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I am probably missing an obvious place to check, but do not know the rules for an early withdrawal from a Roth IRA. To be specific, I am referring to the withdrawal of principal from a Roth started with "new" funds and not one rolled over from a "standard" IRA or 401(k). I had originally thought the withdrawal of principal at any time was permissable and untaxed. TMF ELan recently suggested I might need to wait 5 years.

This conversation arose from discussion of the Workshop "Three Buckets" article. I was wondering if a smaller emergency fund supplemented with availability under a CC, equity line of credit and Roth withdrawals might be a reasonable combination. My personal situation is such that maxing out both a Roth for myself and my spouse after capturing all my employer's match on the 401(k) appears out of reach if we want to beef up our emergency fund.

I did try the FAQ and wandered a little but did not see an answer to this initially.


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