How Much Can I Pull From My IRA in Retirement?

How Much Can I Pull From My IRA in Retirement?

As retirement neared, I was pondering how much money can I pull from my IRA and not blow the whole wad in the first year or two?   After two years and some pretty thorough research, here’s my plan.

First of all the house and cars are paid for.   After two years, we’ve found we can live pretty well on two social security checks and a pension amounting to $3400 a month.   We travel around in the RV and eat out with friends once a week.  We have learned to live within our means.


But the IRAs?   After some extensive research I found that two years ago, our investments made 8% and last year they made 6%.   So we feel safe pulling that amount out every year for a special trip or purchase – never touching the principle amount which has become our emergency fund; when the car dies and I need to buy another gently used vehicle,   a medical emergency not covered by insurance, or we need a new roof.  

This year, we took the grandson on a cruise to the Bahamas.    Next year, we are going to Thailand.   Interest is like a free trip, but without the guilt of blowing our carefully saved retirement funds!


Cheryl and her husband have just recently retired and live in the Pacific Northwest. She has been enjoying her herself by traveling around the world, playing with her grandchildren, and she frequently volunteers in her community. There is certainly never a dull moment with Cheryl. She cheerfully co-founded RetireBook and wants to share her energy, hoping that it inspires her readers to live life at its fullest.