Thursday, March 10, 2016

This Week's Big Thirsty From Geoff in Georgia.

I'm very new in these parts, but like others I've read about, I've had a bit of a "binge watch" of going through older posts from all of the associated blogs.

What fascinating stuff, and so worthy of large distribution.

The Cal post from yesterday got me thinking about my own retirement, which is some 8 years away, using the traditional markers. But my college has been pushing a phased retirement with us veterans, that allows us to go to half time (or even less with some department work) with 5 years remaining. It ends up costing us some money in the long run, but probably extends our lives a bit with less stress and less teaching.

Q: What are your plans concerning retirement? Who here is close, and who here is oh so many years away? Is it something you think about? At what age did you start pondering your exit from the profession? Does it truly seem like an impossible finish line? If you had your way, what would your path to retirement be?






PS from the RGM: The graphic, as everyone surely knows, is the iconic Big Thirsty image that goes back all the way to the "goon old days," and one of several hundred that Cal has made for his blog and this one.

20 comments:

  1. I'm 44, I've been teaching for about 8 years, and Spring Break leaves me wanting to retire tomorrow.

    The main thing that discourages me is how the job looks like it's only going to get worse: more teaching load, less time for research, no raises, bigger classes, more responsibility, less time and energy to have fun playing with ideas and equipment.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Seriously, Blogger: why does hitting the 'back' button re-submit your comment? That's just bad design.

      Delete
  3. I don't understand phased retirement. I mean, I understand wanting to give up everything but half the teaching, leaving the administrivia and untaught courses for others to worry about. And I understand admins wanting to reduce faculty count without having to justify searching for new ones: just fill in seat counts with adjuncts, and who cares about majors or advising or coherent curricula.

    I just don't understand why we do this to ourselves, if we have alternatives.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can see it has some value, in allowing people to adjust to life outside an institution and transition to what life will be like without the social structures it provides - it's worked well in the past for my department, for example by allowing us to continue to offer a much-loved final year elective for a couple of years after the colleague has mostly retired, and for the colleague by allowing them to tie up research ends, see out grad students and start to plan out their new life (for those who aren't exaulted enough to be able to have emeritus status later, especially). But it requires humane succession planning...

      --Grumpy Academic

      Delete
  4. What path to retirement? As an adjunct, I have nothing.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I highly doubt I'm ever going to be able to retire. I expect to die at my desk. Possibly from slamming my head against the desk too hard at all the bullshit in the papers I'm grading.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for this.

      The Gog

      Delete
  6. I had two mentors, one hung on to the bitter end, nearly died in his office. One took his retirement as soon as able, with smaller pension, smaller benefits, etc., moved to a dirt cheap town in the Midwest, and happily lives 15 years on.

    If I can keep my health and sanity, I'm getting out as soon as I have enough money to rent a single wide in Flyover, Iowa.

    Nick

    ReplyDelete
  7. My colleagues talk about continuing to teach or research after they retire or win the lottery, just so they won't be bored. I simply don't understand this attitude. I have no love for this job, though it is better than most occupations. I could retire now but the problem is that I'd have to die by June because the money will run out quick.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Top of my list of retirement "plans" is dying in the classroom from a massive coronary.
    I think of it as a learning opportunity for the little dears.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Preferably in the middle of a particularly lackluster student presentation.

      "Dude...you killed the professor!"

      Delete
    2. Building that enhancement to the "plan" in now! :-)

      Delete
  9. I'm in still the beginning of my career: I'm just past the five year mark, and I got here via fairly direct route.

    Retirement will likely not be a choice: I have genetic and physical issues that are likely to start impacting hard in my 50's or 60's (if I'm lucky).

    I love my job, both as a librarian and as a teacher, but deeply worry about the fate and direction of higher education. I'm one of the lucky one's with a state retirement plan that (if the legislature doesn't gut it) might allow me to retire about the time I stop being able to work.

    I know I need to start a retirement fund of my own, the frequent moves for the job have kept my bank account anemic, and we haven't had a raise in my state in...7 years?

    The federal government (or certain parts of it) seem to want to kill Social Security before I have any chance to collect it.

    I'm not sure what my plan is except go until I can't.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hell, I just started and I'm looking at my 57th birthday in a couple weeks. I may retire at 65 to work on books I want to write, even if I published them via The History Press and not an academic publisher. And I want to travel with my wife. She's a govie and started work at 21, so she can retire in two years and is itching to do so.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I just turned 54, and I've been teaching for--gulp--27 years, the first six as adjunct slave. I love parts of this job and detest others--crappy, shitty, crappy papers and lazy-assed students and bureaucratic shitty shit like the shitty shit shit FEMA training I'm slogging through today. Arrrrgh. Here's my plan: One more year after this semester as full-time then the half-time gig for as long as I can stand it. My wife and I have our financial house in order, but retiring fully at 55 means pretty minimal pension. If I can hang on until 62, then I max out in that area. I've got a 403b rockin', too, along with some other investments. We ain't rich, but it doesn't take much to make me happy. I figure teaching only one semester a year--perhaps with a single summer course--is something I can endure for a number of years. Right now, however, with a big, steaming pile of gag-me-with-a-dog turd essays staring at me, those 9 years are starting to seem dreadfully long.

    Hang tough, amigos.

    The Gog

    ReplyDelete
  12. I hit my state's minimum halfway point for retirement last year, so technically I'm on the downhill side.
    However, I plan on retiring from the state and hiring on at a SLAC or in a different state and "double dipping" for a few years. This plan, such as it is, was set in motion a few months into my first "real" job. After all, I must live up to the mantle of the Slacker Generation.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'm forty five years old and this is my third year of full time teaching.

    How'd that happen?

    A year off after college, a long drawn out time at grad school between waiting for my project to run (one of the downside of Big Hamster Science) and having a hard time putting the polish on the analysis, and then three post docs totaling another ten and half years.

    And what did it get me?

    A post at a third rank state university ("university" by courtesy of the two (count 'em) masters degrees offered on campus, but at least we don't offer an AA any more) that I actually like despite the under-prepared, over-stressed and sometimes unmotivated students.

    With a little luck I'll have tenure before I'm fifty (at least that is less of a crap-shoot here than at a major univ), and could have full by the time I'm fifty-five. At which point I'll make as much as a first year guy at one of the flagship schools in this state. Hey, at least the cost of living here is low.

    And I'll have to work into my sixties to qualify for retirement, but I've really settled into the job and can envision that without feeling sick. Maybe I'll even learn how to get to a few more of them each term somewhere along the way.

    ReplyDelete
  14. On my current schedule I have 2,100 teaching days till I retire (so clearly, yes, it's something I think about).

    If everything goes well (a big "if" given Batshit U's current direction), I'll be happy to retire where I currently live.

    There are lots of things I think I'll miss, but more than anything I think I am going to be so happy to never see another work-related e-mail again.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I am yet another sad case who will probably never be able to retire, all those years of having been a postdoc having been very expensive, and will probably therefore die at my desk---if the goons in the newly reactivated Manzanar internment camp don't beat me to death first, during the Trump administration.

    ReplyDelete