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Be careful on this one. There are only a few exceptions to the 10% early withdrawel penalty. One of them as you correctly state is essentiall annutiaizing the IRA.

The IRS has said the the payments must be of substantially equal periodic payments amde at least annually ove the IRA owners life expectancy or the joint life of the IRA owner or designated beneficiary.

It would seem that varying the payments from year to year might invite unwamted unscrutiny. Why chance it?
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