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Subject:  Re: Opening ROTH IRA Date:  8/6/1999  2:55 PM
Author:  TMFPixy Number:  12906 of 88506

JP asks:

<<is ROTH money really "available for emergency"?>>

It's a poor substitute for an emergency fund, but it can be used as such after a limited fashion. Annual contribution money can be taken at any time without tax or penalty. Conversion contributions can be taken without taxes or penalty after five tax-years. Earnings taken before age 59 1/2 will be taxed and penalized. Earnings taken after age 59 1/2 but before the account has been open for five tax-years will be taxed only.

The Roth IRA has an ordering rule for withdrawals. The first money out is always considered annual contribution money until it's gone. Next comes conversion contributions from oldest to latest until it's all gone. Last comes earnings.

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