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Old 03-29-2011, 07:32 PM   #21
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4) start to educate yourself about mutual funds, bonds and investing.
.......
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Old 03-29-2011, 08:01 PM   #22
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April Fool, as a fellow cola'd pensioner, we should be very thankful for pensions because as your beginning to find out with all the terminologies being thrown at you, managing your money is no easy task. Although you may not consider your assets extremely large, it is your nest egg and it is very important to you. Posters have suggested to learn (and that is excellent advise) how to handle your money,but at your stage in life, maybe you should consider talking to a fee based financial advisor. A fee based advisor doesnt get paid on selling you products. They could educate you on all important money matters. Ask people within your social or job network to see if they have anyone they know or trust and what it would cost. Something to think about. Good luck!
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Old 03-29-2011, 08:44 PM   #23
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Thanks Rewahoo for the link and definition.

Nun, Thanks for the advice.

I really hate to sound dumb but I guess I am. What is a money market? I thought a money market was something high risk. How is it different from an annunity? I signed to put the severance pay in ING but I don't know if it is an annuity or money market. Would it be bad if was an annuity? I am going to go to the library and get some books and seriously start reading up on this. Any references? I still have until June to make my final decisions.

Unfortunity, I know very little about any of this. My financial advisor/accountant/friend of many years died last year. He was a financial guru who lived for and loved playing with money and did make me a lot it. Once he even got me a $10,000 bonus for just putting my money somewhere. I have found no one else I trust like him and feel so bewildered without his guidance. Now I wish, I had gotten more involved, tried to learn more but it seemed so confusing. I think the only thing that mattered was that he was not losing me money so I just let him do whatever he did.

April
A fee base adviser might be good for you to consult, but as you are a novice in financial matters that's just another reason not to do the PLOP. Your pension needs no managing and will provide you with monthly income.

Don't worry ask as many questions as you need. An annuity is a financial product you buy with a lump sum. For that the financial company will pay you a monthly income for a certain amount of time. There are often high fees. They can be quite complex so right now avoid them completely.

A money market fund is very safe. It's almost as safe as a bank savings account. It isn't insured by the government like your bank account, but it's a safe place to put your money while you learn how to manage it.

Please make sure you know what you have with ING! Call the person you talked to and find out exactly what they are offering you. And don't sign anything yet!!!
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Old 03-29-2011, 09:28 PM   #24
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April Fool, as the old saying goes, knowledge is power. These representatives you are dealing with have knowledge that you don't, and as a result they have you at a disadvantage. While they will be nice to you, their advice is likely to be biased towards alternatives that give them the biggest commission. Hiring a fee based financial planner (someone with knowledge of these things) evens the playing field and ensures that the advice is based on your individual circumstances and needs.

All of that said, I agree with other posters - do not do the plop, do not buy an annuity of any sort.
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Old 03-29-2011, 10:04 PM   #25
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I agree that I need an advisor. In fact someone at work told me it may be worth it to pay for one. I am going to call ING to find out exactly what kind of fund I am in. It's sad but many at work are in the same boat I am, nearing retirement, forced into choosing a new provider. We are trying to get help from each other but can't. I'm surprised by how little anybody knows.

Based on all the opposition I'm hearing, I'm pretty sure I won't take the PLOP. I won't buy an annunity (if I have not done that today). Everybody can't be wrong. I will have to convince my husband though.

Thanks for all your input.

April
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Old 03-29-2011, 10:10 PM   #26
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How much do fee based financial planner charges?
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Old 03-30-2011, 10:15 AM   #27
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I agree that I need an advisor. In fact someone at work told me it may be worth it to pay for one. I am going to call ING to find out exactly what kind of fund I am in. It's sad but many at work are in the same boat I am, nearing retirement, forced into choosing a new provider. We are trying to get help from each other but can't. I'm surprised by how little anybody knows.

Based on all the opposition I'm hearing, I'm pretty sure I won't take the PLOP. I won't buy an annunity (if I have not done that today). Everybody can't be wrong. I will have to convince my husband though.

Thanks for all your input.

April
April, I don't mean to be splitting hairs here, but what you need is a financial planner, not an advisor. There is a fine line between the two. A planner considers all aspects of your particular situation and develops a plan. The advisor merely executes the plan. Sometimes a planner will also function as an advisor. Most people here, at least the ones that post frequently, do self-planning and self-advising (or just follow William Bernstein's advice, not that there is anything wrong with that).

Use a Certified Financial Planner. You can find a fee-only one that will help you make decisions for a one-time fee.
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Old 03-30-2011, 05:51 PM   #28
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In addition to this forum, the Boglehead forum and reference library is a good source for investment advice, knowledge and a reading list. You can start with their "Start up kit" page. It is here: Bogleheads Financial Start-Up Kit - Bogleheads

The forum is named after Jack Bogle, the founder of Vanguard and a strong proponent of low cost, self directed investing.

I agree with others that it would be good for you to find a fee only financial planner. But I would suggest that you post his/her advice on either this or the Boglehead forum or both before you sign anything or buy any funds or investments. This will provide an independent check to make sure that your planner isn't ripping you off.

Good luck.

Lorne
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Old 03-30-2011, 07:51 PM   #29
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Thanks for the Boglehead site. I definely will be going there. I am also going to get a certified financial planner. I did check around at work today to see if someone could refer me to one but no one knew one.

As the questions went flying about the office today about finances, retirement and investing; we all realized how little we knew and how crazy it is to be so ignorant. We decided that we, as women, need to know more about finances. There are three of us retiring at the end of the year and about ten within the next year two years. We have decided to form a little retirement help group. With yours truly as their leader. Can you believe it? Talk about the blind leading the blind. I told them I didn't know much of anything but they know even less. Right now all I am able to share is the info I have received from our retirement system and what I have learned from this forum. I am printing out information that I think will be helpful. We are going to meet twice a month. Some wants to start paying dues to invest in some kind of fund to get their feet wet (Not big time). I want to learn too but I'm not sure it's a good idea right now. But we have decided to take a little field trip together to a retirement similar. We are not going to buy anything, just listen and try to learn.

I'm really glad I decided not to take a PLOP (Partial Lump-Option Payment) because as I was looking closer at the figures the provider wrote up for me, I saw that he was using the unreduced payment rate to calculate my lifetime pension. The correct rate would be way way less than he led me to believe. Now I am concerned about his competency. I really don't think he was trying to be dishonest but just did not read it right.

April
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Old 03-30-2011, 08:57 PM   #30
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You may want to all band together and use the same fee based planner (or firm). Once the planner understands your employer's benefit plans s/he can then determine what options are best for each of you given your individual circumstances.
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Old 03-30-2011, 10:21 PM   #31
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April, one thing I look for is asterisks * near charts that usually have an explanation at the bottom of the page in literature that planners or financial salesmen or experts seem to always have.

What ever numbers are picked are sometimes an ideal situation than most people will not see. The guaranteed returns could be less than the example and usually very little is guaranteed. The terms may not mean what you think they do. A guaranteed return may be for a short period of time, and may include return of principal and not just interest made this year.

For example the cost of a thousand dollar a month annuity for life can vary greatly for a person 79 years old in a 7% interest rate market compared to a 55 year old in a 3.5% interest rate market.

Also keep in mind that regardless of the good intentions of everyone here, no one has asked enough questions to know all the nuances of your situation.

For example you may want to transfer money to the younger generation and estate planning may be more important than monthly cash flow. You might have a health concern that makes a lump of cash more preferable than an annuity that ends when you die. And these are just the things I wondered about off the cuff.
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Old 03-30-2011, 11:26 PM   #32
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. . .
Also keep in mind that regardless of the good intentions of everyone here, no one has asked enough questions to know all the nuances of your situation.
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Old 03-31-2011, 07:59 AM   #33
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......... We decided that we, as women, need to know more about finances. There are three of us retiring at the end of the year and about ten within the next year two years. We have decided to form a little retirement help group.................
I think that it has been mentioned, but I found this book to be an excellent beginner's book. Available used from $6.66

Amazon.com: The Bogleheads' Guide to Investing (9780471730330): Taylor Larimore, Mel Lindauer, Michael LeBoeuf, John C. Bogle: Books
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Old 03-31-2011, 08:36 PM   #34
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Thanks Ready-4 that was really good information and advice. I was just thinking today just what you said regarding estate planning involving the younger generation. I was thinking perhaps about putting some of my assets in their names but with joint ownership. I am going to ask my company my options regarding this.

My husband and I are both reasonably healthy. We both take blood pressure pills.

Travel, Thanks for the reference. I'm going to see if I can download the Boglehead on my kindle tomorrow and look for other financial books of interest.

April
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Old 03-31-2011, 09:10 PM   #35
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April:

Here is a reading list from our FAQ subforum. It may help you get pointed in the right direction.

Gumby

An updated FIRE recommended reading list (with a military twist)
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Old 04-11-2011, 08:33 AM   #36
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So how are things going April?
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Old 04-30-2011, 10:17 AM   #37
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Hello everyone, I am in the same boat I am considering retiring in Sept 2011 I am I am in Ohio also, I have 30 years with the State of Ohio. I have received an estimate of benefits. I did meet with a Financial Advisor who suggested in taking the Plop which would be over $100.000. it would reduce my monthly amount by $500.00 of course out of the monthly amount medical insurance of around $230.00 must come out.

I am considering the PLOP due to bills in unsecured debt in the amount of $22,000.00 I would have around $80,000.00 left that the Financial Advisor wants to put into an Varible annunity, the only concern is that he is stating not to touch this until 65, I think myself and my wive may need it before that.

I did find out that the Plop can be rolled over to the Additional Annunity with the Retirement System I was thinking to rollover between $10,000.00 and $15,000.00 and the rest with the Financial Advisor which would be approx $65,000.00 into the Variable annunity at a projected 6%.

I quess I would like some suggestion- Also I will have an accumulation of around $20,000.00 from vacation I would like suggestion where to roll that over to lessen the tax burden. Would it be possible to roll it over into a 403(b) to lessen the tax burden. I was a member of the Deferred Comp plan but left and took out all my money around 20 years ago. I am unable to get back in.
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Old 04-30-2011, 11:34 AM   #38
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Hello everyone, I am in the same boat I am considering retiring in Sept 2011 ...
The first question you should be asking is how much do you need to retire and how will it be funded for the rest of your life.


Did the adviser do a complete financial plan considering your plan to retire soon?

Was it even a financial adviser or was it just an insurance agent (or broker)?


Make sure you have a complete plan (that is viable) and understand your options in the context of that plan before you make any decisions!
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Old 04-30-2011, 12:40 PM   #39
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The advisor will advise you to do what will make him/her the most money.

You need to read a bit and run away from the so called advisor.
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