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IRA: When are withdrawls required?

Question: When must I start withdrawing money from my IRA?

Answer: Upon turning age 70 1/2, you must begin withdrawing money from your traditional IRA as follows:

  • Your first withdrawal can either be taken by December 31 of the year you turn age 70 1/2, or it can be postponed up until April 1 of the following year. 
  • Your second withdrawal must be taken by December 31 of the year after you turn age 70 1/2.
  • In each subsequent year, you must withdraw at least the required minimum amount by December 31.

If you fail to take your required distribution on time, you'll face a 50% penalty on the amount that should have been withdrawn.

Note: There is no requirement to make withdrawals from a Roth IRA at age 70 1/2.