SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: Retirement Just Around My Corner

Monday, November 8, 2021

Retirement Just Around My Corner

 I have the years and the age to retire. I just owe some money for my first few years that I hadn't paid into TRS and wanted to get some clarification.

Back in the good old days I was able to dial the Bronx UFT and either a) get through to someone at the switchboard, or b) call the pension people directly. Not anymore. The UFT has a new way to avoid your calls. It's non award winning concierge service

On October 26 I decided to make place the phone call to the Bronx UFT. I got the concierge service and promptly placed on hold.

I placed the phone call while on the Deegan at Fordham Rd. No one picked up until I was up on Elmsford where you get onto I-287 from the Thruway. I was then told that I would hear back from someone within 48 hours. It took a week. I got a date for a consultation. November 17. In person. In the Bronx. 

I'm excited and scared at the same time.

As much as I can’t stand the DOE and what it’s done to me, I’m looking at retirement with trepidation. It’s like I’m losing my identity. For 25 years this is all I have known and been. It's not that I got my identity from being a teacher, but this all I have known for 25 years. My year doesn't go from January to December, it goes from September to June.

I feel I need to decompress for at least a year after I retire from the DOE. It's the same feeling I had during my 3020a hearings. After the hearing I needed down time and stopped at IHop each night. I will need more than IHop.

My firsts choice to move to some cabin in the Adirondacks or the Catskills where my nearest neighbor is 5 miles away. I would live in this cabin for a year completely off the grid. I will forage and hunt for my food each day and chop wood for fire and heat. I will grow my hair long and have a manly beard. But this is just a fantasy.

My other dream is to live in Corning for a year or two (I lived there for about 6 months in 1986. In fact I nearly caused an international incident there. I must share one day). Kinda like reliving my youth, but this time as a so called "responsible" and "mature" adult. I figure I can sock my pension away and sell cars to
pay my bills. I've always wanted to sell cars. Or sell anything. Maybe I could be a greeter in Walmart. 

If Corning doesn't pan out there is always Binghamton or Hudson to live in. I really like both towns. But selling cars. 

I can't do the Florida thing. One more retired Jew from New York moving to Florida has become a stereotype. I used to ask my dad about why he hadn't retired to Florida. His answer was, "Florida is death's waiting room." Yeah a waiting room with the 4:30 early bird special.

I doubt I will retire anytime soon. My son is a junior in college, and he has another year to go. Also, I am not retiring without having another gig lined up. Part of me wants to write the book the late, great, Stu Schmelz and I discussed writing: "We Can't Make This Shit Up!" Just like Sparky Lyle and Graig Nettles had in their last years with the Yankees I can as well in my last year with the DOE. 

Something hit me as I was writing this. I'm sure there will be people I still communicate with and see. I don't think I will wither away in the night. But then there are people I was close to but will never ever see again due to distance or whatever reason. Sad.

Let's see what happens and what I hear on the 17th. Maybe I will hit mega millions.

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