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What I am looking to find out is the exact date that the penalty no longer applies. Is it the day one reaches 59 1/2, the day after, the first of the month after that date or some other arbitrary date?

I read it as the day you reach 59 1/2.

"Generally, if you are under age 59½, you must pay a 10% additional tax ..."

I am still in the planning stage, but want to nail down this detail

Well, if I were in the planning stage, I'd probably be looking at how to avoid withdrawing until I had to. Do you really want to withdraw at age 59.5? (There are circumstances where that is necessary - but if it's so you can take the family on a cruise in the Bahamas this winter, maybe you should re-evaluate)
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