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As much as you would like to, you can’t keep your money in your retirement account forever.

These investment vehicles include 401(k)s, IRAs, and similar retirement accounts.1 Under the SECURE Act, once you reach age 72, you must begin taking required minimum distributions from your 401(k), IRAs, or other defined contribution plans in most circumstances. Withdrawals from your 401(k) or other defined contribution plans are taxed as ordinary income and, if taken before age 59½, may be subject to a 10% federal income tax penalty.

Another major change that occurred from the SECURE Act is the removal of the age limit for traditional IRA contributions. Before the SECURE Act, you had to stop making contributions at age 70½. Now, you can continue to make contributions as long as you meet the earned-income requirement.2

How do you determine how much your RMD needs to be? It depends on whether or not you’re married, and if you are, if your spouse is the sole beneficiary of your IRA and less than 10 years younger than you are. For everyone else, the Uniform Lifetime Table can help.

Keep in mind that this article is for informational purposes only, and the table below is meant to provide some guidance. The table is neither a recommendation nor a replacement for real-life advice. Always contact your tax, legal, or financial professional before making any changes to your required minimum distributions.

Uniform Lifetime Table (additional ages can be found on IRS.gov)

Age DistributionPeriodAge DistributionPeriodAge DistributionPeriodAge DistributionPeriod72 years old25.680 years old18.788 years old12.796 years old8.173 years old24.781 years old17.989 years old12.097 years old7.674 years old23.882 years old17.190 years old11.498 years old7.175 years old22.983 years old16.391 years old10.899 years old6.776 years old22.084 years old15.592 years old10.2100 years old6.377 years old21.285 years old14.893 years old9.6  78 years old20.386 years old14.194 years old9.1  

You can use the following formula to calculate a rough estimate of your RMD:

  • Determine the year-end balance of your account.
  • Find your age on the table and note the distribution period number.
  • Divide the total balance of your account by the distribution period. For example, say you’re 72, and your account balance is $100,000. Your RMD may be about $3,906, based on the table.

Calculating your RMD isn’t tricky, but understanding your RMD’s role in your overall retirement strategy can be complicated. It’s important to note that penalties can apply if you don’t follow the mandatory distribution guidelines. A financial professional is an excellent resource for guidance.

Glen D. Smith
CFP®, CRPC® | Chief Executive Officer | Chief Investment Officer | Cofounder

Citations.

  • 1. IRS.gov, September 23, 2020
  • 2. NerdWallet.com, November 26, 2020
  • 3. Internal Revenue Service IRA Required Minimum Distribution Worksheet, 2020

GDS Wealth Management is not a registered broker/dealer and is independent of Raymond James Financial Services. Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Raymond James Financial Services Advisors, Inc. Any opinions are those of Glen D. Smith and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James.

Investing involves risk, and investors may incur a profit or a loss. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the authors and are subject to change. There is no assurance the trends mentioned will continue or that the forecasts discussed will be realized. Past performance may not be indicative of future results. Economic and market conditions are subject to change. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is an unmanaged index of 30 widely held stocks. The NASDAQ Composite Index is an unmanaged index of all common stocks listed on the NASDAQ National Stock Market. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index of 500 widely held stocks. The MSCI EAFE (Europe, Australia, Far East) index is an unmanaged index that is generally considered representative of the international stock market. The Russell 2000 is an unmanaged index of small cap securities. The Bloomberg Barclays US Aggregate Bond Index is a broad-based flagship benchmark that measures the investment grade, U.S. dollar-denominated, fixed-rate taxable bond market. An investment cannot be made in these indexes. Investing in commodities is generally considered speculative because of the significant potential for investment loss. Their markets are likely to be volatile and there may be sharp price fluctuations even during periods when prices overall are rising. Raymond James does not provide tax services. Please discuss these matters with the appropriate professional.

Material prepared by Raymond James for use by its advisors.

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