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IRA distributions to a spousal beneficiary

By Terry Savage on November 19, 2021 | Financial Planning / Retirement

On a recent podcast, you said that the IRA rules changed in the past year and that IRA beneficiaries have only 10 years to fully distribute contents of an inherited IRA.

I thought that rule applied only to non-spousal beneficiaries? If my husband dies (he started RMDs 25 years ago) will I be able to roll his IRA over into my IRA with a significantly longer (24 year) time-frame to take the distributions?

Thanks. I read your weekly column in the Chicago Tribune!

Terry Says

Correct, as the spousal beneficiary of an IRA you have two options — take the distributions over your lifetime, or withdraw all the account within 5 years. And actually, it’s not quite that simple!
Read this article about the rules for withdrawing from an inherited IRA.
A lot depends on how you treat the IRA itself, keeping it as “inherited” or rolling it into your account, and a lot of that depends on whether the decedent had already started taking RMDs!

So you need some professional help on this decision, based on your specifics. The best place to get it is from the IRA “custodial firm”. Or a Certified Financial Planner — not a “salesperson”!

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