07/12/2013 01:41 pm ET

11 Ways To Tap Retirement Cash Early


Take Back a Roth Contribution

You put after-tax contributions into a Roth IRA, and after five years and age 59 1/2 all withdrawals are tax free. Ideally, you should let your Roth grow untouched for as long as possible. But if you need cash, you can withdraw your initial Roth contributions (not the earnings) at any time, for any reason, without paying tax or penalty. If you plan to use your Roth as an emergency fund, invest in something stable, like a money-market fund.

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