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I don't have any clear answers for you, but I'll be glad to muddy the water with a few legal clarifications and a bonus.

The law:

Anyone with $2,000 earned income can contribute $2,000 to an IRA. Your income level may preclude deducting those contributions or even Roth IRA contributions, but you can still make nondeductible traditional IRA contributions regardless of your AGI and retirement plan status.

Your 401(k) and 403(b) money is available to you without penalty if you're 55 when you retire. There are some intricacies involved, but the law allows it.

These funds are available to you at any age (when you quit working) if taken as a SEPP. Again, there are rules.

There's a lot more information available in All About IRAs, which is accessible through the Quick Find dropdown menu at the upper right of this screen.

The bonus:

There's nothing that says you have to spend cash just becuase you have it. I've read a lot of advice that retirees should not pay cash for real estate, but are better off saving their cash for other investments and emergencies, using a mortgage to finance their retirement homes.

Phil Marti
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