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Wow - thanks for all the comments/ideas -- very thought-provoking.
One thing that rang thru clearly -- nobody liked the idea of taking the annuity...

I hadn't thought at all of rolling into a traditional IRA and then over time converting portions to Roth -- I converted all my traditionals over the past few year....and will feel like a real idiot if we end up with a federal sales tax vice income taxes...- yikes.

Looked at the options for an inflation adjusted annuity -- the one offered by TSP gives the CPI up to 3%. The no survivorship version drops over a third - from $1376 to $871 - I'll be 48 at the potential decision point. Seems to me like paying insurance and I never liked that -- I suppose there's a way to crank one's assumptions about inflation into it a model and come up with a max present value…they also have a cash refund feature that could be valued somehow too I imagine -- -- even though it's the govt. (or maybe especially since it's govt.) I get the feeling there are many potential hidden costs in an annuity as well.

I don't really know what I'm gonna do between 48 and 59 1/2 but don't anticipate that I'll need the money out of the TSP and could just leave it there. The idea behind the movement of it was to make the wisest decision in terms of taxes/penalities.

I'll chew on the ideas you've given me – thanks a lot.
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