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Greetings, nid, and welcome. You wrote:

I am 41. I am planning on retiring by age 50. Based on my current plan,
I believe I will do it (barring an unexpected disaster). I am still
struggling with if I should be investing that 15% in my 401K with all
its restrictions or should I invest outside of it, giving me much more
flexability. I know I can withdraw before age 59 and avoid penalty taxes
by making a level withdrawel over a certain number of years.
What is the consensus among all the fools on which way to go?

Much depends on the choices available in your 401k and on your tax situation. All things being equal, I'd prefer the flexibility available outside the plan in a taxable account, both in terms of the ability to take money and the investment choices. You, though, have to look at your own situation. Just remember that using a withdrawal set up under Section 72(t) of the IRC locks you into a set method of payment for 9 ½ years if you start at age 50. That may or may not produce the cash flow you need. For more info, on that see: .


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