You can start withdrawing from your traditional IRA without penalty starting at the age of 59 ½. Of course, you dont have to start withdrawing at this age. You can wait until you retire at the age of 62, 65, 68, etc. However, you must start withdrawing from your traditional IRA by April 1 of the year following the year you reach 70 ½. Starting at age 70 ½, the owner of the account is forced to make withdrawals from the account. If you do not make a withdrawal when required to, the IRS may confiscate half the amount of that withdrawal.