In general, to avoid being penalized for delaying distributions, you must comply with what are called the required distribution rules. Those rules require that you take a minimum amount from your Self-Directed IRA each year, beginning in the year you retire if you turn 70 and 1/2 or, under certain circumstances, in the year you retire. In general, you may withdraw everything by your required beginning date, or RBD, which for most people is April 1 of the year after turning 70 and 1/2. Alternatively, you may distribute your retirement plan money over a period of years. Most people will use the Uniform Lifetime Table to determine the number of years over which they may spread distributions. If your spouse is your beneficiary and is more than ten years younger than you are, you will be required to use a different and more favorable table called the Joint Life and Last Survivor Table.
Note: A Roth IRA holder is not required to take minimum distributions like an owner of a traditional IRA.