Three Things the Lovable Stranger Things Science Teacher Mr. Clarke Can Teach Us About Retirement

Scott Clarke, a recurring character from Netflix’s Stranger Things series, is the quintessential middle school science teacher. Whether he’s showing off new AV equipment, explaining inter-dimensional travel, chaperoning the Snow Ball or creating an electromagnetic field, Mr. Clarke is smart, patient, kind and seemingly always available to answer complex questions.

Assuming Mr. Clarke taught at Hawkins Middle School throughout the ‘80s, ‘90s and even into the 2000s, he is most likely finished or close to finishing his teaching career in 2019. That means he’s well into retirement planning, looking forward to relaxing and hopefully enjoying a world free of mind flayers and demogorgons.

Retirement may or may not be lurking right around the corner, but planning is critical at every stage. The earlier you begin, the less stress you’ll likely have to deal with down the road or in the upside down. The following tips can help minimize your financial anxiety.

  1. Save, Save, Save
    It’s never too late to start exploring the limits of ham radios, creating tears in space-time and building makeshift deprivation tanks. That same sense of diligence can be applied toward supplementing your STRS Ohio pension income. Depending on when you begin saving, putting aside even a small amount per pay now can grow into a substantial nest egg by the time you retire.

  2. Diversify Your Savings
    Similar to gathering resources and knowing all there is to know about other dimensions, spreading your savings around can help balance risk and reward. Consider adding a supplemental retirement plan such as a 457(b) plan, 403(b) plan or individual retirement account (IRA) to your portfolio, which could also offer tax breaks and financial advantages. Above all, talk to a financial advisor to find the best retirement savings plan for you.
  3. Meet with an STRS Ohio Benefits Counselor
    Sometimes you need an expert to explain to you why your magnets keep falling off your refrigerator. Other times you just need someone to review your STRS Ohio benefits, answer your questions and review important information leading up to your retirement date. STRS Ohio recommends individual benefits counseling before you retire. You probably won’t build an electromagnetic field with a small AC transformer, but you will be informed about what you need to know before retiring.

Want to learn more about the “science” of retirement planning? Visit the Preparing for Retirement section of our website for more information.