Investors who are 70½ and older must take an annual distribution from their individual retirement accounts or face stiff penalties, but many aren't planning for this draw-down. Two-thirds of Fidelity Investments customers who are supposed to take a distribution from their IRAs this year hadn't as of Nov. 11. Strategies for making a withdrawal from a market-battered account less painful include reinvesting in other securities, making a tax-deductible donation to charity and converting to a Roth IRA.

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