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JUNE 1, 2009   

Finished, at last

Note showing things to do checked off, including "Pat self on back"Earlier today I checked the second-last item off this list, and now I'm doing the final one. It's about time.

In February I met with Kim, a cheerful and helpful STRS (State Teachers' Retirement System-Ohio) counselor, to find out how to get all my ducks in a row for retirement. The biggest issue was moving what I'd paid into other retirement systems into STRS so that those years become part of my service time according to STRS. More years = earlier retirement and/or more benefits.

I had worked for three years at Herron School of Art, Indiana University, which used TIAA-CREF as its retirement plan. Much earlier in my career I had a part-time job with a non-profit that paid into OPERS (Ohio Public Employees Retirement System). Getting the service time from OPERS was relatively quick and easy. I got a notice telling me how much money to send them to "buy" this time, i.e., transfer it to STRS.

The Herron time wasn't as simple. It took multiple letters, forms, emails and even a phone call or two to get all the forms filled out, returned to me, and finally mailed to STRS. But it's done. So in theory, at least, I can retire after three more years. The idea of not having to go to work sounds great. The idea of being old enough to retire, not so good.

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