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Many transitioning personnel have established Thrift Savings Plans (TSP’s)and may transfer them into an IRA if they choose to do so. There are many pros and cons to doing so, and you must consider the options very carefully before making a final decision.

For one thing, TSP’s have one of the lowest expense ratios when compared with many IRA’s.

The first thing you must do is decide if you want to close your TSP. It may well be to your advantage to leave your TSP in place because of the lower expense ratios unless you have a specific reason for moving it out.

If you do decide to close your TSP, you must do your homework to decide what type of vehicle to use. Roth IRA’s and traditional IRA’s are available. You should establish your IRA before you begin your TSP transfer paperwork as it will make the process much easier.

There are a multitude of tax implications that you may not be familiar with that it might be best to address to an adviser to save yourself money and headaches later. You may, for example have tax-exempt contributions that require attention. Again, professional guidance may be necessary.

For a more detailed analysis of the process, see Ryan Guina’s article in The Military Wallet.

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