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or should you grab all of your pension money up front and manage the funds yourself?

This option shouldn't even be offered! How many fools would take the money and run and maybe 2 years down the road have nothing??

DW works in HR. She has dealt with people who are given a "bonus" to retire. They want to know if they can get the full amount and deal with the taxes later. She tells them Uncle Sam gets his fair share first. That's just one example.

Can you imagine if somebody was given several hundred thousand dollars to invest on their own?? That would be like winning the lottery! "I see a trip to Hawaii, a cruise and a new house in my future. I worked hard for this!" And don't forget about the relatives showing up with their hands out.

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