When you turn 59 and a half years old, you'll be able to withdraw funds from your traditional IRA without restrictions or penalties. If you're 59 and a half years old or older, you usually have no problems. However, if you're younger than that, you'll be penalized for withdrawing early from traditional IRAs or for early withdrawing profits from Roth IRAs. The IRS allows you to withdraw contributions (the amounts you have actually deposited in the Roth IRA) without penalty at any time and at any age.
Since you contribute after-tax funds to a Roth account and have therefore already paid taxes on the money you've saved, you won't owe taxes on contributions you withdraw early either. Husbands and wives who inherit the IRA and opt for a spousal transfer of funds to their own IRA will be subject to the early withdrawal penalty (if they are under 59 and a half years old). Early withdrawals from the IRA (and other retirement accounts) give you access to your money when your back is against the wall, Vernon says. In addition, if you deposit money into your IRA but then decide that you need it back, you can usually withdraw a contribution made to a traditional IRA tax-free, as long as you do so before that year's tax filing deadline and don't deduct the contribution from your taxes.
The retirement rules of a Roth IRA are generally more flexible than those of traditional IRAs and 401 (k).