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As I understand it, the law states that one must be 70.5 years old to take the RMD.

No. You can take your RMD any time during the year. Even in the year you turn 70.5.

What you're probably looking at is a special provision which allows someone who is over 70.5 to have some or all of their RMD sent directly to a charity. By doing so, the RMD does not have to be reported as taxable income.

This special provision only applies to someone over 70.5. So that specific type of distribution can only be made after your 70.5 date. For those who hit that date later in December, making a charitable contribution of their first RMD in the year they turn 70.5 can present some timing difficulties.

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