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A side effect of RMDs that I didn't see mentioned is their secondary effects that could cost you money. Taking an RMD that you don't need for living expenses may push your income to the point where more of your Social Security is taxable. And cause your Medicare premium to go up. That's all in addition to the tax on the RMD itself.

That's really not an issue. You don't start paying more in Medicare premiums until well after you hit the max taxable amount on your social security benefits.

Medicare premiums don't start increasing until you get to $170k in MAGI (the modification here is to add in any non-taxable interest income). Cut that in half for singles.

You hit the max taxable portion of your SS benefits not long after $44k of income for joint filers ($32k for singles).

In either case, the taxable portion of your Soc Sec benefits is maxed out before your Medicare premiums start increasing.

A married couple would need to be living on less than $44k of income AND have an RMD that is almost $130k MORE than their needs before their Medicare premium would be increased because of RMDs.

For a single, they'd need to live on less than $32k and have RMDs $50k over their needs.

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