I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Retire on $9,000.00 Per Month? This District Support Employee Did....
Over the course of the last school year I have spent some time weekly at one particular school where I mentor a young student. During that time I have frequently had occasion to speak with one of the support employees who works at this school--we'll just say her name is "Jean"
About a month back, Jean seemed exceptionally bubbly and multiple personnel were coming in and out congratulating her, so I asked her what the occasion was. Jean then proceeded to inform me that this day, this particular day, was the last day she would ever be working in her life--she was retiring. I congratulated her as well. I asked if she would miss the job, the kids, and the people. She politely smiled and said she was looking forward to not working anymore.
Some small talk ensued, and Jean then frankly said that, although she was not a highly paid district employee, she had been working for the schools in support positions since the early 1980s--and she had been diligent about saving money and investing these funds.
"I'm not even a savvy investor--I don't have a clue" Jean explained. I just read a few books about saving, and I followed a plan and did not deviate from it"
Jean explained that, even going through personal issues, including a divorce, she maintained her saving and investing regimen.
We discussed rising costs, the recession, etc. and I, feeling comfortable with the discussion and the topic, off the cuff asked her if she felt a state pension, social security, and her savings would permit her to retire in a comfortable fashion.
Her response about floored me.....
"I'll be retiring with an income of about $9,000.00 monthly"... "I'm going to sell my home here in Pensacola if I can, I owe very little on it. Then, I'm going to move closer to one of my sons and grandkids about a twelve hour drive away from Pensacola. I am looking forward to enjoying this next stage of my life with my family"
I absolutely love stories like this--the American Dream comes in all shapes and sizes and can be reached by any and all that choose to go for it-whether it is a start-up business-the hare-or a retiree who made good, disciplined financial choices and will reap the benefits--the tortoise.
The American Dream is alive and exists even for those who earn low to modest hourly rates--as long as they make good financial decisions--as Jean apparently did.