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I don't want to rain on your parade, but remember that at age 45 or 50, you could easily live another 45 or 50 years in retirement. Make sure when you are projecting your retirement needs that you take into account a reasonable rate of return, inflation rate and tax rate. Social Security will most certainly be bust by then, so you will probably not want to count on that.

As far as early withdrawals are concerned, the 401(k) can be rolled to an IRA when you retire. The IRA can then be withdrawn from before age 59-1/2 using what is called substantially equal payements. The principal in your Roth IRA is always accessable tax free. As well if you are really able to save above and beyond your 401(k) and Roth, you may want to consider non-qualified vehicles like Variable Universal Life as a third leg.

Best wishes!

Alan McKnight, CFP
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