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The Ready.Set.Retire! Blog

Required Minimum Distributions for IRAs at a Glance

Wesley Del Col, CFP

Many retirees are confused about what amount the US government will require them to distribute from their IRA.  So what does the IRS table look like that governs how much is required to be distributed from an IRA at various retirement ages? 

 Required Minimum Distributions for IRAs at a GlanceThe table below shows the mandatory required minimum distributions (RMD) first year withdrawal from an   Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA)     valued at $100,000.To determine your minimum distribution, divide your total IRA assets by the life expectancy for your age. Minimum distributions must be recalculated annually (see IRS Pub. 590).




Single Minimum Age Life Expectancy Distribution Example

Age Factor Approx.  Distribution Amount
70 26.2 $3,816
71 25.3 $3,952
72 24.4 $4,098
73 23.5 $4,255
74 22.7 $4,405
75 21.8 $4,587
76 20.9 $4,784
77 20.1 $4,975
78 19.2  $5,208
 79  18.4  $5,434
 80  17.6  $5,681

Note: Life expectancy is according to IRS Publication 590, Individual Retirement Arrangements.

As you can see, as you age,  the amount that you are required to take out grows annually.   For many retirees, this can be helpful to supplement  Social Security income.  It is important to remember that if you do not take your required minimum distribution, there is a 50% penalty on the amount that is not distributed.   Many retirees set up their IRA accounts to have their required distribution amount distributed automatically.   Lastly, retirees can certainly take out more money from their IRA, this is just the minimum amount that is required to be withdrawn. 

Required minimum distributions aren't as intimidating once you have an idea how  they work and see an example of what the distributions acutally look like.