Withdrawing from your IRA

Whether you're retired—or you're not quite there yet and you need extra cash—understanding the IRS rules for withdrawals can help you make smart decisions about withdrawing from your IRA.

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What to know before you make a withdrawal

If you are younger than 59½

Because of your age, the IRS considers any withdrawals an early distribution, so there are likely penalties and taxes.

There are exceptions to these rules, as well as potential options if you need money.

If you are between 59½ and 72

Starting at age 59½, you can take withdrawals without penalties, though note that taxes may be due based on the type of IRA.

You are not required to take withdrawals from any accounts before age 72. Your withdrawals should factor into your overall retirement strategy.

If you are 72* or older

Beginning at this age, you generally must take a required minimum distribution from many types of IRAs; this includes traditional IRAs, rollover IRAs, SEP IRAs, SIMPLE IRAs, and most 401(k) or 403(b) plans.

These withdrawals are mandatory and violations incur severe penalties, so it's important to prepare and have a plan.

Have you inherited an IRA?

If you inherited an IRA, there are specific rules you should understand before making any withdrawals.

How Fidelity can help you plan

If you are considering withdrawing from your IRA, we can help you:

Some related IRA topics

Consider both how you withdraw your RMDs and what you do with the money.

Build income plans with guaranteed income, growth potential, and flexibility in mind.

How to bridge the gap between when your paycheck stops and Social Security starts.