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The Reasons Teachers May Want To Consider Early Retirement Because Of COVID

COVID-19 has turned the world into a different place, one where people work from home and wear masks when they go to the store. Educators and teachers will potentially have more exposure to the virus than most other professions, causing them to rethink early retirement.

Why Are Teachers Retiring Early?

Educators are retiring early for different reasons. These include:

  • Problems with online teaching
  • Personal health concerns
  • Better opportunities
  • An uncomfortable teaching environment

Should You Consider Retiring Early?

There are lots of things to consider if you are eyeing early retirement. The biggest issue is to make sure you are financially ready to retire. Retiring to soon can create serious financial problems later in life like running out of money or maybe having to take on more investment risk to potentially make it work. But for some teachers these risks may be worth it because you do not want to put your life in jeopardy by going back to work at the school. Everyone in the world has been placed in a position where we all must weigh the risks of what actions we take vs. the repercussions of potentially being infected with the Covid 19 virus.

Personal Health Concerns

Educators who have been in the field for many years may be at a higher risk of developing serious COVID complications due to their age. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people who are 65 years old or older as well as those who suffer from underlying health issues are at high-risk. The National Center for Education Statistics shared a report confirming that an estimated 18% of those who teach are 55 years old or older.

This means that those who work in schools might be feeling more nervous about being in a classroom full of students. They may have family members with compromised immune systems, and like most people, they probably have elderly parents. For many, going back to school may not be worth the risk.

Uncomfortable Teaching Environment

Until the country is entirely past COVID, the in-person teaching environment will likely be uncomfortable for many people. Speaking all day wearing a mask is not the easiest thing to do. Schools may decide to take everyone’s temperature each day, so if you have a fever, you may be sent home. Who will teach your class in that situation? Will the school hire more staff for coverage? Most schools do not have the budget to do so.

Students wearing masks can also be a challenge. You may have trouble understanding what your students are saying when they have questions for you or are answering ones that you have asked. You may also run into problems from parents and students who do not believe in wearing them, which may not be a battle that you wish to wage. Along with this, if schools reopen without the virus being eliminated, cases may start to rise again. This means that schools could close, requiring you to go back to teaching online fulltime.

Problems with Online Teaching

When the country became serious about dealing with COVID by shutting down businesses and schools, educators were forced to switch gears and teach their students in unfamiliar ways. Suddenly, a job that they were comfortable doing became new and quite different, which is stressful. Virtual teaching on ZOOM comes with challenges like low student engagement levels and attendance. It is hard to keep things straight. Online teaching makes it tough to follow up with students to confirm that they are understanding and retaining the information that is being taught to them.

Instructors are also facing the possibility of being required to teach in the classroom and online come fall, taking multitasking up to an entirely new level. Not only would they be dealing with students in person, but they would also be attempting to manage online issues at the same time. If you wind up doing both, then you may have transportation issues and additional school expenses.

Some kids are more stressed out with online learning. Along with this, their families may not have the resources that they need to make sure that their kids are able to learn. While it is easy to think that everyone must have a computer and internet access these days, that is not always the case. When kids were sent home to learn, smaller siblings may have also been sent home from daycare, which left the older ones in charge of watching them, making it hard for them to do well in school.

Better Opportunities

Some teachers work a second job on the weekend or at night to make ends meet. Being out of the classroom has inspired some to seek better opportunities. For instance, teaching summer school in a tropical destination is an option, as is tutoring students one-on-one.

Some teachers may be able to switch gears slightly and start teaching adults. Major software companies have training divisions. These businesses generally pay their instructors more than school districts pay their staff, so some individuals have found a better employment opportunity in a different industry.

Superintendents, Principals, and District office employees have tough decisions as well.

Everyone in a school district may be exposed to the virus and everyone is at risk.  The risk of the Corona virus exposure is not just limited to teachers, but principals and other district office employees are subject to the risk of catching it as well. The district office and administrative staff are the people that have to figure out the logistics of  how to open schools, bus the children, and keep social distancing in a school environment. The district may have to deal with an outbreak of the virus, putting the administrators in a tough position.  (Think about the Janitors and custodians having to keep the school clean everyday in a safe manner.)  The person exposed to the greatest risk is most likely the principal.  The principal is exposed to all the children, the teachers, and many times parents.  Many educators in these positions may not want to take the risk to go back to work as well.

We Can Help You Plan

The internet has made wonderful things possible. It has allowed schools to continue teaching kids, keeping people employed and preventing many children from falling behind in school. However, if you have been teaching for years, it might be time to throw in the towel and enter the golden years of retirement. In our opinion, teachers have one of today’s toughest and most rewarding jobs. Preparing our country’s youth for the future takes grit, love, and time. No one would blame you if you are ready to retire. Let us help you decide the best path. Call us today.

My Background

I shot a quick video to show you my Financial Advising background to reassure you I’m who I say I am and really do want to help you secure your retirement and eliminate the stress during the process. Once you watch this video you’ll want to get on a 15-minute call with me to help guide you with your social security for starters.

The opinions expressed herein are those of the firm and are subject to change without notice. The opinions referenced are as of the date of publication and are subject to change due to changes in the market or economic conditions and may not necessarily come to pass. Any opinions, projections, or forward-looking statements expressed herein are solely those of author, may differ from the views or opinions expressed by other areas of the firm, and are only for general informational purposes as of the date indicated.

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