Roth IRA withdrawal rules you need to know for retirement planning

In this article

  • In a lot of investments, you have to pay taxes on the capital gain when you withdraw the money. 
  • That’s not the case with Roth IRA as the withdrawals are tax free if you are 59 ½+. 
  • Though your age is below that, you may be levied with taxes and a penalty of 10%. 

Retirement planning is crucial for future sustenance and emergencies. When tax is levied on your pension or earnings you will end up giving away a significant amount for it. However, Roth IRA counters that scenario by bringing tax-free and penalty-free withdrawals as it has flexible rules as opposed to 401(k).

If you need to withdraw investments without having to take on the burden of tax and penalties, you need to follow these rules. Here is a listicle that mentions the terms in relation to different scenarios in the Roth IRA.

Penalty-free withdrawals with Roth IRA

There are no such restrictions as to when you can take out your contributions from the Roth IRA. However, there is a requirement that you should be of age 59 ½ to withdraw your earnings and the account should belong to you for at least 5 years. If you take out your money before this period, it will trigger the consequences of paying a 10% penalty.

What rules apply if you are younger than 59½ years?

If you are younger than the mentioned age and you have owned the account for less than 5 years, you will be required to pay taxes as well as the 10% penalty for early withdrawal.  You can evade the penalty but in no case can you maneuver around the taxation part. Let’s see how you can avoid the penalty.

  • If you are withdrawing up to $5000 in the event of the birth of your child or adoption.
  • If you withdraw up to $10,000 for buying your first house.
  • You’re unemployed and you need the withdrawal for health insurance premiums payments.
  • The withdrawal is in the name of the beneficiary after your death.
  • Disability has led you to make a withdrawal.
  • You need to make a withdrawal for education-related expenses.
  • The withdrawal is intended for unreimbursed health expenses that exceed your gross income for a year by 7.5%.
  • Your withdrawal in lieu of IRS levy.
  • You accept to take equal payments, which will require you to take one distribution per year for a period of not less than 5 years or till you turn 59 ½ years old, whichever comes later.
  • If a withdrawal is made when the IRS deemed you as a reservist.

More for you if you are younger than 59 ½ years 

This applies if you have held the account for 5 years or more. You can avoid both taxes and penalties if you follow these rules:

  • You are buying your first property/home and you withdraw up to $10,000.
  • Disability has led you to make a withdrawal.
  • When a withdrawal is made in the name of the beneficiary or estate of the deceased person.

In case your age is 59 ½ years and more and the account has been in your name for more than 5 years then you can withdraw money without any tax and penalty.


Roth IRA is a great tool to save you from extra expenses and taxes after retirement. All you have to do is keep these rules in mind and make sure that you follow the code of conduct required. If you don’t, you might lose out on money that you would have otherwise saved or invested in fruitful ventures.

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This page is purely informational. Line does not provide financial, legal or accounting advice. This article has been prepared for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide financial, legal or accounting advice and should not be relied on for the same. Please consult your own financial, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transactions.

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