July 8, 1991 It has been an accepted fact that there have been a few ways to obtain your Individual Retirement Account fund before age 59 1/2 without triggering the 10% penalty (there is always income tax). There is now a new way to tap into that IRA nest egg early and avoid the dreaded 10% penalty. Under Section 72 as amended, if you are at least fifty years of age and you distribute as part of a series of substantially equal periodic payments made for the life or life expectancy of the employee (or the joint lives of the employee and a beneficiary, the distribution will be free from penalty). How much can you withdraw without incurring the penalty, the rule is simple! You divide the number of years you (or your beneficiary) are expected to live into the amount of money you have in the account. That is the amount you can withdraw each year without penalty. The government uses its own unisex life expectancy tables; so at age 50 life expectancy, male or female is 33.1 years. This means that you can withdraw approximately 3% of your IRA nest egg for at least five years. Oh yes, there is another interesting provision, once you start to withdraw, you must do so for five consecutive years. After which you can stop if you are not beyond the age of 59 1/2. If this is of interest call me for a consultation as to how this fits into your overall personal financial planning.