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Calculating your Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) involves your IRA account balance, age, and a life expectancy factor provided by the IRS.

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Here's how to do it:

1. Gather Required Information:

  • IRA Account Balance: This is the fair market value of your traditional IRA or other retirement accounts on December 31st of the previous year. You can find this information on your account statements.
  • Your Age: As of January 1st of the current year.

2. Use the IRS Uniform Lifetime Table:

The IRS provides life expectancy factors in a table called the Uniform Lifetime Table. You can find this table on the IRS website https://www.fidelity.com/bin-public/060_www_fidelity_com/documents/UniformLifetimeTable.pdf under Publication 590-B, Distributions from Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs).

3. Locate Your Life Expectancy Factor:

Find the row in the table that corresponds to your age on January 1st of the current year. This number represents your life expectancy factor.

4. Apply the Formula:

Use the following formula to calculate your RMD:

RMD = IRA Account Balance / Life Expectancy Factor


Let's say:

  • Your IRA account balance as of December 31st of the previous year is $100,000.
  • You turn 72 years old on January 1st of the current year.

According to the IRS Uniform Lifetime Table, the life expectancy factor for a 72-year-old is 27.4.


RMD = $100,000 / 27.4 RMD = $3,649.64 (round to the nearest penny)

Therefore, your RMD for the year would be approximately $3,649.64.

Important Notes:

  • This is a simplified calculation for demonstration purposes. Consult a tax advisor for specific guidance on your situation.
  • The RMD calculation may differ slightly for beneficiaries inheriting IRAs.
  • You must withdraw your RMD by December 31st of each year to avoid penalties from the IRS.
  • There are exceptions to the RMD rules for certain retirement plans, such as Roth IRAs. Make sure to research any exceptions that might apply to you.

I hope this explanation helps!

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