RMD Calculator - Required Minimum Distributions Calculator

By Oghenekaro Elem
Last updated: Feb 22, 2021

RMD calculator is a tool that helps you find the minimum amount you must withdraw from your individual retirement account (IRA) each year when you turn 72 years. Money invested in your retirement accounts grows tax-free for decades. The required minimum distribution (RMD) is designed to prevent these investments from growing untouched indefinitely. By requiring you to make these compulsory withdrawals, the government can finally collect its tax revenue you've been putting off.

The only exception to the RMD is the Roth IRA, which is funded with after-tax dollars. You don't have to take an RMD for 2020 because of the CARES Act, but you may still use this tool to calculate any further RMDs with the estimated account balance. Check out how the CARES Act impacted unemployment benefit and the stimulus check GOP calculator.

You can learn more about the rules governing retirement plans with RMDs, how to calculate your RMD, the CARES act RMD waiver, and how RMDs impact your taxes if you keep reading.

What is RMD?

A required minimum distribution (RMD) is the minimum amount you must withdraw from your retirement account each year when you turn 72 years. You are allowed to withdraw more. Without the RMD, money in your retirement accounts would continue to grow tax-free indefinitely, but the government wants a piece of it. Consider RMD rules as a way the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) forces you to eat your cake, or they'll have it. The government receives tax revenue from deposits into the retirement accounts that were not taxed.

RMD rules apply to tax-deferred retirement accounts such as SIMPLE IRA, SEP IRA, Traditional IRA, and most 401(k) and 403(b) retirement plans. Roth IRAs are exempt from RMD rules. You may choose to withdraw your RMD for the year at once or in small installments, but you must take it by the deadline of December 31 each year. There is no preferred strategy to approach the RMD withdrawal since the tax you'll pay is the same. However, if you miss the RMD deadline, the IRS will charge you a 50% penalty on the amount NOT taken.

For example, if your RMD was $12,000, but you only withdrew $4,000, your 50% penalty on the $12,000 - $4,000 = $8,000 balance you didn't withdraw, would be $8,000 * 50% = $4,000.

The IRS only allows you to delay taking your first RMD until April 1 of the year after you turn 72. If you choose to wait, you'll have to take your first and second RMD in the same tax year, meaning you'd pay more taxes that year. You can also delay taking RMDs if you are still working at age 72 (lucky you?), and you don't own up to 5% of the business. In that case, you can delay taking RMDs from your workplace retirement plan until April 1 of the year after you retire.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, And Economic Security (CARES) Act temporarily waives required minimum distributions (RMDs) for all types of retirement plans in 2020. The Act was signed to give Americans time to recover from the economic downturns of the COVID-19 pandemic.

How to calculate RMD?

Except for an Inherited IRA, you can calculate your RMD by dividing your tax-deferred retirement account balance as of December 31 of the previous year by your life expectancy factor.

The IRS provides the worksheet for the life expectancy factor. It is wise always to confirm that you are using the latest information from the IRS website.

There are two tables provided for the Life expectancy factor:

  • Uniform Lifetime Table, for use by unmarried owners, married owners whose spouses aren't more than ten years younger, and married owners whose spouses aren't the sole beneficiaries of their IRAs.
  • Joint Life and Last Survivor Expectancy Table, for use by owners whose spouses are more than ten years younger and are the sole beneficiaries of their IRAs. Thus, this Joint Life Expectancy Table considers the last survivor's expectancy and reduces the RMD.

The RMD formula is:

RMD = Account balance as of December 31 / Life expectancy factor

Example: How to calculate RMD when one spouse is more than ten years younger and is the IRA's sole beneficiary.

Farouk turned 72 last year, and his wife is 60. She is the sole beneficiary of his IRA.

  • Find IRA balance as of December 31 of the previous year: his IRA balance was $270,000.

  • Find the life expectancy factor according to the IRS Joint Life Expectancy Table: Farouk's life expectancy factor is 27 which is the corresponding factor for 72 (IRA owner age) and 60 (spouse's age).

  • Divide the account balance by the factor number to get RMD:

    RMD = $270,000 / 27 = $10,000

Therefore, Farouk must withdraw at least $10,000 per annum to satisfy RMD rules. If Farouk happens to have more than one IRA, e.g., a traditional IRA and a 401(k), he must calculate the RMD separately for each account and take RMDs individually from each account too.

RMD rules for other IRAs

Roth IRAs: There are no RMDs if you are the Roth account's original owner. But if you own other IRAs as well, you will need to withdraw your RMDs on them. Withdrawals from your Roth would not fulfill the RMD rules.

Inherited IRA RMD: If you inherit an IRA (including Roth IRAs), you are subject to RMD rules and may be required to begin taking RMDs by a specific date.

The RMD rules are summarized as follows:

  • If the original IRA owner dies in a year they were supposed to begin RMD withdrawals: The beneficiary must take an RMD in that year.

  • If the original IRA owner dies after December 31, 2019: The beneficiary must withdraw all of the money from the account by December 31 of the death's 10th anniversary.

  • A beneficiary can be exempt from the 10-year rule if they are not more than ten years younger than the original IRA owner, or they're a spouse, minor child, disabled individual, or chronically ill.

  • If the original IRA owner dies before they began taking RMDs, and before January 1, 2020: The beneficiary can choose between:

    • A lifetime distribution of the IRA funds based on their life expectancy factor by December 31 of the year after the original IRA owner's death, or
    • A 5-year distribution completed on December 31, the 5th anniversary of the owner's death.
  • Non-individual beneficiaries, such as an estate, trust, or charity, must follow the 5-year rule.

RMD tables

The required minimum distributions tables below summarize the life expectancy factors provided by the IRS:

IRS uniform lifetime table

Age Life expectancy factor
70 27.4
71 26.5
72 25.6
73 24.7
74 23.8
75 22.9
76 22
77 21.2
78 20.3
79 19.5
80 18.7
81 17.9
82 17.1
83 16.3
84 15.5
85 14.8
86 14.1
87 13.4
88 12.7
89 12
90 11.4
91 10.8
92 10.2
93 9.6
94 9.1
95 8.6
96 8.1
97 7.6
98 7.1
99 6.7
100 6.3
101 5.9
102 5.5
103 5.2
104 4.9
105 4.5
106 4.2
107 3.9
108 3.7
109 3.4
110 3.1
111 2.9
112 2.6
113 2.4
114 2.1
115 and older 1.9

IRS joint life expectancy table

Your Spouse's Age ↓
Your Age → 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80
40 44 44 43.9 43.9 43.9 43.8 43.8 43.8 43.8 43.8 43.7
41 43.1 43 43 43 42.9 42.9 42.9 42.9 42.8 42.8 42.8
42 42.2 42.1 42.1 42 42 42 41.9 41.9 41.9 41.9 41.8
43 41.3 41.2 41.1 41.1 41.1 41 41 41 40.9 40.9 40.9
44 40.3 40.3 40.2 40.2 40.1 40.1 40.1 40 40 40 40
45 39.4 39.4 39.3 39.3 39.2 39.2 39.1 39.1 39.1 39.1 39
46 38.6 38.5 38.4 38.4 38.3 38.3 38.2 38.2 38.2 38.1 38.1
47 37.7 37.6 37.5 37.5 37.4 37.4 37.3 37.3 37.2 37.2 37.2
48 36.8 36.7 36.6 36.6 36.5 36.5 36.4 36.4 36.3 36.3 36.3
49 35.9 35.9 35.8 35.7 35.6 35.6 35.5 35.5 35.4 35.4 35.4
50 35.1 35 34.9 34.8 34.8 34.7 34.6 34.6 34.5 34.5 34.5
51 34.3 34.2 34.1 34 33.9 33.8 33.8 33.7 33.6 33.6 33.6
52 33.4 33.3 33.2 33.1 33 33 32.9 32.8 32.8 32.7 32.7
53 32.6 32.5 32.4 32.3 32.2 32.1 32 32 31.9 31.8 31.8
54 31.8 31.7 31.6 31.5 31.4 31.3 31.2 31.1 31 31 30.9
55 31.1 30.9 30.8 30.6 30.5 30.4 30.3 30.3 30.2 30.1 30.1
56 30.3 30.1 30 29.8 29.7 29.6 29.5 29.4 29.3 29.3 29.2
57 29.5 29.4 29.2 29.1 28.9 28.8 28.7 28.6 28.5 28.4 28.4
58 28.8 28.6 28.4 28.3 28.1 28 27.9 27.8 27.7 27.6 27.5
59 28.1 27.9 27.7 27.5 27.4 27.2 27.1 27 26.9 26.8 26.7
60 27.4 27.2 27 26.8 26.6 26.5 26.3 26.2 26.1 26 25.9
61 n/a 26.5 26.3 26.1 25.9 25.7 25.6 25.4 25.3 25.2 25.1
62 n/a n/a 25.6 25.4 25.2 25 24.8 24.7 24.6 24.4 24.3
63 n/a n/a n/a 24.7 24.5 24.3 24.1 23.9 23.8 23.7 23.6
64 n/a n/a n/a n/a 23.8 23.6 23.4 23.2 23.1 22.9 22.8
65 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 22.9 22.7 22.5 22.4 22.2 22.1
66 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 22 21.8 21.7 21.5 21.3
67 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 21.2 21 20.8 20.6
68 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 20.3 20.1 20
69 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 19.5 19.3
70 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 18.7
Oghenekaro Elem
Is spouse more than 10 years younger and the sole beneficiary of IRA?
No
Your age
72
Life expectancy factor
Account Balance as of Dec 31
$
Required minimum distribution (RMD)
$
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