Author Topic: 401k early withdrawl options if spouse still working?  (Read 390 times)

J Money

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401k early withdrawl options if spouse still working?
« on: August 01, 2018, 11:26:33 PM »
Hello all,

I'm well on my way to FIRE (aiming for early-mid 30s) and I'm trying to shore up my plans. My wife also leads a frugal lifestyle but wants to go law school and therefore has a longer horizion (maybe 45). Thus, we keep separate accounts and split all bills evenly as I aggressively save for retirement and she saves for school. I have a good amount in 401ks and I've seen that usually people utilize backdoor roth conversions to access that money, but I'm wondering if this still works/makes sense if one spouse is still working? And if not, what are some other options? File separately?

Thanks!

terran

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Re: 401k early withdrawl options if spouse still working?
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2018, 05:06:51 AM »
Try doing your taxes both ways, but usually MFJ is better than MFS. I would probably say you should do your taxes as if you made twice whatever you convert and you should pay half of those taxes as "your" part and your wife should pay the rest of your actual taxes as they will be due to her income.

The ideal situation, in the sense of lowest taxes for everyone throughout life, would be if you didn't convert at all and you both lived off her income, but that won't work with the separate finances thing.