FINANCIAL FOCUS: Have you started taking your RMDs?

Published: Friday, November 22, 2013 at 04:36 AM.

There’s no right answer. Obviously, if you need the money, you may have to go beyond the minimum when taking distributions. But if you have enough income from other sources — such as investments in other accounts, Social Security and earnings from a part-time job — you may want to stick with the minimum distributions and leave your retirement accounts as intact as possible for as long as possible, allowing them to potentially continue growing tax-deferred.

Whatever your decision, allow sufficient time to determine the size and timing of your RMDs, because if you have several retirement accounts, you may need to make some choices.

For example, if you have more than one IRA, you can add the RMDS and take the combined distribution amount from any one — or more — of your IRAs. And if you have more than one 401(k), you must calculate your RMDs separately for each plan.

Consult with your tax and financial advisers before you start taking your RMDs.

Joe Faulk is a financial adviser.



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