I am 79 years old. What is the required minimum distribution (RMD) for my IRA and 401(k) plan?

This worksheet will help you determine your required minimum distribution (RMD): http://njaes.rutgers.edu/money/ira-table.asp. As you can see in the table, the divisor for age 79 is 19.5 years. Thus, you must divide the total of your assets in all types of tax-deferred retirement savings plans (e.g., 401(k)s and IRAs) by 19.5 and withdraw and pay tax on at least this amount. You can, of course, withdraw more money but will owe taxes on the distributed amount.

To determine your minimum required Individual Retirement Account (IRA) and/or employer retirement plan distribution, Step One is to add up the total amount in each of your retirement account(s) on December 31 of the previous year.

Step Two is to divide the amount by the appropriate figure in the Uniform Distribution Table based on the account owner’s age. Step Three is to “do the math” to determine your RMD. As noted above, the divisor for someone who turns 79 is 19.5. If that person has $100,000 in tax-deferred retirement savings plans, he or she would divide $100,000 by 19.5 to determine the required minimum withdrawal amount ($100,000 divided by 19.5 = $5,128).

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