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There are two ways to play the fool:

§72(t)(2)(A)(v) allows unlimited & varying withdrawals from your 401(k) if you retire from your employer during the same year in which you turn 55 or older. In this case you money must stay in the 401(k) & cannot be rolled to an IRA (at least until age 59 1/2) & needs a cooperative plan administrator who will give you withdrawals when you need them.

§72(t)(2)(A)(iv) provides for "substantially equal periodic payments" of which there are three approved methods that once commenced must continue until the later of 5 years or your attaining age 59 1/2. The rules herer are much tougher than above but can be commenced at any age.

Both (v) & (iv) above avoid the 10% surtax but regualr income tax is still due.

Visit the Retire Early Home Page for lots of detail on both of these subjects.

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