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Forgive me if this is a trival question...

I have been reading a book called "Smart Questions" from the Bloomberg bookshelf. Question #12 in the book
deals with the Roth IRA, and I read something that struck me as strange.

It reads...

You can withdraw the amounts you've contributed to a Roth IRA at any time, regardless of your age, without paying any penalty or taxes on the money.

This says (I think) that I can touch my contributions but not my gains, but I didn't think I could touch my contributions either.

Is this true? I can withdraw my contributions at any time?

If I contribute 2K for 10 years, then I can withdraw up to 20K from my Roth IRA in 10 years without penalties?

Thanks for the answers. (Sorry if it's a dumb question).

the hendrys

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Sorry for the screwed up Italics...

Forgive me if this is a trival question...

I have been reading a book called "Smart Questions" from the Bloomberg bookshelf. Question #12 in the book deals with the Roth IRA, and I read something that struck me as strange.

It reads...

You can withdraw the amounts you've contributed to a Roth IRA at any time, regardless of your age, without paying any penalty or taxes on the money.


This says (I think) that I can touch my contributions but not my gains, but I didn't think I could touch my contributions either.

Is this true? I can withdraw my contributions at any time?

If I contribute 2K for 10 years, then I can withdraw up to 20K from my Roth IRA in 10 years without penalties?

Thanks for the answers. (Sorry if it's a dumb question).

the hendrys
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Is this true? I can withdraw my contributions at any time?

Yes.

http://www.fool.com/money/allaboutiras/allaboutiras06.htm includes this tidbit:

But, under the Roth IRA rules, and unlike the rules for a regular IRA, you CAN remove you principal contributions without tax or penalty. But note that I said "contributions."
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The Hendrys ask:

<<Is this true? I can withdraw my contributions at any time?>>

Yes, your annual contribution money may be taken from a Roth at any time for any reason free of taxes and penalty. Unlike a traditional IRA where any withdrawal is always composed of a fully or partially taxable amount regardless of whether you have made after-tax contributions or not, in a Roth the after-tax contribution money is always considered the first money out of the IRA. Precedence for withdrawal in a Roth from first money out to last is:

a. Annual contributions.

b. Conversion contributions from first to be converted to last to be converted.

c. Earnings.

You should note that conversion money must stay in the Roth for five tax-years to avoid a 10% early withdrawal penalty. Earnings normally can't be taken until age 59 1/2 AND after five tax-years have passed, but there are some exceptions to that which are explained in out IRA area at http://www.fool.com/money/allaboutiras/allaboutiras.htm.

Regards..Pixy
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Pixy,

Is there any minimum waiting period to withdraw penalty free from a Roth IRA contributions recharacterized from a traditional IRA? Thanks.
-Chester :)
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Chester asks:

<<Is there any minimum waiting period to withdraw penalty free from a Roth IRA contributions recharacterized from a traditional IRA? >>

I assume you're using "recharacterize" to mean a regular annual contribution to a traditional IRA that has been changed to be an annual contribution to a Roth IRA. If so, then there is no waiting period.

OTOH, if you're talking about money that you converted from a traditonal IRA to a Roth (i.e., money deposited in previous years), then that money must remain in the Roth for five tax-years before withdrawal or it will be assessed a 10% early withdrawal penalty.

Regards..Pixy
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