How can I get early retirement funds w/o penalty?

I read the following some where: oYou may be able to avoid the 10% penalty when you w/d money from your retirement plan before age 59 ½. The rules require you to take the distributions as a series of equal periodic payments to be paid out over the rest of your life. To avoid the penalty, the payments must continue for 5 years or until you are 59 ½ whichever date is late. Although the payments are called “equal,” some calculations are involved to determine the correct amount each year

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