Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Depression Doesn't Begin To Explain It :~(

For the past year and a half I have been anxiously awaiting retirement. This year is my 31st year teaching. I am 54.

According to my calculations, I would be able to retire at the end of the 2009-2010 school year, and be able to devote full time to my writing. My house would be paid off by then, and my reduced retirement check would pretty much equal what I'm taking home now minus my house payment.

I received the news today that the Texas legislature has changed the rules. I must wait another 4.5 years before I can retire with full benefits.

Oh, yes, I can retire next year with partial benefits, but after 30 plus years teaching, I'm not going to settle for less than 40%.

FOUR AND A HALF MORE YEARS.

I'm not just upset. I'm devastated.

8 comments:

melanie said...

Oh I am so sorry and sorry for myself too. That means I don't get your books faster WAAAAAAAAA . But really that SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!Love ya though. Melanie

Diana Castilleja said...

Oh Linda, that is just awful! I know you've been looking forward to being to walk into retirement.

pat said...

Gee Linda have you thought of getting together with your other soon to be retirees and getting a lawyer. Your after 30 yrs of expectations you should get your retirement

Linda Mooney said...

Thanks, everyone. Pat, the state government decides the rules. I have no say-so. Back when I began teaching in 1976, teachers could retire under The Rule of 70 - meaning their age plus years experience = 70. Since then the law has been upped to 80, then 85, and now 90. And they wonder why they can't keep teachers in the field. :(

Because of my years teaching, I was notified I was "grandfathered" in at "70". I just got off the phone with a Teacher Retirement System rep who says that being grandfathered means I have to meet The Rule of 80 now, not 70 as I believed. But to "have heart", since it didn't mean 90, either!

The teaching field is losing the biggest percentage of its work force now - the baby boomers. So the state is doing what it can to stem the flood of retirees, which would put a strain on their coffers.

I am just crushed. If you only knew what teachers are having to put up with.

Jo said...

More than ever, I'm glad I got out when Karen was born. I never looked back. My last year of teaching, I had 43 kids in my class for the first 9 weeks! And that year, I had to fight to get on at a school closer to where I lived. They wanted to send me 30 miles away! I refused to go. There's just so much C**P one can take in the politics of the school system. Linda, I totally empathize with you. It really does Suck.

Tracy Goodwin said...

Linda, I'm so sorry! That is just terrible!

Hey, have you considered getting word out to National news outlets about the change in Texas state law? Would a national spotlight get lawmakers to reconsider?

You, and all teachers, deserve better!

Hugs,

Tracy

Linda Mooney said...

Tracy,

The legislature changed it in 2005. Although it was "explained" to us in a mailout, most of us old-timers were still being assured we were grandfathered at 70. We were not aware how much the lawmakers had changed the rules until recently.

To make matters worse, Tx also put a limit on how much additional monies you can earn per year, on top of your retirement benefits. Earn above the cap, and TRS can stop your retirement checks.

At this time, I don't know how much that cap is (it depends on how much your monthly checks are), or how my royalties will affect me.

Somewhere there's a silver lining. I'm still looking for it. LOL!

MarthaE said...

Linda - this is definitely a sad thing! I know my DH retired a year ago at 65 and I still have 8 years to go for full Social Sec benefits unless they up the agae on that again too! And considering the attitude of today's kids AND the lack of proper funding for the classrooms I can only imagine the hassles you must face!