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Dear Trust Officer:
My wife and I each have IRAs. I was born May 1, 1949, she was born September 1, 1949, so we will both be 71 this year. I’ve heard that required minimum distributions from IRAs are no longer required until age 72, is that right? - Confused Retiree
You are almost correct. Yes, the general rule is that required minimum distributions (RMDs) only start at age 72, but there’s a catch. You reached age 70½ in 2019, and so you must take an RMD for the 2019 tax year as well as all later years. The new rule does not apply to you. Your wife, on the other hand, does not reach age 70½ until 2020, so the new rule does apply to her. She won’t have to take an RMD until she turns 72 in 2021.
These changes were made in the SECURE Act passed by Congress in December. Another important change from that legislation is that most people who inherit an IRA will have to receive all the funds over ten years, instead of over their lifetimes. That new rule applies only to inheritances in 2020 and later years. Someone who embarked on lifetime RMDs from an IRA inherited in 2019 or earlier may continue to stretch out those distributions over a lifetime.
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