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Why retire "early?"
Old 04-04-2017, 08:54 AM
 
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This has bothered me for a long time. I want to ask, but I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. I love this board.

I understand retiring early if one can afford it. I don't understand retiring early and then continuing to work because you need the money. I get some people work because they miss teaching, but it seems to me if you need the money, it would be better to have just kept your original job.

What am I not understanding?


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Old 04-04-2017, 09:08 AM
 
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I think people retire "early" for many reasons.

I retired at 62 because I could afford it...IF my dh continued to work (which he is willing to do). I had been teaching for 39 years. According to NH retirement system, I was of retirement age...but I am not eligible for Medicare for another year and a few months...and not at full SS age for a year after that. We will be better off after full retirement age, but we are managing reasonably well now. I do sub occasionally and I have a part time job at a local museum...because I really love teaching, and I like working on my own terms. It keeps me from getting bored.

I know some members have retired early due to health issues--their own, or another family member.

I am sure there are some who want to work at something completely different from teaching.

It will be interesting to see other responses.
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Old 04-04-2017, 09:25 AM
 
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I understand Amiga13's question. I think we all fully understand the issue to retire for whatever reason IF you have the financial resources. To retire from teaching and then to HAVE continue in a different paid position (inside or outside of teaching) seems strange.

If I HATED my job, but still needed the extra $ I think I would figure out a way to make the job palatable. If I couldn't figure it out and it was TRULY affecting my health, maybe I would retire.

If I didn't hate my job, still needed a good income, etc I would KEEP on working until things were paid off and I was in good financial standing.

I get it if someone retires and just wants to work for whatever reason. It is the HAVE to work that makes you scratch your head. Sometimes life doesn't work out the way you planned (divorce or early spousal death) and that is another reason for going back to work because you HAVE to.

I know someone who retired at 50 because she figured out a way to do it (or so she thought) but soon found out that she had to live like a miser.
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Early retirement
Old 04-04-2017, 11:29 AM
 
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I think the previous posters had some great reasons.

I think I fall into the "early" category. I am 59. However, I was fully vested, reached the maximum amount with my state retirement and did not anticipate teachers getting any raises in the next years to significantly effect it.

Last year, I was making less than $100 more each month take home than what I am receiving in retirement. Take into account that I no longer have many expenses that I had while working, and I figure I am actually getting MORE each month (gas, lunches - even bringing left overs accrued a certain amount of expense at times as in plastic forks, etc., clothes, association dues, etc).

My husband has a cousin who retired at 50 from teaching, figuring he had what was needed. He is in a similar boat as connieg's acquaintance - money is tighter than he'd like, and they've had to drop some of the activities he and his wife wanted to do - travel, for instance. His wife is younger by 6 years, and is finding herself having to teach far longer than they originally planned because of finances.
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Old 04-04-2017, 11:43 AM
 
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I think some people have a lower tolerance for unhappiness and stress than others or perhaps than most people in the past.

My dad worked at a job he really didn't like for many, many years. It paid well and took care of our family. He was a child of the Depression and I don't think it ever truly occurred to him that as a husband and father he could just walk away from the responsibility of supporting his family and providing for himself and my mother (she worked too) in their old age. We all knew, however, that he hated his job! He made that pretty clear.

Whether it's true or not, many have convinced themselves that life and work is much more stressful than at any other time in history. Anxiety and depression are certainly two of the most popular diagnoses of our time. Teaching has certainly changed. Our schools are a microcosm of our society.

On this site, people are always encouraging people to quit their job if their health is suffering. They're often talking about emotional and mental problems affecting their life. They don't seem to have the ability as most people in the past did to make the job palatable or suffer through for the financial good of themselves and the family. I sometimes think we're not very strong people anymore. Lord knows our ancestors survived hardships that should shame us.

Teachers retire early because they're tired and unhappy with their job situation and all that includes. They either believe they can survive financially or can survive by doing part-time what they hate full-time or will find other work. It's quite optimistic really. Some of those teachers do have good plans for money and retirement. But many teachers aren't savvy about finances and discover too late how fast the money is running out.


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My reasons
Old 04-04-2017, 12:41 PM
 
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1. Exhaustion
2. Awesome retirement package
3. Grandkids
4. Exhaustion
5. Still love teaching, but just couldn't do the rest of it.

Seriously, I could not do it anymore. The meetings, increasing demands, testing, testing, parents, exhaustion..... Loved the actual classroom teaching. Loved most of my students. And, I was slowly losing my mind. I can work when I want and visit grandkids when I want. I am lucky that I don't have to work full-time. But I work enough that I can pay my bills and have a little money left over. I have one more year in me after this. Then hubby will get social security, which will be about the same as my subbing money (actually a little more). He's a farmer, and can continue working part time on the farm without losing his social security. Oh and that's another reason to continue working. He is home ALL the time.
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Old 04-04-2017, 01:14 PM
 
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mrsd, I'm confused. You say you have an
Quote:
awesome retirement package
but didn't you post
Quote:
I'm losing $1000 a month in retirement money after my May check, as I took one of my teeny retirement checks in a two year package. It will go down to about $12 a month.
Please help me understand. Is there another part that makes it awesome?

You also talk about Social Security. I don't get it at all (even though I've worked into the system), but DH retired young and took his SS at first chance. We knew he could have waited and earned a little more, but we decided this option worked well. And it has. But it's not much income--it wasn't his retirement, just supplemental. Is SS enough to live on for you?

I hope this isn't too nosy. I just want to understand.
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I retired early
Old 04-04-2017, 01:41 PM
 
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At the time thought I could afford it.

Shortly afterward my 25 year marriage unexpectedly exploded & I no longer had a well paid spouse.

Tried to go back to my school but my district has an 18 month no rehire clause.

I managed to supplement my pension with tutoring & odd jobs but this is definitely not the retirement I had planned on.
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Retired at 59 Years Old...
Old 04-04-2017, 02:09 PM
 
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I had not planned to retired at 59 years old...32 years as a teacher. I had planned to work three more years.

Then Act 10 happened.

Of course, my district decided to change what had been promised to me (health insurance, life insurance, dental insurance, etc. upon retirement) since my second year of teaching. I had worked all those years, and it was going to be taken away from me and/or changed to less years if I did not retire the June after Act 10.

I really didn't have a choice.

I love retirement, but still work part time as an interventionist. I don't need the money and my retirement is just a little less than when I was working full time, but I love the job and people with whom I work.
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Early Retirement?
Old 04-04-2017, 02:16 PM
 
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I retired at 61 with 37 years of service credit. I wanted to go to 62. However, even though I had a great last year, I was tired. As it turned out, I was diagnosed with breast cancer within a year of being retired. Fortunately, the district paid my health insurance for five years or until Medicare as part of my retirement package, so I had no big insurance bills. The difference in my pension wouldn't have been very much, and I am glad I retired when I did. As for finances, I have always been careful and don't need to work.

Retirement is great, but only if you have put in the time and saved enough money, in my opinion. I have now been cancer free for three and a half years.


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Being Sure of Finances Is So Important
Old 04-04-2017, 03:42 PM
 
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In some states there is no spousal SS after death benefit due to the double dipping law that applies in some states. One needs to be sure his/her pension, savings, and investments are enough to live on should your spouse die first if you live in one of these states. Other than gasoline for commuting and classroom supplies, our living expenses are about the same in retirement. Additional money will be needed for a supplemental medical policy at 65. Subbing at a fraction of your daily rate once taxes are taken out would amount to a very little amount compared to a salary. Hope teachers do their homework and think it all through carefully when they retire early.
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Old 04-04-2017, 06:36 PM
 
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I ended up with $12,000 in a bonus package for early retirement. Part of that went in to my new kitchen. The rest is in our retirement account. I received two different retirements from the state. One was for TRS for teaching. The other for my years as an aide (IMRF). That one was only $192 a month. I also had the option of taking most of it over 2 years, so I'm getting $1100 a month until I turn 62 (this summer). Then I will get a pittance of $12 a month.

Social Security won't be enough for us to live on. As a farmer, he will be able to earn a certain amount and still collect his full SS. We only own 40 acres with the buildings and two houses. He rents the other 250 or so acres. He can drop some acres and reduce his income. Luckily, we don't have a mortgage, although taxes on the 40 acres with two homes costs about the same as a mortgage each year.

The farm IS our retirement plan. With no sons coming back, we will be able to sell and use the money to help support us as we get older.
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Old 04-04-2017, 06:54 PM
 
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Thanks, mrsd! I love hearing how retirement works for all of us. In California we have STRS--I wonder if that's the same as your TRS.
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Old 04-04-2017, 07:32 PM
 
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Thank you all for this lively conversation. I would love to retire, but really really need to hang in there a few more years because I got a late start in my teaching career. On the really tough days I can almost convince myself that I can make ends meet if I decide to retire now, but it would be tough. So I'm left to balance present discontentment with future security---and I'm taking it a year at a time!
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Old 04-04-2017, 09:25 PM
 
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I am retiring at 55. I definitely want to keep working and will look for something part time or sub. If I loved my job I would stay, but at this point I barely tolerate it for many reasons. I want less stress. Ialso need to be more available to elderly family.. The kids I teach deserve more. Dh and I worked all the numbers and we will be fine. I WANT more money but I don't need it. There's not enough benefit for me to stay. If I had to ssupport my family I would change schools and hope for a better situation, but since I don't I'm able to seek a better situation this way. Why would I stay where I am unhappy if I don't have to? Why would anyone else even care if I decide to retire and then work on my own whim? I don't see how doing what is best for you makes you somehow lacking. My dh and I made a careful decision about what was best for our family. Not staying until I'm 65 doesn't make me less, it's simply a decision we made based on our own circumstances.

Last edited by MKat; 04-05-2017 at 12:25 PM..
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Old 04-05-2017, 05:00 AM
 
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Cassyree's comments were very well stated. We all grew up with and lived the myth that teachers were supposed to love their jobs. "Isn't it fun to work with those sweet kids? Hard to believe you actually get paid to have this much fun." What other profession is described like this? Yet, we worked under this myth that teaching was supposed to be so emotionally fulfilling and satisfying.

We then wonder why we get so burned out and disillusioned. Many of us struggled in our later years as the young ones dismissed our practices that worked and principals and superintendents that only saw us as more expensive than then new teachers.

Like Cassyree said, maybe mixed with all of that we just don't have what it takes to support ourselves and our families like in previous generations. Of course, those of us in our 60's and beyond were ourselves raised in rather old school environments and many of our mothers didn't work outside the home. I was the first teacher in my building to work after I "showed" with my first child. I was the first baby shower in the building. Yikes!

I agree with Cassyree that when asked for advice by those considering retirement that we be very honest about the financial realities. I have two friends who made huge financial retirement mistakes because they didn't have all the information. I would never suggest that someone retire and then "hope" to get a job that makes up for any financial deficits that could have been predicted.
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Old 04-05-2017, 06:37 AM
 
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I love this thread.

I also love what cassyree said because I think much of America has forgotten what work means. I think, for as much flak as CCSS has taken, the emphasis on grit and perseverance are much-needed in our society today. I don't believe work is necessarily fun. (Personally, accomplishment is fun, so I can like most work.) Maybe we need to get a bit tougher. (I'm not talking about people who retire young with full benefits. Young is different than early.) Maybe we all need to consider full-retirement benefits and stick it out.

That's what I was really thinking originally. When teaching near the end of one's career, one is generally at the top of the salary scale. Why give that up to sub or for a lesser paying job? Maybe it would be better to stick it out, persevere, grit your teeth and struggle, knowing there will be a payout of a non-working retirement.

I never thought much about retirement. DH worked in a mid-level job with a good retirement plan and I thought that was good enough. I worked for 9 years then became a SAHM for 11 years. During that time we did a huge remodel and I pulled my retirement of $16,000. Probably not smart, but that house sold for a lot so it was a pretty good investment. When I went back to work, my salary paid for colleges and weddings. I worked 3 years in a private school and will never see the SS from that job. Somewhere along the way, when I was back in public school, DH suggested I buy back my first 9 years. That $16,000 cost us $74,000 to get back, but it was also a good investment. I retired at 65 with 27 years. I hope I never need to work again. For now, we're fine living on DH's little SS and my pension. His lump sum retirement is invested. It worked out well for us. We're lucky. We both worked hard. I believe in hard work.
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Old 04-05-2017, 07:12 AM
 
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I pulled my retirement out of a state system twice when we moved out of state without investing it. I recall we bought a car. Foolish, foolish. When you are younger, you think you are never going to move again and I always worried that there would be no SS or STRS when I retired. It cost me lots of $$ to buy back those years and I'm just about even now with this decision.

Retirement can be a long time period.
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Old 04-05-2017, 08:12 AM
 
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I have never shied away from hard work as a special Ed teacher which has led to my borderline burnout! I know I need to work at least three more years to be comfortable in retirement and I most likely will.

The nagging feeling I have now is now is the true realization that life is short. Like most of us I have experienced many loses the past few years--parents, sibling, friends, coworkers. It's been heartbreaking to see colleagues retire only to pass away within a couple of years.

I hope to be blessed with a long and healthy retirement, but strive to find daily contentment in the meantime!
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Old 04-05-2017, 08:48 AM
 
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Most of my teacher colleagues are living a long and relatively healthy life. I think many from that era took good care of themselves, avoiding some of today's vices that cause a premature death.
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Old 04-05-2017, 09:40 AM
 
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Sadly, Ive read many posts here from teachers who have retired super early and then were unprepared for the financial realities of retirement. This can be prevented by preplanning long before we reach retirement age. The other option to consider is working longer. IMHO the option of living in poverty is unacceptable but thats just me.

I hope that those who are considering early retirement will read the responses on this board. Retirement takes a lot of homework in order to be fully prepared for the future. Of course there are sometimes bumps in the road that affect our plans but going into retirement prepared will help to minimize the financial impacts of the unexpected.

Our teaching profession is a heartfelt journey, which includes giving so much to others and we often neglect taking care of ourselves. Planning for our retirement is something that we just cannot neglect to do. Our future depends on it!
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Old 04-05-2017, 11:26 AM
 
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I don't know if retiring at 57 is considered early or not. I had 33 years in and had contributed to my ROTH and another IRA in addition to working in a state with very stable state retirement investments. Then along came Act. 10 and we no longer had contracts and were subjected to all sorts of hoops to jump through to continue growing our yearly salary. That, and Educator Effectiveness evaluations. Yuck. The demands of teaching were getting to be more about dealing with behaviors and I just became tired of that type of stress. Our teacher agreement allowed me to convert sick days to paid health insurance so timing was on my side. My pension is only about $100 a month less than I was making while working. We worked the numbers and put a lot of thought into whether me retiring when I did was wise financially based on our pensions, lifestyle both at the present and what we wanted to do in retirement, our other investments, and availability of health insurance. We do not lead an extravagant lifestyle and have always lived within our means. Our home and vehicles were paid for and neither of us carry any credit card debt from month to month. An opportunity came to me following retirement to work part time for my district. I could set my days and hours and was told not to let this job interfere with any retirement plans. Win-Win! We could definitely do fine with my pension and DH's social security but the extra money I earn has helped pay for a vacation for me (DH doesn't like to travel ) and some bigger ticket items that have made our lives easier. The job is one I enjoy-- literacy support and reading interventionist. I leave at the end of the day with no work to do at home or worries or stress.

Like mrsd5 mentioned--DH is retired and home all the time, so me getting out of the house is good for both of us!
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Old 04-05-2017, 12:31 PM
 
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Amiga, you working until you were 65 doesn't mean you have a better work ethic or more perseverance than those who didnt. There are many who would say your sahm years disqualify you. Everyone should make the decision that works best for them. The financial freedom to choose when you work based on what is best for you and your family is a good thing, not a bad thing imo.
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Old 04-05-2017, 12:51 PM
 
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My random thoughts ........

I believe in hard work. It was very hard work to retire at the age I did with the things I have. I also believe in living within one's means, making wise financial decisions, and thinking carefully about the right time to retire.

I believe people should choose careers that they enjoy overall. Every job has stressful times and difficult elements, but if those outweigh the enjoyment and rewards of the work, then I wouldn't spend my work lifetime in that career.

Retiring "early" seems to mean different things to different people...early in age, in years of service, in terms of retirement benefits received.

One of the saddest things to me is when I hear of someone who died within months or even weeks of retiring. I very much wanted to retire when I was young enough to hopefully have a lot of time left to " live".

There is no way I would sub as a retired teacher. If I still wanted to teach, I wouldn't have retired.
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Old 04-05-2017, 01:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Amiga, you working until you were 65 doesn't mean you have a better work ethic or more perseverance than those who didnt. There are many who would say your sahm years disqualify you.
Wow, this really hurts. I never in a million years meant to imply superiority. I thought much of this thread is about what's different...and I certainly appreciate differences. I apologize to anyone I accidentally offended. However, I will say that I think being a SAHM is very hard work (I'll bet mrsd with 4 boys agrees ).

I thought that in saying I'd only taught 30 years (+ SAHM for 11), it was clear why I had to work to 65. I'm sorry if I gave the impression I think that's a better choice. I think Glacier Rose said it well and wisely.

I'm amazed how hurt I am. I simply intended to foster a discussion. I apologize.
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Old 04-05-2017, 02:29 PM
 
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Thanks for the apology. I'll add I have nothing against sahms and was one myself, but this thread very much reminded me of those threads. No one wants to hear implied laziness, suck it up, lack of work ethic etc. about choices they feel are right for their family. I choose not to grit my teeth and struggle.

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Old 04-05-2017, 02:34 PM
 
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I am retiring this year at 56. My husband is also semi-retired (working for his farm 4 months of the year) at 56. I have maxed the benefits I can receive from TRS. In my small district, I am at the absolute top of the seniority list for all buildings and receive the highest teacher base salary in the district (some coaches make more than me). It is all about the money. Honestly, my district doesn't want to pay my salary any more. They want to replace me with a cheap first year teacher. Everyone is very pleasant to me. I have been on the retirement track for the last 5 years. However, I have seen too many teachers who hung on too long get treated pretty badly so they would quit. I just didn't want to end up in that situation.

Also, my husband had had two sisters die of cancer. This has been an eye opener for us. We want to enjoy life while we can! That said we lived very cheaply through out our early years, have no debt and lots saved and invested, and really are not big senders. We plan to pick up part time jobs here and there- more to keep us active and busy than for the money.
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Old 04-05-2017, 02:43 PM
 
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Man, is this whole discussion timely for me.

Our planning always has been working to 65 ( back when I loved my job). It has become incredibly stressful, as you all know. I'm 62, and I want out.

We went to our financial planner, who showed us how it was possible for me to retire in one year. Then I started thinking, why not this year? Obviously, the longer I work, the better off financially we'll be, but at what price?

Problem is, every time I do something with my kids, I think, this is the last time I get to do this. And it makes me so sad.

I don't know, maybe I'm not ready. Maybe I need another painful year to process moving on.

Or maybe I should just go for it- what is the matter with me?
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Old 04-05-2017, 04:00 PM
 
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Grade2rocks....your feelings are so much like what I experienced. I was prepared financially to retire, but not emotionally. I missed it so much the first year. I would look at the clock and picture what I'd be doing if I was still teaching. But now that I'm in my second year, it's so much easier. Talking to teachers still working and complaining constantly about the testing and the evaluations and all the other nonsense makes me feel I did the right thing. If I stayed another year, I don't think I could have done a good job....I am glad I left on a high note.
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Old 04-05-2017, 04:33 PM
 
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Quote:
I think, this is the last time I get to do this. And it makes me so sad.
Grade2rocks, I knew it was time to retire when I stopped having those feelings. To me, it's a sign that you're not ready. But I understand what an agonizing decision it is!
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Old 04-05-2017, 05:43 PM
 
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Interesting thread! -- It's been a while since I've posted, but I'll just reiterate that everyone's financial and personal situation is unique, so an "early retirement" may make sense for one person and not at all for another....I retired early (27 years of service) nearly 4 years ago. It was one of the BEST decisions I ever made. As many of us did, I put SO much time and energy into my career--and I was definitely teaching in a high-needs school. The year I retired, "all the stars aligned" so to speak. I was tired of all the meetings, paperwork, ever-changing expectations, etc. AND our modest house was nearly paid for AND our daughter had only 2 semesters left of college (and we had already saved the $ for that) AND the district was giving an early retirement incentive to anyone eligible to retire....Fast-forward to today--My husband and I somehow save more $ now than before I retired--maybe because we have no more mortgage, car payments, or debt of any kind. (We worked hard for this as his career was in teaching as well--and his district actually paid less than mine.)....I take a long walk most mornings, I volunteer tutor twice a week, I read and have that extra cup of tea, etc. Basically, I finally have the freedom to choose what I do each day. Absolutely LOVE retirement!
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Things are different
Old 04-06-2017, 01:22 AM
 
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I guess I don't understand why one person's life choices have to be justified or explained. I have sensed that somehow you have to do things in a certain way that somehow fits.

I am truly happy for those teachers who did it right and started working young, stayed in the same general environment until a certain age, and then took full retirement. Is this somehow the "top"?

Some get a late start, work in districts that financially struggle, or just want a change.

I guess I just should stay off this thread, but I sense there is a vast difference pointed out that should not be if you intend to be supportive.

I live in an area that is struggling. Our state does not want to fund education. Teachers are often
" trimmed" or moved around to encourage older ones to quit. They are too expensive and everyone knows why they are given a hard time.

I am sorry for being against the grain here. I just feel like there is a lot of judgement. I have sensed it but really didn't expect it to be openly expressed.
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Old 04-06-2017, 04:25 AM
 
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I think I understand what Amiga13's original question was and it has become distorted with it becoming so personal. A lot of this discussion happens not on this board, but on others where the suggestion of retirement is often made prematurely.

Amiga's question is directed at the specific situation of a teacher close to retirement who quits their job, knows they will receive an inadequate pension, AND they plan to make up the shortfall by working in a lower paying position after retirement.

I think most of us in that situation would really benefit from a good friend sitting down with us and processing the emotional aspect of retirement. But, what usually happens? Others who really aren't friends, but just want to vent will keep piling on the stress talk. I had that happen in my last years mostly from someone who is still teaching and virtually working for $0 (she has 44 years in).

We all know this happens when surrounded by negative people who love to gather to complain. Those after school impromptu meetings can be killers! These situations sometimes make you think the job is worse than it really is.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if we had wise friends who could help us process the dilemma?

* Let's talk about ways to isolate yourself from the school gossips

* Have you met with the STRS and your financial counselors to review your situation?

* What things are you doing at home to make your work life more tolerable?

* Are there things to we can do here at school to make teaching easier these last few years? No more automatic volunteering for committees, working smarter not harder, etc.

I had ONE good teacher friend who spoke the truth to me, but she left seven years before I retired. The rest of my "friends" just piled on stress, but I was able to make the right decision for ME when the time came.

I think that might be the takeaway for me.
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early retirement
Old 04-06-2017, 05:36 AM
 
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I retired at 56 because I could afford it. I am bringing home almost the same amount as when I was teaching. With subbing I really came out ahead. My school was very demanding with lots of challenging students. I toughed it out for 32 years and knew it was time to go.

My parents' health was also failing and they needed my help. I got to spend time with my mom who passed away 3 years after I retired. My son was in his last year of college so the timing was good. 4 years after I retired I was diagnosed with breast cancer, so I am glad I retired when I did.

If people can't afford to retire they should have something else lined up and not live life having to scrimp and save every dime. There are many reasons to retire early, but in NC when you get your 30 years in, you get full retirement.
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Old 04-06-2017, 05:38 AM
 
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blueskies, if you're directing this at me, I don't know how many ways I can apologize. I never believe there is one "right" way to do things. I certainly never intended to tell people what to do. If people want to retire, more power to them. I was concerned, yes, in a caring way, about people who retire on a whim thinking they'll make up any monetary shortage by subbing. I was thinking that it might be more wise to put in another year or 2 at a higher rate of pay and not HAVE TO work. Clearly my thinking is offensive to you and MKat. I'm going to say this again, even though I've received 7 really heartwarming PMs telling me not to apologize for sharing my thoughts, I do apologize. blueskies, I have always appreciated your posts and truly am sorry I offended you. Of course each individual should do as she pleases. Please forgive me.
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Old 04-06-2017, 05:46 AM
 
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Thanks for bringing us back to the original question, Connieg. Some of us, myself included (Sorry!) kind of took a side road. .....Looking at that original question, I guess it doesn't really apply to me--as although I was an "early retiree," I didn't/don't have to work to make ends meet....But as I said before, everyone's personal situation and expectations for "retirement" are different. I have a friend who took an early retirement from a public school system, and he KNEW he would have to take on another job to provide for his family. He was just feeling "burnt out" and wanted a change. He's just the type of person who craves a different challenge from time to time. So he took his early retirement pension from that system, and now he works for a charter school (totally different system than the one he was in) and he loves it....It's not at all what I would want in "retirement," but I'm happy for him. To each his own!
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sorry
Old 04-06-2017, 06:25 AM
 
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I am sorry. I was only giving my opinion as well. I was expressing myself, that's all. I also do not think retiring on a whim is in any way a good idea. But then again, they take the consequences of doing that.

I understand now what you are saying. I think I am oversensitive about this because it did not work out for me. I intended to do it the traditional way but shrinking enrollments and other things got in the way.
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Old 04-06-2017, 07:03 AM
 
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Thank you all for sharing your honest thoughts and opinions on this topic! It is such a timely topic for me as I work on a plan to teach for three more years with my health and sanity intact! 19 years in SPED feels like a lifetime!
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Old 04-06-2017, 07:27 AM
 
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I think many things go into a decision to retire and they are very personal. My husband retired at age 50 with 32 years at his company. So, young, but not early as he was at top of what his retirement would be unless he wanted to move higher on corporate ladder...he didn't. I wasn't in favor of this. I thought he could stay on and we could really put away extra money knowing that at any point, he could still retire. He said he would be more then willing to work a few hours a week to make up difference between his salary & retirement. Well, he did retire and he did a number of different jobs and had a hoot doing it. He's always worked for this one large company in different more white collar positions. He always wanted to do something with his hands...Mike Rowe style! I'm so grateful he retired because at age 54 he developed ALS. Had he listened to me, he would not have enjoyed some of the adventures of physical work he experienced plus he wouldn't have experienced not working 40 hrs since turning 18.

I continued to work and retire at 59.5 with 25 yrs of teaching(was a SAHM when kids were young and wouldn't give that up either). My state retirement wasn't enough to live on but with my late husband's spousal SS, I could live kind of comfortably and "spoil my grandkids a bit" my retirement specialist assured me. It was so scary for me to do but between my heartbreaking loss of my husband and my state having completely destroyed the profession I loved, I was not finding joy at work or at home as I tried to maintain our home & acre size yard. I rarely was able to see my 2 grandsons because weekends were filled with home/yard care & school work. I was missing out in the gift of grandchildren. So, I retired, subbed 3 days a week the first year for financial peace of mind and now sub very little. Subbing was just what I needed as I made the transition...I got the joy of teaching with no after school work & all the demands placed in teachers. Subbing too is good for some, not for others.

I can't predict my future but I've been retired since July 2014 and I've been able to maintain my finances and be a huge help to my kids with my grandsons. I may have to get a part time job in the future...I don't know because I can't predict all my future needs. I could have stayed teaching for another 5 years and my retirement would have increased but I wouldn't have the joy since I retired. I only share my story because some of us have had to face life differently than others and have seen life snatched away with life changing events. I still remember my husband's joy during his retirement and thank God that he didn't listen to me. I thank God for the blessing of the last 2.5 years of my own retirement. Btw...I lost my husband's retirement from his company. It is what it is.

I'm sorry we've had some hurt feelings here...I hope apologies will be accepted and we all remember that we don't know another's reason unless we've walked their journey. Whatever works for each of us (as long as it's not illegal ) should be respected. I'm sure friends and family have probably wondered why I do some of the things I do (they ask why so I know they do) but it's what I need to do(thinking about helping my kids with grands a lot) and I respect it works for me but might not for others.

I think the first question asked was why someone would retire if they still needed to sub or work and this is my why. Sometimes the stress just isn't worth it. Had education not been destroyed for me, I'm sure I would have stayed. I am a worker and I loved being a teacher. I too missed it at first but it wasn't missing the "new way" in our state but the days of being respected and teaching kids to love learning. Now, I'm just fine w it.
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Old 04-06-2017, 09:48 AM
 
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Bravo to Amiga13 for posting about the early retirement topic. The stories and advice are very helpful. This thread has been super valuable even if just 1 person read it and said to themselves, "I am going to think more about my finances before I retire." This thread has raised awareness and there has been 39 responses!! Score!!
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Old 04-06-2017, 10:41 AM
 
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Amiga13, it is not that your way of thinking is offensive to me. I am offended at being made the bad guy for trying to answer your question at why people would retire early while planning to continue to work. I thought that was the question? It is a decision that many of us make, for many reasons, but you don't seem to want to hear those reasons or consider that those decisions might have been made on anything other than an unwise whim.

I'm happy you are getting heartwarming private messages and I'm sure that is making you feel all warm and fuzzy. If you go back and re-read your posts about how people who want to retire early need to suck it up and struggle through maybe (I know that's a big maybe) you can see how that might be offensive to someone who made the decision that you are advocating against?

Now that I go back and see the winky face I realize you weren't asking a serious question. I misunderstood and apologize for trying to explain my viewpoint.
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Old 04-06-2017, 11:35 AM
 
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Ladies and gentlemen, how about if we end this conversation as it is no longer productive and has become really personal and has hurt and offended with the raw emotions out there.

This is a supportive group and those of us who are long time lurkers and then contributors have enjoyed the kind and considerate nature and comments from one another. Some of us consider one another true friends, and we don't like to see one another hurt. I'd hate to see friends leave the board because of this bantering. We get asked about retirement advice on a regular basis and so this topic will keep coming up.

Is there any way to make a "sticky" for this group so that we don't have to keep posting and reposting on this topic?
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Love retiring early
Old 04-06-2017, 04:16 PM
 
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I retired at 56 and feel it was a year too long. I was a diligent saver and now live the very best chapter of my life. The secret to wealth is living far below your means. Might sub, might work at Starbucks- don't know just chilling now. Retire as soon as you can because life is short and good health is fleeting!

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good discussion
Old 04-07-2017, 04:52 AM
 
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Amiga 13-I think you had a good question that, by the nature of the topic lent itself to a good number of replies with various answers.

I did not take your question as one that was intended to offend anyone.

It was a topic that many people wonder about, no matter what careers retirees have left when they made the move to retire.

The replies and emotions implied in the answers, IMO, were very normal. Everyone has different reason and emotions involved when making the move to retire. Also, everyone takes a different path once that are retired. Many do return to the workforce in a completely different area-some only because they like to work, some to make a bit of extra income as long as they are healthy. Others do not return to the workforce at all.

I think this same question/topic will come up again, over time. IMO, that is ok. People will respond or choose not to-whatever they wish.
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Old 04-09-2017, 09:09 AM
 
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I will be retiring in June after 31 years in the classroom - not really an "early" retirement (I will be 54 years old). I had always thought I would teach longer but I am so disgusted by my county's micromanaging of elementary classroom teachers and the Central Office "support teachers" who we have to meet with weekly and listen to their "best practices" speeches. Funny how these resource teachers haven't taught in 10 or more years but seem to know how we classroom teachers should be teaching. Depending on how my finances go (hubby retired 2 years ago) I might look for a part time job or sub. I would much rather get out of teaching and start taking my pension now than keep teaching.
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Old 04-09-2017, 03:59 PM
 
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I agree with you. The pressure that comes from work together with depression will definitely result to an early retirement.
If you have been working in a particular job for a longer period of time, there's really a tendency for you to feel that everything is monotonous.
You can easily find a solution to this by allowing yourself to unwind. The problem is when you don't feel a sense of purpose with your job anymore.
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Im there...
Old 04-10-2017, 05:07 PM
 
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I plan to retire from teaching in June. My income isn't necessary to survive. Unfortunately, since DH is self employed, I need to work for health insurance. He is 62, I am 54. I really am ready for a change, and jobs with better benefits are available. I want a job that is 9 to 5, and doesn't follow me home. I have taught, mostly in private and parochial schools since 1985.
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Old 04-10-2017, 06:40 PM
 
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I would also love that kind of schedule, Coopsgrammy.
I usually do overtime at work until 8 pm.
How was teaching in parochial schools? That's one of my plans before I end my teaching career.
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Old 04-11-2017, 11:56 AM
 
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I really enjoy teaching in a parochial school. I love that I can incorporate the spiritual into my lessons. The schools I have taught at are fairly small, (under 300 students) K-8th grade. I currently teach Second grade, so that includes preparing students for First Holy Communion in the Catholic Church. A small school community can be very good, or a disaster, depending on the families involved. We have a few very difficult families that cause much drama for the school.

There are a few downsides to a parochial school. One is that everyone wears many hats. We also have fewer resources than public schools - both in supplies and services. I am not sure about all Catholic schools, but our Diocese is quite small. Our retirement benefits are 3% of our wages put into an account. Health insurance for my DH and I is $200/mo. Pay scale is considerably lower than public schools in the area.
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Old 04-11-2017, 06:03 PM
 
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I think families like that are unavoidable that's why we need to really extend our patience. I really like the idea that you can connect your lesson to something deeper in real life experiences.
Even though the pay scale is lower, I think the fulfillment you get from it is more important. How many hours do you need to teach in a day?
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Old 04-11-2017, 07:11 PM
 
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Contract hours are 7:45-4:15.
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Thank you for this thread
Old 04-12-2017, 05:41 AM
 
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As you may know, my amazing P of 15 years is retiring, and I am a nervous wreck. I'm 58 with 30 years in. I can go when I want, but the longer I wait the better off we are financially. If we get a decent P, I will probably go 4 more years. If I'm miserable, I'll go at 60. If I'm real happy, I'll stay as long as my take home outweighs what my pension will be. Once I get over my "grief" at losing our current P, I can be more objective. This thread has been really helpful to read. Thanks!
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Old 04-14-2017, 08:41 PM
 
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I would suggest getting a financial planner before retiring. Ours looked at all of our expenses etc. they also look to the future to see if you can afford it over the long haul. I am retiring after 35 years of teaching. I will be 58 yo. I will get $ from IL and a full retirement from AZ. Our house will be paid off in January.
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Old 04-16-2017, 06:27 PM
 
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I'm thinking if I could teach part time in parochial schools. Do you think it's a good idea?
By the way, have you ever considered teaching in a home-based setting?
I have a lot of co-workers doing that ever since they retired.
I heard their time is flexible so they can do more chores and errands.
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Old 04-16-2017, 06:45 PM
 
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I think my grandmother retired for a mix of being able to afford it and health reasons, but continued to work as a substitute because the extra income never hurt and because she wanted to stay occupied. I think she hit a point where she no longer wanted to do it full time, so she didn't. Though I remember she had a close friend who continued working well past the typical retirement age.
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Old 04-17-2017, 07:04 PM
 
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I agree with you. If you no longer want to do it, then you shouldn't.
There will really come a time when you get burnt out with your everyday routine. Your grandmother's decision is just right. Being a substitute teacher doesn't make you feel stressed and tired. But if our body is sending us a signal to stop, then we should listen.
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Retirement
Old 04-19-2017, 12:31 PM
 
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At one point in my life, I LOVED teaching and figured I'd continue 'til 75 - even if I won the lottery. As the teaching situation grew darker, I switched to, teaching til old enough to retire and hiring lots of help if I won the lottery. Now, my colleagues are retiring as soon as they can and I figure I'll do the same. As it is, I feel the stress of this job has me likely to have a heart attack or car accident before age 55. I am a very hard worker. I know how to handle a tough situation. The difference is we have reached a point that no amount of hard work or "working smarter not harder" will help. I still believe I have a lot of "gift for teaching" w/in me, but every year now is an oversized class with more & more special needs kids and clueless parents and fewer preps & criticism from admin...it just goes on and on.

Add to that an anti-public school president & DeVos plus a governor who has been making my pension seem more & more at-risk - I think folks are trying to get out while there is still something there. My district forced us to "loan" them about $9,000 each by deducting $200 per pay check years ago. The agreement was each teacher would get the money back upon leaving the district. Since then, there have been numerous efforts to avoid paying that to teachers. A number of my friends retired asap partly just to get that while they felt they still could. Some got hired by charters, other districts or sub, but they got that in the bank first. I don't think our own teachers had it like this. Yes, they worked hard & spent some of their own money, but they had preps, consumables, and parents & admin supported them. And, they had the security of a "good pension" after 30 years.
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