Retiring? Here's How to Get Money from Your IRA

Retirement is just around the corner! Learn how to get money out of your IRA when retiring without incurring penalties or taxes.

Retiring? Here's How to Get Money from Your IRA

Retirement is a time to enjoy the fruits of your labor, and one of the best ways to do that is by accessing the money you've saved in your IRA. But how do you get money from your IRA when you retire? It's important to understand the rules and regulations that govern withdrawals from IRAs, as well as the tax implications of taking distributions. In this article, we'll discuss how to withdraw money from your 401 (k) plan after you retire, the rules for taking distributions from an IRA, and other important considerations when it comes to accessing your retirement savings. To withdraw money from your 401 (k) plan after you retire, you will need to contact your plan administrator. Depending on your company's rules, you may be able to accept your distributions as an annuity, periodic or non-recurring withdrawals, or in a lump sum.

Technically, an IRA owner can withdraw money (taking distributions, in Internal Revenue Service (IRS) language) from an IRA at any time. However, if it occurs before age 59 and a half, the account owner will likely incur a 10% early withdrawal penalty in addition to income taxes. Taxes and the amount of the penalty also depend on the tax deductibility of contributions (determined by whether the account owner also has an employer-sponsored retirement plan).Founded in 1976, Bankrate has a long history of helping people make smart financial decisions. We have maintained this reputation for more than four decades by demystifying the financial decision-making process and giving people confidence in what steps to take next. RMD stands for minimum required distribution, and once you turn 72, you'll need to start taking this minimum amount of money from many retirement accounts, such as a traditional IRA or 401 (k) plans.

When calculating your RMD, keep in mind that it will change from year to year. This is because it is determined by your age, life expectancy (the longer it is, the less you will have to withdraw) and the account balance, which will be the fair market value of the assets in your accounts as of December. If you need retirement savings to get ahead and wonder if you should take it from an IRA, 401 (k), or Roth account, don't be tempted by instant gratification. Sure, a withdrawal from a Roth IRA will be tax-free, but you can end up paying more in the event of a lost opportunity. However, you can't make withdrawals from an IRA to meet the RMD requirements for a 403 (b), 401 (k) plan, or another plan. It's critical to note that 401 (k) plans cannot be grouped together to calculate a single RMD, says George Jones, managing editor of Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting.

To simplify them, take them to an IRA. Remember that RMDs are calculated using factors that include your life expectancy as determined by the IRS. But if you named a spouse as the sole beneficiary of your IRA and he or she is at least 10 years younger than you, then your RMD is calculated using a joint life expectancy table. That will reduce the amount you need to distribute in a given year. Postpone your retirement? If you are still working at age 72 and continue to contribute to a 401 (k) or 403 (b), you are entitled to an RMD pardon, as long as you don't own more than 5 percent of a business and your retirement plan allows you to. If these conditions apply, you can delay RMDs until April 1 after the year you “disengage from service”, at which point you'll need to start accepting withdrawals.

This is true as long as you work any part of the year. So, if you're 72 and a half years old and plan to retire at the end of the calendar year, reconsider if you don't want to make a retirement. If you're still working after January. Keep in mind that the delay only counts for the 401 (k) plan of the company you are still working for. If you have other 401 (k) plans from previous jobs, you'll need to accept distributions from them if you're 72 or older. Converting a traditional 401 (k) or traditional IRA to a Roth IRA will generally generate a tax bill.

However, once you move, all funds grow tax-free and can remain intact. If your career is running out and you realize that you earn less income, you may need to take distributions from your retirement plan. If you are at least 59 and a half years old, you can receive distributions from retirement plans without receiving a 10 percent early retirement penalty. You can start penalisation-free withdrawals from your IRA when you turn 59 and a half. If you need access to your funds before that date, you can make an early withdrawal, but you will incur an additional 10% early withdrawal tax penalty, unless an exception applies. With a traditional IRA, once you turn 59 and a half, the threat of the 10% penalty disappears. You can withdraw everything you want from your regular IRAs without penalties.

Cash leaving the account is taxable in its higher tax bracket except to the extent that it represents a refund of non-deductible contributions. Your other basic option is to take the money and use it for living expenses during retirement. You can take your distribution as a lump sum; take varying amounts as needed; or set up a series of equal periodic payments over your remaining life expectancy. If you accept retirement distributions from any type of tax-deferred IRA, then income tax will be owed on the money withdrawn in that year. Withdrawal will be taxed at your ordinary income rate not at the lowest capital gains rate. If distributions are taken from a Roth IRA then no income tax will be owed on those amounts. But keep in mind that money taken out of any type of IRA will stop generating profits for its owner; each distribution reduces its size too.

So if possible try not to take out more than what's necessary for living expenses during retirement.

Ruthie Cacibauda
Ruthie Cacibauda

Passionate creator. Freelance coffee geek. Unapologetic tv trailblazer. Professional internet junkie. Wannabe music lover. Hipster-friendly beer geek.

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