I finished my bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1982. Unfortunately, unemployment hit a post-depression high that year, and I couldn’t find a job that I liked. I went back to school to get teaching certification so I could coach high school debate. I’ve taught high school for 30 years. In 2009, I got certified to sell mutual funds, life insurance, health insurance, long term care insurance, and mortgages. I quit after three years working part-time, without much success as a salesman. While I was trying to sell financial products in 2010, I decided to go back and get my M.B.A. I planned to finish in two years, but an unavailable course and heart surgery for an aortic aneurysm cost me two years. I completed my M.B.A. in the summer of 2014. Last year I did tax preparation part-time.
Last spring, my wife (57) and I (55) retired from teaching, our older daughter graduated from college, and our younger daughter graduated from high school. Our pension checks started in June, but we won’t start living off our pension until September 15th. We finished teaching in May and received our final paychecks at the end of that month, which were double pay since we were normally also paid in June. We had also invested money with our union to receive summer checks at the end of July and August.
We will be living off pension checks that are 65% of our previous income, while we have a daughter in college. We also get an early retirement incentive of 16% of our income per year for five years, which will cover our health insurance and increase our retirement accounts. Our house has been paid off for nine years. We do have retirement accounts, but don’t want to touch them until they grow a bit more. We may do a little work for fun money at some point, but if we work more this year, it will put us in a higher tax bracket and increase our parent contribution as calculated by FAFSA. I also need to pay back our savings $14,200 for my M.B.A. I decided to blog about personal finance as we carefully examine our finances and hope this might offer someone else some insight.