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Should I take a lump-sum payout or monthly payments?

Sorry to do this to you, but the best answer is: It depends.

Steady payments: Most people choose a monthly payout, also known as a "life annuity." Having that steady income can make for less stress than taking a big lump sum, especially if you aren't an experienced investor.

Lump sum: If you take a lump sum, you must assume responsibility for how the money is invested and how much you can afford to spend each month. One danger with a lump sum is that you may be tempted to spend too much today, leaving you short of money down the line. By choosing a steady monthly payout, you'll avoid the temptation to run through your pension stash.

But there are other factors to consider, too. For more see What are the advantages of taking a lump sum?

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