Originally Posted by Animorph
Do you have any taxable accounts? Normally you should withdraw from those first and let the tax advantaged accounts accumulate. Look at your likely taxes after age 70.5 when RMD's start.
An optimal plan would be more nuanced than that. You want to make sure that the lower tax brackets are always covered. So depending on yoiur income and nestegg perhaps take enough out of the taxable IRA to fill up the zero tax bracket and 15 percent tax bracket. Then should you need more income take from taxable (after tax) accounts or skim some off the ROTH IRA.
Should you have larger income do the same thing up to the next taxable bracket (25%) and so on.
The trick here is to fully utilize the low tax brackets while you can. If you deplete everything else first (ie after tax and Roth accounts) then you may end up paying way more than the lowest brackets in tax.
It's an optimization problem subject to your income needs and any growth projections you may have.
Along those lines the ORP calculator takes it a step further and re-characterises money from taxable IRAs to Roth IRAs. The same concepts discussed earlier apply in that you are utilizing the lowest tax brackets over time that you can.