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Old 08-02-2011, 10:09 PM   #1
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Hello to all, 4 more to go...

Hello everyone! I was very excited to find this site and begin exploring retirement. I am an elementary school principal of an inner-city, at-risk school, serving the needs of over 700 children...very stressful. I am also a single mother of a 17 year old son. He is a senior in High School this year. Several years ago I bought out 4 years toward my retirement, so that I could retire early (after 26 years instead of 30) and still maintain 75% of my salary. I plan to continue to work in some capacity after retirement, just because I am fearful of the cost of health care combined with living expenses (and I don't believe I will ever see a dime of the tens of thousands of dollars I have paid into Social Security and Medicare). I'm not sure what I will do? (Hopefully, something I love and come home at the end of the day not exhausted!) I have worked hard to stay out of debt, but I do have a house payment...if I continue on the path I am on, this too will be paid in 7 years. I would love to hear from others about anything I should be doing now to plan ahead. Thank you for sharing!
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Old 08-03-2011, 07:02 AM   #2
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Welcome Silver and I think I can fairly say, "thank you for your service." Calculate your expenses carefully. At 75% of salary, if that pension has COLAs, you may be in fine shape. Taxes will be reduced and eventually the mortgage will drop off. You may not need that other work -- or you can be very selective in what you choose to do. Are you discounting SS because you don't qualify? Or is SS a component of your system's retirement system with a pension offset at 65? If not, figure at least some portion of it into your future - that is a key inflation protected income stream that can make a huge difference. Most folks around here are not so pessimistic about SS and would maybe drop the SS estimate by 25% to be on the safe side but not discount it entirely. As for health care, you may have more options than you expect. Even assuming, the new health insurance exchanges don't materialize, have you checked your state to see if they have provisions for mandatory coverage of "un-insurable" people? A fair number of states already have these provisions outside of the Affordable Health Care Act. Medicare is clearly a bigger problem than SS but, again, why assume it will disappear entirely? Most of the developed world has better health coverage than us for less. We are probably not so dysfunctional here that we won't be able to find a way to muddle through with at least a marginal health care compromise. Perk up and be optimistic - you are ERing. The current economic/political debacle won't necessarily govern the rest of our lives.
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Old 08-03-2011, 06:28 PM   #3
Confused about dryer sheets
 
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Thanks Don! My 75% does include a COLA, however I have not paid into SS for the last 22 years. I need a few more SS credits to qualify, but even then I have been told by others that if you collect from the Public Employee Retirements System (PERS) that I would not be eligible to collect SS. Our state government is also changing PERS drastically. I believe I will be okay, but those that follow will have a much different system in place. If folks are contributing to their own plans, at some point the PERS system will run out of money (at least this is what seems logical to me...perhaps I am wrong?) .

I have great medical care and coverage. I have asked current retirees with the same plan how much they pay for themselves and one other family member. The cost is over $800.00. It seems really expensive and may even be higher in 4 years. Does anyone else have good plans that are cheaper?

I really am thrilled to be able to retire early and did not intend to come off as negative. I suppose it is the current state of our economy...especially in our state... that has me a tad unsure about my plans.

Thank you for your comments!
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Old 08-03-2011, 06:38 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverlining22 View Post
Thanks Don! My 75% does include a COLA, however I have not paid into SS for the last 22 years. I need a few more SS credits to qualify, but even then I have been told by others that if you collect from the Public Employee Retirements System (PERS) that I would not be eligible to collect SS.
If you get enough quarters to qualify you will get a significantly reduced SS payment due to Windfall Elimination Provisions but you will get something. Certainly worth looking into.[/quote]
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Old 08-03-2011, 06:58 PM   #5
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Nice! I also have an ex-husband I was married to for over 10 years, and may qualify for that, too.
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Old 08-03-2011, 08:03 PM   #6
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You will receive your full Medicare Benefits. You will likely get full Social Security as I assume no offset.
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Old 08-03-2011, 09:47 PM   #7
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Welcome and congratulations.
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Very conservative with investments. Not ER'd yet, 48 years old. Please do not take anything I write or imply as legal, financial or medical advice directed to you. Contact your own financial advisor, healthcare provider, or attorney for financial, medical and legal advice.
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