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I am in the age group where I must take a minimum distribution (or more) from my IRA each year. Unfortunately, transferring that amount into a ROTH-IRA is not an option. I must take the distribution either in cash, or I can transfer the shares to my margin or cash account, never to return to an IRA. I know all that, and grudgingly accept it.

In that context, do I have to take the RMD in its entirety first, and only after that, can I roll over some shares to my ROTH-IRA? Or can I roll over some shares, take some cash, etc., as long as I get the entire RMD out by the end of the year?

You can do it in either order. Just make sure you leave enough in the regular IRA to cover your RMD. You don't want to get caught short should the value of the IRA drop during the year.

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