Under the act, 401(k) account owners can make a hardship withdrawal of up to $100,000 without paying the 10% penalty. The bill also grants the account holder 3 years to pay the income tax, rather than it being due within that same year.
Utilizing 401(k) funds to pay off a mortgage early results in less total interest paid to the lender over time. However, this advantage is strongest if you're barely into your mortgage term. If you're instead deep into paying the mortgage off, you've likely already paid the bulk of the interest you owe.
A hardship distribution is a withdrawal from a participant's elective deferral account made because of an immediate and heavy financial need, and limited to the amount necessary to satisfy that financial need. The money is taxed to the participant and is not paid back to the borrower's account.
If the growth potential of your retirement savings is low compared to the interest rate on your mortgage, paying off your mortgage may be a good idea. But pre-tax contributions to your retirement account may offer better growth potential along with the possible tax benefit.
The CARES Act waives the 10% penalty for early withdrawals from account holders of 401(k) and IRAs if they qualify as coronavirus distributions. If you qualify under the stimulus package (see above) and your company permits hardship withdrawals, you'll be able to access your 401(k) funds without penalty.
Section 2022 of the CARES Act allows people to take up to $100,000 out of a retirement plan without incurring the 10% penalty. This includes both workplace plans, like a 401(k) or 403(b), and individual plans, like an IRA. This provision is contingent on the withdrawal being for COVID-related issues.
IRS: Self-Certification Permitted for Hardship Withdrawals from Retirement Accounts. Employees no longer routinely have to provide their employers with documentation proving they need a hardship withdrawal from their 401(k) accounts, according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
The IRS allows penalty-free withdrawals from retirement accounts after age 59 ½ and requires withdrawals after age 72 (these are called Required Minimum Distributions, or RMDs). There are some exceptions to these rules for 401ks and other qualified plans. Try to think of your retirement savings accounts like a pension.
The IRS code that governs 401k plans provides for hardship withdrawals only if: (1) the withdrawal is due to an immediate and heavy financial need; (2) the withdrawal must be necessary to satisfy that need (i.e. you have no other funds or way to meet the need); and (3) the withdrawal must not exceed the amount needed ...
That is what a mortgage is — you pay for the use of someone else's money. No enslavement is involved. If you follow Ramsey's advice and pay off your mortgage quickly, it does provide a feeling of security, but this is an emotional benefit that you get by giving up financial benefits.
You can use 401(k) funds to buy a home, either by taking a loan from the account or by withdrawing money from the account. A 401(k) loan is limited in size and must be repaid (with interest), but it does not incur income taxes or tax penalties.
When you pay down your mortgage, you're effectively locking in a return on your investment roughly equal to the loan's interest rate. Paying off your mortgage early means you're effectively using cash you could have invested elsewhere for the remaining life of the mortgage -- as much as 30 years.
Usually, once you've attained 59 ½, you can start withdrawing money from your 401(k) without paying a 10% penalty tax for early withdrawals. Still, if you decide to retire at 55, you can take a distribution without being subjected to the penalty.
Wait Until You're 59½
By age 59½ (and in some cases, age 55), you will be eligible to begin withdrawing money from your 401(k) without having to pay a penalty tax. You'll simply need to contact your plan administrator or log into your account online and request a withdrawal.
A mortgage prepayment penalty is a fee that some lenders charge when you pay all or part of your mortgage loan term off early. The penalty fee is an incentive for borrowers to pay back their principal slowly over a full term, allowing mortgage lenders to collect interest.
“If you want to find financial freedom, you need to retire all debt — and yes that includes your mortgage,” the personal finance author and co-host of ABC's “Shark Tank” tells CNBC Make It. You should aim to have everything paid off, from student loans to credit card debt, by age 45, O'Leary says.
Here's the bad news: Your property taxes and homeowners insurance don't go away once you pay off your mortgage. ... Property taxes, on the other hand, aren't optional, and you now have to remember to pay them. Check with your state, county and local taxing authorities to have your property tax invoice sent to you.