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Faces of Social Security: Jeanette Trahan

Planned her retirement to the max

People don't plan for their retirement, but I planned for mine to the max. If I waited until I was 70 to retire, I would've gotten a bigger benefit, but I was tired and it was time. I worked for the county and also as an administrative assistant at a college, so I have Social Security and two pensions.

Jeanette Trahan, interviewed about social security

Jeanette Trahan, 69, California. — Photo by Daryl Peveto

Still, I budget very heavily and I don't overspend on anything. I've seen too many people retire and not have anything. I used to live next to a grocery store, and I saw a lot of senior citizens go Dumpster-diving, going into the trash to get day-old bread. I really felt for them. I didn't want that to happen to me. If an emergency comes up and my car needs work, I budget so I have the money to pay for it. I try to tell young people that you need to prepare. Life has no guarantees. I travel. I was going to go to Lake Tahoe with my girlfriend, but my nephew is getting married so I'm going to Vegas.

Return to the Faces of Social Security slide show. >>

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