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A Simple RMD Mistake That Can Cost Retirees Thousands

It is fairly common for people taking required minimum distributions out of retirement accounts, such as IRAs, to pull out more than the required amount, often without even being aware they are doing so — triggering unnecessary taxes. Because retirees are often using retirement accounts for income, it’s very common for them to contact a well-meaning employee at their financial institution and tell them to set them up to get monthly income from their IRA that may be more than their RMD amount.

For some people who have a carefully crafted broad tax strategy, it may make sense to pull out more than the minimum RMD (please see Should You Take an Extra Big RMD This Year?). But others aren’t being as thoughtful about their decision. If you need the extra money and there’s no other investment or bank account to take withdrawals from, this would be fine. However, in most cases where this occurs there are other non-retirement investment accounts or bank accounts where such withdrawals can be taken, while triggering far less in taxes, or sometimes no taxes at all.

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