I've been fretting for months at the state of my retirement finances. During the last few downturns I was blissfully ignorant of all the racket -- heck, time was always on on my side. Markets always turned around. I've been up close and personal with dollar-cost-averaging combined with years. It works.
Now that I'm close enough to see the umbrella drinks on the horizon, however, I've become a bit more concerned. Retirement isn't somewhere off in the blurry distance, anymore. I want the flexibility to get out in 12 years when I'm 60. I want to be young enough to enjoy what comes later.
More importantly I need to know I'll have choices when I'm on the verge of becoming a cranky old bag occupying a classroom.
In my early years teaching I watched money run out at the end of each month while friends got ahead quickly in other fields. I've played the school district game of furthering my education time and time again so I could make some advances in pay. I've kept close tabs on all my in-n-out $$ for years, and have lived within my means. I can give you a run down of my expected expenses from now until infinity.
All I want is to be comfortable in the small house with the small yard...garden...dog...cats..... and to be able to jump on cheap travel deals.
Over the past couple of months I've tried hard to accept that I'll have to be working at 65 and that I won't have enough green to live the way I'd hoped. It's been eating away at my outlook.
So, yesterday I finally faced down all my accounts. I pulled up a variety of retirement calculators and couldn't get the numbers to play nice -- until I found a couple that dealt with a pension: that antiquated, noone-has-one-anymore, wonderful, glorious, I-love-teaching pension that may finally show me some financial payback for spending 40 years in a classroom.
Things aren't as bleak as I had thought.
-The Old I appreciate my job even more Bag