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...all of these questions were brushed off, usually with a comment that everybody else that
retired from our company uses this investment firm, so they must be good.

I've asked several retired friends the converse question: why don't they want to direct their own funds instead of spending a fee for a company to give you back your money in installments. The answers have always been along the lines of "I like getting the same amount of $ every month" (until the fee structure resets next year in many cases) or "it's easier to have a company manage my money" and the like. These are generally very intelligent people otherwise so I chalk it up to lack of familiarity and education in money matters and a bit of laziness, too.

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