For more than a decade, I worked for a defense contractor in Iowa and accumulated a modest pension. Though not able to normally retire until 55, I was offered the option to do it early.
So how does a pension work? The company assigned a value based on a number of factors regarding length of employment, earnings, etc. The money can be taken as a lump sum. The same dollar value is divided by the number of months between when a person retires and when the statistics say he or she will die. Retire later and closer to death and the payments are larger. Retire sooner and since there are more months before a person “croaks” then the payments are smaller. In any case, a person wants to outlive the statistics because the payments are for life and we want to maximize the payout. But in my case, there is one other factor to ponder.
Some friends posthumously convinced me to take the money early. Fred W and Kevin R passed away a few years ago of massive heart attacks. Another buddy, “Homeless Dave” (though he did have a home in his Nissan Sentra) had a heart attack and fell off the bench inside Walmart. All three of them were bigger guys and had diabetes. I’m no different – just luckier. In fact, two of the guys did a better job managing their blood sugar. After much reflection, I decided to semi-retire now and keep active by working at the fast food job. It seems to be going well and is still lots of fun… despite the hard labor.
The only thing that might change in the coming days is a little more time to camp and relax in the spring… A vacation would be nice. We’ll have to see how it all goes.
Have a good one! Thanks for stopping by!
Brad and the feline friends in Jones County, Iowa
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