Like everything else, do the homework for your particular situation and see what works. We will have paid an amount by the time my husband reaches 70 (18 years after retiring with 20 active years) that is much less than what we would have been able to buy a whole life policy/annuity for. Not everyone is in perfect health when he or she retires, nor are they automatically service connected and going to be able to claim c&p. It is what it is. I've also seen a lot of people who lack the self-discipline to keep those payments up and loose everything they put into an annuity or life insurance policy and then what does the spouse have? As a kid in who joined in 1984, I was always told "never pick anything but option C." That is what I picked ironically enough but my husband did not - no complaints.