Retiree Story - Working Longer to Make Ends Meet

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I went to work for the Ventura County court system in 1970. I planned to work for 25 years, thinking I could eventually have a good retirement.

As my retirement eligibility approached, with nearly 25 years of service, I saw that more and more of my paycheck was going towards my medical insurance.

This scared me.

I was so alarmed at the cost of medical insurance that I made the decision to work an extra 5 years. I figured that would give me $500 more each month as insurance was around $300. I felt that even if medical insurance went up some that I'd be able to cover the cost for my husband and myself.

I retired in 2000 and by 2006 I was paying $800 per month for insurance. It kept skyrocketing and by 2013 I hit an all-time high of $1,479 per month.

There are those who think that public workers who serve their communities for an entire career get too much in retirement. That is just not the case for the vast majority of public servants. We don't receive any paid medical retirement benefits - at all.

Those who would be forced into a 401(k) have to cover medical insurance costs like these above food, gas and rent. For the poor souls who are not educated in 401(k)'s this retirement financial challenge goes from being daunting to almost impossible.

-Marjorie Cook, Retired, County of Ventura, Superior Courts Clerk

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