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I'm 39 years old and my retirement accounts are doing nicely, but I'm curious about the transition period from planned retirement at about age 50 to full control over the IRAs at age 59 1/2. Our plan is to support our family from 50 to 55 on regular investments, which will roughly run out when we can access our 403(b) at 55. Next, we want to live off the 403(b) until we can access the IRAs without playing the 72(t) withdrawal schedule game, if I have that number right for the rule where you have to make substantially equal withdrawals for 5 years or to age 59 1/2 whichever is later.

We want to roll as much of the 403(b) as possible into IRAs when I leave this job in two years so that we can choose our own stocks for most of our total portfolio. Our target is to leave enough in the 403(b), where it can be accessed at a younger age, that with 9% annual growth for nine years it will support us in comfort for 4.5 years. The technical question is: can we withdraw everything that quickly from a 403(b) and wipe it out in 4.5 years, or are there restrictions that limit how fast we can take the money?

General question: Assuming we also have a good emergency fund, does this sound like a sensible strategy overall, in terms of the tax issues and control over investment options? Also, is there anything else we should be considering?
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