“RETIREMENT: Income, Pension, Planning, Calculator, etc. – What do want? – I have thought about it!*”

Vol. 2,  No. 19,  September 25, 2011
TITLE: “RETIREMENT: Income, Pension, Planning, Calculator, etc.  – What do want? – I have thought about it!*”
The end of summer 2011 was different – big time. I RETIRED. My whole world shifted and my everyday changed. I want to give you a look inside … behind the front lines. I don’t have to theorize about a person retiring,  I am living it. I know of what I speak. My book of the week is:  “About Schmidt ” (Ballantine Reader’s Circle) by Louis Begley (Author). Hence, my subject is retirement.  (Editor’s Note: This is the second of a series on re-careering in midlife, retraining and retirement.)

PREVIEW #1: In a day or two, look for my next recipe installment, (located in the very same place), in another of my blogs. entitled, “CUCINA D’ANTONIETTA*”(Antonietta’s Kitchen*), “the art of food, wine, family & more*”. This time, I am cooking up, “Peperoni Ripieni a l’Antonietta” (Antoinette’s Stuffed Peppers). Bring your napkin.

PREVIEW#2: Next week, I will give you another installment of my series on parenting, schooling and the return to class. This time, my sub-topic will be mentoring… it’s an important component of a sucessful educational career. Please come by and check out my post after the bell rings at 3:00P.M. I will be waiting for you.    


In my family, my father retired first. He was 65 and sold his business/truck.  Shortly after, he got a part-time job, pumping gas, a few days- a-week. It was at a gas station of a friend. HE LOVED IT! My mother waited until she was about 65 and then retired. She then busied hereself with her home, family, etc.

When I started thinking seriously about retirement, I spoke with friends and acquaintances. Some retirees said that it was a great time and place. These people were overjoyed – they explained that they had plans – places to go and things to do. Not everybody saw it that way.  A number of people who I knew, worked beyond their minimum years of service.  They didn’t have another job. They couldn’t imagine what they would do. They just stayed put. One was in his seventies.

I retired a month ago.  Many people at my former workplace were incredulous. Some said: “You are not old.” I said: “I feel young.” Others said : “You look so young. ” I would reply: “Thank you for the compliment.  Still others asked: “Why did you do it.” I answered: “It was the right time for me.” 

First, after 35 years of service, I was entitled to a full pension. Staying put would not get me  much more in dollars and cents. My decision was logical – it was to my advantage. Second, I was too young to stop working and I had another job lined up. That made it easier to come to the decision. Third, I was ready for something different – I was looking forward to a new career. I put in a few hours a week after 5:00 P.M. beforehand and had an idea of what to expect.  But emotionally, it was another story. I didn’t expect to be so emotional and sad. I really missed the routine and the social side of the workplace. It took me by surprise. 

A few years ago, I went to a seminar about retirement.  The speaker, who held a big position remembered when he entered his former workplace, the security and support staff would warmly greet him. He received a smile and several friendly words. Now that he had retired, he found that things had changed a lot. Now, when he went to visit, not many people acknowledged him.  How sad? 

THE AUTHOR:  Louis Begley

Begley was born on October 6, 1933 in Stryj of the then Poland, the only child of a physician. He survived the Holocaust  (i.e., the genocide of approximately six million European Jews and millions of others during W.W.II.) Using forged identity papers,  pretending to be Polish Catholics, his mother and he survived. In 1959, on graduation from Harvard Law School, he practiced law with a New York firm. He retired on January 1, 2004. He went from writing legalese to novels. He is a writers’ writer. He has the awards to prove it:  (a) The Irish Times-Aer Lingus International Fiction Prize; (b) National Book Award Finalist; (c) National Book Critics’ Circle Finalist; (d) PEN/Ernest Hemingway Foundation Award; (e) Prix Médicis Étranger; (f) Jeanette-Schocken-Pries; (g) Bemerhavener Bürgerpreis für Literatur; (h) American Academy of Letters Award in Literature; (i) Konrad Adenauer-Stiftung Literaturpreis; etc.
(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Begley
• Wartime Lies (1991)
• The Man Who Was Late (1993)
• As Max Saw It (1994)
• About Schmidt (Ballantine Reader’s Circle) by Louis Begley (Author) 1996
• Mistler’s Exit (1998)
• Schmidt Delivered (2000)
• Shipwreck (2003)
• Matters of Honor (2007)
(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Begley

Movie: “About Schmidt ”
The 2002 film adaptation of the Begley’s novel has Jack Nicholson as its star. Kathy Bates is the female star. Early on, you see him at the office, quite “dorky”, yet seemingly successfully fitting in.  Gazing at the clock, Jack’s character is waiting for the hours to tick down. We realize that he is retiring. He soon finds that life in the retirement lane is slower. Indeed, he doesn’t strike you as “fast and furious”. He then becomes quirky, not quite knowing what to say and do, seemingly not fitting in anywhere. His escapades are really misadventures. At one point, he meets the Kathy Bates character, a senior citizen flower child of the 1960s.  You fill in the blanks. 

THE BOOK:  “About Schmidt ” (Ballantine Reader’s Circ.) by Louis Begley
This is one man’s story of death, retirement and inheritance. Albert Schmidt is a widower – this is about his life after he lost his wife of many years. He is a retired lawyer. Surprise surpsise….he has an unhealthy diet. He owns a house in the Hamptons. He has an adult daughter, Charlotte. She is a yuppie, in public relations for BIG tobacco. He wants to leave his home to his daughter, but she doesn’t want it. Life is simple yet complicated at the same time. Such is the time after work. It is one man’s take on the retirement stage. It is more than interesting. Read between the lines. Learn and retire better.   


Many of us will probably retire. Retirement could be wonderful or bad – indeed, truly great or really bad. Which will it be for you?

Personal Comments

Retirement could be a very tough time and place.  One really doesn’t know what to expect. When you get there, it might be overwhelming.

The transition from the work force to a stay-at-home retirement could be a shock to your system. Once the novelty of retirement wears off, some people whoosh like a popped balloon. On leaving their lifetime work, they lose themselves. They seemingly lose who they are: their (work) identity. They see their self worth sink to zero.

First, I say that they are wrong. They are who they are. What they did to make a living was only a part of who they are. They are worth much more than their job function.  In a family, they are unique: a son/daughter, husband/wife, father/mother, brother/sister, etc. They love and are loved.  That’s just the start. Connect the dots!  

Second, think about retirement… no really think about it.  You need to find your new life….just like the hamburger…just the way you like it! 

You work so long, looking forward to retirement. You dream – you have so many dreams.

You want to have a pleasant retirement. It is very important to have plans before you retire.  Many people think about the financial aspect of retirement.  “Yes” money is important. But, it’s not the whole story. It’s also about what you will do, day-in-day-out. If rich and famous, you have the means to go here and there, hobnobbing or some such. (Don’t envy them – many find such a life unfulfilling.)  I think that re-careering is a good option. A second option is volunteering – helping those in need, whether locally, regionally or whatever.  Other alternatives are: physical exercise and training, hobbies, sports, educational courses, etc.  I am sure that you can come up with ideas of your own. Being without activities to occupy your time could spell trouble in retirement.

Remember the slogan that starts with: “You’re not getting older….”  I think you’re getting better because you’re closer to retirement. 

The Point

Retirement is a huge challenge. Do it right! Retire well.

Dos & Don’ts – if at retirement age:

1. Remember the slogan that speaks of being worth it. I agree.  Recognize that you’re a high value person. Your retirement can be great.  
2. Make sure that retirement is financially feasible; in this regard,

2.1 Evaluate your pension income – use an on-line pension calculator;
3. Figure out what you’re going to do. Don’t retire unless you have something to occupy your time. Try to find something about which you are passionate.
4. Make a plan; in this regard,

4.1 Set new goals- you need goals;   
4.2 Make your dreams happen. Remember the slogan that speaks of Freedom ??. It is all about dreams.  

4.3 Develop your strategies to get to the place where you want to be;

4.4  Set up an anticuipated schedule;

5. Get prepared for the transition; in this regard,

5.1 Recognize that retirement is one of the major transitions in your life and the last. The transition to retirement could be less painful if you have a plan.
5.2 Take into consideration your state of mind – embrace a better attitude ;

5.3 Prepare to be emotional – I think that you then might find it less difficult;  

I want your retirement to be amazing?Don’t you? Open your horizons. It is possible!* 

Take it out for a spin and tell me if you agree.
And that’s my thought of the week on books, what’s yours?*
“Books are life; and they make life better!*”
P.S. Big News: There are big changes coming to my blog – Please stay tuned.
P.P.S. #1 I have a TWITTER page. Consider becoming a follower? Visit www.twitter.com  –   saveandread
P.P.S. #2 I also have a FACEBOOK page. Consider becoming a friend? Visit: www.facebook.com  – Alp Save Andread – please check it out.
P.P.S. #3 I am on Linkedin. Consider becoming a connection? Visit  www.linkedin.com – Antoinette La Posta
*TM/© 2011 Practitioners’ Press Inc. – All Rights Reserved.
*TM/© 2011 Practitioners’ Press Inc. – All Rights Reserved.
S & R* CHOICE ANECDOTAGE #1: Classic Groucho
The day after his retirement, Groucho Marx, having long planned a trip to Paris, hopped on a plane to fulfill his dream. Upon his return, he was met at the airport by a friend named Herb. “Well,” he asked, “how was Paris?” “Oh, it was fine,” Groucho replied, “but I wish I’d gone twenty years ago.” “When Paris was really Paris, eh?” Herb remarked, sympathetically. “No,” said Groucho, “when Groucho Marx was really Groucho Marx!”
(Source: www.anecdotage.com) – http://www.anecdotage.com/index.php?aid=11501

S & R* CHOICE ANECDOTAGE #2: No, By George!
Late in life, George Burns was asked whether he planned ever retire. “Retire?” Burns replied. “I’m going to stay in show business until I’m the only one left!”
(Source: www.anecdotage.com) – http://www.anecdotage.com/index.php?aid=5823

S & R* CHOICE ANECDOTAGE #3: Pothead Prime Minister
One day in October 2003, Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien announced that, although he had never smoked marijuana before, he might be willing to try it after his retirement, even if efforts to decriminalize it failed. “I will have my money for my fine [in one hand],” he declared, “and a joint in the other hand!”
(Source: www.anecdotage.com) –  http://www.anecdotage.com/index.php?aid=14875

S & R* QUOTE #1: Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey
That “change makes us uncomfortable” is now one of the most widely promoted, widely accepted, and underconsidered half-truths around…. [I]t is not change by itself that makes us uncomfortable; it is not even change that involves taking on something very difficult. Rather, it is change that leaves us feeling defenseless before the dangers we “know” to be present that causes us anxiety. (from Immunity to Change)
(Source:  Wisdom Quotes) –  http://www.wisdomquotes.com/

S & R* QUOTE #2:  Audre Lorde
Life is very short and what we have to do must be done in the now.
(Source:  Wisdom Quotes) – http://www.wisdomquotes.com/topics/life/
S & R* QUOTE #3: Parker J. Palmer
I want my inner truth to be the plumb line for the choices I make about my life — about the work that I do and how I do it, about the relationships I
enter into and how I conduct them.
(Source:  Wisdom Quotes) – http://www.wisdomquotes.com/topics/life/index2.html
*TM/© 2011 Practitioners’ Press Inc. – All Rights Reserved.
—————————————————————–———————————————————————-ANNEX II
For today, my word/phrase(s) are: “retirement”;  etc.


Retirement is the point where a person stops employment completely.[1][2] A person may also semi-retire by reducing work hours.
(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retirement
In most countries, the idea of retirement is of recent origin, being introduced during the 19th and 20th centuries. Previously, low life expectancy and the absence of pension arrangements meant that most workers continued to work until death. Germany was the first country to introduce retirement in the 1880s.The “standard” retirement age varies from country to country but it is generally between 50 and 70 (according to latest statistics, 2011). In some countries this age is different for males and females, although this has recently been challenged in some countries (e.g., Austria), and in some countries the ages are being brought into line.[4] The table below shows the variation in eligibility ages for public old-age benefits in the United States and many European countries, according to the OECD.
Country Early retirement age Normal retirement age Employed, 55–59
 Employed, 60–64 Employed, 65–69 Employed, 70+
Austria 60 (57) 65 (60) 39% 7% 1% 0%
Belgium 60 65 45% 12% 1% 0%
Cambodia 50 55 ? ? ? ?
Denmark none 65 77% 35% 9% 1%
France 62* 65* 51% 12% 1% 0%
Germany 65 67 64% 23% 3% 0%
Greece 57 65 51% 31% 8% 1%
Italy 57 65 (60) 34% 12% 1% 0%
Netherlands 60 65 53% 22% 3% 0%
Norway 62 67 ? ? ? ?
Spain 60** 65** 46% 22% 0% 0%
Sweden 61 65 78% 58% 5% 1%
Switzerland 63 (61), [58] 65 (64) 77% 46% 7% 2%
Thailand 50 60 ? ? ? ?
United Kingdom none 65 69% 40% 10% 2%
United States 62 67 66% 43% 20% 5%
Greater wealth tends to lead to earlier retirement, since wealthier individuals can essentially “purchase” additional leisure. Generally the effect of wealth on retirement is difficult to estimate empirically since observing greater wealth at older ages may be the result of increased saving over the working life in anticipation of earlier retirement. However, a number of economists have found creative ways to estimate wealth effects on retirement and typically find that they are small. For example, one paper exploits the receipt of an inheritance to measure the effect of wealth shocks on retirement using data from the HRS.[15] The authors find that receiving an inheritance increases the probability of retiring earlier than expected by 4.4 percentage points, or 12 percent relative to the baseline retirement rate, over an eight-year period. A great deal of attention has surrounded how the financial crisis is affecting retirement decisions, with the conventional wisdom saying that fewer people will retire since their savings have been depleted; however recent research suggests that the opposite may happen. Using data from the HRS, researchers examined trends in defined benefit (DB) vs. defined contribution (DC) pension plans and found that those nearing retirement had only limited exposure to the recent stock market decline and thus are not likely to substantially delay their retirement.[16] At the same time, using data from the Current Population Survey (CPS), another study estimates that mass layoffs are likely to lead to an increase in retirement almost 50% larger than the decrease brought about by the stock market crash, so that on net retirements are likely to increase in response to the crisis.[17]More information tells of how many who retire will continue to work, but not in the career they have had for the majority of their life. Job openings will increase in the next 5 years due to retirements of the baby boomer generation. The Over 50 population is actually the fastest growing labor groups in the US. This might have something to do with the economy, or the fact that this generation is outliving any previous generation and needs a job to entertain them! A great deal of research has examined the effects of health status and health shocks on retirement. It is widely found that individuals in poor health generally retire earlier than those in better health. This does not necessarily imply that poor health status leads people to retire earlier, since in surveys retirees may be more likely to exaggerate their poor health status to justify their earlier decision to retire. This justification bias, however, is likely to be small.[18] In general, declining health over time, as well as the onset of new health conditions, have been found to be positively related to earlier retirement.[19]Most people are married when they reach retirement age; thus, spouse’s employment status may affect one’s decision to retire. On average, husbands are three years older than their wives in the U.S., and spouses often coordinate their retirement decisions. Thus, men are more likely to retire if their wives are also retired than if they are still in the labor force, and vice versa.[20][21]
(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retirement
S & R* NEWS ALERT* #1:
Consider downsizing in retirement when faced with mortgage debt The first wave of baby boomers will turn 65 this year but many may not be ready for retirement. A recent poll from CIBC reveals that nearly half (46 per cent) of our country’s baby boomers still carry a mortgage and 75 per cent still carry additional debt. The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) advises that downsizing to a smaller living space can help reduce mortgage debt and could also offer other lifestyle benefits. Smaller houses and condominiums can require less maintenance and leave more free time to enjoy living. The decision to move from the family home to a smaller house, townhouse or condo is becoming more popular, said Barbara Sukkau, president of OREA. Homeowners should take the time to consider what they can afford, what kind of lifestyle they want to have and what type of home they’d like to live in.Sukkau offers the following advice:
-Consider your debt: How much do you owe on your mortgage and how can downsizing help you to pay this off much faster?
-Figure out how much of your debt you can pay off by looking at the principal owing compared to costs related to selling. Then take into account other housing costs related to
your new space such as reduced property taxes and utility fees to get a clearer picture.
-Remember, condos also have maintenance fees that can rise over time if the building doesn’t have a sufficient reserve fund in place.
-Consider your current lifestyle: How many rooms do you need? How long will the kids still be living at home? How often do you have overnight guests? How much stuff can you get rid of? It’s important to consider what you’re willing to give up in return for a downsized space, including whether or not you still plan to host family holidays.
-Consider your future lifestyle: Do you have plans to travel after retirement? Is deteriorating health an issue? Perhaps a single-level home like a bungalow or a low maintenance space like an apartment would suit your future needs. With proper planning, downsizing can get you the lifestyle and home that you want. Visit howrealtorshelp.ca to help you when you decide.
“News Canada” <article@newscanada.com>www.newscanada.com
S & R* NEWS ALERT* #2: Retirement planning with annuities
According to Michael Aziz, regional vice president of individual insurance product sales at Desjardins Financial Security, annuities can be an important part of a retirement plan. “Annuities have become more than just a source of life-time income,” said Aziz. “Some can be used as a charitable donation, and that’s a very smart tax and estate planning strategy.” We asked Aziz to give us a tour through the different types of annuities: To start, what is an annuity?An annuity is a long-term savings contract designed to provide you with guaranteed income.
How does it work?
An annuity allows you to convert your savings into regular income, which is paid out over a specified period of time or for life. For example, the funds are invested and then after a prescribed period of time the client receives an income at regular intervals for a pre-determined period of time or until their death, depending on the type of annuity chosen. These payments are determined based on factors such as life expectancy and current interest rates.What kinds of annuities are available?There are four that are most common:
A life annuity provides a guaranteed and predictable income for life. It’s safe from market fluctuations and can be reversible, meaning that when the person dies, the annuity payments continue and are paid to their beneficiary. Term certain annuity provides a regular guaranteed income for a specified period. If the person dies before the end of this set period, the annuity is paid to the beneficiary. Adapted life annuity, also called an impaired risk annuity, is designed to meet the needs of a person who has been diagnosed with a critical illness or whose life expectancy has been reduced. The payments the person receives are higher than conventional life annuity payments because they factor in their special circumstances.A charitable annuity allows a person to support a favourite charity while still receiving a guaranteed regular income for a specified period or for life. He would also receive a tax credit for the donation. To learn more about how to include annuities into your retirement plan, speak to your financial advisor. Or for more immediate answers, visit
Desjardins Financial Security at www.desjardinslifeinsurance.com.
*TM/© 2011 Practitioners’ Press Inc. – All Rights Reserved

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