There is a certain category of books that can be classified as “teacher retirement books” – a category that I have been exploring recently. Here are a few of my favorites…
If your a teacher looking to retire , you’ve made an investment. Education. You have that one degree, or maybe a couple of them, for which you’ve spent that extra time and money at college. And now you want to spend your retirement educating yourself even more — through books. But where do you begin?
Retirement is a scary thought for teachers. That’s because most teachers have saved little to nothing for retirement. Just think about it, most teachers are putting most of their money into their classrooms instead of into their retirement accounts. For this reason, there are thousands of books on the subject of retirement specifically geared towards teachers.
Retiring as a teacher draws near and you need to plan the next stage of your life. Do not let retirement hinder your ability to earn an income as there are several lucrative retirement opportunities available as a former educator.
At what age do most teachers retire? Surprisingly most teachers retire at the age of 59, with those teaching higher educations persisting for a few more years.
teacher retirement Savings
First things first. It’s nearly impossible to save for retirement unless you also have an emergency fund for unexpected expenses. Otherwise, you may have to raid your retirement account for minor disasters like sudden car repairs, decimating your account and potentially accruing penalties.
“If you’re saving for your long-term goals and your water heater breaks, those long-term goals don’t matter,” says Dave Grant, a financial adviser in Illinois who runs the website FinanceForTeachers.com. “You need to have that money in the bank.”
Maria Manore, a kindergarten teacher at a Catholic school outside Detroit, puts money into a joint savings account she shares with her husband. The two of them use a spreadsheet to keep track of the money. “When we look at it, we don’t see one lump sum,” Manore says. “We see all of the things we’ve set aside for our goals. If we manage to save $1,000, we’ll say $200 is for the house, $100 is for car repairs, $50 is for medical expenses, et cetera.”
Many experts recommend having at least six months of living expenses set aside in an emergency savings fund, but Grant says that tenured teachers (due to their job stability, in most states) should feel comfortable with three months’ expenses in savings.
teacher retirement Debt?
If you’re in debt, setting aside money for retirement can seem counterintuitive. Shouldn’t you use that money to pay off your debt first?
It depends. Not all debt is created equal. Financial advisers recommend paying off loans first if the interest rate is higher than what you can expect from long-term investments. It usually doesn’t make sense to try to pay off a mortgage with a rate of 4 percent (with the added benefit of a tax deduction). Low-interest student loans are also a lower priority than retirement savings for many people.
High-interest credit card debt is another story, however. “In my eyes, high-interest debt comes first every time,” says financial adviser Dave Grant, noting that the interest on credit cards can be up to 15 percent or more—a far higher rate than the return on most investments. “If I could make you 15 percent on your money, would you want to do it?” Grant asks rhetorically. “Yes. Every time you pay down your credit card debt, you’re making 15 percent on your money.”