10 Comments

  1. Chris

    Hi Ed,
    Quick question for clarification. Did the school pull out the FICA % before you money goes into 457? and 403?

  2. Steve

    I’m confused, what is the advantage to draining pre-tax accounts to fund similar pre-tax accounts?

    • Steve,
      Accessing our 457 money allowed us to ramp up our savings rate in the other pre-tax accounts. Instead of sitting in a fixed account earning 2%, that money provided a cash flow that helped us maximize savings for 3 years. While we were better than average savers, we had never saved that much before. Another consideration was that by quitting our jobs we could move our 403b money to Vanguard and lower our investment costs. I know the conventional wisdom is to never take money out of retirement accounts. However, because our distributions were from 457 plans, there was no 10% penalty. Plus, our money ($30k for 3 years) was used to cover basic living expenses, not increase our lifestyle.

      • Steve

        So drain a crummy 457, got that. Are the IRA distributions funding non-retirement accounts? Otherwise, it seems like recycling.

        • I never claimed my plan was “pure.” My goals is to have money in my bank account while keeping my taxes under control. So far, so good.

  3. Coast2Coast

    Ed,

    Amazing articles…very eye opening! One question – if you want to live off your Roth IRA before age 59.5, can’t you just withdraw your contributions tax free? That seems easier to me than 72t distributions unless I’m missing something.

    Thanks!

    • Coast2Coast,
      Our 72t distributions provide us with over $18k a year for living expenses. Our Roth IRA balances were never high enough to provide that amount of income, so we opted for 72t distributions. If I could go back in time, I might consider doing a Roth IRA conversion ladder instead. Thanks for the question. Ed

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