Am I required to take money out of my IRA?
You are not required to take money out of a Roth IRA during your lifetime. However, you are required to take a “Required Minimum Distribution” (“RMD”) from your Traditional IRA after you reach the age of 70½ years old. Additionally, if you are the beneficiary of an IRA you may also be subject to RMDs.
Can I withdraw money from my IRA?
Yes, it is possible to withdraw money from your IRA account, with a few notable exceptions. One option for withdrawal is to set up early distribution payments in the form of substantially equal payments on a schedule determined by your life expectancy. You will avoid penalties through this set up, but you will also be spending through your funds. Withdrawing funds from a Traditional IRA before the age of 59 ½ may include a 10% penalty, plus any additional penalty fees your state may require. The rules are slightly different for Roth IRA accounts—you can take out money that you contributed to the account at any time without penalty, but you cannot remove earnings before the age of 59½ without penalty.
There may be certain exceptions where you can withdraw money from your account penalty-free. For example, if you are a first-time home buyer, you may withdraw up to $10,000 to use on purchasing a home. Other exceptions include: education expenses, disability, unreimbursed medical expenses, and health insurance premium payments during unemployment.
Reasons for the penalty exemption can be found in the IRS publication 590B.