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Subject:  Re: Cash Balance Plan Q Date:  7/25/2004  12:37 AM
Author:  3muttsmom Number:  41701 of 90410

Since it appears to me that you rather firmly believe the annuity is the way for you to go, I'm certainly not going to try and change your mind. Rather, I will attempt to help you ask the questions that get you clear about what these Retirement counselors are telling you.

I would ask them at what age are they assuming the annuity payments start? I would ask them if the annuity ends when you die or continues for the life of your spouse? Is there a minimum period over which the annuity will be paid? This question is to cover the ghastly possibility that you retire and die shortly thereafter. I mean, this is 175K of your money we're talking about here, be a shame for your family to only get a few payments in that scenario, and then, poof!, it all stops.

Thanks, PosCF.

Actually, I don't firmly believe anything - that's why I'm asking here. I'm not dealing with counselors - just an online calculator on our retirement site. The numbers I put in were a 7% return on monthly deposits made by the company for the next 14 years, age 58 - yielding the $175K starting sum. Seems like the 4% return after retirement you used to result in $1175 wouldn't be impossible to get. I also asked one of the guys at work who used to set up and manage retirement plans about it and he said that he suspects the calculator is using an estimate for a fixed rate annuity and he doesn't think anyone is selling these anymore. He said with a variable rate one, the payment stream could fluctuate.

I'm trying to estimate if I can retire in 14 years. I know what my expenses with and without the house payment will be approximately, so just trying to figure out the best way to get there from here.

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