target fund that matures 10 or 15 years earlier than the one our Roths are in.

Thanks for any advice you can give. I have a chunk of money I'm getting ready to put in our IRA accounts for 2008 and 2009, and I want to make sure I do the right thing with it (and with the money we're contributing to our TSPs).
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