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Chapter 20. And Now It's Time to Retire > Ready, Set, Go! - Pg. 199

And Now It's Time to Retire 199 Warning! Withdrawals from your qualified retirement plans must begin by April 1 of the year following the year you reach age 70½. If not, the IRS will impose a 50 percent penalty on the difference between what you took out and what you were required to take out. Get some professional help if you can't figure out what you need to with- draw. With an IRA, you can easily get at your money. For example, you decide to leave the money in your account until you must begin withdrawals at age 70½ because you have enough income from Social Security and your pension. But then something comes up unexpectedly, as things tend to do in life, like the opportunity to take a six-week African safari. Because you haven't planned for this adven- ture, you need to tap into the funds, which you can do easily. You are not locked into a scheduled withdrawal until you reach age 70½, and even then you can be very flexible, taking out more than the minimum scheduled withdrawal. Lump It Take your money in a lump sum. That's right--all of it. No one said you couldn't have it all if you want it. So, take the money and run!