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They don't seem to be saying you have to take it then. They're just saying that if that is when you want it, you need to give them time to do it.

That's what they were saying. It was just a little too telegraphic for me to understand during my first read.

Similarly, Schwab is saying that if you want the payment in the tax year ending on 12/31, perhaps because you don't want 2 RMD's in the same tax year, then you need to give them notice.

The reason (i.e. two RMDs in 2012) was not stated in the cover letter, but that is correct. (I have now checked the IRS pub as well as talking to Schwab)
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