Karen Klein: Let's hope she really retires and doesn't change her mind!
Three cheers for former school bus aide Karen Klein, who after a nasty bullying incident back in June (in Greece, NY) made international headlines, and has since collected over $703,000 in a special fund set up on Indiegogo.com (by Max Sidirov, 25, from Toronto). Sidirov initially set up the site to raise just $5,000 to send Klein "on a much deserved vacation". that threshold was quickly passed . Given the new total, Karen now evidently plans to finally retire.
I had actually advised her do just that when the total was barely three-fifths of what it is now. I also noted in that situation she could go on vacation just about any time she desired.. Therein also I emphasized she could have a comfortable retirement using only a portion of her money to fund immediate fixed annuities which would provide her a steady, safe income for life. I even gave the website to go to: http://www.immediateannuities.com/
The above site is really useful for anyone 62 or over, who doesn't wish to risk money in the stock market, and for which different annual income amounts can be generated based on location, age, and the duration of the annuity. (Shorter annuities, e.g. 10, 15 years, are available which will generate more income per month - assuming you will only live that much longer or can find supplemental income down the line.)
Given her whopping new total collected, and what she plans to do with it all, Karen has stated that:
“I want to save some, I want to invest in some things to make it grow, and donate to a couple of groups that I have in mind,” according to The National Post
I would at this point, just warn her to beware of "investing to make it grow" when the economic climate we inhabit is not one to support that. Sadly, every type of financial huckster will also want to share in her new found riches, and that means promising her almost anything - but which is likely fraudulent - given today's low demand environment. Hence, I advise Karen again, as I did before, to put away the "growth" game - say for stocks (phantom money) or even CDs promising 5-6% per annum, and stick to the tried and true immediate annuities - which will assure that she won't have to come back at any point begging for her job.
Charity donations, up to a point, are fine and we know Klein has a granddaughter with Down syndrome and a grandson with autism, ensuring she will likely use some of the money to donate to organizations that help those causes.
Karen denies in the sundry press reports that she's retiring because of the odious kids that harassed her on the bus, including sarcastic and nasty comments about her son who committed suicide. Maybe this is so, but I'd warrant - given the accounts heard from many similar people who've retired from analogous positions, that the nature of the job just lost its appeal. The incident on the bus was then simply a "bridge too far" or the "straw that broke the camel's back". Pick whatever hackneyed, recycled saying you want. Karen, bottom line, had reached her 'nuff of this shit' limit - which all of us have. So no, it probably wasn't that single incident but the cumulative toll of lots of minor incidents culminating in that one.
In the end, the reason doesn't matter, what matters is that she's really going to retire. To that end, may I also offer one more piece of advise?
Please complete the paperwork that makes it official! According to the same press reports, Karen has dilly-dallied and still has not submitted the paperwork up to the time of this blog. This isn't sanguine, and makes me wonder if in fact Karen hasn't truly finalized her decision or cut it in stone. Leaving a loose end, and such a glaring one, is not a good omen.
Go for it, Karen! Get the damned paperwork done and make that retirement REAL! The last thing we want is to see you sitting on that bus again, taking crap from a bunch of diminutive congenital losers! And - if you allow yourself to do that- there won't be much sympathy next time.
So - TWO things:
1) Get yourself several laddered immediate fixed annuities and forget those "growth" investments (by the way I will offer you a test to see if you are really ready to make stock, mutual fund investments) and
2) Complete the paperwork and get it submitted to make the retirement official.
You now have the time and moola to go to Hawaii where you indicated an interest for extended vacation. Take it and don't step back into that school district with those ingrates!