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There are deadlines by which RMDs must be taken; otherwise, the account owner is subject to penalties in addition to taxes—and the penalties are pretty stiff. So this is not something you want to mess around with. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Required minimum distributions, or RMDs, are something that retirees and those who plan to retire need to learn about. Those who don’t could be in for some pretty unpleasant—and expensive—surprises.

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