This one is less of an immediate ARGH and more just Something I Should Do Something About.
I have a retirement fund from my job in Atlanta. It has just been sitting there since that job ended. I have been forced to accept that my body isn't going to let me have the kind of job that does retirement funds ever again, in all likelihood. I have been processing the hell out of that and it is not what I need help with.
What I need help with is figuring out how to get and use that money in a way that a) gets me as much of it as possible and b) penalizes me as little as possible.
When I talked to them on the phone today (you would not believe the hoops I have to jump through just to change my surname), they told me that if I cash out, I'll pay a 10% penalty and will get screwed on my taxes in 2013. (They did not exactly say "get screwed", but it's clearly what they meant.)
So my questions for those of you who know stuff about retirement funds:
* What is the best way to handle this with regard to taxes?
* Is there any way to access the money without losing 10% of it?
It's not a huge amount, but it would take a nice chunk out of the rest of our debt, and it seems ludicrous to let an amount that would help us a lot now and help us almost not at all in 30 years just sit there for 30 years.