Definition of the fixed depreciation method

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What is the fixed depreciation method?

The fixed amortization method refers to one of three ways in which pre-retirees of any age can access their retirement funds without penalty before they turn 59 and a half under Rule 72t.

The fixed amortization method allocates retiree account balances over their remaining life expectancy, as estimated by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tables, at an interest rate not exceeding 120% of the rate. federal in the medium term. The withdrawal amount, with one exception, cannot be changed until age 65 once it is calculated. Otherwise, retirees must pay a penalty of 10% plus interest per year, from the year the distributions started, until the year of the change. Stopping account withdrawals also results in penalties.

The other two methods of early withdrawal without penalty are the fixed annuity method and the minimum required distribution method.

Key points to remember

  • The fixed amortization method is a method of withdrawing pension funds without penalty before turning 59 and a half under Rule 72t.
  • The fixed amortization method spreads out retiree account balances over their remaining life expectancy as determined by IRS tables.
  • As a general rule, the withdrawal amount cannot be changed until the age of 65; otherwise, retirees must pay a penalty.

How the fixed depreciation method works

The 72t rule only comes into play for those who plan to retire before age 60, and financial planners use it quite infrequently. Some planners avoid both fixed amortization and fixed annuity methods because they are not flexible, require assumptions that must last for many years in some cases, and, as is the case with Rule 72t, have many rules and restrictions.

The fixed amortization method produces higher payments than the required minimum distribution method in some cases. However, this involves complex calculations and may not keep pace with inflation or the pace of rising prices. As the name suggests, the fixed depreciation method results in a fixed payment. This is also the case for the fixed annuity method.

Conversely, the minimum required distribution method is recalculated each year. Of the three, the minimum required distribution method is the simplest, but often results in the lowest annual payment. It also usually has the lowest risk of premature account depletion, as payouts are reset down on a large withdrawal.

The only change in distribution type that the IRS allows without penalty is a one-time switch from the fixed amortization or fixed annuity methods to the minimum required distribution method.This is primarily for investors who have suffered large withdrawals, so they are reducing their distributions and making what is left in their account last longer in retirement.

Example of the fixed depreciation method

For example, suppose a 53-year-old woman with an IRA earning 1.5% per annum and a balance of $ 250,000 wishes to withdraw money earlier under Rule 72


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