How to Calculate Your RMD: a Uniform, Inherited, and Joint Divisor Calculator

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After you reach the age of 70 1/2, the IRS requires you to begin taking minimum distributions from your traditional retirement accounts. The amount the government mandates you take out of your account each year is called a Required Minimum Distribution (RMD).

The amount which you are required to take as a distribution is based on the value of your traditional retirement account on December 31 of the previous year. That value is divided by a number (hereafter called the divisor) provided by IRS based on your age.

There are different tables and formulas used to calculate your RMD divisor based on your particular circumstances. The simplest RMD divisor is for individuals who are older than 70 1/2 and is called the Uniform Divisor. Then, the Joint Divisor is an alternate and more favorable RMD calculation for married couples with more than 10 years difference in their ages.

For Inherited IRAs, all the rules are complicated but the simplest divisor is the Inherited Divisor. If you are the spouse of the previous owner, you also have the option of doing a Spousal Rollover with the inherited assets, which counts as though it were your own money and uses the Uniform Divisor.

If a non-person (Trust, charity, estate) inherits an IRA or an IRA is inherited by a non-spouse witbout the aid of beneficiary designations, their RMDs do not have a divisor but instead are subject to the 5-Year Rule.

The below calculator calculates divisors for the Uniform divisor (uses your birthday), Joint divisor (you and your spouse’s birthdays), and Inherited divisor (your birthday and the previous owner’s date of death). It cannot advise you on if you are permitted to use the divisor it calculates. Please familiarize yourself with the requirements of each before proceeding.

Photo used here under Flickr Creative Commons.

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Megan Russell is the Chief Operating Officer for Marotta Wealth Management. She studied Cognitive Science at the University of Virginia and now specializes in explaining the complexities of financial planning. Megan loves formal logic, creative writing, and kittens.