RAE on board


Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Jan 17, 2005
northern Michigan
Hi all - been lurking on this forum for a couple months or so now, and decided to register today. Really appreciate all the advice and wisdom you all have to share. Good stuff.

A few words about me: married, two step-kids (early teens) almost 50, fed. govt. worker, live in Upper Michigan. Been thinking about ER since I was in my early 40's or so. Current plan is to retire as soon as I'm eligible for normal retirement - age 55. Would go sooner but immediate annuity kicks in and health insurance coverage continues if I stay until 55. Also need to think about contributing some $$ for kids college (not all of it, though), and I should be able to sock away a fair amount of $$ in the next 5 years. We live very frugally.....probably on about half of the salary my wife and I make, and save/invest the rest. Have been accumulating resources (401k, etc) for a decade or more now. Want to spend 3-4 months each winter in a warmer climate after I retire (Bahamas?). Love fishing of all kinds.

Looking forward to participating in discussions on the forum. Feel free to send me an e-mail also if you want to contact me directly. Bob
Yep, I'm a Yooper. Not by birth, but I've been here for about 30 years now, so I'm almost a native, I guess. Where are you located, Martha? I noticed that you said it was 23 below where you were, so you can't be too far away (Minn?). Have fun on your Feb. trip........we'll look forward to your report when you return. :)
Hi RAE !

I'm originally from the middle part of the lower Peninsula. My Dad was a graduate of Michigan Tech.

I'm a Fed head as well and can go out in 8 years at age 56. I'm maxing out the TSP, Roth and putting some into an after tax account as well.

That health care coverage is real incentive to stay, isn't it ?

Are you under the FERs retirement system ?

Also, have you looked into the different ways they allow us to take the money out of TSP ? It doesn't look as flexible as I would like. I was hoping I could just tap into it as needed before age 70 but it looks as though they want us to withdrawal on a scheduled basis. I may roll it into an IRA at a later point. But I sure like the low fees they charge !

Best regards,

Hey Cut-throat - yeah, we had a cool summer in the UP this year, for sure. I can handle cool summers, but as I get older, 20-below temps in Dec/Jan/Feb are a bit hard to take (-22 here this morning). Looking forward to going to the Bahamas (Eleuthera) in late March this winter. Wish it was sooner!
Hi Helen - I'm a Mich. Tech. grad.......1977. I'm in the CSRS retirement system. Had the option to switch to FERS, but I chose to stay in CSRS. So, I can retire at 55, which I plan to do. Yes, the health coverage, plus immediate annuity upon retirement, is the incentive for me to keep working until 55.

I'm also putting the max. allowable into TSP, and into my IRA (regular IRA). I think you can tap into the TSP after retirement just like any other 401(k), Helen (doesn't necessarily have to be regular withdrawals)......but I'll check to be sure. Or, you could roll it into an IRA, as you say.

Regards, Bob
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