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Disability and Tapping a 401(k) Early

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Q. I am 57 and receiving Social Security disability payments. Can I withdraw funds from my 401(k) without penalty?

A. Yes, generally you can withdraw money without penalty because of your disability. But those funds will count as taxable income when you file your tax return. The IRS imposes a 10 percent penalty on withdrawals for people who are under age 59 1/2 but allows certain exceptions for disability.

Carole Fleck is a senior editor at the AARP Bulletin.

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