If you are considering taking money out of your Roth IRA before reaching age 59½, you will need to understand the Roth IRA distribution rules. The rules require that all contributions come out first and are tax and penalty free. Next comes conversion amounts. Contributions on distributed on a “first in, first out” basis and they are income tax free. However, any conversion taken out before reaching the 5-year holding period gets hit with a 10% early distribution penalty, barring any other exceptions. Once a conversion has been held for 5 years, it is not subject to that 10% early distribution fee. After you have taken out the basis, which the Roth IRA owner always has access to, the Roth IRA then distributes the earnings, which are always taxable and always subject to the 10% penalty if taking the distribution before age 59½. If you are considering taking a distribution from your Roth IRA before age 59½, you should speak with a certified financial planner or retirement expert to make sure you are doing so in a manner that limits penalties and will not hurt your savings.