Today was the last day of school for the kids! Which means…IT WAS THE LAST TEACHING DAY FOR ME! I have one more contracted day (Monday) to attend. But…today it was “TEACHER OUT!” This was the last student day of my 25th year in my district. (Wow!! Twenty-five years in the same school district!) This moment came quickly through a lot of hard work, constant stress, and subtle/overt prejudice (from a principal, some colleagues, and some parents). But I made it, and now I get to determine when I will leave to enjoy my pension and retirement career.
I entered teaching as a second career when I was 25 years old. I knew then my teaching career would last 25 to 30 years. Now that my 25th year is here, it’s time to plan my retirement life. It sounds odd to talk about retirement when I’m just turning 50. However, teaching and working in the United States has changed since my grandfather and mom retired.
The average teacher today faces more requirements packed into the same 6 hour school day. We have more special-needs students who require specialized knowledge. Then there is our current government and Republican governors who have an issue with teachers and education. That means for anyone who has 20+ years, you should start prepping for the retirement phase of your life.
Teacher Retirement Research
I attended a Retirement Fair in our district last year. It was the best decision. I wasn’t ready to retire at that moment. However, the information our Business Administrator provided helped me to plan my exit. Now I know that based on how long my third career training takes, I can retire within 1 to 3-ish years. I will be able to supplement my pension (the money I’ve paid since my first day of teaching) with earnings from my new career. When you know that information, going to work each day can be a little less stressful.
So, if you’re a teacher in your 20th year, don’t wait until the year you decide to retire. You’ve spent your whole career researching best practices in teaching and evaluating your students. You should be researching the best practice for your retirement lifestyle. I’m retraining to work (hopefully) in Front-End Web Development. (Translation: I want to design Web Pages.) I’ve been working through tutorials on FreeCodeCamp.com. Don’t wait! Explore your retirement options before your last year. Make your “teacher-career” lead into another exciting adventure.