If you have learned anything about Roth IRAs, you know that one of their main advantages is tax -free retirement income. But what if you don’t want to wait until you’re 80 to pull funds? Simple. Don’t wait. Of all the uses of Roth IRAs, retirement income is just one. You can also generally use the funds to pay for higher education expenses for you or a loved one, you can withdraw up to $10,000 for the down payment on your first home, and after the Roth IRA has been in existence for five years, you can pull out your contributions, or your “basis”, without tax penalties. Obviously, you need to run all of these ideas by your tax advisor to make sure that they make good tax sense. And you also want to run your ideas by your financial advisor to make sure that that is the most efficient place to get the necessary dollars for current spending of any kind.
But you don’t need to get pigeon-holed into the false notion that once you fund a Roth IRA, those dollars can never be touched.