That’s right, I will never retire! Although I will retire from teaching in five (5) years, I know I will never just kick back and play golf, play cards or sit around. I saw firsthand how my mother worked part time into her mid eighties. She worked because she liked what she was doing! She retired from that job at eighty-six. What did she do? She made things and sold them at an open air market every Saturday.
It worked for her because it kept her engaged. More importantly, she lived to nearly ninety-nine (99) years old. This may not be right for everyone, but it was right for her. I know that I like to work and to stay busy. Being a planner by nature, I created a plan for retirement. Everyone talks about a financial plan for retirement, but I put together a retirement plan to achieve financial freedom before I reached forty (40) years old. I achieved my plan by the time I was thirty-eight (38) years old.
My focus now is to preserve and grow that nest egg so it will be there when I leave teaching in five (5) years. I will not be relying on it for income for my necessities; instead I will use it for luxuries. Between Social Security and a pension, I will have enough income to live reasonably because I will have no debt. I will use my withdrawal from my IRAs to travel and satisfy some of my wants. I expect to live in retirement for thirty (30) years. I expect to retire (again) shortly after my seventy-first birthday!
Many of my fellow teachers work as substitute teachers in retirement. Personally, I cannot imagine being a substitute teacher to earn some extra money. It is a well paid second income in retirement although there is a limitation how much you can earn. There are pros and cons of being a substitute teacher; you are not responsible for grades or content, but you need to be effective with someone else’s lessons. The students do not know you in most cases and discipline can be an issue!
My Plan for Retirement
Cycling – I started bicycling over twenty (20) years ago as a form of exercise. I usually ride my bicycle at least ninety (90) minutes from two (2) to seven (7) times a week. I expect to continue this well into retirement, but I realize I will not ride (outdoors) into my nineties. Since the state of California views bicycles as vehicles, there will be a time when I am unable to do certain things because of age. I plan on using these limitations to motivate me to fulfill some of my lifelong goals. For example, I want to bicycle a portion of the Tour de France! Not during the race, but some other time.
There are other goals with cycling such as riding in a century or half century ride. If you do not know what that is it is a one hundred (100) or fifty (50) mile ride respectively. Often, it has multiple stops at wineries, restaurants or a tour of the countryside. Although it can take as long as twelve (12) hours, I do not view it as a race. Another goal is to cycle in Europe or overseas as part of a river cruise. Daytime is used to explore the villages along the river and you return to the cruise ship either in the afternoon or evening. I think this type of exploration would be a lot of fun.
Living in the Los Angeles area, there are lots of day trips I can ride locally. Many years ago, I rode from Malibu to nearly Palos Verdes along the beach. When we vacationed in Santa Barbara years ago at a Bed & Breakfast, we used bicycles to tour the city. My friends and I rode down to the beach for lunch and enjoyed the city in a casual way. Last year, we finally visited New Orleans for the first time. I did not bicycle while I was there, but bicycling in other cities to discover the city is on my list. Some of you may say, I could do it now and you are right. My plan is to do much more of it than an occasional trip.
Although I am retiring as a teacher does not mean I do not want to teach. In fact, I will do it for free! I started to set things up with the Boys and Girls Club in my school. Some of the workshops will cover investigating careers, interviewing skills and writing resumes. Aside from many years experience in these areas, I taught these areas as part of courses for five (5) years. Next year, I will teach these courses again as well as other courses. The nice thing about a workshop is I get to pick subjects I enjoy and there is a need.
If the demand for these workshops grows, I will add subjects to meet demand which may mean additional locations. The nice thing about this kind of involvement is I can go in different directions. I can write a book and earn money, run seminars or workshops for money too. I can also control how many locations and how often the workshops are offered. The workshops can be a small group of less than twenty (20) people or a large group of five (500) people. Of course, the dynamics of a large group changes what can be done. I can offer materials for a token fee where the participant walks away with a template which may be very appropriate for a resume.
I started volunteering in the summer of 2012. I started volunteering now to create a framework for volunteering in retirement. I do not want to take the time and effort to figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life when I walk out of work on the last day! Besides, volunteering is similar to a job, not all volunteering is the same! It takes time to figure out what you like or enjoy and you need to try a lot of things. My current volunteering is helping with a nonprofit that feeds the homeless. As I do more and spend more time with them I may suggest adding more services.
I could add services such as workshops to help the homeless to re-enter the work world. My workshops for young people could help adults too with some minor changes. There are other opportunities that I could explore such as working on the local Board of Directors for Boys and Girls Clubs. There are professional organizations for retired professionals that are in need of volunteers. The list is almost never ending. This is one of the reasons; I am starting now and slowly adding to my hours of volunteering. I am not looking to occupy forty (40) hours a week, but I want worthwhile opportunities to contribute to my community.
For the last two (2) years, I have written a personal finance blog. Of course, my blog has evolved over time to include some other subjects, but writing has given me a new outlet for my thoughts. I never thought about writing as a profession except in my fantasies. Writing can be done anywhere and anytime which is very liberating. I am not sure where this may go other than the obvious. I can continue the blog and write articles or books as an opportunity to earn money. I do not want to give the wrong impression; I do not need or want to earn more money. It is a choice! I believe in multiple income streams because things happen.
Although my plan could change, I started it now to make changes and refine what I want to do. In many ways, it is no different than any other plan! A plan is a detailed proposal for doing or achieving something. Monitoring my progress will allow me to adjust my efforts, adapt to changes or change my plan either because my goals change or pursue new opportunities. Staying flexible is important in any plan to take advantage of opportunities and when things change. I am not advocating my specific choices because a plan is personal and should reflect your choices. I am advocating planning for retirement beyond just the financial side. What will you do? I know that I will never retire!
Photo by Tabsinthe