Retirement Income changes...

by Marie G

I retired from a County in California after 27 years and rely solely on my pension. My pension is 52% of my working income, about $2500 a month net income.

Prior to retiring, I refinanced my home to take advantage of lower interest rates and incorporate an equity loan I had taken out. I paid off my vehicle and paid off most of my credit cards. However, money is still an issue and I travel much less than I did prior to retirement.

The economy is such that I am paying more for gas, food and goods than I thought I would be, which takes away from my spendable income.

The most unfortunate is that my pension plan will be decreasing by $230 per month effective in 3 months due to the actions of the retirement board. This decrease has me worried enough to get a part-time job. Unfortunately it is a retail sales job in which I choose and schedule my own hours from available store hours.

I say unfortunately because I find myself making excuses to not schedule hours, because I really don't want to work. My biggest regret is that I did not have money set aside for emergency repairs or expenses and have used credit cards for that purpose. If I had not used my credit cards to the extent I have; I would feel much more secure.

This is not to say I don't love being retired, because I really do. I love choosing what I will do with my time each day and having no schedule to follow.

I have learned to once again enjoy the activities that are offered free of cost, as I did in my younger years. Concerts and movies in the park cost nothing and get you out of doors and mixing with your neighbors. I forgot how much I liked swap meets and the great feeling of getting a good deal on somethng you found, that you didn't even know you needed.

I used to say I had fun when I was young and poor and that I could do the same when I was old and poor. I am actually finding this to be true but I appreciate it more now than I did when I was young.

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