but 71 is more than 70.5 and RMDs kick in the year *following* age 70.5 --so it depends on exactly when he turned 71 and when he died.Not quite. For the owner the question is when you turn 70 1/2. Your first RMD must be taken for the year in which you turn 70 1/2, but you can delay taking it until April 1 of the following year, which is called the required beginning date.For the beneficiary the question is whether the owner died before or after the required beginning date.I think we've now settled that OP was wondering whether it's possible for a spousal beneficiary to avoid the RMD's that come with an inherited IRA but retain the flexibility to take funds as desired before age 59 1/2. The answer to that is maybe, up to a point.Note the bullet on page 36 of Pub 590 in the section on calculating the RMD. A spouse beneficiary may be able to delay RMD's on an inherited IRA until the owner would have reached 70 1/2. In OP's case the owner had already reached that age, so this provision is moot in that case.PhilRule Your Retirement Home Fool
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