Want to start early retirment on the right foot

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L1: Want to start early retirment on the right foot
72T newbie. I promise I’ll learn and become better informed to ask better questions, but you have to start somewhere. Here’s the deal…
I will turn 55 in Aug2012. I would like to retire from my company in March2012. I have a pension, butI’d need to supplement with income from my 401k (~$500k). My goal would be to have a fixed (i.e., “substantially similar”) monthly payment as large as
possible without reducing my principle. I gather the minimum requirement is 5 years, which seems fine, during which time I’d monitor conditions and figure out what comes next.
Three questions:
1) Is this plan fundamentally sound and if so, what would be the safest way to proceed to execute?
2) What rule-of-thumb might I use for guesstimating (for planning purposes) what my monthly payments might be under current market conditions.
3) Recognizing my newbie-ness, what questions would I be asking if I were smarter than I am?

2011-12-12 14:28, By: JumpingJack, IP: []

L2: Want to start early retirment on the right foot
Start by contacting your 401(k) Plan Administrator to see if your 401(k) plan allows partial withdrawals at or after age 55 early retirement.
If yes, and you will be age 55 during 2012 and you retire in 2012 or later, merely take partial withdrawals from the 401(k) and avoid the complications of a SEPP plan. If your goal is not to delete the principle balance, merely take interest only.
If no, come back and repost your question. Good Luck!
2011-12-12 15:00, By: Gfw, IP: []

L3: Want to start early retirment on the right foot
CLARIFICATION — The IRS code permits you to take distributions from a 401-K and avoid the 10% early withdrawal penalty if you are already 55 OR WILL BECOME 55 by 12/31 in the year in which you SEPARATE FROM SERVICE with that employer.
So, if you will be 55 at any time during 2012, such as in August, and you want to retire and start distributions from your 401-K in March, you will not be subject to the 10% penalty on any of these distributions in 2012, even tthose before you become 55.
Also, you will not be subject on any future distributions between 55 and 59 1/2.
As gfw indicated, the first step is to contact your 401-K administrator to see if your company’s plan allows partial distributions upon separation from service. If so, then you have to see what their requirements are. Some companies may require a set amount
of monthly, quarterly, or annual distributions. Others might permit more flexibility, so you might be able to take funds as you need them.
2011-12-12 17:40, By: dlzallestaxes, IP: []

L4: Want to start early retirment on the right foot
Something else to consider would be getting a copy of your 401k plan Summary Plan Document. All 401k plans are required to have such a written plan description and companies must give a copy to any employees who request them. Many companies will do this
for free but they are allowed to charge a few dollars for copying services. Once you have your SPD copy, you can read through it and find out what your plan allows you to do in your situation. Some SPDs are difficult to read but it is usually worthwhile
to give it a try because not all HR department employees are as fully knowledgable about the company 401k plan as they should be. This is an area where you want and need to have the best info possible and going directly to the source of this info is it. Having
and reading the SPD will also help you figure out what questions to ask your HR person or staff when you need clarification of your 401k plan.
2011-12-13 19:22, By: Ed_B, IP: []