As a retired Illinois teacher I am worried about my pension. Even though I made my contributions over the years, I am concerned about the state’s payments. As unfair as it is, my pension will be reduced. I am a widow, 65, no children, not eligible for Social Security with investments of $550,000. My pension is $70,000; plus, a part time position of $11,000 per year. I live a simple life, live below my means, and continue to save. My concern is future inflation, taxes, and the cost of health care. I realize I have more than most. But, my dream of a comfortable retirement is disappearing. And, it is not my fault. What
can I do to secure my future?
SAVAGE SAYS: Well, first you can demand that the politicians get serious and address this issue. It would take a change in the constitution to remove your existing pension benefits. But they will be made more secure if current workers are put into a better system, where they contribute more — AND the state actually makes the required payments on their part. Fortunately, you have some savings, and still have some income — so my best advice is not to destroy these days of good health with worries about something you cannot really control.