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You need to read the rules on IRAs. IRS Publication 590 is wordy but understandable.

When you are past the allowable age (59.5) * , you may direct Vanguard how you want to withdraw the money from the IRA. You can withdraw the money on demand, ask Vanguard to just direct deposit/send you checks for the dividends or ** leave it in the IRA to continue compounding tax-free. Vanguard can tell you all about the options if you call them.

You can also withdraw assets from the IRA and put them in a taxable account, but only some people are able to benefit from doing this.

[P.S. minor note of terminology -- according to the government you have exactly one Individual Retirement Arrangement, and it may be distributed among different custodians. According to common usage you have one Individual Retirement Account per custodian. That custodian may then subcategorize that IRA into accounts, sub-accounts, funds, etc.]

* Exceptions apply! There are ways to get money out before then.
** If you start a Traditional IRA, you must begin withdrawing money from it the year after you turn 70.5. If you start a Roth IRA, there is no such restriction.
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