Lump sum vs. monthly payments depends on many factors. On a purely financial basis, do you feel confident you can invest the lump sum to provide equal or greater income over the long term? What pension benefit would your spouse receive if you die in a couple years compared to what she would have if you invested the lump sum? Having the lump sum is also nice if you are hoping to leave something to the grandchildren. Another big consideration these days, how confident are you that your employer will be able to pay the pension long term? Many company pensions are terribly underfunded and in some cases you could see sharply lower monthly payments if the company goes bankrupt. Do not even consider a lump sum unless you are willing to roll it into an IRA. Otherwise the taxes will kill you.As to liability, that's a big issue and I would advise discussing it with an attorney. Depending on state law a rollover IRA might be protected. Regardless I strongly advise carrying at least $1 million umbrella insurance policy. It just makes sense in this litigious age.Bill
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