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goofy:"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."

Ah, yes, the tax man comes to collect. One way or other.

Fortunately, I did not have enough working time to stash a lot of cash into my IRA.....or should I say it's about 23% of my total assets, not counting the house. spins off an RMD that is hitting the higher marginal bracket. Worse, between dividends, interest, any cap gains, it pushes me up to the second increase in Medicare and Drug Plan 'surcharges' costing me another $1500 a year.

I"m thinking of making charitable donations directly out of the IRA.

Let us say you have a million dollar IRA. You can direct your custodian to make, say, a $5000 donation, and it counts toward your RMD amount for the year. So instead of about $36,500 the first year, you would only have to then take $31,500. If you want to donate that much to one 501C type organization. No taxes due on it. Of course, you cannot then deduct it from your income tax return.

"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. "

Well, in the past 17 years of retirement, my IRA more than doubled - so it grew and grew nicely. Sort of ballooned even though close to 50/50 - I lived off interest and dividends from my regular brokerage accounts. Probably could have converted some along the way at about the same bracket I am in now. Took SS early - had some serious health issues in early 60s...that took a year to solve.....and family tree for men tends to end before hoping to break the trend, but it really didn't seem like I'd reach the breakeven point of late 80s to come out ahead.

Now the IRA money RMD goes into the checking account but I'm having trouble trying to ramp up spending to spend it! Been LBYM for 50 years and likely to continue.

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