What is your why?
Everyone wants to think that they have a purpose in life, and I am no different – other than it took me until I was 48, divorced, and in a position as a teacher to understand that I could be “too expensive” to move jobs. That is the reality of an educator. Years of experience are great as you hone your craft, yet when the conditions change where you are at, it makes it difficult to move without losing a lot in pay, seniority, and especially retirement. It was this stark realization that I started on my journey and found my second purpose in life.
What is that ‘second purpose I found?
Let me start with the most important part of that first – the why. As Simon Sinek stated, people (and their brains) are hardwired for the why. It is the reason Apple, which is just a computer company, is able to grasp and hold our attention, and our pocketbooks, and be such a driving force in innovation, yet is still just a computer company. The why is the purpose in many cases and it is the reason we do what we do.
Why did I want to create Value Investing for Beginners?
My why is very simple and based on my profession as an 8th grade social studies teacher. It has to do with upsetting the status quo and not just falling into the common misconception of teachers – those that can…do, those that can’t …teach. As an educator for over 14 years, I came to the realization that, even though I work in a state that has a decent retirement I am not happy with not having the ability to make my money work for me. I am basically saying that I don’t trust the State of Arizona Retirement System to do what is best for my financial plans, or to provide me with very much more than a basic level of retirement. I believe that I should be more involved in my own financial well-being.
Is Your Retirement Working As Hard As You Are?
The second part of my is also very simple – in the State of Arizona the max Social Security benefit is around $1600 a month. This really isn’t as bad as it could be, like it is in the 12 states that do not allow retired teachers to claim Social Security benefits. CLICK HERE if you want to see who those 12 states are. Granted 38 states still allow some part of Social Security benefits, but even as we speak several more states are looking to disallow Social Security benefits, and it is even getting to the point where states are looking to raid the pension funds of its public service workers to include teachers.
It is up to us as teachers to be vigilant with our retirement and to ensure that we will have enough to provide for ourselves as we move into our retirement years. That is the goal, or the why of this site, . To help assist fellow educators to educate themselves on the goings-on in the world educational finances, how to not be afraid of taking charges of your own retirement, and to understand the value of being a value investor and a long range view of investing.
As time and political forces tend to conspire against us, it is imperative that all of us and especially those who work in the public sector to take a good hard look at their retirement. We can’t always expect good fortune to ‘trickle down’ to us.