WISE WORDS

Too often, it seems money you’ve earmarked for long-term goofs, like retirement, is too far out of reach the minute an opportunity or even a crisis pops up. Beginning in 1948, says CAROL ROBINSON, TAX CONSULTANT AND PRESIDENT OF FASTAX INCOME TAX Services INC. (610-660-7814), you’ll be allowed to tap your individual retirement account (IRA) for mush-needed sash, penalty-free under two circumstances First, if you’re buying or building your first home, you’ll be allowed to withdraw up to $10,000 from an existing IRA without having to pay a 10% pre-retirement penalty on the money. What’s more, Robinson says, either you, a spouse, third, grandchild or descendant can use the money you take out, provided it’s used to buy a first home within 120 cloys of withdrawal.

Second, if you’re unemployed, there’s good news, too. You tan tap your IRA penalty-free as well to pay for medical insurance or expenses, provided you’ve collected unemployment benefits for 12 weeks prior to the withdrawal of funds.

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