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FI Weekly – April 25, 2023: Access Retirement Funds Before 59.5, Exercise for Longevity

Choose FI has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Choose FI and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. Disclosures.

How to Access Retirement Funds Before 59.5

Allen Mueller, a longtime member of the ChooseFI community and a fee-only financial planner, posted something interesting on Twitter yesterday that is fundamental FI knowledge, but I fear most of us aren’t familiar with each of these options:

“It’s MISCONCEPTION MONDAY!

“Your 401(k) money is locked up until age 59.5”

Wrong.

There are several ways to access this money early.

And you can avoid the 10% early withdrawal penalty.

Just takes a little planning!”

The Four ways:

  • Roth Conversion Ladder
  • SEPP/72(t) withdrawals
  • Rule of 55
  • Pay the 10% early withdrawal penalty

I recommend clicking through to Allen’s post for more detail to familiarize yourself and then if any of these are really pertinent, we’ve published multiple podcast episodes about the Roth IRA Conversion Ladder (Episode 17R and Episode 163R, plus an article on our site specifically detailing the Roth IRA Conversion Ladder) and the Mad Fientist posted an in-depth article about all four of these options.

Exercise Protocols for Longevity

Three of the people I follow most closely in the health and longevity field are: Peter Attia, Andrew Huberman and David Sinclair.  I just came across this excellent summary of each of their advice on exercise in the article “The Workouts Longevity Experts Swear By for a Longer, Healthier Life.”

This article can save you dozens of hours of research, so if you care about your fitness, I highly recommend clicking through and reading it, but my most succinct summary would be:

Strength training is a critical component plus “Zone 2 training” where you “Pick a cardio activity like walking, jogging, cycling, or rowing and go at a speed slow enough to maintain a conversation, but fast enough that the conversation might be a little strained.” This establishes your base of fitness.

Then throw in at least one “Zone 5” workout per week where you go all-out on your intensity.


ChooseFI Community Taking Action This Week

  • Scott said, “My 1% better was calling my insurance company to dispute a claim.  A five minute call saved us almost $100.”
  • Carolyn said, “My 1% better this week is that I finally left my stressful toxic job! I had a conversation with my boss at the end of March about our team desperately needing more help. Her boss kept pushing back, saying that it wasn’t in the budget to hire anyone else. I finally decided that my mental health was more important than a job. Thanks to my FU money, I was able to give notice without having anything lined up.”
  • Lillie said, “We paid off our mortgage in full last week and we are 48 and 49. We’ve been planning for years to do this and to finally hit the goal feels amazing! Next year my husband qualifies for a pension so we’ll retire early.”
  • Laura said, “My 1% better: our latest win was booking flights with points to Portugal for a family wedding for $934 round trip in total fees (2 adults, 1 child, 1 lap infant). I checked the prices if we had booked the same flights in cash: $4800.”
  • Caleb said, “After listening to your episode with the Rieckens where Taylor recommended negotiating work from home (WFH) time, I began pushing for more flexibility with my employer (was 3 days in office, 2 days at home). After discussions with my manager and director, I moved to a 1 in office/4 at home schedule. However, at that time I was also responding to recruiters to keep my eyes open for interesting roles in the market, outlining a minimum base salary and full time WFH stipulation for any roles I would consider, and came across an intriguing position. Three interviews later (and 10 days from hearing about the role), I have accepted an offer that has a fully WFH option, 20% base pay increase, improved medical and dental (100% employer paid premiums), improved 401k match, a couple days extra PTO, and a $5k sign on bonus, not to mention more exposure to a new industry in a role that I can really make my own. That was a timely podcast listen and if any listeners feel like I felt (“I’m compensated fairly and I enjoy my role”), it still helps to keep your eyes and ears open if you possibly would appreciate a different work experience. You might find something remarkable.”
  • Michael said, “My 1% better this week is doing the retirement calculation to see how much I would have by the minimum age my federal employer allows me to retire. I realized I will absolutely have enough money to retire then if I want to as long as I stay the course!”
  • Sarah said, “Our 1% this week: After reading “Die with Zero” and recently discovering the CoastFi side of FI, my husband and I decided to do a little math for ourselves. We ran lots of numbers and realized we only needed to save aggressively a few more years to then let it sit and ride. Then we can start pulling from the balance in 10-13 years and comfortably start spending down our savings.”

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Choose FI has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Choose FI and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. Disclosures.
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