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I have roughly 90% of my stock assets in my IRA, which I started years ago by rolling over the 401(k) from a previous employer. I still have many years left before I turn 59.5, but am somewhat on the doorstep of (ok fine, maybe partway up the stairs and down the hall from) retirement, and am looking for ways to tap into the IRA without getting slaughtered in taxes. I have looked at the 72(t) (or SEPP) option for IRAs, and it looks like a good option. Does anyone have any experience with these, good or bad? I would be starting out using either the Amortization Method or Annuity Method - any insight on which would be better, and why?

I have played around with the calculators fairly extensively, and my current plan (which is definitely subject to change) is to retire once the balance in my IRA hits $500k past the amount needed based on the calculation to provide my target income. I would then roll this $500k surplus to another IRA, and continue investing it aggressively as I have been - individual stock investing and options. The IRA that I use for the SEPP, I would then become much more conservative than I have been. Still not what others would consider ultra conservative, but probably a mix of individual stock investing with some index funds - probably put 3 or so years' living expenses in an S&P fund or something to that effect.

For my target income, I have given myself a decent cushion, which will increase my annual income by about 20% from what it currently is, as I know I will definitely want to do some traveling that my wife and kids haven't been able to do, due to my work schedule. I will also be aided by not paying FICA from the proceeds. Included in my plan is to probably continue to work part-time, mainly to keep in touch with people and have a bit extra play money to travel, enjoy life, etc.

I am also planning on taking a lump sum each year, including the first year that I retire. If I retire in the middle of the year, I would be able to use the proceeds from the lump sum to pay off all my debt besides my mortgage (which is a fairly low monthly payment). If there were to be a major stock market crash, I could switch over to the Minimum Distribution Method, and live comfortably on that. It wouldn't be ideal, but I could also work more, as well - but even without working, I could still easily make do, especially with a mortgage payment as my only debt.

I have tried to think of things from many angles, and at the moment am comfortable with my plan. I'd love to hear some insight from the community, to see if anyone has any critique of any part of my approach. Thanks,

Tim
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