required minimum distributions (RMDs)

Calculate Your Required Minimum Distribution From IRAs

Determine your mandatory RMDs from a traditional IRA.

This calculator makes it easy to compute your required minimum distributions from a traditional IRA, which started when you hit age 70½ if you were born before July 1, 1949, and start at age 72 if you were born on or after July 1, 1949. (The change in age was part of the SECURE Act, which was enacted in December 2019.) All you need is your age at the end of 2021 and the total balance of your traditional IRA accounts as of December 31, 2020. Do not include balances from Roth IRAs. Those accounts do not have required minimum distributions. 

If you're married and your spouse is more than 10 years younger than you are — and is named as the sole beneficiary on at least one of your IRAs — the RMD will be less than what this calculator shows. Consult a financial planner for more details.

72
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For your first RMD, you have until April 1 after the year you turn 72. All subsequent ones must be taken by December 31. For instance, if you turn 72 in 2021, you have until April 1, 2022 to take your first RMD. Then you would have to take your second one by December 31, 2022. 

Taking two RMDs in one year can have important tax implications. This could push you into a higher tax bracket, meaning a larger portion of your Social Security income could be subject to taxes, or you could also end up paying more for Medicare Part B or Part D.

To determine the best time to take your first RMD, compare your tax bills under two scenarios: taking the first RMD in the year you hit 72, and delaying until the following year and doubling up RMDs. 

You should also make sure you take your RMDs every year. Failure to do so means you get hit with a 50% penalty on the amount you were supposed to take out. For instance, if you were supposed to withdraw $18,000 but only took out $14,000, you would owe a $2,000 penalty plus income tax on the shortfall. 

But the IRS is known to be fairly lenient in these situations, and you may be able to get the penalty waived by filling out Form 5329. You will need to include a letter of explanation, including what steps you took to fix the mistake. 

One way to avoid forgetting: Ask your IRA custodian to automatically withdraw RMDs. 

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