Special Report

Morningstar's Guide to Taking RMDs

Morningstar.com

The clock is ticking: If you're over age 70 1/2 and have not yet taken required minimum distributions from your traditional retirement accounts, you only have until the end of the year to do so.

For some investors, taking RMDs is a necessity; they need the dollars to help cover their expenses. But for others who don't need their RMDs to get by, these forced withdrawals often seem like a nuisance.

"Affluent investors love to hate their RMDs," says Morningstar director of personal finance Christine Benz. "They complain that their RMDs push them into a higher tax bracket and muck with their planned withdrawal rates. They wonder about how to reinvest their unwanted, unneeded distributions, as well as how to avoid RMDs in the first place."

We've compiled some articles and videos to help investors take their RMDs more strategically and provide some ideas for what to do with the forced distributions if you don't need them.

When's The Right Time to Take RMDs?
Where you go for required minimum distributions will usually have a bigger impact than when you go. 

How RMDs Can Upgrade Your Portfolio
Make the most of these forced withdrawals by being strategic in how you take them.

Two Accounts, Same Amounts, but Different RMDs for Surviving Spouse
Unlike other tax-deferred account types, IRAs have a unique 'minimum distribution rule' for surviving spouses.

8 Questions for RMD Season
We're coming into the year's home stretch. Do you know where your required minimum distributions are?

Options for Easing the Pain of RMDs
IRA expert Ed Slott shares a few workarounds for retirees who want to reduce their tax burden or the amount of their required minimum distributions.

What to Do with Unneeded RMDs
Morningstar's Christine Benz shares a few tax-efficient options for retirees who don't need their required minimum distributions.