Top IRA RMD (Required Min. Distribution) Calculators

RMD calculators show how much you have to take out.

Once you reach age 70 1/2, or inherit a retirement account, you are subject to the required minimum distribution (RMD) rules. Don't let the rules catch you off guard. When planning for retirement you can project your future distributions so you know about how much you'll have to withdraw each year. 

RMD calculations vary depending on whether you are taking a current year required distribution or a beneficiary distribution. Pick the RMD calculator below based on what you want to estimate.

Planning for your retirement

Happy couple living on their required distributions.
Project your RMD amounts to plan vacations and retirement spending. Westend61/BrandXPictures/GettyImages

When putting together your own retirement income plan you can use Vanguard’s RMD Calculator to estimate your future required distributions.

Once you input your estimated rate of return the calculator will project your RMDs for all future years. This can be very useful for doing tax planning for retirement, as larger distributions later may cause you to be in a higher tax bracket. Keep in mind, sometimes it doesn't make sense to wait until 70 1/2 to withdraw from your retirement accounts. If required distributions will be large later on, consider a plan that has you withdraw from these accounts at an earlier age.

Age 70 or older now

Senior couple researching RMD rules.
Once you are 70, be sure to take your RMD each year. Hero Images

If you are already 70 1/2 you don't want to miss an RMD. Why? A hefty penalty tax that is 50% of the amount you were supposed to withdraw can apply. Use FINRA's Required Minimum Distribution Calculator to calculate your current year’s RMD.

You'll need to have last year's year-end account balance handy as the formula that determines how much you must withdraw is based on your December 31 account balance from the previous year and your year-end age in the year of distribution. If you have IRAs in multiple places, you can add up the total balances and take your RMD from one account - but consider consolidating your accounts to make this process a bit easier each year.

Inherited an IRA

IRA, Roth and 401(k)s all have RMDs.
Inherited accounts have RMDs too. ComstockImages/Stockbyte/GettyImges

When you inherit retirement accounts, you must follow the RMD rules. For example Roth IRAs don't have RMDs for the original account owner, but if you inherit a Roth, you must take an RMD. Use Bankrate's RMD Calculator to calculate these mandatory distributions.

These rules are slightly different than if it were your own account. You'll need the deceased person's age of death as well as the prior year-end account balance. Then you'll use your age as of the end of the year for the year you are calculating the distribution. Although these RMD rules can be a pain, the fact that they are there is what allows you to stretch out these inherited accounts and take distributions slowly over your life-expectancy. This can be a powerful benefit.

Planning matters

If you're planning for your own retirement, evaluate the merits of a retirement income plan that has you delay the start of Social Security to age 70, while withdrawing from retirement accounts earlier on for any cash needs. For many tax payers that don't have pensions this type of plan can be more tax-efficient and help your retirement money last longer.