If you need monthly cash flow for living expenses from your IRA, consider establishing automatic monthly distributions from the account.

If you do not need them monthly, consider taking required distributions toward the end of the year to allow your account more months of potential growth.

Do not try to time your distribution based on short-term market performance. However, when asset values are historically high and the business cycle is in the later stages of expansion, consider capitalizing on current gains as you plan your distribution.

Also, if you prefer distributions at the end of the year, give yourself a few weeks beforehand to let forms be processed and trades be cleared. The IRS penalty for missing the Dec. 31 distribution deadline is too steep to risk waiting until the last minute.

Contributing: Chris Evers

Learn more

The ABCs of RMDs, by Clare McNamara

FAQs about RMDs, from the IRS
Selecting Retirement Payout Methods, from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority
Distributions from Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs), from the IRS

As our financial lives evolve, we often wonder at what point or how frequently to take certain actions toward our long-term goals. In an ongoing feature, investment advisors from Landaas & Company provide answers.

(initially posted June 2, 2017)

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