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When should I take my pension?

#1
Been a lurker here for a while and appreciate the valuable info and discussions that occur, very educational.  I'd appreciate some thoughts/input on the following...
 
I have a pension from a previous employer that I am now eligible to take (eligible at 50 years old).  I'm currently employed and do not need the money.  The plan is well funded and appears to be stable.  Below is the breakdown of what the monthly payout would be based on the age I take it.  For example, if I take it at 54 I'll receive $606 per month.  In the event of my death my spouse will continue to receive the pension at the same amount.  I've run through some numbers based on taking the pension early and saving/investing the cash versus waiting for the monthly payout to go up.  Would greatly appreciate any input and additional things to consider from those with more experience with this.  As an aside I'm targeting 62 for retirement.  Thanks much.
 

   
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#2
I'll give you my practical answer -- first question -- do you need the money-- need means -- you can't pay real bills created by survival not you want a new cell phone every week -- if not -- next, think of your current investments-- do any of them guarantee you a 6-8 percent return that will be coming in monthly for the rest of your life (survival monthly money not needed to come from your investment portfolio) esp during bad times -- I consider this matter the most important -- have you developed an income stream plan -- meaning the stock market while good a place is not a place to put all your chicks -- develop an income stream plan, money coming to you each month -- think of your pension as a G and I part of your portfolio and part of your income stream -- Is your families heath is good and if you don't need the money, your in doors with heat and light -- you take vacations -- and you've answered your own question -- When you take it might be a matter you take up with your accountant for tax ramification-- My last parting shot is -- what would you do with it, if you took it now -- the average American would say, I'd invest it !! but that enthusiasm only lasts a split second and then life takes over -- many answers to a complex issue but only you can answer it because its your life style that will determine it - this was my planning process and as simple as it sounds it worked for my lifestyle good luck
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#3
I’m in a similar situation. I have a pension that I can begin to access in two years. I also plan to retire early. I built a detailed financial model that looks at all sources of income (part time work, dividends from taxable account, retirement accounts, rental income, and pension). The model covers the next 30 years and includes all income and expenses.

Bottom line: taxes and health care play a big role in the decision of when and how to take the pension. I don’t think you can answer the question of when and how (my plan allows for many different ways to take the pension) until you do a detailed analysis that considers taxes and health care And all the other sources of income you may have.
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