It's a bit of a conundrum. On one hand, if you pay out monthly RMD checks, people who might not want to take it will take it and get taxed on it. If you decide not to, some people who *need* those RMD checks for income could be on thin ice. I guess it requires additional communications, policy and cost for these custodians, but it would be nice to get it out sooner rather than later in case some people subject to RMDs don't understand they don't have to take one in 2009 if they don't want to.
In any event, I set the RMD on my mom's Vanguard account to be sent once a year in December. That way if anything happens during the year that eliminates the RMD requirement, I probably have time to suspend it. Anyway, I suspended her RMD for 2009 on Vanguard's web site and I have a note to re-enable it in 2010.
"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)