Most IRA account holders are probably aware that they need to withdraw some amount of money from their account after they reach a particular age. This amount of money is known as a Required Minimum Distribution (RMD). But the specifics of the rules, which do not apply to Roth IRAs, can be difficult to understand. A recent Genius Session may offer confused IRA investors some clarity.

One common source of confusion in understanding RMDs is what’s known as the Required Beginning Date—the date by which an IRA owner must begin receiving distributions. The RBD occurs on April 1 in the year after the account owner reaches the age of 70.5. The above graphic helps to illustrate this point. Even though John and Mary turn 70 in the same year, Mary’s RBD is after John’s because she doesn’t reach the age of 70.5 (ie, 70 years and 6 months) until the following calendar year.

Determining the amount of the RMD...

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