Exit Strategies
Kiplinger's (03/01) Vol. 55, No. 3 p.38; Franklin, Mary Beth

Millions of Americans dream of retiring early. A recent survey by the National Council on the Aging (NCOA) found that while one in four workers aims to retire by a certain age, seven out of 10 hope to call it quits as soon as they can afford it. Many are looking to their portfolio rather than a calendar to control when they retire. As baby boomers reach retirement, the whole idea of retirement is changing from a time of relaxation to a time to explore new careers, do volunteer work, travel, or participate in other activities. In terms of an IRA, one can tap an IRA before age 59.5 by setting up a schedule of substantially equal payments based on your life expectancy. As long as that payment stream lasts for at least five years and until you are at least 59.5, there is no penalty on the payouts. Creating a budget for how much you plan to spend and tallying up your sources of income is the ideal way to determine if you can retire early, or if you are likely to fall short of your goal.

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