An IRA puts you in the driver’s seat. When planning for your retirement, and saving through a Traditional and/or Roth IRA, you and your financial advisor choose investments, develop a contribution strategy, and determine the tax treatment of withdrawals.

We all know that things don’t always go according to plan. When life happens and events occur that may be outside your control, an IRA provides you with options. It allows you access to your retirement savings when you may need it most. You can tap into your IRA account when certain life events happen without incurring the 10% early withdrawal penalty. Below is a list of penalty-free exceptions that allow you to access your IRA prior to age 59 1/2.

Penalty-Free Distributions
Reasons for Distribution
IRAs
Traditional & Roth1
Qualified Plans2
 
Higher Education Expenses  
First Time Home Buyer  
Health Insurance if your are unemployed  
Unreimbursed Medical Expenses
IRS Levy
Active Reservists
Disability
Age 55 and separation of service  
Divorce (Qualified Domestic Relations Order QDRO)  

As you evaluate the need to take an early distribution from your IRA or qualified retirement plan, keep in mind that this may be a costly option as you will have to pay ordinary income taxes on the taxable portion of the withdrawal and you lose out on the continued investment growth of those funds for retirement. We strongly encourage you to consult your financial advisor and/or tax advisor on any additional considerations that may be relevant to your specific personal circumstances and their impact on your retirement goals.

Follow @OppFunds for more news and commentary.

1 Includes SIMPLE & SEP IRAs.

2 Includes 401(k) Profit-sharing and 403(b) Plans.