[[a while ago i asked about retirement plans for self-employed people. i was referred to IRS pubs 535, 560, and 590. having read through 560, it looks like the keogh works similar to IRAs in that you can't take out anything before the age of 59 1/2 without being penalized (though there are a few exceptions).]]Right...virtually ALL of the retirement plans work that way. [[ is this true?]]Yup...very.[[ what do people do if they want to retire early?]]They generally have other funds that they can get their hands on to fund their retirement until they can receive their pension distributions without penalty. Or, in the alternative, they begin taking their retirement funds out using periodic payments which will also avoid the penalty.But I don't know of ANYBODY who has retired early that has ALL of their retirement funds locked up in pension/profit sharing or other retirement plans. Generally, if you retire at, say...age 50...you have substantial OTHER funds to get you by on a day to day basis.[[ are there any retirement plans that don't specify the age at which you can start taking distributions? ]]None that I'm familar with...[[of course, i'm kind of assuming that i'm going to retire early, but i don't want to get to the age of 50 and find that i have enough in my retirement plan to retire on but that it's unaccessible.]]Good point...but again, this has not been my experience. [[ know of a better place where i should ask my question? ]]You can always try the "Fools and Their Money" folder, or even the "Retirement Investing" folder. TMF TaxesRoy
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