# Checking on 59.5 Exact Timing

#### 38Chevy454

##### Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Just checking, as I turn 59.5 soon, and can access my pretax retirement funds.

Here is the question: is the 59.5 date exactly six months after my birthday? For example, if birthday is Dec 10 (not my real date) then I could do withdrawal any day after Jun 11? Or does something else apply like the next month July after the six months has passed?

I realize I could wait a bit longer, just trying to learn and understand the exact timing rules. Thanks for the help.

Yes. It is 6 calendar months after you turn 59.

It is not based on days.

Yes. It is 6 calendar months after you turn 59.

It is not based on days.
So any date in June would meet the test? Even June 1 since I turned 59 in December on the 10th in my example?Or would I have to wait until any date in July? I'm still confused.

I recall reading it is the day AFTER you turn 59.5, but again using the numbered day of the month, not counting 183 days to establish the half year.

So, yes, if born Dec 10th, you'd want to do it June 11th or later, but definitely not on June 10th.

So any date in June would meet the test? Even June 1 since I turned 59 in December on the 10th in my example?Or would I have to wait until any date in July? I'm still confused.

No. June 11.

AFAIK, the statute only says 59 1/2 without any definition of the 1/2 year.

Personally, for that rule, as well as the 70 1/2 rule for QCDs, I would just wait until either 59 (70) years and 184 days, or my 59th (70th) birthday plus six months plus one day. I would also probably arrange my life to where I don't cut it that close and would wait a few days past that.

While I'd still follow the rule, I doubt the IRS would dig into something like that unless there was a specific reason for them to do so (like a tip from someone that you broke the rule).

I'm wondering if the house that holds your tax-deferred investments automatically calculates this [they know your birth date], as they have to withhold the 10% penalty if you're <59.5 and didn't follow the Rule of 55.

I'm wondering if the house that holds your tax-deferred investments automatically calculates this [they know your birth date], as they have to withhold the 10% penalty if you're <59.5 and didn't follow the Rule of 55.

No, they don't. You have to pay it on your tax return via Form 5329, but your custodian doesn't have to withhold the penalty. At least as far as I know.

Thanks for the replies. If I do any withdrawal I will just wait until at least 6 months and one day (June 11 in my example) to avoid any potential problems. My IRA is at Fidelity, and so they definitely know my birthday.

I guess if I had any doubts I would:

1. Wait a few days or even a month

2. Call my CPA (who does my taxes) and ask him/her

3. If all else fails - call the IRS help line (though they don't stand behind their "advice."