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TheBadger wrote:
You can tap your 401(k) at age 55 w/o penalty.

I add:
Just don't transfer it to an IRA until you reach age 59 1/2, or you lose the penalty exception. (This is ONLY because you are retiring at age 55 or later.)

The SEPP rule that Badger mentioned is available to anyone, but carries stiffer penalties than the original 10% if you change distributions before the time period is up.
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