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(but to answer the question you asked: Since your mom turns 60 this year, she's eligible to withdraw any amount from the IRA, any time, and is not locked into any withdrawal schedule until she turns 70.5. But of course your custodian may have its own restrictions.)

It's possible that a portion or all of the IRA is invested in an annuity that is subject to surrender charges. Perhaps additional riders were purchased, intentionally or inadvertently, and making withdrawals of a certain size may invalidate the riders. There's a chance that the IRA is held by TIAA-CREF that has something like a 10%/10 year distribution schedule.

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