RMDs Deadline Is Coming: What if You Don’t Need the Money?

New rules affect the age when you have to take your RMDs and what the penalty is if you mess up. There are also options to delay or avoid taking them.

Wooden blocks stacked on top of each other spell out RMD.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

As we approach the end of the year, there is nothing I lose more sleep over than required minimum distributions (RMDs). Early in my career, a 5-year-old beneficiary missed an RMD due to the custodian filing the wrong paperwork. The penalty at the time for missing a distribution was 50%, and the thought of telling her guardian, who had just lost his wife, that they owed money was a lot to handle. 

Fortunately, the custodian recognized this mistake, helped file the proper forms and even wrote an explanation to the IRS. Crisis averted. But my FOM (fear of missing) RMDs was permanent.

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DOB/Birth YearFirst RMD
6/30/49 or earlier70½
1960 or later75

This article was written by and presents the views of our contributing adviser, not the Kiplinger editorial staff. You can check adviser records with the SEC or with FINRA.

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Evan T. Beach, CFP®, AWMA®
President, Exit 59 Advisory

After graduating from the University of Delaware and Georgetown University, I pursued a career in financial planning. At age 26, I earned my CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification.  I also hold the IRS Enrolled Agent license, which allows for a unique approach to planning that can be beneficial to retirees and those selling their businesses, who are eager to minimize lifetime taxes and maximize income.