You may end up frustrated at the low return on your investments if you choose to save your money in an emergency fund. Don’t be; this rainy day money is meant to be ready and accessible in the event of a storm.
A certified financial planner helped answer some important questions on if you should pull out retirement money to pay off consumer debt, as well as where to park your emergency fund.
Question 1: At the age of 65 and recently retired from federal service, what should be done when it comes to the Thrift Savings Plan? What happens in the event that there is a large sum of tax and consumer debt?
Answer: There would be a huge tax bill withdrawing all your TSP at once. It’s important to figure out how much can be taken out each year in a low tax bracket. Consider working with an hourly financial planner or an accountant to do this. Also, create a plan to pay off the debt using your current funds and the small amounts you can take out of the TSP over time.
Question 2: As a retired federal employee in the late 60s with a spouse turning 71, what can be done about a larger home that is no longer age-friendly?
Answer: It is important to figure this out sooner rather than later if your house can be made age-friendly. Consider talking to an hourly financial planner to help you determine the cost of your options and see if you have the resources to meet them.
Question 3: Let’s say that there is $75,000 in a money market account for emergencies, like a layoff, for example. Does it make sense to make $65,000 work harder in a year and leave $10,000 in the money market for fluidity’s sake?
Answer: For one year, that is a good rate. However, be sure to have at least one month of expenses in the liquid money market to avoid getting hit with penalties if you need to tap some of that money.
Overall, the best way to make sure you are making the right decision when it comes to what should be done with your retirement funds is to reach out to a financial planner and work with them directly.