My wife is offered a lump sump payment from a previous employer from her 401k. i have a small IRA myself but do not really have anything else for retirement. Any advice would be appreciated.

Terry Says:

Well, first you have to decide how good an offer that lump sum is.  The easiest way to do it is to go to www.immediateannuities.com, and enter her age, state of residence, and the amount of the lump sum.  That will get you quotes on what you could get in income from various annuity providers if you just purchased an immediate annuity.

Now, were you given a choice of a lump sum or a payout for life?  If so, compare what the company is offering to what these annuity providers are offering to see if the company offer is a good deal!

Does she have a choice of doing a “rollover” — a direct transfer?  If so, that may be a better choice if you don’t need the money immediately.  Contact Fidelity or Vanguard and they will handle the rollover for her — and give her advice about some conservative investments.  Then she can start withdrawals when required — the year after reaching age 70-1/2.

This is the time to also ask either Fidelity or Vanguard about their retirement income services — and do some planning.  There is no cost if you are moving money to them.

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