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Re: I lack the proper mind-set for ER!! HELP!!
Old 03-15-2005, 04:39 PM   #21
 
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Re: I lack the proper mind-set for ER!! HELP!!

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I didn't have to go back to work and probably won't unless it's working part time in something fun -- a lot of fun
Parnass,

We have very similar situations. I used to believe that I would go back to work in something fun. But now I know that doing anything that someone would pay me for is no fun. Going on 4 years, and it would take a team of Clydesdales to get me back to the workforce.
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Re: I lack the proper mind-set for ER!! HELP!!
Old 03-15-2005, 04:40 PM   #22
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Re: I lack the proper mind-set for ER!! HELP!!

Hello parnass! Re. "ever increasing health care costs",
I feel your pain man....................

JG
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Re: I lack the proper mind-set for ER!! HELP!!
Old 03-15-2005, 07:32 PM   #23
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Re: I lack the proper mind-set for ER!! HELP!!

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If I retire in Aug. 2006, I would get about $29,800 per year if i chose to live off the annuity interest. If I were to retire in August 2006 on full pernsion, I would get about $47,000/year TOTAL. If I taught for one more year, then the $47,000 increases to about $50,500/year. Is the extra year woth it?

Rob,
I think you've got the consensus here that it's time to move on, but if a part of you deep inside didn't know that already, you wouldn't go ask a bunch of early retirees the question!

TH had the operative point, imo -- you'll have all your time back to tutor or whatever you like, which should easily make a few extra thousands if that is what you are puzzling over at the margin.

You have an obligation to the students and fellow teachers to get out of there before you become a sour old son-of-a-gun, too, which you need to consider.

I had one technical question because I am not famiiliar with the TIAA-CREF plan -- if you lived off interest only, is that a year-by-year decision or is it something you commmit to, but later get the principal from -- I wonder if you could elaborate on the pension options that would pay you either 29K or 48K.

Also, did you mention if you could collect pension in August 2005? Where would you want to live? It seems that there are plenty of places to live in Asia that could be inexpensive, but maybe the states is where you want to settle. Either way 50k or so should be fine. But you didn't mention if you had other savings that could help you buy a home -- home prices in the states are higher than you remember, to say the least, and if you've been out of the market and have no home equity built up, it is a factor to consider. Not that another year one way or the other is going to make a difference, but just so you are planning for it.

You mentioned you wanted to study Tai Chi and meditation -maybe as a way to relax, though they'd make great lifelong activities. Start doing them now -- there should be classes on the weekends; when I lived in Tokyo I used to get up early every morning and go over to the old Todai campus and do tai chi in a little park there , or on the roof of our apartment when Fuji-san was in full view -- it was great!

Your worries about having' enough' money are not going to get solved at the level of working another year and another year to earn another 3% in your pension. Here's how to solve your worries about having enough, imho:

Make lots of models, compare your estimated income and current or future budget and living expenses, go shop for real estate on weekends or during school vacation, or whatever you need to do to fill in some real numbers in your new budget. Immerse yourself in whatever calculators, literature etc on living in retirement if you feel that will help the rational part of your brain understand the various risks, long-term costs etc. Do your math-- I pet dollars to donuts you realize you are actually in very good shape -- a COLA'd pension,with I am betting health benefits thrown in, backed by a teacher's union means you really have a solid gold security there. But just in case, make a Plan B of what you'd do if things go tight. (moving into a monastery is always cheap, and could let the savings accumulate for awhile!). Then really actively start visualizing pulling the plug and doing what you want to do with your life. Get the paperwork and find out the dates you'd need to report/commit etc. Make it real.

As long as you are worried about having enough, you never will have enough. Once you start thinking in constructive terms about what you want your life to be, what you want each day to feel like, what you love about life and also that stuff (your current work) that you have long since outgrown and are ready to walk away from... that is the only way you'll get to the place where you'll realize that not only do you already have 'enough', but that you always will have enough. The only thing you need to do now is get your time back and start living your life on purpose before it's too late. Good luck, bon courage and Carpe Diem, Rob!
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Re: I lack the proper mind-set for ER!! HELP!!
Old 03-15-2005, 09:45 PM   #24
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Re: I lack the proper mind-set for ER!! HELP!!

ESR Bob,
In answer to your questions, TIAA-CREF is a teacher retirement pension plan used at universities and private schools areound the country and American International Schools (where I work). I have been putting my own money into this plan since 1977, and in some cases the schools have been contributing to this private pension plan as much as I have.
I can opt to retire anytime I want. One part of the plan allows me to live off the interest of part of my retirement investments with TIAA-CREF, the annuity part, and that would give me close to $30,000/per year. The rest of my retirement pension funds are in stocks, bonds, and property stocks, and this remains and grows at whatever the market does.
I can get full pension anytime I want. If I wait longer, then the stocks, bonds, etc grow and that increases my pension when I do declare the time is here to retire. I continue to put money into TIAA-CREF montly. If I collect my full pension in August 2006, the pension start at $47,000 but increases 3% yearly. If I live off the interest from the annuity part, that begins at $30,000/year. I can terminate the interest annuity anytime I want and opt to get the full pension. However, the longer I wait, the more the pension funds grow.
I am leaning toward leaving June 2006 and getting the $30,000/year and teaching part-time, 2 or 3 hours a day. I would have no insurance and no house. Renting is not a problem, and even if I live in the states, I have read that most ER's get an insurance policy with a high deductable. I'm not sure of the cost, but hopefully it is manageable. If not, then I suppose I'd have to opt for the full pension ($47,000) instead of holding off. Once I decide to get the full pension, it is permanent.
I have already signed a contract for one more year to teach. I am trying to embrace my decision to leave, but still wondering about costs, health insrance, etc. I so appreciate the encouragement from the participants here. Thankyou. I will try and embrace this decision with enthusiasm.
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Re: I lack the proper mind-set for ER!! HELP!!
Old 03-16-2005, 08:40 AM   #25
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Re: I lack the proper mind-set for ER!! HELP!!

Check www.ehealthinsurance.com

You should be able to get an idea of the relative healthcare costs in your neck of the woods for the primary care providers.
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Re: I lack the proper mind-set for ER!! HELP!!
Old 03-17-2005, 08:24 AM   #26
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Re: I lack the proper mind-set for ER!! HELP!!

Rob,
Had a brainwave and thought I would share it with you:
I know you contracted for 2005-2006 school year, but you _might_ consider going to the principal and saying, "I'm totally prepared to work through 2006, but if by any chance you have another teacher or want to try to find one in the interim, I'd be ok leaving at the end of the year too, your call." That could move up the date by a year, which feels like it could be a win-win: the right thing for you and maybe for the school, too.
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Re: I lack the proper mind-set for ER!! HELP!!
Old 03-17-2005, 12:38 PM   #27
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Re: I lack the proper mind-set for ER!! HELP!!

One of my sisters retired last yr at the age of 55 from the teaching profession. She never even thought about retiring until age 54 and then one year later....poof...out the door she went. Best decision she ever made. (according to her)
I remember her telling me "I'll know when I'm ready to go". Well she certainly did. She made the decision quite quickly (another sister worried about that) but I just knew that she knew what she was doing.
She always was fun to be around...but now she's even MORE fun.
A few years ago I probably would have told you to wait another year (for the money) but life is too short. Go while the going is good. You'll always be able to find something else to do if you wish. If not....enjoy the ride my friend!!
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