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Age 70½ & Over

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IRA Withdrawals: RMDs for Age 70½ & Over

Once you reach age 70½, you are required by the IRS to take annual Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) from your retirement accounts. You need to calculate your RMD for each IRA separately, but you have the flexibility take your total RMD amount from either a single IRA or a combination of IRAs. However, RMDs from Qualified Retirement Plans or Inherited IRAs must also be calculated separately, and can only be taken from their respective accounts. You do not need to take RMDs for Roth IRAs.

Need IRA help? Call or download our RMD Guide.

3 Steps: Taking a Required Minimum Distribution

1. See when to start taking RMDs.

Your first RMD must be taken by April 1 of the year after you turn 70½. Subsequent RMDs must be taken by December 31 of each year. If you don’t take your RMD, you’ll have to pay a penalty of 50% of the RMD amount.

Get started with our RMD Calendar.

RMD Calendar

Enter your birthdate to see when you need to start taking RMDs.

Show RMD Date

2. Calculate your RMD amount.

Use our RMD Calculator to find the amount of your RMD based on your age, account balance, beneficiaries, and other factors. If you have multiple IRAs, you must calculate each account individually, but you can take your total RMD amount from one IRA or a combination of IRAs. Questions? Call us at 866-855-5636.

RMD Calculator

Estimate your annual RMD for this year.

Calculate My RMD

3. Decide how to receive your RMD.

You can make a one-time (also known as “lump-sum”) withdrawal or a series of withdrawals, or schedule automatic withdrawals.

Whether you want to transfer your RMD funds to another account, take automatic withdrawals, or take your RMD as cash, we can help. If you’re a Schwab client, call us at 866-855-5636.  


An RMD is the annual Required Minimum Distribution that you must start taking out of your retirement account after you reach age 70½. The amount is determined by the fair market value of your IRAs at the end of the previous year, factored by your age and life expectancy.
Yes, you can always take out more than the RMD amount. However, keep in mind that your withdrawal will be taxed as ordinary income, and any excess that you take out does not count toward your RMD amount for future years.
If you have a Traditional, Rollover, Inherited, SEP, or SIMPLE IRA, you'll need to take an RMD. RMDs are not required with Roth IRAs, unless you inherit a Roth IRA from a non-spouse.
If you don't take your RMD by the IRS deadline, you may be liable for a 50% penalty on insufficient or late RMD withdrawals. Follow the IRS guidelines and consult your tax advisor. Because there are no RMDs for Roth IRAs, a Roth IRA withdrawal won't satisfy your RMD requirement.
To calculate your RMD, start by listing the fair market value of your IRAs as of December 31 of the previous year. You'll need to calculate your RMD separately for each IRA you own. RMDs aren't required for Roth IRAs, so you don't have to include them in your calculations. We can calculate your IRA RMD for you if you are a Schwab client, or you can use our RMD Calculator.
As a Schwab client, you have several options. You can:
  • Receive your IRA distribution online. Go to, log in to your IRA, then click on Online Transfers or Check Request and follow the instructions.
  • Set up recurring RMDs through Schwab MoneyLink®. Your annual RMD will be automatically calculated and then transferred to the account you designate. (To enroll, visit or call 800-435-4000.)
  • Transfer investments in kind (e.g., moving stocks, mutual funds, or cash from your IRA into your non-retirement account at Schwab).
  • Request a check. Call us at 800-435-4000 and we’ll send you a Schwab RMD Request Form.

The total amount of your RMD is taxed as ordinary income at your personal federal income tax rate. State taxes may also apply. If you've made a nondeductible IRA contribution, it will not be taxed. However, your earnings will be taxed provided you filed an IRS Form 8606. Learn more about IRS Form 8606 at or by calling 800-829-3676.
There are many options for your RMD if you want the money to keep working for you. You can reinvest it into a Schwab One® brokerage account, rebalance your portfolio, contribute to a college savings plan, or even convert to a Roth IRA. Call us at 800-435-4000 if you need assistance.

Take the next step.

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