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What would you do?
Old 07-04-2020, 08:28 AM
  #1

I planned to teach one more year before retiring. I turned 65 in May. I am eligible for full retirement from our state teacher retirement, but I need to work one more year to get full retirement from SS. (Our state does both) If I teach one more year, I will be able to retire making $400 a month more than if I retire now, between our retirement and SS. I also have signed a contract as a second year mentor for a new teacher.
On the other hand, if I retire now, I don't have to deal with Covid19. Plus I'm not sure how long it will take for my tibia fracture to fully recover.
I still love teaching, and would miss it a lot. I teach for a wonderful district in a new building. I love my team and I love teaching first grade.

What would you do?



Last edited by linda2671; 07-04-2020 at 09:05 AM..
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Old 07-04-2020, 08:33 AM
  #2

I donít think anyone can predict the course of COVID-19. I think $400 a month is significant. Iiwy, Iíd teach another year.
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Old 07-04-2020, 08:36 AM
  #3

Yes, tough one! $400 more a month is a nice little amount more! But yeah with thie COVID, I wouldn't want to be out there to do ANY job PLUS you'll be taking more responsibility mentoring a new teacher.

Can you be a remote teacher for this next year? If so, I'd do it.

Otheriwse, I'd really have to pray about it if it were me. I truly worry how schools are going to do things from now on. I honestly think everyone staying at home doing remote learning is the best. There are TONS of concerns...way too many to list here, from before the day even starts to the end of the day and the younger the kids are, the harder it is to keep up with doing all the precautions. For example, starting with... when kids get on the school bus, you can't do 6 ft social distancing on there unless there are just maybe 3-4 kids on each bus.

I've read about the staggering of lunches/recesses, but whatever solutions there are will make for a much harder, grueling day than ever before. Kids, especially the little little ones in pre-school to 3rd especially aren't going to remember to wash their hands all the time, keep their fingers out of mouths, keep masks on all day, and wear them properly. The masks will fall on the ground, etc. and this and that. Just a whole lot of worries. I can picture all the extra hassles teachers will have to go through all day to keep everyone as well as themselves safe.
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Maybe not yet
Old 07-04-2020, 08:37 AM
  #4

I taught for several years after retirement age because I just didn't feel done yet. They were good years, except for the very end when I had conflicts with a colleague. But even that wasn't bad because I knew I could resign at any time. After all, what could they do to me?

It doesn't sound as if you are done. You didn't talk about anything you were looking forward to doing during your retirement. If your tibia isn't yet healed, you can start the year on FMLA. But it's only the 4th of July and you've already been off your leg a couple weeks. I think you'll be up and walking by the time school starts.
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Old 07-04-2020, 08:40 AM
  #5

That's $4800 a year. I'd probably go the one more year. Knowing it is your last year I think will make it more tolerable, despite all the unusual new requirements and stuff.

That is definitely a tough decision.

I don't understand this sentence:
Quote:
On the other hand, if I retire now, I have to deal with Covid19.
It will exist whether you retire or not.


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Old 07-04-2020, 08:51 AM
  #6

Iím not sure how your doctor plans to fix your tibia fracture, but a quick google search says 3-6 months for full recovery. This may work to your advantage in terms of being on medical leave yet still employed.

Get the information about your tibia recovery first. Then investigate your retirement options. $400 more a month is a big deal, but at what cost to your health?

I taught most of last year with a displaced patella, torn quadriceps tendon and misaligned knee replacement components. Every day was painful...walking, sitting, standing, being a teacher using a cane. I had no other choice, but to work.
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Doctor's input...
Old 07-04-2020, 08:54 AM
  #7

I would factor input from my doctor(s) in the decision given your age and past medical history.

That being said, you still love teaching and the extra money, particularly long-term is attractive. Will you have to take social security to make it financially if you retire now? My full SS age is 66, and I will reach that next week. I retired at 64, but did not take social security at that time, only my pension because the difference in SS money by waiting till my full age as you mentioned, was significant. The difference in my state pension was not significant, so I was fine with retiring when I did.

As for healing, it took me two months for my tibial fracture to heal. I had full mobility during that time and it never recurred. You said your break was small, so I bet by the time school starts, it will either be healed or you will be well on your way.

Covid-19 is the wild card, but no one knows what is going on there. If you feel your school is taking proper precautions for a re-opening and/or you can live with distance learning if need be, my feeling would probably be to hold out for one more year.
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Oops! I fixed this sentence.
Old 07-04-2020, 09:08 AM
  #8

I guess I was not listening to my own thoughts.
Quote:
On the other hand, if I retire now, I have to deal with Covid19.
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Old 07-04-2020, 09:18 AM
  #9

I agree with the poster who suggested seeing if you can teach remotely.
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Old 07-04-2020, 09:18 AM
  #10

Can you retire now with your pension and wait a year to start collecting SS? Maybe that would work?


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I have mentioned to my principal that I would
Old 07-04-2020, 09:24 AM
  #11

like to teach remotely. That was before I broke my tibia. I haven't told them about that yet. I sort of have the "School klutz" reputation, with good reason, but I was hoping to heal before school starts, and not tell anyone.

I've thought about retiring and getting a job at the city library and waiting a year to collect SS. That would also reduce benefits though because I wouldn't make as much at the library as I would teaching. But I would still be exposed to people with covid, so that would kind of defeat my purpose. (The library is hiring right now.)
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If you have a good district
Old 07-04-2020, 09:24 AM
  #12

I would communicate with them about your injury and ask if you can teach from home to allow your healing to take place. You would be able to sit more and stand less which would be great. If they ask if has to do with Covid 19 I would admit it is a factor but not the biggest issue.

If you could get your doctor to write something in favor of you online teaching versus classroom teaching it would be helpful.

The issue would be that you might not be teaching first grade. I can imagine a situation where you might be teaching students of different grade levels who are immune compromised. They will have a need to stay home and away from Covid 19.

I think it is worth a try. You have a temporary disability and they need to work with you to accommodate that need. With all your years of excellent service I think they will work with you to meet your needs. If you are flexible about what grade level you teach you could get one more year of teaching in and do it from home.

That is just what I am thinking and how I would play it if I were you. Good luck whatever you decide.
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ss
Old 07-04-2020, 09:28 AM
  #13

Like the PPs I suggest checking into online teaching for the coming year. You are lucky that your state allows both a pension and Social Security. I'd try to take advantage of it as the difference in SS payments appears to be substantial.
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Old 07-04-2020, 09:35 AM
  #14

A medical leave, even if it's only for a month or two at the beginning of the year? That would cut down your exposure and having to deal with COVID in the classroom. I think it's likely we will go back to online teaching in the winter anyway.

I have a friend who took a medical leave for the last 6 months of teaching before retiring. She had a valid reason for taking the leave and it sounds like you do too.

I could not afford to give up $400 a month!
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Thank you for your help
Old 07-04-2020, 09:35 AM
  #15

Just to clear it up. The $400 difference is not all SS. What I would get from teacher retirement goes up each year as well.
I'm leaning more towards going back one more year. I really don't want to retire right now. I just worry about a lot of issues right now.
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Old 07-04-2020, 09:58 AM
  #16

If you have not check out your options with a CPA, you may want to do that before deciding. Everyone's situation is different. What is working for one may not work for you. If your state pension would allow you to get by until you sign up for SS you might want to go that route. You could explore other options. In NC they have a rule that you cannot even enter a school to sub or volunteer for 6 months. Weird!

A CPA could be an invaluable resource.
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Very understandable!
Old 07-04-2020, 09:58 AM
  #17

Quote:
I'm leaning more towards going back one more year. I really don't want to retire right now. I just worry about a lot of issues right now.
It's not an easy decision to make. Part of me wants to teach one more year because last year felt incomplete. That may be what you are feeling as well.
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Old 07-04-2020, 11:05 AM
  #18

I would teach one more year. You are in a good district which is a plus and it sounds like you really want another year with the kiddos. The bottom line is....you will know when you are ready. And like a pp mentioned, $4800 more each year is significant. Please let us know what you decide to do.
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working next year
Old 07-04-2020, 11:09 AM
  #19

Would you consider working for the state in another capacity? You wouldn't have to be in a classroom.
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Old 07-04-2020, 11:11 AM
  #20

When do you have to decide? Is your husband's retirement sufficient? What does a financial planner say about your retirement ability right now? What does losing $4800/year mean in real terms? Is your district likely to listen to wise guidance from health experts rather than view teachers as essential babysitters? Will vulnerable staff be given the option to participate in distanced work? What are your personal real and perceived risks in the classroom?

Those are all the questions I'd be asking if retirement was on the table right now.
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Old 07-04-2020, 11:23 AM
  #21

I think the "going out unfinished post" resonated most with me. I left teaching before I expected to because I couldn't keep up with the needs of DH's and my elderly parents. Despite knowing that I made the best choice, I've always felt sort of unfinished with teaching. A big part of me is so happy not to be dealing with the COVID stuff while teaching, but another part of me feels left out of the loop.

I actually have a part time job at the county library to keep earning credits towards social security and state retirement, so that is definitely an option. I originally worked half time, but now choose to sub there only because staying on a schedule wasn't working with my other commitments. (I am not taking any retirement income yet and won't until I'm 65, so my goal now is to just make what my pension will be when I start taking it. That's not happening during COVID!)

As someone else suggested, can you take your teaching retirement but wait to take social security? How about the possibility of teaching part time your last year?

My guess is that in your situation I would go ahead and retire.
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Old 07-04-2020, 12:05 PM
  #22

I did retire at 59. The decision was made after getting advice from 2 financial planners, a tax accountant, and the HR department. Even though all the advice was that it was very doable as I was signing the papers, my hand shook and my eyes teared up. Now I wonder what I was so worried about.

This is just my opinion, but with CoVid still popping up, who knows where next, retirement is not a bad option if you can swing it. Other opportunities will come along. I have a feeling that you are in a position that there is a network of people you know who can help you discover those opportunities.
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I would say
Old 07-04-2020, 02:24 PM
  #23

if you're not absolutely ready to retire, then don't. I questioned whether to retire or not for a few years before I did in 2019. I was 66 and I knew all that year I was ready to go! People always said you'll know when it's time to go and it's true!
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Old 07-04-2020, 02:58 PM
  #24

How many sick days do you have saved? Could you use those to get through the 1st weeks / months of the year to give your leg longer to heal? If your leg isn't totally healed, could you use a wheelchair for part of the day. With the distancing needed between students you have likely have more space to maneuver around the room to get to students.

I use a wheelchair at work (though I'm SLP) so don't have to do whole class teaching, and some rooms are a little cramped to get around in, but it has been doable.
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Old 07-04-2020, 04:12 PM
  #25

Iíve been thinking of you all day and have more to say.

Iím going to leave COVID out of the equation because we just donít know.
Quote:
Originally Posted by freckleface
People always said you'll know when it's time to go and it's true!
First, I wholeheartedly agree with freckleface. I loved teaching and retired because I thought I was ready for the next step in lifeís journey. Please donít retire if you want to keep teaching.

Second, your health. If there were no COVID, would you retire earlier than planned?

Third, and most important to me, money. I love retirement because I am reasonably set financially. I donít worry about money. I donít have another job (when I retired I wanted to be done working). I can be generous to others. If working 1 more year would have made a long-term financial impact, I would have worked 1 more year. Please carefully consider your finances because you donít get a second shot.

Finally, think about the kind of decisions that can be changed. You CAN start teaching then retire if youíre unhappy, but you CANíT retire then go back to your job.

I wish you good luck.
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Old 07-05-2020, 03:03 PM
  #26

If you were miserable in your job I would say the $400/month isnít worth it. However, since you still love teaching, your team, your district, and your grade level- I would say to do another year, because $400/month isnít anything to sneeze at.
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