Withdrawing from 401K Plan at/after 59.5 Years

Have you checked into an age 59.5 withdrawal?

Generally speaking, a 401k plan must allow a participant age 59.5 and older to take withdrawals from their account even if the person is still working.

So, if you need money from your 401k plan, there is no better time than being 59.5 to take a withdrawal if you need it. Since, according to the IRS, you are standard retirement age, you can take this withdrawal without fear of paying the dreaded 10% early withdrawal penalty.

Of course, be careful not to drain your account too soon, or you could be in trouble down the road when you really are retired.

If you don’t need the money, but you do want a little more flexibility within your retirement vehicle, this is a great opportunity for you to roll money over into an IRA. Since a 59.5 withdrawal is eligible to be rolled over, you can take all or a portion of your 401k assets (always check first, though) and place them into an IRA even if you are still employed.

One word of warning, however. Always be mindful of the investments you hold in your 401k plan. Just because you can take a good portion of your money out and roll it to an IRA, doesn’t necessarily mean that you should. If your account has suffered some recent losses due to poor market activity, it may not be a good time to transfer assets, since you will quite likely have to sell your investments to transfer the funds (unless you are staying with the same financial institution), and will be selling at a loss.

In this case, you may choose to do nothing or only transfer a portion of your assets so as not to create a realized loss on the investments that you hold. As always, this would be one area that you should consult with a financial advisor about and get their opinion.