Once investors turn age 70½, they will need to take required minimum distributions (RMDs) from their retirement accounts, whether they need the money or not. Read more...
For IRAs, you must take your first RMD by April 1 of the year after the year you turn age 70½—regardless of whether or not you are retired. For each following year, you must take an RMD by December 31.
If you have multiple IRAs, you must calculate the appropriate RMD for each one. The total distribution amount can be taken from one or more IRAs to satisfy the withdrawal—as long as the total RMD amount is withdrawn.
If you have multiple prior employer retirement accounts (401(k)s, etc.) you will have to contact your prior employer to calculate the RMD and send you a distribution.
Once the RMD is distributed, you don’t have to spend it, but it cannot remain in the tax-deferred account.