My niece, who recently lost her husband to cancer, is being advised to consider selling some of her assets of various types and funding an annuity for her retirement (she's 64). She's asked for my advice. Having been there, done that at age 56, I'll put in my two cents worth in which may be worth what you paid for it. I got all kinds of advice(often conflicting). I would suggest she start with any company her husband worked for prior to his death for any life insurance, pension and/or health insurance benefits. She will also need to see what's in any 401ks or IRAs. It can take months for all the medical bills to settle and the end of life ones are the ones in my experience that were least likely to be correct so she should carefully review them all(even though there's likely to be a desire to just get them wrapped up). She will need to take care of her own health insurance until she qualifies for Medicare(in my case, the company paid for six months and the cost to continue coverage was about the same as street price so I kept it).Then she should contact social security to get an estimate of any benefits. and to go ahead and get the $255 death benefit. I dealt with SSA both in preparation for long term disability and for the death benefit. (At 60, I will get an estimate of benefits at that and then various ages for collecting on his or my record). I found them both helpful and easy to deal with(and I had to do things multiple times due to changing circumstances).I don't know who is doing the advising or to what assets they may be referring but I did pay for a review and financial plan. I also chose to pay to have some of my assets managed. (There's a thread about it up there somewhere- about 18 months - 2 years back.)I'm not a fan of single topic discussions. It's entirely possible that an annuity might be a good choice. Without other information, there's no way to tell - things like do they have children & what ages, what does she want to do in terms of will and estate plan(if philanthropy is involved, it puts annuities in a different light).
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