As a retirement saver, you may have accumulated tax-deferred money in an IRA, a 401(k) or 403(b), or an annuity.
You also may have earmarked certain taxable money for retirement, such as stock you inherited from a deceased relative.
Because these decisions can be complex, it is wise to seek qualified tax and legal advice.
The Income Tax Perspective From an income tax perspective, you want to create the most tax-efficient income you can from the various resources you have.
The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 created the Roth IRA, which was made effective for tax years beginning 1998.
Prior to 1998, individuals who wanted to fund an IRA could make either a deductible or nondeductible contribution to a Traditional IRA, but distributions from Traditional IRAs are generally treated as ordinary income and may be subject to income tax as well as an additional early-distribution penalty if the withdrawal occurs while the IRA owner is under the age of 59.5.
The whole point of an IRA (Roth or otherwise) is to save for retirement.
Unfortunately, things don’t always go as planned, and you may find yourself needing to withdraw money from your Roth IRA before age 59½.
1, 2013 — as long as you’re at least 59½ at the time.
The most important thing to know is this: Contributions (that is, the money that you put into your Roth) can come out at any time, free of taxes and penalties.
When it comes to distributions of , however, things get a bit more complicated.
The answer depends on your circumstances and wishes.
Consider the problem from two angles: income tax and estate tax.