Distribution of fundsAlthough funds can be distributed from an IRA at any time, there are limited circumstances when money can be distributed or withdrawn from the account without penalties. Unless an exception applies, money can typically be withdrawn penalty free as taxable income from an IRA once the owner reaches age 59 and a half. Also, non-Roth owners must begin taking distributions of at least the calculated minimum amounts by April 1 of the year after reaching age 70 and a half. If the required minimum distribution is not taken the penalty is 50% of the amount that should have been taken. The amount that must be taken is calculated based on a factor taken from the appropriate IRS table and is based on the life expectancy of the owner and possibly his or her spouse as beneficiary if applicable. At the death of the owner, distributions must continue and if there is a designated beneficiary, distributions can be based on the life expectancy of the beneficiary. There are several exceptions to the rule that penalties apply to distributions before age 59
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