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The IRS has a specific set of rules for withdrawing funds prior to age 59.5. At the time of my retirement (6 years ago) they were covered by an IRS ruling referred to as Rule 72t (which I believe has been discussed on these message boards earlier).
Anyway at the time of my retirement (and I am not quoting exactly) is that one could withdraw funds at substantially equal payments for a period of 5 years or until one reaches the age of 59.5 whichever is LONGER. The percentage withdrawal allowed was interpreted by my advisor at the time that it could be +or- 2% of prime based on your initial IRA value. At the time I decided that 7% was what I wanted. Now this specific amount, say 25,000 became the baseline.
Things start to get fuzzy after this. As the prime rate rose I asked if I could increase the amount of money I could withdraw and received mixed answers. As the value of my portfolio changed the amount remained fixed. Another reason to have multiple portfolios. If you need more money start taking it out from another portfolio etc.
As far as information sources, that's hard. I was with a fullservice broker that specillized in retirement accounts. I would suggest that you contact the IRS or a tax accountant that you trust or see what else pops up here.
Rudy
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