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Subject:  An unexpected retirement Date:  12/1/2012  11:10 AM
Author:  alstroemeria Number:  1433 of 1935

My husband planned to retire at the end of this school year, but due to speech problems from a mini-stroke, he decided to retire at the end of this semester instead. He's not displeased--well, he is about the medical/communication problems--but has been counting down the weeks and then the days since his decision. Now he has just one more teaching day, then final exams/student presentations and grading. Suddenly it all seems so sudden!

The same week he turns in his final grades is his retirement party and my cataract surgery. And some deferred home maintenance on DH's plate. And we'll be busy with Christmas--the kids/SOs/grandson are coming for a week. A busy month!

Then we face the music...that is, years of retirement planning get put to the test. His last paycheck is plunked into our bank account in late December, to be replaced by one very small pension check/month. We plan to hold out till our 64th birthdays to apply for SS, which means a heavy hit to savings for much of 2013. Once we're collecting both SS checks and two small pensions (he gets another one starting at age 65), I expect our income streams will look like this:

2/3 SS
1/3 evenly split between savings and pensions at first

Since one pension is frozen and the other has a 1% COLA cap, savings will soon dwarf pensions. And if Congress reconfigures SS COLAs so they no longer keep up with inflation either, the savings portion of our income will become higher still. Perhaps it won't be long before savings represents 50% of income.

What's new? We plan to do off-season RVing and take more advantage of campus events open to the public and to retired faculty--not to mention we have another grandchild on the way. All in all, we're really excited about our next phase of life!

=alstro, retiring well on less
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