Monday, August 21, 2006

85, the Magic Number

In the book The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy the number 42 is said to be the answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything. 42 is not a bad number as far as numbers go. It is sort of a mid-life number, for numbers under 100. But these days I think that the real magic number is 85.

You see 85 is the number you need to hit in order to qualify for your full pension. I know, you are saying: what is a young lady doing worrying about that sort of thing. Well, I won't be a young lady forever. I would rather spend my twilight years doing what I like than budgeting for hair nets and cat food.

Here is how it works for those of you too wise or young to start worrying about such things. When the number of years you have paid into your pension plus your age equal 85 you can retire with a full pension. Ever year under this magic number means a lot less money to take home. It is actually ridiculous that you can contribute to a pension plan for years and then be told you only have root A, B, or C to take out YOUR money.

So with an eye to this I have been trying to get my pension in order. Ideally, I would like to be able to retire at 55, but it appears I may have to stay on until 56. I have worked at 4 different post-secondaries in last 10 years, luckily each used the same pension program. However, for the first 3 years I was working I was on contract and could not contribute. Now, though, I can buy back that time for a mere $13,000. This is actually a good deal as the longer I wait the more expensive it will be become. So buy now, don't wait. But damn, that is a good chuck of change. How to work it out? You see right now I am also buying back 6 months I was on contract last year. The longer you take to buy this time back the more interest you pay. But what are you going to do lose almost 4 years towards you pension and stay on until 60? Not this dame.

Picture from Flickr

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