NerdWallet: Don’t raid your retirement accounts—but here’s when you can do it safely, if you have to

by | Jul 21, 2023 | Stock Market

This article is reprinted by permission from NerdWallet. The investing information provided on this page is for educational purposes only. NerdWallet, Inc. does not offer advisory or brokerage services, nor does it recommend or advise investors to buy or sell particular stocks, securities or other investments. Raiding your retirement accounts can be expensive. Withdrawing money before age 59½ typically triggers income taxes, a 10% federal penalty and — worst of all — the loss of future tax-deferred compounded returns. A 30-year-old who withdraws $1,000 from an individual retirement account or 401(k) could lose more than $11,000 in future retirement money, assuming 7% average annual returns.

In the past, there were a few ways you could avoid the penalty. Congress recently added several more, and some of those exceptions allow you to repay the money within three years. That would allow you to get a refund of the taxes you paid and — best of all — allow the money to start growing again, tax deferred, for your future. You’re still better off leaving retirement funds alone for retirement, says Erin Itkoe, director of financial planning at Tarbox Family Office, a wealth management firm in Scottsdale, Arizona. If you can’t, though, you could at least limit the damage from taking the money out early, she says. Related: ‘Concerning’ number of savers raid 401(k) accounts before retirementWhat you need to know about Secure 2.0 The new penalty exceptions are part of  …

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