Broker Check

A Tale of Two Retirements

| February 17, 2020

In deference to Charles Dickens, this blog has nothing to do with his novel, A Tale of Two Cities.  But it is a brief look at two of my favorite relatives’ retirements, my grandmother and my father-in-law.  My grandmother worked her whole career for the Union Pacific Railroad as a telegraph operator.  Railroading has been in my family for generations.  My own father was born in a train station in Cache Junction, Utah.  My grandmother relayed the terrible news on December 7th that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor.  She was covered under Railroad Retirement and did not collect Social Security.

My father in law worked for NASA here in Huntsville.  Jack Cochran was the deputy director of the computation’s lab at our Marshal Space Flight Center.  Jack was able to see progress of our space program from the V-2 to Skylab.  He collected flight data from tapes of the launches at the Cape and then ran them through the computers in Huntsville.  He was with NASA during the mission to moon, one of our country’s greatest achievements.  His retirement was covered under the Civil Service Retirement System and also did not collect social security.

Both my grandmother and my father-in-law paid their homes off prior to retirement.  So, they lived exactly within the retirement check they received every month.  My grandmother lived to almost 100 and was retired longer than she worked and made much more in retirement than she did working.  My father-in-law had only been retired for 20 years when he passed.   Both had the government do all their retirement planning for them.

Today, most of us are not covered by a pension of any kind.  We can call the shots as to how much we save and where we save it at.  It affords incredible opportunities to enjoy as many years retired as we did working. We are able to do so much more than than to live within a "check".  But because no one is going to tell you how much your retirement check will be every month, it requires lots of planning and professional management.  It isn’t something that can be learned proficiently enough attending seminars or “retirement classes.”  It needs the oversight of professionals that are committed to your success in retirement.

If you aren’t interested in learning a new skill set that you might not be any good at anyway and want to enjoy the retirement that you spent you whole career working for, give us a call.


Mike Mickels is President of CochranMickels Retirement Specialists and an avid sporting clay competitor. CochranMickels Retirement Specialists provides personalized planning and investment services to individuals approaching and in retirement. They also provide retirement and benefits training to Federal employees. Securities offered through Registered Representatives of Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a broker-dealer, member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc, a Registered Investment Advisor. CochranMickels and Cambridge are not affiliated.