Retire? Or Not?

Speaking strictly for myself, I am too young to retire. At 59, I still have three years before I can apply and even then, it’s early retirement which will be less than if I had waited until I am 65.

I quit my job two years ago, thinking that when my wife retired, we would not miss my income at all. My retirement will be even less given that I haven’t worked in two years for a total of five before I apply for early retirement.

My wife misunderstood the requirements of her retirement and was under the impression she could return to work after she retired, working half time, and still receive full retirement annuity checks, as well as her lump sum.

She misunderstood, and I quit my job going by what she said and I pretty much burned my bridge upon exiting.

Getting hired on somewhere else would be extremely difficult, if not impossible for me due to a legal problem. Thirty years ago it was not spoken of or noticed; today it’s under a public microscope.

She took a lump sum, rolled that into an IRA, and still gets a tidy check every month.

When she found out that she had ‘misunderstood’ the TRS (Teacher’s Retirement System), she was very afraid that there wouldn’t be enough money. It turned out that her check pays off the monthly accruals, but little for anything else.

She has to sit out of teaching in the Texas School system for an entire year before she can return without being penalized on her monthly retirement check.

We made do as she does private tutoring and has several students off and on during the year. That has helped us out of the red and into the black.

She also did some consulting work for a couple of school districts which also came in very handy earlier this year.

One of the things that we had not planned on was being together all day every day after she stopped working. That is…different.

She has gotten very used to sleeping until noon, and sometimes later. Even napping in the afternoons, which in doing so, keeps her up at all hours of the night.

She finished sitting out her year this past July and got rehired at one of her principal friend’s schools, and starts next week. She will receive a tidy salary, and still gets her monthly annuity.

She is still very hesitant to shut down her 401k, even though its balance goes up and down with the stock market. She has lost over 7 grand this year.

I urge all of you that can retire, to do so now. If your spouse is eligible, get them to retire too.

If you’re gonna move, do it now. Sell your home and make it happen. Get out, settle in, and hunker down.

If lump sum is an option, take it. Worry about your taxes later. Convert your cash to tangibles; land, shelter, food, precious metals, tools, seeds…you know the drill.

Personally, I have it in my head that the banking system, the economy, and the federal government will collapse in the not too distant future.

Those of us having the best chance of survival then, will have to spend their money now to prepare.