Can You Retire At 59 And A Half


Withdrawals From A Roth Ira Youve Had Less Than Five Years

$1.2M Wants To Retire Early Tired of Working Afraid to Cut Loose

Roth IRA earnings are subject to a penalty if you take a distribution during the first five years you have the account, with the following exceptions:

  • You use the withdrawal to pay for a first-time home purchase.
  • You use the withdrawal to pay for qualified education expenses.
  • You become disabled or pass away.
  • You use the withdrawal to pay for unreimbursed medical expenses or health insurance if you’re unemployed.
  • The distribution is made in substantially equal periodic payments.
  • You use the withdrawal for birth or adoption expenses.

Definition And Example Of The Rule Of 55

If you have a 401 plan, you may know there is usually a 10% penalty for withdrawing any of the funds before you reach age 59 1/2. One exception to this rule affects those not yet retiredthose between ages 55 and 59 1/2.

For example, suppose you’re 57 years old and are laid off from your job. Now that you don’t have income from work, you may need to dip into your 401 funds. If you were younger than 55, you would have to pay a penalty in order to do that. However, per the Rule of 55, because distributions were made to you after you separated from service with your employer and after the year you reached age 55, you can withdraw from your retirement savings penalty-free.

How To Withdraw From Your 401 Before 595 And Avoid Penalties

Mr. Johnson has had the luxury of saving for retirement and, in his mind, saving more than enough to live the lifestyle he and his wife have always dreamed of.

Mr. Johnson has had the luxury of saving for retirement and, in his mind, saving more than enough to live the lifestyle he and his wife have always dreamed of. Their dreams of European vacations, cruises with the grandchildren, and driving cross-country in an RV all seem to be within arms reach. Theres only one problem: the majority of Mr. Johnsons retirement savings are in his companys 401 plan, and Mr. Johnson is only 55 years old. Sure, Mr. Johnson can roll the money out from the 401 and do a 72T , but the specific amount the IRS would require at Mr. Johnsons age isnt enough for the retirement hes planned for. Mr. Johnson is thinking of taking the 10% IRS penalty since this is the only way to access his saved money or is it?

Did you know that the Internal Revenue Service has a rule called the Rule of 55, which states that an individual who retires from, quits, or is laid off from their job at age 55 can withdraw from their 401 or 403 plan and avoid the 10% early withdrawal penalty free?

This content was brought to you by Impact PartnersVoice. Jared Lomeo is an insurance professional in the state of Georgia. This content is for informational purposes and should not be construed as tax advice. DT430034-0219

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Burn Your Taxable Account First

Your taxable account is your least tax-efficient way to invest. Yes, it has its tax benefits, but these pale in comparison to IRAs and 401Ks, especially when you consider the additional estate planning and asset protection benefits of a true retirement account. Most experts agree that an early retiree ought to hit up his taxable account before diving into his tax-protected ones for a number of reasons. First, you don’t pay any tax on your basis, which might be quite high. Second, long-term capital gains are only taxed at 5-15%, likely much less than your IRA withdrawals. Last, it leaves your IRA money to continue to compound at tax-free rates.

Number 3 Partial Fire

401k Retirement Plan

One of the least complicated ways to have enough money in early retirement is to have income from work. I hear you saying, Wait a minute! I thought we were talking about retirement.

This is true, but let me give you an example. My main gig is working as an anesthesiologist. However, that is not the only way that I make money. For example, The Physician Philosopher blog makes money, too.

Here are two ways I can partial FIRE.

First, I can take a step back to 0.5 FTE or 0.7 FTE. Part time work can help me find the ideal work-life balance. It would provide time for me to do things I want to while still earning access to retirement accounts, health care benefits, etc.

Second, I could also consider working on other things that bring me joy, but arent my main gig. Say I retire early and devote more time The Physician Philosopher or to real estate or creating inventions. There are many examples of physician side hustles. All of these may take up less time than a full-time job, provide income, and allow you to still have an active retirement.

Humans are meant to be productive one way or another. This is why the people that retire well still have passions that they pursue. Playing golf every day is going to get old after a while .

You need something to do when you are bridging that early retirement gap. Hopefully, it can also make a little money for you.

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Number 1 Cash Reserve

A lot of early retirees advocate for having a year or two of annual expenses saved up in a cash reserves. There are two major advantages to this tactic.

First, if you dont touch your investments for the first two years you retire, you can let your investments grow without having to worry about Sequence of Return Risk. This is a great way to make sure that you truly have enough in retirement.

The second reason is that it is the easiest way to bridge the early retirement gap! There is no penalty on money that is sitting inside a high-yield savings account. Use it as you will.

Alternatives To Rule Of 55 Withdrawals

The rule of 55, which doesnt apply to traditional or Roth IRAs, isnt the only way to get money from your retirement plan early. For example, you wont have to pay the penalty if you take distributions from a 401 early for these reasons:

  • You become totally and permanently disabled.
  • You pass away and your beneficiary or estate is withdrawing money from the plan.
  • Youre taking distributions to pay deductible medical expenses that exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income.
  • Distributions are the result of an IRS levy.
  • Youre receiving qualified reservist distributions.

You can also avoid the 10% early withdrawal penalty if early distributions are made as part of a series of substantially equal periodic payments, known as a SEPP plan. You have to be separated from service to qualify for this exception if youre taking money from an employers plan, but youre not subject to the 55 or older requirement. The payment amounts youd receive come from your life expectancy.

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Think Strategically About Pension And Social Security Benefits

For most retirees, Social Security and pensions are the two primary sources of regular income in retirement. You usually can collect these payments earlyat age 62 for Social Security and sometimes as early as age 55 with a pension. However, taking benefits early will mean that you get smaller monthly benefits for the rest of your life. That can matter to your bottom line, even if you expect Social Security to be merely the icing on your retirement cake.

On the Social Security website, you can find a projection of what your benefits would be if you were pushed to claim them several years early. But if youre part of a two-income couple, you may want to make an appointment at a Social Security office or with a financial professional to weigh the potential options.

For example, when you die, your spouse is eligible to receive your monthly benefit if its higher than his or her own. But if you claim your benefits early, thus receiving a reduced amount, youre likewise limiting your spouses potential survivor benefit.

If you have a pension, your employers pension administrator can help estimate your monthly pension payments at various ages. Once you have these estimates, youll have a good idea of how much monthly income you can count on at any given point in time.

Working While Receiving Benefits

Retire Now: Why taxes can be a threat in retirement

You may work after you start receiving benefits, which could mean a higher benefit for you in the future. We may withhold some of your benefits if you earn more than the yearly earnings limit. Sometimes people who retire in mid-year already have earned more than the annual earnings limit. However:

  • We have a special rule that applies to earnings for one year, usually the first year you begin receiving benefits. This means we cannot withhold benefits for any month we consider you retired, regardless of your yearly earnings.
  • After you reach full retirement age, we will recalculate your benefit amount to take into account any months you did not receive benefits because your earnings were too high.

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Number : The Taxable Account

Another source of money to bridge your early retirement gap is your taxable account.

This is likely the first account that you should draw down in retirement. It has the least tax benefit and has the most flexibility in terms of access. You simply take the money out that you put in, and pay your long-term capital gains taxes . These taxes, which are usually 15-20%, are often substantially less than what you were paying in your peak earning years.

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In fact, one reason I created this post is that Ive read that some people actually stop putting money into their 401K/403B and, instead, put it into a taxable account so that they can access it more easily. They think this is the only option in early retirement.

As youll read below, this is not the case!

You May Have A Long Long Life Ahead Of You

A woman who retires at 55 will have to make her savings last for 28.6 years, on average, compared to 20.4 years if she retires at 65. A man who retires at 55 will have to stretch his savings for 25.1 years, rather than 17.8. And for couples who make it to 65, there’s a 25 percent change that the surviving spouse lives to 98, according to the Society of Actuaries.

“With improved health care, many people are living longer than the national averages, says Angela Dorsey, a certified financial planner in Torrance, California.

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How To Figure Out If You Can Retire Comfortably

Stress testing retirement projections can help investors feel more confident they wont run out of money under different conditions in the financial markets. Again, basic online calculators dont account for the variability in investment returns or the timing of down years. The only factor is a static average annual return. Put another way, simple compounded return calculators only assume your investments grow, ignoring the downside produces the average.

For guidance that takes your entire situation into account, consider working with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professional to develop a financial plan and help ensure you stay on track throughout retirement with ongoing investment management and advisory support.

To feel confident that 60 isnt too early to retire, your plan should include a Monte Carlo simulation to stress-test a retirement plan for market volatility.

Putting everything together in a comprehensive financial plan is often the best way to determine how much you need to retire. Running the numbers will help you understand what trade-offs exist and what options best suit your needs and goals.

About Darrow Wealth Management

Darrow Wealth Management is an independent fee-only financial advisor and full-time fiduciary. The Darrow Money Management Program provides ongoing investment management and financial planning services for individuals and families.

Can I Retire Early Three Early Retirement Options

August 2019: Roadmap to Retirement  Orion Mortgage Corporation

These days, retirement can look different for everyone. For some, their long-awaited life of leisure kicks in right after they walk out of the office for the last time. Others see retirement as a chance to abandon the corporate treadmill for a purpose-driven pursuit.

Lets take a look at three different ways early retirement could work for you.

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Series Of Substantially Equal Payments

If none of the above exceptions fit your individual circumstances, you can begin taking distributions from your IRA or 401k without penalty at any age before 59 ½ by taking a 72t early distribution. This allows you to take a series of specified payments every year. The amount of these payments is based on a calculation involving your current age and the size of your retirement account.

The catch is that once you start, you have to continue taking the periodic payments for five years, or until you reach age 59 ½, whichever is longer. Also, you will not be allowed to take more or less than the calculated distribution, even if you no longer need the money. So be careful with this one!

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Depending on your tax situation, both Luber and Whitney say it also might make sense to take a portion of your 401 and do a Roth IRA conversion. However, its important to review the tax consequences of a move like this with a tax professional.

Keep in mind that any money converted to an IRA would make the funds ineligible for the rule of 55 and prevent penalty-free access for five years under Roth conversion rules. That said, moving funds into a Roth IRA allows you to benefit from years of valuable tax-free investment growth.

Before you leave your job, make sure you look at all your accounts and assets and review the potential tax consequences, Whitney says. Then decide what is likely to work best for you.

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Number : Take Roth Contributions Out

This one isnt a full number for a reason. You can choose to take any Roth contributions out tax-free. However, this has two problems.

One, you have to determine the proportion of which is your contribution and what is growth. So, if you want to take out $10,000 and $9,000 of this is the contribution the remaining $1,000 will be taxed and possibly be assessed a 10% penalty if accessed early. This starts to get complicated. Particularly, if you made a backdoor Roth IRA conversion.

Second, you should be accessing your Roth money last as this is money that is best left as a stretch Roth IRA inheritance and also has the biggest tax benefit. Youve already paid the tax. Let it grow tax-free and take it out tax-free later.

I mention this because it is, technically, an option. Just not one that I would not choose lightly.

Staying Healthy And Strong In The Golden Years

How To Withdraw Money From 401(k) After Age 59 1/2

In 6 months, youll hit the big one: 60. Thats 6 decades, most of it through the latter half of one of human historys most turbulent, tumultuous, and exciting centuries. While life expectancies vary, you can reasonably expect to live another quarter century.17

And with your temperament, you expect to take life by the horns and ride it full throttle. But, naturally, before you proceed, you ought to take stock of the most important part of your life, your health.

Unfortunately, your health changes over the years. After all, youre not 20 years old anymore. Youre going to be 60. On the other hand, 60 just isnt 60 anymore. In order to live life to the fullest, you do have to keep a closer watch on your health whether youd like to or not.

Heres what you can expect at 60 and beyond:18

Your skin becomes drier as you age. That means youre less prone to adolescent breakouts. However, your more fragile skin is susceptible to age spots and wrinkles. Prescriptions like hydroquinone and retinol work to give the appearance of rolling back the years.

You may want to scratch from your diet those 2-pound bacon cheeseburgers with super sides of onion rings and extra-large chocolate milk shakes. Your metabolism generally slows about 5% per decade. But health experts say you dont have to gain weight. Staying active and cutting calories may be just the thing to keep you fit and trim.

Lets get to the heart of your health:

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How To Use Rule Of 55 To Fund An Early Retirement

If youre thinking about early retirement then chances are that youll need to take early withdrawals from your retirement account in order to fund your life. Retiring early means you wont have access to Social Security benefits so youll need to not only pay for your living expenses but also some added expenses like more expensive health insurance. Unless you have a lot of money sitting around in savings and checking accounts, you may want to consider using the rule of 55 to take early withdrawals.

There are a few rules that you need to comply with in order to qualify for these withdrawals. Those rules are:

  • Age of Retirement: You must leave your job after turning 55, or the calendar year of. This reduces to the age of 50 if youre a public service employee. You cannot retire earlier and then take withdrawals or the rule of 55 doesnt work.
  • Work: You must leave your job to start taking withdrawals but you can return to work later. You arent locked into retiring forever.
  • Retirement Account: You can only withdraw funds from your most recent 401 or 403 account for the rule of 55 to work.

If you meet the requirements for all of these rules then the rule of 55 might be a good fit for you in order to avoid paying the early withdrawal penalty. In order to start taking these withdrawals, youll just have to prove that you qualify for the plan administrator. Its important, though, that you plan the timing of those withdrawals effectively.

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