If you will have turned age 72 by the end of the current calendar year, you are required to begin taking RMDs this year. See the following link for information regarding RMDs for subsequent years.
The Calculator below will help you determine your Required Minimum Distribution. For more information about Required Minimum Distributions, see IRS Publication 590.
Withdrawing Your RMD
Now that you have determined your RMD amount for the year, you must withdraw at least that much from your account by the end of the year (or by April 1 of next year, if you have elected to delay your first RMD). To elect your withdrawl simply complete an IRA Distribution Request Form, using “Normal Distribution” as the reason.
You may wish to satisfy your RMD on a more automated basis. The best way to accomplish this is to determine your current RMD amount, then determine a periodic (monthly, quarterly, etc…) installment payment that could be initiated that would satisfy your RMD for the year. To reduce the frequency in which you will need to alter this installment schedule, you may wish to take a little more than required.
Since your balance will fluctuate with any gain/losses on your account, it is still your responsibility to calculate your RMD annually and ensure that the sum of your installment payments will satisfy your RMD each year.
The deadline for withdrawing your first RMD is April 1 of the year after the year in which you attained the age 72. You should understand that if you delay your first RMD until the year after you turn age 70½, you will need to withdraw your second RMD in the same tax year (by December 31). This may have unintended tax consequences.