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What if I need the money before retirement?

The Keogh allows you to make early withdrawals, but penalizes you heavily for that right. Typically you'll owe taxes plus a 10% early withdrawal penalty - and you might owe state tax penalties, too.

Some exceptions do apply: You may be able to take a penalty-free early withdrawal if you have certain disabilities or medical expenses. Check with your financial adviser to see if you qualify.