Ca. Senior Forced Into Retirement

by B Bennett
(Riverside, Ca, USA)

I began working in a district just after completing a Masters in Special Education and three Credentials as a Resource Specialist working with Mildly Disabled Middle School students. My placement was on Step 13, representing years of experience though I had 20 years.

Bottom line was for me to earn in dollars those 20 years, I needed to work in the district: work 3 years + earn specified # college credits, move Step 16, work 3 more years + earn credits, move Step 19, work 3 more years + earn credits, move Step 22. By the time, I reached Step 22, my total teaching experience equaled 32 years, 12 spent in this punishing district.

For three years, the administration harrassed, criticised, spied, accused falsely, but mostly held me responsible for an entirely different educational standard than my equals until I agreed to retire.

The best part was my final pay. The summer before my last year the district agreed to a 13% pay increase. Why did they want me out… for the money!! I was working every overtime job I could apply for; Saturday School, After School Tutoring, Home Hospital Tutoring, and Summer School.

Why? I was going through a divorce and didn't want to go home. I lost my mom the year before and my daughter had had brain surgery. I WAS A LIABILITY!!

Now since I took out about 15 years of my retirement during my marriage, you can imagine how through all that misery what my financial life was about. I scraped up every dollar I could to purchase back all those years and then some. However, I had to take $100,000 out of my house. The rest was mutual funds and all my inheritance.

Now I'm way upside down in my house with PMI and I desperately need a REFINANCE out of the ARM. I retired at 60 years with 36 years at $86,000. Some things I did right.

Could I take a loan against my retirement to remove the PMI? Pay the loan back at low interest.

Wendy: In response to your question, it depends on the system. I've never heard of a loan on a pension (only possibly on a 401k or deferred compensation), but every system is different and sometimes union negotiations come up with unique solutions.

You certainly DID do something right. I assume the overtime and extra work you did increased your lifetime monthly pension? I'd guess it did.. good for you!

Did your ex-spouse get part of your pension or did you negotiate something else? Just curious...

Bottom Line: Despite the mortgage (many folks are in the same boat), you sound like you've really taken care of your future... Kudos to you!

Please, Please don't let the three negative years continue to bother you. I've seen this happen to so many over the years - publicly everyone believes the new retiree chose to retire. Privately, they'd tell me that they were "forced out". It's a shame -- however, It's done, move on, mentally. Sometimes a person gets so hooked into the wrongdoing loop and can't find their way back to a happy life - and that's not good.

Finally, this is an odd idea, but it might do the trick for you to allow you to live the life you were meant to live in Retirement.

Best Wishes for a Long Happy & Healthy Retirement!

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