Q: I'm 73 and have three IRAs. Due to investment losses (a long story) in one of the IRAs, I have less in the account than the 33 percent required distribution. Will I still be penalized if I don't withdraw the entire amount? L.A.S., Dearborn, Mich.
A: No. The IRS lumps all your IRAs together for purposes of the minimum-distribution rules. You can withdraw the funds from any combination of IRAs, or just one, as long as the total required amount is withdrawn. If the required distribution exceeds the total amount in your IRAs, you won't be penalized.