Beware of pension advance services

It's a tempting offer: Why get your pension a little bit at a time, spread out over many years, when you can get a lump sum payment right now to pay your bills or take that dream vacation?

Of course, in order to get tomorrow's money today you have to sign over your future pension payments for a specified number of years to the pension advance company - and take a big discount.

"It's a very expensive way to get money now for an income stream that's stable and goes on for years," said Doug Shadel with AARP's Fraud Watch Network.

There are dozens of companies advertising their pension advance services on the web.

"It can be done. It's possible to get a lump sun amount for future income streams, but it's often very expensive, " shadel cautioned. "A lot of times, these financial planners will try and move that money immediately into some kind of an annuity, where you're very limited in what you can do with it."

In that situation, they get a big fat commission and you lose even more money.

More Info: Watch out for 'pension predators' promising quick cash