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I've been trying to figure out how to make it to 20 years in the military and then call it quits.

As a new investor I'm trying to decide between a Roth IRA and a traditional IRA if I'm going to pull money out for quite a while before hitting traditional retirement age.

From what I understand, the benefit of a Roth IRA is that withdrawals up to your contributions total, and 'qualified withdrawals' after 59.5 are all tax free.

But if I want my money out before I'm 59 and a half years old, I'm going to be stuck paying income tax, plus 10% if I don't use a 72(t) distribution plan.

No matter what, it sounds like I'm going to pay tax on what goes in and on what comes out!

Assuming I do manage to retire early, I'm thinking a traditional IRA would make a lot more sense. I'll get taxed on the way out just like I would making early withdrawals on a Roth, but at least this way I can dodge taxes on the way in. Am I missing something here?
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