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Any Retired Teachers on Forums?
Old 10-31-2019, 06:21 PM   #1
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Any Retired Teachers on Forums?

I am 56 and am ready to retire. I have had some health concerns of late - nothing chronic but enough to make me realize I want to enjoy some of my years of retirement as healthy as possible.

In NJ I can retire at 25 years with no penalty if over 55. I will have to pay a percentage to my medical (according to NJEA it looks about $100 a month). My husband is already retired (he is 65). I think it makes sense for me to go.

We have run some numbers and it seems like we will be able to make it. I am just worried about having enough.

I should also say we have a senior still in high school - He will be going to college in the fall. We are not planning on any loans to help with college - he is working on scholarships, state schools etc. And we have a 20 year old daughter still taking community college courses living at home.

Any other retired teachers? Any others with age gap between husband and wife? How did you handle retirement decision?
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Old 10-31-2019, 10:57 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rathgar View Post
I am 56 and am ready to retire. I have had some health concerns of late - nothing chronic but enough to make me realize I want to enjoy some of my years of retirement as healthy as possible.

In NJ I can retire at 25 years with no penalty if over 55. I will have to pay a percentage to my medical (according to NJEA it looks about $100 a month). My husband is already retired (he is 65). I think it makes sense for me to go.

We have run some numbers and it seems like we will be able to make it. I am just worried about having enough.

I should also say we have a senior still in high school - He will be going to college in the fall. We are not planning on any loans to help with college - he is working on scholarships, state schools etc. And we have a 20 year old daughter still taking community college courses living at home.

Any other retired teachers? Any others with age gap between husband and wife? How did you handle retirement decision?
My hubby and I just retired together, both from teaching. Both of us have been in teaching since we were in our early 20s, and neither of us wanted to stop teaching until a switch just flipped for both of us in January of this year, due to changing administrative policies that were making the job more and more difficult and demoralizing.
He is 10 years older than I am, and we taught until he was 74 and I was 64. Before we retired, I was very nervous about retiring, mostly because of worry about finances - could we make it? Specifically, could I make it? So starting Jan 1st, 2017, I did a "practice retirement" by taking money from my savings, exactly what I projected I'd spend in a year (based on the previous year's spending), putting that money into a separate bank account, and spending only from that account for the year. It made it very clear what I was spending my money on. I found out that I could make it, and that I really would have enough in savings to get me to age 65, when I'd access my pension and Medicare (COBRA is SO expensive, but I will only have to pay four months of it, thank goodness!) and then another 14 months until I can access my social security money. I really needed to do this "practice retirement" - and it made me feel a lot better about retiring.
We miss the kids, and teaching, and the people we worked with...we do not miss the stress of the job as it has changed to be in the present day. If the idiots hadn't taken over teaching (think government officials and many administrators) we would still be teaching today.
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Old 11-01-2019, 09:07 AM   #3
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The young wife just retired in June after a 30 year teaching career. She absolutely loved the classroom and her students. In fact, she has spent the last couple weeks writing college letters of recommendation for kids she had last year. She still worries a lot about some of the ones who were in difficult home situations. Even the last week she worked, she kept wondering whether she was doing the right thing. She asked me, "Who is going to look out for Ana and Julia and ....?" I said there would always be Ana's and Julia's and that she would just have to trust that her remaining colleagues would step up for them.

It was all the governmental and administrative nonsense that really wore her down in the end. I don't think she could have survived another year of it.
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Old 11-01-2019, 09:32 AM   #4
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I have just spent the last couple of weeks writing college letters of rec too...while they take a lot of time and effort, I will miss writing them when the last of the kids I taught graduate from high school...sigh...
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Old 11-01-2019, 09:33 AM   #5
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I haven't retired yet but I'm on the down slope of my teaching career. This is my 31st, and I plan on 2 more after this to call it quits. My wife is also a teacher and she will have to stay 2 more years after I retire. We have 2 kids, a junior and a sophomore in high school. The junior has college paid for with academic scholarships. The sophomore is a little more tricky, we are hoping for an athletic scholarship. We aren't sure if she is really college material or not, scary thoughts.

My wife was telling me today, "I will not answer the phone or look at messages, because you will probably just be sending me photos of you on the golf course or your scorecard." She is six years younger, so she understands, she may not like it, but she has told in the past that I have put in my time. We have also had a couple of health scares and sudden deaths in our family of late, we firmly believe we should enjoy our time when we can.
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Old 11-01-2019, 11:40 AM   #6
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My wife retired as a teacher in NJ years ago. The monthly pension check was never late and health benefits are great. She only pays for dental care - which is $39 per month for both of us. Federal and Taxes are withheld. You should make an appointment in Trenton to discuss the retirement plan if you haven't already done so. Eye care and hearing aids are not covered by insurance.


You should learn about the health insurance coverage changes for 2020 at www.nj.gov/treasury/pensions


Longterm - NJ has the worst pension funded ratio in the US at 35%. It's expected to be out of money in 10 years, but they said that 10 years ago also. It's not something I worry about, as we'll be on SS by then.
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Old 11-01-2019, 11:38 PM   #7
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Not retired yet, but planning to be so in the next couple of years. I've worked as a SLP in CA public schools. Our pension funding ratio is about 63%. We have had increases to both our contributions and what the district puts in (we're at about 11.5% each, I think).

I'd like to make it to 61, which would mean retiring in June 2023. Right now I like my job, and each year I stay is a big pension increase. The wild card for me would be my health, or dh's, my moms health, or a grandbaby (highly unlikely as of now). So I'm taking it year to year.
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Old 11-02-2019, 12:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al18 View Post
You should make an appointment in Trenton to discuss the retirement plan if you haven't already done so.

You should learn about the health insurance coverage changes for 2020 at www.nj.gov/treasury/pensions
Each state is different, so I agree that a visit to the NJ DOE TPAF (pension) page is in order and create a MBOS account, if you haven't yet. There are also estimate calculators and webinars. Hopefully you had the (20?) years in prior to the 2011 legislation, otherwise you will pay a % of your health care premium even in retirement (likely not $100 for family). I would go to the pension page rather than go by NJEA. Congratulations!
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Old 11-02-2019, 06:46 PM   #9
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Sheesh! I taught in the wrong state.
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Old 11-04-2019, 06:13 PM   #10
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Wow, 25 years and $100 a month for insurance? That's a great deal. I'm in NY and have to do 30 years and my contract has us paying over $1,100/month for health insurance. I'm going next year when I have my 30 in. I'll be 57. My husband loves his job in the private sector and plans to work for another 5-7 years.
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Old 11-05-2019, 08:35 AM   #11
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I feel very fortunate. When I retire I will be able to receive insurance at $150/month.
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Old 11-05-2019, 08:43 AM   #12
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Here in CT, retired teachers can stay on the group health insurance of their last employing district. However, they must pay the full premium. In the young wife's last contract, teachers were paying only 20% of premium, so that is an immediate quintupling of the cost of insurance. The state teachers retirement board then pays a stipend to the retired teacher to assist with the premium cost. But that stipend is only $250 per month for a couple, so many (most?) teachers in CT won't retire until they are eligible for Medicare. In our case, the young wife is now on my retiree heath plan, which is very inexpensive by comparison.
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Old 11-15-2019, 02:53 PM   #13
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Not a teacher-but retired in the Texas teacher retirement system. I was a medical provider for one of the university of Texas systems.
We are rule of 80, but I did a medical retirement due to military injuries.
Our BC BS is Trs paid 100% if you have over 10 yrs of service.
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