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Are we talking about my retirement expectations or yours?

Starting over at 57

Author: Mary Calhoun/Monday, June 30, 2014/Categories: Workforce

“You don’t have the years to retire”…remember you will need 70 – 80%, probably more, of your current income…”
 
“You are not being realistic—your medical expenses can wipe out your pension if you start drawing before you qualify for Medi-Cal..."
 
"You will regret going out now—you need to stay for at least 5 more years (until age 62) so that you can get a decent pension to live on...”
 
Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!!! Whose retirement is this, anyway?
 
I'm being blasted from colleagues and friends as “jumping ship” prematurely into retirement because I’m not using some pre-packaged presumed assumption of how I will be living my life when I retire from my current career job.
 
I’ve actually received intervention calls from those who think I’m headed to financial ruin if I decide to retire when our program is dissolved in July. Interventions! One such intervention turned into an all-out debate about pension percentage comparables. I had to end the conversation because she was in such a panic on my behalf I felt compelled to end her state of distress.
 
I don’t want to retire, yet…but I may have to if I’m not successful in finding an employment opportunity in the short time frame that we have been given. Here’s one of the key points I tried to share with my community circle—most of whom have committed to retiring in their 60s and 70s:
  • Retiring from this organization does not mean that I must immediately start drawing from my retirement pension. My retirement portfolio includes more than my organization’s pension.
  • In the last 20 years, especially the last five years, I have tried my best to seize every retirement savings opportunity presented to me. In addition to the hefty percentage being deducted from my paycheck every pay period by my employer for my retirement pension, I’ve tried to max out my Roth IRA contributions, when I could. For a few years I was able to max out in the organization’s supplemental savings programs and positioned my retirement portfolio on a solid foundation. 
  • Finally, I’ve worked long enough to earn enough quarters for Social Security; and I will get a respectable allowance when I apply for it. 
Could I have saved more for retirement? Absolutely!
 
Do you have enough to retire? Is Social Security enough? Some helpul resources:
 
(This post is part 1 in a three-part series on retirement from blogger Mary Calhoun. Watch for more!)
 
 
 
 
 

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Mary Calhoun
Mary Calhoun

Mary Calhoun

Pacific Region OASIS member Mary L. Calhoun has worked in the public sector for over 35 years. She's a former staff writer for a Los Angeles City Councilmember and a technical writer who has published annual reports, media portfolios, training and instructional manuals, policy and more. Other posts by Mary Calhoun
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