I am retired and over 70. I have roughly equal amounts of money in my Regular IRA, Roth IRA, and General (non-IRA) investment accounts. I want to withdraw money each month from my investment accounts for my general monthly expenses -- car payments, food, vacations, etc.My tax bracket is near the top of the 15% level. If I withdraw from my Regular IRA I may move into the next bracket. If I sell stock in my regular account I may move into the next bracket. Any money left in my accounts on my death will go to my spouse.I am looking for suggestions (with rationale) as to which way will be best for withdrawing from my investment accounts.Harry
When do (or did) you turn 70 1/2? Remember that you must begin taking the required minimum distributions from your traditional IRA no later than April 1 of the year after the year you turn 70 1/2. You have no choice about this, or it will cost you a stiff penalty. You may not be able to avoid being pushed into the higher bracket.foolazis
Since you're over 70, and I'll presume 70 1/2, you have to take a required minimum distribution from your regular IRA. That will be taxed as ordinary income but there's no way around it. If you still need additional cash, you have a couple options. Withdrawals from your Roth are not taxed. If you have capital gains in your taxable investments, they're taxed at a lower rate. If you have some capital losses in your regular investments, they would offset part of the capital gains. If the capital losses exceed the capital gains, you could use up to $3000 to offset ordinary income, and the tax on it.You'll have to look at various combinations and see which produces the lowest tax. It takes some time but really isn't too complicated. Just start with a few arbitrary combinations and work through the numbers. After 3 or 4 scenarios you should have a pretty good idea what will work best for your situation. Then you can refine the plan as much as you want. Just don't fail to take the required minimum withdrawal from your IRA. That would be really costly.
Harry:Try playing with ORP at http://www.i-orp.com/The nice thing about this calculator is that it helps you optimize withdrawals from differently taxed accounts while minimizing taxes.
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