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Mom was 80, so she was into RMDs. And she also discovered that she didn't have to take one in 2009, which she didn't.

She was correct. Beneficiaries are never required to take an RMD in the year of the account owner's death.

With the inherited, the RMD is not much at all. We can take the RMD over the next 20, 30 years or so years. However, if we would happen to need some extra money in year 3, we can take more than the minimum out.

I imagine you're just using year 3 as an example, but for lurkers, when you're taking an inherited IRA over the beneficiary's life expectancy, you can always take more than the RMD without any consequence other than paying the income tax. The RMD is recalculated annually based on the prior year-end balance.

I was confused too. And am still confused.

It sounds like you understand fine, but if there are further questions, check Pub 590 and feel free to ask away.

Phil
Rule Your Retirement Home Fool
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