Wait. First tell me what kind of retirement plan you had -- exactly. Typically if you work for a company, you would have a 40l(k). But you could have also had a SEP-IRA. And where is it now? Yes, you could close it out and take the money. But you would have to add it to your other income in the year you close the account, and pay taxes on it. Taking it out could push you into a higher tax bracket -- and might make you ineligible for some other benefits you may have. There is no penalty since you are over age 59-1/2. But a better idea would be to ROLL OVER this account, directly into an IRA. Contact Fidelity or Vanguard (800-FIDELITY or 800-VANGUARD) and they will handle it for you. Then the money can keep growing tax-deferred for your eventual retirement. You'll be glad you have it!