Hopefully, you have been doing the responsible thing and putting away a nice little nest egg in retirement plans such as pensions, profit sharing plans and individual retirement accounts (IRAs). If you did, resist the urge to take money out of those accounts before your turn 59½. For starters, the money you withdraw will be taxable to you. Additionally, it is subject to a 10% early-withdrawal penalty. It’s an IRS “red flag” to forget to include that 10% penalty and increases your chance of an audit.
There are some exceptions to this early-withdrawal penalty. The penalty does not apply if you are disabled, distribution is due to the taxpayer’s death, or benefits are paid out as an annuity over the remaining life expectancy. It also does not apply to IRS withdrawals for educational expenses, certain home-buying expenses, and unreimbursed medical expenses in excess of 7.5% AGI.