How to access 401K early (before 59.5 & avoid 10% penalty)

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He was planning to retire early at age 40 and didn’t want to have to deal with the tax implications of getting money out of a 401K/403B prior to age 59.5 years old (10% penalty!). Let’s discuss the options on how to access 401K before age 59 for those considering early retirement, and how to avoid the 10% penalty.