If you’re like many Americans, you’ve been setting aside money for your retirement. Now that you’re nearing retirement age, it may soon be time to start drawing money from your qualified retirement plans. Withdrawing money from a retirement plan is called “taking a distribution,” and there are a variety of ways to do it. We’re going to review several approaches.
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Some retirees may have several sources of income. Among them are retirement plans, such as traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs, as well as 401(k) and 403(b) plans. Of course, you may receive Social Security benefits and some people also have other investments and savings that they intend to use during retirement. If you’re nearing the age when you may consider drawing money from your qualified retirement plans, you face a number of important distributions decisions.
Remember, withdrawals from traditional IRAs, 401(k)s, and other employer-sponsored retirement plans are taxed as ordinary income and, if taken before age 59½, may be subject to a 10% federal income tax penalty. Generally, once you reach age 70½, you must begin taking required minimum distributions.
To qualify for the tax-free and penalty-free withdrawal of earnings, Roth IRA distributions must meet a five-year holding requirement and occur after age 59½. Tax-free and penalty-free withdrawal also can be taken under certain other circumstances, such as after the owner’s death. The original Roth IRA owner is not required to take minimum annual withdrawals.
Keep in mind that the information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult a professional for specific information regarding your individual situation.