How much to withdraw from a taxable account (IRA, 401K, etc.)

I added another calculator to the Taxes spreadsheet. The sheet is call “Withdrawals”. It is a simple calculator, but someone might find it helpful. I was asked by a friend (over 59 years old) how much he would need to withdraw from his IRA to pay for his monthly rent, net of taxes. So I decided to make a calculator.

The formula is simple,

Withdrawal = Amount Required/(1-Effective Marginal Rate)

but you do need to have your marginal tax brackets. This is usually a guess for the current year compared to last year, because there may be changes in your income and deductions or changes in the tax code. You need to know if nondeductible contributions were made to the account, and how much. Also, if there were nondeductible contributions, you need to know the market value of the account at the end of the previous year.

It is also important to know that if you don’t itemize on your tax return, you won’t get the benefit of deducting state and local taxes from federal taxes, which could increase the amount of taxes you will pay.

As usual in my spreadsheets, the light yellow cells are the only input cells. The rest should be self-explanatory:

Download Taxes

Don Pistulka

Retired Credit Union CFO - Finance
Background: over 40 years in investments, asset/Liability management, banking, securities trader.
Worked for: California Credit Union, WesCorp, CalFed S&L, Crocker Bank, Carroll McEntee, Federal Home Loan Bank Board (D.C.), Western Asset Management, Security Pacific National Bank.


  1. Neat spreadsheets. How about one to help figure out the net yield on a loan portfolio to determine if a portfolio segment is meeting management’s income goals.
    Thanks again for the cool spreadsheets.

    1. Thanks Fred,

      This sounds like an accounting problem. If you have all of the portfolio’s actual cash flows received (principal and interest) for a given month, you could simple divide that amount, by the beginning principal balance each month. Then you would annualize that monthly return and compare it with expectations.The monthly returns could also be linked together for a time weighted rate of return.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *