Or…just hang on a couple of days and I’ll jump.  I was doing so well…using my little Mexican Train plan.  700 miles from home to New Orleans where we board the cruise ship for Mexico.  Everyday I give myself mileage for doing healthy things and now I’ve gotten derailed.

It started on Friday when DH wanted to go to the casino for the Steak and Crab Leg Buffet.  Okay…I’ll take a day off.  But then, we had problems with the RV and it was late so we just ordered pizza.  DH convinced me…”You were planning on taking the night off from dieting anyway…” so I ate pizza.  Next day, we DID go to the casino and I ate lots and lots and lots of crab legs and a couple of creme brulees.  The next morning, he wanted to do the breakfast buffet (we had a couple of free buffets coming) so we did that.  And then, yesterday, I got up and decided to check out my social security benefits. 

As can be expected, I called them to find out what I needed to bring and where I needed to go and they said I didn’t need an appointment.  Just come on in to the branch on the east side.  So I did.  And I waited and waited and waited until I was called up and told that the east end is not my branch and I needed to go to the downtown branch.

I hopped on the expressway and drove downtown.  Of course there isn’t a free parking lot so I drove around and finally found a pay lot just a block from the building.  I walked down to the courthouse and was told that, since they’re remodeling, the social security office has temporarily moved another block down the road. 

I got my number D18 and they were serving D2. There were lots of little categories depending on what you needed.  There was the A group, the B group, the C group and the D group.  Far as I could tell, there was only one desk dealing with the D group.   Got my book out and tried to read while I waited.  Finally, when I was just about to ask them if they’d forgotten about me, I got called back. 

The clerk said, “You can draw SS at 62 but you’ll get more if you wait until you’re 65″.  So I asked her to run both figures.  She looked at her screen for a little bit and called her supervisor.  The supervisor came over and they discussed it for a little bit…”Is that right?  Did I do something wrong?  It’s showing this for her at age 62 and this at 65 and this at 70…”

Finally she broke it to me, “You won’t be eligible for anything.  nothing…” and then she proceeded to explain to me that it’s all based on a formula.  How much you paid in, how many years since you paid in, how much you’re already getting from the teachers retirement system and I won’t be eligible for anything.  Even though I paid into the system for 25 years before I went into teaching.

I’m sorry.  I don’t mean to sound racist or prejudiced but I’m looking around at a room full of mothers talking on their cell phones, each with a half dozen kids running around them, and a group in the corner and none of them seem to be able to speak English and a couple of guys in the other corner who look like they’re winos who wandered in off the street and I’m being told that even though I paid into the system for 25 years, because I have a retirement that I also paid into for 20 years, I won’t be eligible for any benefits.

Teachers have their own retirement system and don’t pay social security.  That’s fine if you come out of college and spend your entire employment paying into our own system but it doesn’t seem fair to those of us who paid into SS for 25 years before even going into teaching.  I always knew they’d take a big chunk of my SS but I didn’t know I wouldn’t get anything….

So I was in a crummy mood and, when I went out with the girls last night, we all decided to order just about every appetizer on the menu and share in a feast of gluttony.

Now, here I am.  Four days of derailment from my Mexican Train.  I’ve gotta get back on board today and try to get my act back together. 

Guess I’ll go do some pool laps.


hankpanky says 28th August @ 11:39

I know. It totally sucks. That was one of the reasons I decided to leave teaching, because just like you, I paid into SS for years before entering the field and now, at least in my state, the teacher’s retirement system is going bankrupt. I felt that if I was going to have to eat it, I may as well have one last shot at doing something I was truly passionate about. Not that I didn’t love teaching, but over the years, it was the parents and administration that drove me out.

You’ll get back on the train.

laura705 says 28th August @ 17:02

That’s pretty crummy. The fact that you had paid in for so many years and now you don’t get anything. But don’t let that keep you derailed. Get back on track and back to working towards your goals.

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