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Quikirk: "My question pertains to the funds held in my 401k plan. Is there any way to withdraw those funds if I do in fact reach my goal prior to age 55 without suffering extreme tax penalties, for instance rolling the fund into something else that I could draw income from as needed and pay taxes on the amount withdrawn? It is my understanding that the 401k can be rolled out at age 55 provided that this is done within my 55th year and after my employment terminates."

You could roll the 401-k to an IRA and start SEPP withdrawals (you would lose the opportunity WRT to NUA, but you did specify w/out penalty). Go to The Retire Early board in Speakers' Corner and search SEPP and also 72(t) (IIRC); you will have plenty of reading.

Regards, JAFO
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