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I am planning to retire this year at age 52 and take substantially equal payments out of my IRA until I reach 59.5. I plan to use the amortization method of withdrawal from one designated IRA cash account and choose a reasonably conservative interest rate of 7% and my life expectancy per approved actuary tables. My IRA account balance will be based on the value in existence as of 12/31/99. I'm not doing anything unusual that I know of and will follow the IRS Notice 89-25 guidelines. As long as I carefully document my assumptions and withdrawal rate calculations, is there any reason I need to hire an attorney to obtain a private letter ruling from the IRS? If it's a good idea to get a private letter ruling, can I do it myself and if so whom do I contact?

Thanks for advice.
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RBStanley asks,

I am planning to retire this year at age 52 and take substantially equal payments out of my IRA until I reach 59.5. I plan to use the amortization method of withdrawal from one designated IRA cash account and choose a reasonably conservative interest rate of 7% and my life expectancy per approved actuary tables. My IRA account balance will be based on the value in existence as of 12/31/99. I'm not doing anything unusual that I know of and will follow the IRS Notice 89-25 guidelines. As long as I carefully document my assumptions and withdrawal rate calculations, is there any reason I need to hire an attorney to obtain a private letter ruling from the IRS? If it's a good idea to get a private letter ruling, can I do it myself and if so whom do I contact?

I don't see any need for a Private Letter Ruling.

A 7% interest rate is well within the 120% of the long-term Applicable Federal rate that most "experts" feel is "safe". For January 2000, 120% of the long-term rate is 7.77%.

There's a free calculator on the Retire Early site that you can use to determine the exact amount of the penalty-free IRA withdrawal, see link:

http://www.geocities.com/WallStreet/8257/wdraw59.html

You can also make the calculation using the PMT function on Excel.

intercst

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For once in a great moon, intercst & I agree. As long as you are not doing anything unusual, there is no need for a private letter ruling. Further, should such need arise, I would (admittedly in a biased manner) head for a tax accountant first & a tax lawyer second; tax accountant's tend to understand real life, are more effective, and cost less than tax lawyers.

Okay, let's see how many tax lawyers jump on this one.

TheBadger
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