I'm Better Off NOT Working

jannieMay 24, 2006

I worked for the government for 31 years. Last summer I was offered "early out" at age 53. I took it, for a number of reasons, mostly health-related. Before retirement, my take-home pay was roughly $1700 twice a month. My last day of work was July 29,2005. Then the retirement pension checks started rolling in. My check , once a month, is a little over $2900. (I still pay income taxes and my own health insurance) Then came Katrina , and gasoline prices shot way up. When working, I was driving 90 miles roundtrip, and filling up my tank twice a week. I now spend about $20 a week on gas. I also eat lunch at home with my darling husband. The way I figure it, I am better off staying home, the money I would be spending on transportation and lunches out is more than offset. And the lack of stress has improved my overall health.

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Those pay checks look alluring but if you can do it on what you get now it is very satisfying. Congratulations!!!

    Bookmark   May 25, 2006 at 5:27PM
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My assumption: if your paycheques came every two weeks, that was 26 per year, at $1,700. each, to produce annual income of $44,200.

Now your monthly pension of $2,900. provides $34,800. - or $9,400. (21%) less.

Yet - you feel better off financially, let alone benefitting from emotional, family and other advantages.

You sound like a happy woman: enjoy your retirement.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   May 25, 2006 at 9:10PM
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Thanks, joyful. I was unhappy about leaving my job. I miss the companionship of co-workers, and I was unsure I could stand to be around my husband 24/7. I find now that there are many advantages in my current situation. By the way, I used to get paid every 2 weeks, 26 paychecks a year. I ran my budget on 2 paychecks a month (24). When I received those two extra paychecks, I always found them handy for Christmas spending and vacations. Now every day is a day off, as I tell people. I never have to fret about asking my boss to take a day off.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2006 at 11:10AM
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And because I was 52 when I started to collect my pension, I was charged a reduction. If I could have managed to keep working to age 55, my pension would have been $3304 a month. I asked for an easier position for the last three years and was refused. I suffered a stroke in 2001 and I'm on a waiting list for a kidney transplant. But I try to be positive. I heard there's a 99-year old woman who holds the record for the oldest living kidney transplant recipient. I'd like to beat her record!

    Bookmark   May 26, 2006 at 8:12PM
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Given your health problems, I would say this early retirement worked to your advantage. Enjoy every day and stay positive. :-)

    Bookmark   May 28, 2006 at 12:08PM
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Now you are a free woman: you can do what you like with each day.

Use it to find some interesting things to do with others in your community who have similar interests, go to the library to borrow materials, and many have a paper that they get out occasionally through the year to tell of upcoming courses, interest groups, hobbies, interesting speakers, etc.

I just came from what we used to call senior men's coffee hour at church, but now they've modernized the name to ROMEO - "Retired Old Men Eating Out".

I said that it shoud be ROMDO - "Retired Old Men Drinking Out", but that idea went over like lead bricks.

If you have a faith connection, there may be a group there that would interest you - or, no reason why you couldn't start one to deal with some issue/situation that claims your interest.

Many agencies in most cities are looking for volunteers, dealing with many issues - quite likely some would interest you, and you'd meet some very interesting people.

You've worked for years to enjoy this time of freedom (we hope that it's "years" of freedom, while enjoying sufficiently good health that it doesn't restrict you too much from following your interests). Now's the time to enjoy them.

God grant you many happy, healthy years to enjoy your retirement.

Good wishes to you and yours.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   June 8, 2006 at 12:41PM
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