If retirement is five years or less away and you're eligible for a qualified retirement plan benefit, you should start evaluating which payout option might be best for you. While this decision doesn't become critical until retirement is staring you in the face, projecting which payout looks best can help you make necessary adjustments today. Should you save more for retirement or cut back on expenses? Will it be necessary for you to purchase additional life insurance? There are many small decisions along the way before making the big decision: Should you take an annuity payout or a lump-sum distribution?
IMPORTANT NOTE: You need to evaluate your alternatives. Understand that there is no single "right" answer. The optimal strategy is unique to each person because each of us has unique resources, circumstances, and goals.