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So I have followed some of the RMD threads here with interest, as I am 70.5 this year and am finally facing the dragon. It occurs to me now, belatedly, that I was not as smart as I thought with all of this.

I am in the exceptionally fortunate position of having a phat IRA, and my RMD's will virtually assure me of bumping up into higher brackets. Add in rental income, social security, dividends and interest, and my marginal dollars will be percentaged bigly.

It also occurs to me that I have had several years in the past 20, since I retired, when my income was miniscule; before Social Security, after paycheck, and when all the stock gains were unrealized. (I also had a couple where the capital gains killed me, but that was in '99, and it turned out well, heh.) Heck, I had a couple years when I was in the famous 47% who paid no Federal tax at all.

So there were several years where I could have extracted monies from the IRA and remained in a low bracket, and just moved that money over to our regular brokerage and/or some of it into a Roth (I did do that, but small quantities, as I was permitted)

Anyway, if you have not yet hit the 70.5 goal line, thinking ahead, year by year, may enable you to knock many percents off the tax take if you do it strategically across time. (Yes, we had an accountant, who never mentioned any such thing. And occasional "sessions" with "financial consultants" who we did not hire, but who likewise never said anything like this, but who were only too eager to put our money to work in illiquid investments, annuities, or with some guy named Bernie somethingorother.)
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