Do you own an IRA, hold a Keogh, or still have assets in a qualified retirement plan that was offered by a previous employer? Then perhaps now you have to think about the best way to withdraw the funds, as the IRS requires at age 70½, while making sure that you don’t outlive your income.
One choice is to remove the money all at once and pay the tax. That step, however, may put you in a higher tax bracket is is usually not wise. Another option is to go along with the government’s guidelines and calculate the Required Minimum Distribution that you must withdraw each year after you turn 70½. But what if there was a way to not have to do those calculations and also not worry about tax law changes and market fluctuations that could affect retirement accounts every year?
A tax-qualified, fixed immediate annuity will spread the tax liability over your projected lifetime and automatically satisfies the IRS requirements, so you will never have to calculate the required minimum distribution. A check will arrive every month, or whichever schedule you select, for the rest of your life—no matter how many years that might be (guarantee is based on the claims-paying ability of the annuity company). All you will have to do is pay the income tax and spend the balance of the money as you wish, or save it.
Note that even if you have several IRAs, you may want to add up the balances and then use a fixed immediate annuity in just one IRA to provide the required minimum distribution for all three. Note that you must take a required minimum distribution form each type of retirement account you have. You cannot for example just take a distribution form your IRA if you also have a 401k account. You must make a required minimum distribution from both accounts.
Make sure you tell the immediate annuity company that you are using the payments to meet your required minimum distributions so that the payments are properly structured and will increase as you age.