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How do I withdraw my money?

Jun 15, 2013 by Connie from Phenix City, AL in  |  Flag
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That depends on what kind of account you want to withdraw the money from as well as other factors including your age. Let's start with age. If you are age 59 1/2 or older and want to withdraw money from either a 401k account or an IRA, you can do so without penalty. You will pay income tax on whatever amount you withdraw.

If you are not 59 ½ or older and want to withdraw money from a 401k, then it is important to know if you are still working for the employer who sponsors your 401k. Let’s say you are employed by your 401k plan’s sponsor, are not age 59 1/2+ and want to withdraw from your 401k. You would have only two possible options IF your plan allows for them: 1 – A loan from your 401k account (you borrow your money and pay yourself back…though not necessarily a good idea) or 2 – A hardship distribution which is allowed only for certain reasons – i.e. home foreclosure, medical expenses. For more on qualifications for hardship distributions go here http://www.irs.gov/Retirement-Plans/Retirement-Plans-FAQs-regarding-Hardship-Distributions#2. Hardship distributions are subject to taxes and a 10% early withdrawal penalty if you aren’t 59 ½ or older.

If you are no longer working for the employer, not age 59 ½+ and want to withdraw the money, you can…but again you will incur a 10% penalty for a premature distribution plus income tax on the amount withdrawn. You can contact human resources at the employer on how to proceed with any of these options. Rolling the money over to an IRA or a 401k plan at a new employer are the better options.

If it’s an IRA you are wanting to withdraw from and you are not 59 ½+ , then you can take out the money…but the IRS will, as explained above, hit you with a 10% penalty for a premature distribution on top of income tax on the amount.

Ideally, you don’t want to withdraw money from any retirement account until you are officially retired and/or age 59 ½ or older.

Comment   |  Flag   |  Jun 21, 2013 from Kingsport, TN

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I am not sure exactly what account or accounts you are asking about. This site doesn't have specific information on any account you have or had in the past. It is strictly for informational purposes. Here are a couple ideas that might help though:

  1. If you are asking about a retirement plan from a company you work for or worked for in the past, contact the company HR department directly and they should be able to answer the question for you.
  2. If you know the company that was the custodian of the account (Fidelity, Vanguard, Schwab, etc.) contact them and ask them about an account you may have with them.

Good luck


Comment   |  Flag   |  Jun 17, 2013 from Uniontown, OH

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Peter C. Karp Level 20


In order to answer your question on how to withdraw my money, it depends on what type of account you want to withdraw from. The rules for withdrawals from a 401(k) account are different than those from an IRA account or other types of investments you may have. Please let us know the type of account you have and we can provide you with specific information.

Disclosure: The posted information is for informational purposes only. This message does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any security. All opinions and estimates constitute Karp Capital's judgment as of the date of the report and are subject to change without notice. Accordingly, no representation or warranty, expressed or otherwise, is made to, and no reliance should be placed on, the fairness, accuracy, completeness or timeliness of the information contained herein. Securities offered through Financial Telesis Inc., member SIPC/FINRA. Financial Telesis Inc. and Karp Capital Management are not affiliated companies.

Comment   |  Flag   |  Jul 11, 2013 from San Francisco, CA

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Connie, if you have a 401(k), you want to take out your money, and you are not 59 1/2, you will have to pay income tax plus a 10% penalty. If you still want to do this, call HR. Some HR departments can handle this. If you can't get some one to help, just get the number of the plan administrator. The plan administrator, as the name implies, administers the plan. They will give you the required documents.

Some plans allow for loans. If allowed, you can borrow up to 50% of your balance. But it must be paid back within 5 years, or if you leave the company, or there will be tax plus 10%. With a loan, you are borrowing pre-tax dollars and re=paying with after tax dollars, arguably a double taxation.

I always recommend not taking out retirement dollars early. First, because the penalties are just not worth it. But mostly because it was intended for retirement, and unless you have an inheritance coming, or you hit the lottery, you will likely need it much more at retirement.

Comment   |  Flag   |  Jun 17, 2013 from Delray Beach, FL

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