Tool | July 2018

When Do I Have to Take My First RMD?

Required minimum distributions are a fact of life for traditional IRAs. The rules are complex and the penalties painful.

If you have been stashing money away in an IRA, your money has been growing tax-free over the years. Of course, a deal that good can’t last forever. Withdrawals from your traditional IRA will be treated as taxable income, and you’ll be forced to withdraw money (whether you need it or not) every year starting at age 70½ -- known as your required minimum distribution (RMD). And woe unto those who miss the deadline: A penalty equal to 50% of your required withdrawal may apply. Use this calculator to determine the due date for your first RMD.

When do you have to take your first RMD?
It depends on your birth date.
Enter yours below:

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Your annual RMDs in subsequent years are due by Dec. 31, but the IRS gives those taking their first RMD a little extra time – until April 1 of the year after you reach age 70½. However, your second RMD will be due on Dec. 31 of that same year, meaning you might make two significant withdrawals in the same year. That could mean a big tax bill – and other unintended consequences of reporting so much income. So, even though you can wait until April 1, it could be best to bite the bullet and take your first RMD by the end of the calendar year in which you turn 70½ instead.

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