If you turned 70½ last year and have yet to take a required minimum distribution (RMD) for 2017, you still have until April 1 to take out that money.
Keep in mind that withdrawal will be considered a taxable event for this year. And because you’re now on the hook to take those payments annually, you will need to take a second withdrawal by the end of December for 2018.
“In theory, you’re taking two RMDs right in this year,” said Sally Brandon, senior vice president of client service and advice at Rebalance IRA. “For some people, that might not be ideal for their tax bracket.”
The easiest way to offset that taxable income would be to give that RMD money to charity through a qualified charitable distribution, said Jeffrey Levine, CEO and director of financial planning at BluePrint Wealth Alliance in Garden City, New York.
That strategy, however, will only work for individual retirement accounts, not 401(k) plans, Levine said.
If you take two RMDs, watch your taxable income in other areas, such as voluntary distributions and sales that will trigger capital gains.
A charitable distribution “is by far the first thing I would turn to,” Levine said. “Even if it’s $500, that’s $500 less that you have to add to your income.”