It’s Not a Life Sentence

      I ran across a little article in the paper the other day that really made me think. It seems the longest working employee at UPS retired this year on Founder’s Day. Marty Peters, who is only 87 years old, finally hung up the browns after 67 years with the company. My first thought on seeing this was “God man, get a life.” Why would somebody choose to go to work instead of retiring when they have the chance? Life after UPS
     One reason is that people are simply scared to retire. They think they can’t afford it. Or they hear stories of people retiring and dying in 6 months. They’re scared they might be one of those people. They’re afraid and it’s easier to keep going to work than it is to make a life change. I know  a lot of you are thinking, “Man, I’d retire tomorrow if I was eligible.” But would you..really…?? I know a lot UPSers who have over 30 years, hate their jobs, but feel they can’t walk out just yet.
      I think there are few key factors that can make retirement possible and affordable. One is pay down your debts, like your house, as much as you can. You don’t have to have it paid off to retire, that’s a myth. Also, have a good financial planner.  Make a plan and stick to it. (I can recommend mine if you can’t find one). Get into a savings plan, like a 401(k) and don’t take any money out of it. And, for heaven’s sake, be willing to work part time when you retire. 
     With a defined benefit pension, it’s easy to plan for retirement. You know how much money to expect right off the bat. Thirty years of service nets you about $3000 a month. At age 62, you can draw your Social Security which should be more than half that amount again. When you add it up, that’s over $50,000 a year. A good financial planner should be able to set  you up with a comfortable lifestyle with those base figures. If you feel that won’t be enough, then you need to change your savings and spending habits now. 
     I’m telling you, nobody needs to work until they are 87. I’m coming up on the first year anniversary of retirement. Sept. 19 was my last day on the street and October 1  was my first day of retirement. I’m having a great time, money is not a problem and I haven’t looked back. I don’t miss working long hours and getting yelled at. Retirement should be the best years of your life. Be ready to jump as early as you can.