April 7th, 2010

Interesting words

"One must be fond of people and trust them if one isn't to make a mess of life, and it is therefore essential that they shouldn't let one down. They often do. The moral of which is that I must, myself, be as reliable as possible. Personal relationships are despised today. They are regarded as bourgeois luxuries, as products of a time of fair weather which has now passed, and we are urged to get rid of them, and to dedicate ourselves to some movement or cause instead. I hate the idea of dying for a cause, and if I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the courage to betray my country. Dante placed Brutus and Cassius in the lowest circle of Hell because they had chosen to betray their friend Julius Caesar, rather than their country, Rome."
E. M. Forster


I am reading and cogitating on the various options for retirement income that will be coming in via TIAA. One of the options is a certain number of guaranteed years, regardless of life span. I can choose 10, 15 or 20. It certainly does make on think. Twenty years from now I will be eighty-six. Well, were I not to cash in my chips I would be. I see no likelihood of that number of years being needed. So, do I go for ten or fifteen? I have a fair chance of living to seventy-six. Odds are, I will be gone in the interval of the next five years. And should I take a guaranteed number anyway, or just a larger payment for the term of my life? I am partially thinking that no guarantee is really required, if S is set up as inheriting my pension at a 2/3 rate upon my death. I do not like having to make these decisions, but the months are slipping by. So today I head over to the TIAA office and the UW retirement office for a bit of consultation. What a way to spend a vacation week.

I am thinking more seriously, though, of my likely life span. Dad and Grandpa both died at roughly 75, so I can use that as a nice round number.