Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,759
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

I will be retiring this moonth. I have the opportunity to make my two grown sons my beneficiaries so that they would each get $ every month in the event of my death for the rest of their lives from my pension. They are in their early thirties.  One is married and expecting his first child.  They both are doing well at this time but I'm sure some help down the road won't hurt. My question is this:  I can do this with them or DH. DH has his own pension and really does not need mine. DH won't live as lon as DS's(expectedly) I will get less money for myself to live on but this is not the problem. Should I aim for more $ while I'm alive so I can help out when needed and then they onlly get life insurance $ or set it up so they can get money for the rest of their lves? Of course we don't know when we will die. Would like opinions. Please don't bash - I come here in hopes of getting wisdom and advice from those hopefully wiser than myself and maybe "been through it" or just have a different perspective on things.TIA

"Kindness is like snow ~It beautifies everything it covers"
-Kahlil Gibran
Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,764
Registered: ‎05-05-2010

Re: Pension Beneficiaries...?

Personally, I would seek advice from a trusted professional.  There are so many variables that the average person might not even think to consider. 


That said, I'm thinking (and I am by no means any kind of professional in this regard) it would be better for you to take as much as you can up front.  The pension is money that YOU worked for that YOU are entitled to enjoy however you see fit.  If you have taught your children to be responsible and have good money skills they will have the rest of their lives to plan for their own future.  By the time they're in their 30s, your job is done.  The rest of your life is for YOU.  Woman Very Happy

Posts: 1
Registered: ‎06-17-2015

Re: Pension Beneficiaries...?

Advice:  Receive the max payout, and have no beneficiaries.


I retired early in May, and awaiting first SS check this July, but will not collect pension for a few more years.   I will not have any beneficiaries to my pension since a sensible financial advisor mentioned that "All you will be worried about in the future is how much money you will be receiving ea. month" .... (meaning get the most you can due to our weak economy).   As with most children, their salaries will be more than parents ever made, and in your WILL you can leave anything you desire to kids & grandkids.  Also, you can "gift" them $14,000 yearly tax free as per IRS.  Best wishes to you!


Honored Contributor
Posts: 19,626
Registered: ‎08-08-2010

Re: Pension Beneficiaries...?

Vabelle's advice is good. 


I have seen many retirees in my family live another 30 or more years after retirement. And while the retirement seems good the first 15 years or so, the money wasn't keeping pace with increased medical costs incurred, or with the increased cost of living in general, in the later years.

Many think that they have more than enough at the beginning of retirement, but as those years go on, and the health goes down, things can change, and not for the better.


My personal opinion would be to max out what you get, and set aside what you don't need to leave them for later, or help them out when they might need it while you are still living and choosing when and how to help. 


I'd not worry too much about their long term future at this point in your life, as that has now become their responsibility. Anything you can leave them is great, but don't short yourself now to do so, or even worse, cut things too closely by taking a cut now, that may make you a financial burden on them later, when they are trying to raise their own families.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 17,107
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Pension Beneficiaries...?

Assuming you have a retirement counselor please discuss your options with him/her and consider their advice.  Make your decision based on what is best for you and your family.  You might also want to discuss this with a financial planner or your CPA. 


I am retired and chose "partial retirement" based on my family situation at that time.  In retrospect I would choose "full retirement."  I also chose to collect Social Security starting at 62, and I'm fine with that decision. 


Best wishes on your upcoming retirement.  Smiley LOL  You'll love it ... Enjoy.   

"Today is full of possibilities not yet achieved." ~The Silver Fox~
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,665
Registered: ‎03-28-2015

Re: Pension Beneficiaries...?

[ Edited ]

 I agree with Mominohio....


I am due to start receiving my pension checks in 3 months. I would take full retirement. You can always invest some of it for the future or your children in a way you will be able to choose.


There is no guarantee any pension fund won't run out of money sometime in the future...

Valued Contributor
Posts: 767
Registered: ‎07-12-2010

Re: Pension Beneficiaries...?

[ Edited ]

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Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,987
Registered: ‎05-22-2014

Re: Pension Beneficiaries...?

[ Edited ]
Hi Starpolisher and other posters! Such great advice given here. As a retired couple, our goal is to remain financially independent for the rest of our lives. Hope it happens that way, as we don't ever want to be a burden to our children.

That said, you can always give to your children now "with a warm hand." We have two little darling grandchildren now and appreciate we can help out with buying them clothes, taking them on day trips that aren't cheap, etc.

I give you credit for asking for advice. More people should do that! All my best.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,112
Registered: ‎12-08-2014

Re: Pension Beneficiaries...?

I can only speak for myself on this issue.  It might not be what you want to hear but that doesn't make it bashing.  The way I look at it is that if I retire at 66, I can reasonably expect to live another 25, perhaps 30 years.  Hubby and I have always worked hard, saved and prepared for retirement.  Elders today don't just live longer, they live healthier and active lives.  Our goal is to live well and to have the money to do the things we want to do.    So, taking a reduced benefit for any reason at all is simply not an option.  In particular, we would never in million years reduce our retirement income so that our adult children could collect something.  We aren't wealthy people, no one knows what the future will bring, so that would be a foolhardy thing to do.  We took care of our two adult children by paying their college tuition so they could go into well paying careers.  Which they both did.  One daughter is married and we paid a subtantial part of the wedding costs.  We put the same amount aside for our other daughter.  She's free to have it for a wedding someday or she can have it for the downpayment on a house or condo.  That's it!  They are on their own.  They have what it takes to build their lives.  We did well by them.  Now it's time for Mum and Dad to look out for each other.  What's ours.   

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,294
Registered: ‎03-11-2010

Re: Pension Beneficiaries...?

I'm reading this thread with interest because this decision is coming up for me next year.


I plan on taking the most I can take up front.  But I do have to decide whether to make my DH, who's 3 years older, a beneficiary or not.  Truly, he doesn't need the money.  We will have my pension and income from investments through his business to fund retirement.  Will see what to do when the time gets closer.


I'd say, do not name your sons as beneficiaries.  Your monthly pension will take a bigger cut due to them being so young - they'll be projected to live much, much longer than you which puts a major dent in what you recieve each month.  And it's been mentioned that you don't know how secure your pension fund will be going forward.


As others already said, you can gift them money, put $ into a fund similar to a 529 for your grand kids' college expenses, or whatever need you feel they may have in the future.