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First off, you cannot remove $20,000 without penalty. You will need to make an annual calculation to determine the amount to withdraw. The IRS is somewhat confused about this as I got completely incorrect advise from them.

There are some knowlegable folks in the main centers who can set you straight. The rate is 8% but it requires a yearly calculation to determine the actual percentage based upon your and your wife's life expectancy charts. I started withdrawing funds from my IRA at age 49 with no penalty.

If you are not careful, you will find your IRA is a trap. If you allow it to get too big, you will have to take out the funds at a rate that screws up your social security and puts you into a high tax bracket. This completely destroys the aim of the IRA in the first place. No one seems to talk about this, but it is a real problem.

You are very smartto start young. Enjoy the money. You will be hard pressed to spend it all at the rate the Fed will let you take it out without penalty. My experience is, my account keeps growing at over 10% even though I remove the maximum amount. That is the beauty of smart investing.
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