How to Retire Early Retiring early sounds like a dream come true, but it’s important to take a look at the cold, hard facts. Share | Related Content Perception vs. Reality There’s an alarming difference between perception and reality for current and future retirees. Choices for Your 401(k) at a Former Employer Individuals have three basic choices with the 401(k) account they accrued at a previous employer. Retirement Plan Distributions There are a number of ways to withdraw money from a qualified retirement plan.