Financial Answer Center
You need to consider potential penalty taxes for early distributions and distributions of less than the required amount when making your distribution choice.
Most retirement accounts allow you to begin withdrawing money, without penalty, after age 59½. But, there is a 10% penalty tax on withdrawals made before age 59½ (if you don't roll it over) from any retirement account, unless the distribution is made under one of the limited circumstances allowed by law (see below); i.e., there is a penalty for taking your money too soon. Consult your tax professional if you are under age 59½ and you are considering taking any distributions from your retirement plans.
Some Exceptions to the 10% Early Withdrawal Penalty before Age 59½
The 10% penalty doesn't apply to these situations: