Once you reach age 59 1/2, you can withdrawn money from your Individual Retirement Account (IRA) without penalty. Traditional IRA owners add the distribution to gross annual income. Roth IRA owners do not add anything to income since the Roth grows tax-free, having utilized after-tax dollars for contributions. For those 65 or older, using IRA distributions can help with monthly budget needs or to pay for occasional expenses such as car repairs, property taxes or a vacation.
Call the number listed on the IRA statement to confirm the type of IRA you have (Roth or traditional), its value and whether there are any fees or penalties associated with distributions.
Request a distribution form from the IRA custodian before you hang up. If you are close to a branch office, you can expedite the process by setting an appointment and getting the form directly from a branch representative.
Complete the form with your contact and account information in the "owner's" section. Check the box indicating whether you want a one-time (lump sum) distribution or regular distributions scheduled monthly, quarterly or annually.
Designate any federal tax withholding in the section provide for "taxes." When taking money out of a taxable IRA you have the option to take taxes out of the distribution or add it to gross income when filing your return.
Sign and submit the form. Depending on the custodian processing requirements, it may take up to 10 days to get a check. If your IRA is held at a bank and you file the form in person, you should be able to walk out with a check or cash.
If you have converted a traditional IRA into a Roth within the past five years, you will be adding the distributed earnings to income taxes. Roth IRAs must be held until age 59 1/2 and for five years. There may also be fees associated with liquidating particular investments such as time certificates, stocks or mutual funds.