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My wife and I have about 480k in company pensions that we need to do something with? I don't want to leave with the company because if something would happen to us the money goes back to the company. We also have about 400k in 401 accounts. Because of some bad luck we need to start taking our pensions. Fidelity is telling me to get joint fixed annuities so we have an income for life. Fisher Investments is telling me not to put that much into a fixed annuity. They tell me that I should invest some and let it grow. Anyone have any thoughts on this?
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First, consider rolling the pension funds over to IRA accounts. They are individual. So you and your wife will have separate IRAs, but you can name each other as beneficiaries.

Assuming you are over age 59-1/2, most IRA custodians can arrange to make regular distributions from the account to cover your living expenses.

The real question is how should the funds be invested. Fixed annuities can be used. They do provide steady income, but usually have no inflation protection. Most would keep a portion of your assets in bonds, ideally a bond ladder, for security. TMF suggests a 5 yr ladder made up 5 yrs of living expenses. This allows you to put the rest of your funds in equities which usually grow faster overtime, but provides a 5 yr buffer against market downturns. This keeps you from being forced to sell in a market downturn.

As to equity investments a portfolio of stocks can do fine or use mutual funds or etfs while you learn. An S&P 500 Index fund or etf is the basic investment. Vanguards VFINX is a good one. Or a total market fund like VTI.

With large account balances keep Required Minimum Distributions at age 70-1/2 in mind. They force you to take distributions and pay income taxes on the IRA and 401 accounts. Working down your balances early on in low income tax years can be cost effective. If you don't need the funds, partial Roth conversion using up your lower income tax brackets is a reasonable approach.

Its tough to cover all this in one posting. Sounds like you have much to learn. But make a beginning and ask away when you are ready for more.
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Thanks for the info
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