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I'm 50, and have a traditional IRA valued at $210k. The problem is, I'm 50, and I've always been working towards my own boat and sailing. I'd like to invest this in a live-aboard (and this will pay for most of the boat, assuming I lose 70k)

Besides making an assumption instead of real calculation of the taxes and penalties, you may be forgetting the other ongoing costs. Yes, homes have property taxes and maintenance. But, your live-on boat may have a lot of that as well, plus harbor fees, dock rental, fuel, etc.

The one number I recall for something like that is paying for the marina space at $1,050 a month, and a $250 "live aboard" fee which covers utilities, parking, and a mailbox. Pumping the sewage tank monthly is extra, as is the twice-yearly barnacle scraping (and whatever else divers do to the submerged portion). Do you have enough junk that you'd have to rent a storage facility?

You'll want to get all those costs calculated plus run the real numbers on your penalties and interest. Also figure out where you might be at age 62 or 67 if you gut your retirement savings at age 50. I always invested aggressively, thinking that if a stock market downturn came right when I wanted to retire, I could just keep working a few years...my company laying off 80% of its US employees, and a few friends in similar situations, made me see the error of that assumption. If you ever had to relocate, would you insist on a job at a company near a dock, or would you sell the boat? I'm *guessing* that the "round trip" on a boat is a money loss, whereas on a house it usually isn't.

The bottom line is that living on a boat is a lifestyle choice. Some people like having a classic car for summer weekends, or living in a much more extravagant house and neighborhood than their family size and income usually indicate. If that trips your trigger, make sure you have a handle on all the likely lifetime costs.
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