Sunday, April 06, 2008

Crunching the numbers

With retirement only two days away I decided it was time to see if I could afford not to go to work. The last three years I have been living on half my net pay and saving the rest, good practice I thought for retiring at half pay. In the mail yesterday I got a sample work-up of the money I will be receiving after retirement. Now my numbers are off the mark. The work-up explained that these numbers would be 15-20% then I will actually get once the final average salary is figured out. This process takes them 6-8 months, why? I have no idea. But I will get a check for the owed amount at that. Ok I can live with that. Here's where my simple minded figures went awry, my way of thinking is 50% is half of the pay you were getting. Well duh it's not it is more like 72-75%. The cause: no state taxes, no health insurance premiums, no union dues, federal taxes at a lower rate, and no F.I.C.A. Very pleasantly amused by this turn. Plus the intangibles, the cost of going to work like gas prices are ever going to go down, the raffle ticket, football pools, lunches ordered out, uniform upkeep, plus what it does to my vehicles.

We have a deferred compensation plan at that I enrolled in 12 years ago. I was going to be wealthy when I retired. That projection has been slightly down-graded to we will most likely not need food stamps. Silly me, I thought that the deferred money was there to make up for the time between retirement and when I am old enough to collect social security. Four years, but who's counting? So who sold my name to some God forsaken clearing house for get rich quick mailings? They all want to manage my finances for me, how nice. Never realized how many helpful folks are out there.

Since these very kind folks see fit to fill my mailbox with fine offers, I feel it would not be fair of me to just throw the crap in the garbage. So I pack every scrap of their mailings into the postage paid envelope they send and mail it back to them with large hand written scrawling declaring my desire not to participate in these fine programs. It is only fair and my mail carrier needs the work, with E-mail, text messages, and the worldwide web eating up so much of the post office business these days. For some reason I am receiving less and less of these types of mailings.

I informed my children that the cash cow has been butchered and eaten and now in their thirties it is time to totally fend for themselves. I also explained the retirement plan to the bride. We have what is called a Pop-up feature, for a monthly premium, based on our ages she will continue to get the same check every month if I go first. If she goes first they stop taking the premium and my check pops up. This costs around $300.00 a month and it is a good deal in the long run. I looked and comparable life insurance and it is much costlier. She wanted to know why I get $300.00 more a month if she croaks and I explained this way. Hair transplants and a new convertible, I will need to replace her.

So why am I not wealthy beyond my wildest dreams? The stock market is the game I played for a while, but being a simple man I could not stand it. I used Y2K as my excuse to get out. Herein lies the rub, I buy 10 shares of xyz stock at $25.00 a share, three days later my $25.00 stock is worth $10.00. Who the hell got my $15.00. I know I know, the stock market should be treated like a kid riding a pogo stick up a hill. The kid will have his ups and downs but he keeps climbing the hill. Well guess what I managed to average around 5-6% with fixed investments while the average market player makes 7-8% and has to watch his money go up and down. Just not for me. I see guys come to work and hear horror stories about loses and it eats at them.

Right now if I continued working it would be for $3.41 an hour. I think not. Shit I could hand out carts at Walmart two days a week if I really needed to make that up. Besides I don't want to have much left when I go, I don't want my sons fighting over it. If fact when I go this is what I want people to say about me.

"Gee that bastard owed me a lot of money!"


Odat said...

Good for you. I figured out too that I'd be making more money after I retired!!! I've been in a deferred comp plan too for about 20 years.
It's a great feeling this retirement thing!!!

Solomon's words for the wise said...

Good luck with your retirement to Shinglehouse area. It's a great place to live. Check out my Potter County news blog, I think you'll like it. Jim

HopeSpringsATurtle said...

Wanted to stop by your place and say hey. Thanks for dropping by my place and letting me know you are out here. Keep the faith as there is providence afoot for those of us that hope and work toward happiness. We are all accidental tourists in this life. Best to you in retirement. I hope to see more of you in the future.

Ol' Lady said...

I thought your last day was April 29...but since your a government worker your probably like all of the other ones with 'time owed'
Ol Man was home for over 4 months before he officially retired.

You crack me up with the mailing back in the postage paid envelope, I do the same. I have a friend who puts a white label over the companies name and address and then uses the envelope for his own mail...saves him $$$

MarmiteToasty said...

As I have no retirement fund I will have to work til I die, but thats ok... its not like I have anyone to share me retirement with :)....

Ya never know, I might even sell me house and bugger off around the world and die in some foreign land with mountains or sea and with a smile on me face lol.......