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To avoid the automatic 20% withholding charge from your teacher retirement plan you could transfer your distribution to a IRA. Most banks offer IRA's that you could either invest in or place in a money market account.
"Rolling over" your distribution directly into a IRA will allow you to avoid the automatic withholding. You can open an IRA online with many different firms or at a local financial institution. Some teachers have availability to a Credit Union that will assist you.
Once the funds are in the IRA you will have more control over the distribution and withholding amounts and spread distribution out over years.
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