<<Let's assume you can make 10% on your personal investments. $30,000 today at 10% will net 3.452 times your money in 13 years...or $103,560 at age 65. Then, at 10%, you can take out $12,164/year for 20 years or better than twice the pension plan amount.<<I wouldn't count on 10%. I retired in 2000 and took a lump sum pension. I planned on a conservative 8% return. In 2000 my portfolio dropped 8%; in 2001 it dropped 8% again; in 2002 it dropped almost 20%. Good news is I'm up 32% in 2003 and 2004 looks pretty good. Better news is that I had ample reserves to weather the down market. But even my apparently conservative 8% expectation looks questionable for the balance of this decade, and I certainly wouldn't base my financial projections on earning 10%.
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