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What I don't recall is whether you are allowed to take out any of the earnings or if what you temporarily take out can come only from your initial contributions, but Pub 590 should be more explicit about this.

Yeah that's a funny issue. I bought stock with basically all of my contributions, so what is to say which part of that stock is earnings and which is contributions? It's gone up 100% since I bought 200 shares of LVB (Steinway) over a year ago (nice stock, good stock...) and doesn't have a dividend so all of the gains have been capital gains. So I would presume that I could sell 100 of those shares and consider it to be either the original contribution or earnings, whichever would qualify. But I'll look at Pub 590 more closely on this.

Many thanks.
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