The 5 Biggest Myths About Pensions

Everyday I get a new question regarding pensions. Almost all of these stem from a fellow co-worker who’s part-time gig is armchair financial advisor. Today, my client was shocked to hear from fellow automobile design engineer/lump sum expert, that he would only receive 45% of the lump sum, because the other 55% were eaten away by taxes. My clients co-worker wasn’t even close, and worse … Continue reading The 5 Biggest Myths About Pensions

Joint and Survivor Pension Benefit or Insure Yourself?

If you are married and have a monthly pension, the recommendation is almost always to take the Joint & Survivor pension benefit option.  This means that while both you and your spouse are living, you will draw a slightly reduced pension compared to a Single Life Annuity. The benefit is that if the pensioner dies first, the spouse will still receive a benefit for his … Continue reading Joint and Survivor Pension Benefit or Insure Yourself?

Should I Take the Lump Sum or Monthly Pension?

I can offer one piece of advice on making a decision between taking a monthly pension vs. a lump sum; don’t listen to your financial advisor! There may be nobody who benefits more from you deciding to take the lump sum than your financial advisor.  And guess what, your financial advisor will almost always suggest a lump sum.  Is this because your advisor has looked … Continue reading Should I Take the Lump Sum or Monthly Pension?

How Long Does a $1 Million Retirement Savings Last in Michigan?

I grew up in Michigan and absolutely love it here.  I’ve lived in Michigan essentially my whole life outside of an eight year ski trip that I took to Colorado.  I was lucky enough to meet my wife in Colorado and after getting married, we had some decisions to make.  We knew we wanted children and we also knew we wanted to live closer to … Continue reading How Long Does a $1 Million Retirement Savings Last in Michigan?

The Lump Sum Pension Issue That You’ve Probably Never Considered

Unfortunately, I’ve seen it before.  A soon to be retiree has to make the decision to take a monthly pension or the lump sum annuity.  He decides that he likes the flexibility that the lump sum option offers and decides to forego the monthly annuity. Once he gets the lump sum, he takes a distribution to pay off the remaining balance of the mortgage.  Next, … Continue reading The Lump Sum Pension Issue That You’ve Probably Never Considered

Michigan Taxes in Retirement

I’ve got a little good and bad news for you when you reach retirement.  The good news is that there is a really good chance that your taxes will go down in retirement!  The bad news is that these taxes aren’t gone completely.  In fact, taxes in retirement can actually be more complicated.  For example, in retirement you typically don’t have to pay FICA taxes … Continue reading Michigan Taxes in Retirement