IMRF Stories: Cliff I.

75th Anniversary

As we celebrate our 75th anniversary, retirees shared with us the profound effects an IMRF pension has had on their retirement years, in ways they never anticipated when they began working for an IMRF employer.

Waterloo, Iowa

IMRF: Could not have done it without you. Return to May 1, 1963. I became a full time employee of the village of Downers Grove, assistant to the Building and Zoning officer with the prospect of moving to the top spot as the then officer had been offered a position in another community.

Ahead two weeks and my first paycheck. The deductions included the usual income tax, medical for the family, and IMRF? What was that and why the deduction? “For my retirement” was the explanation. Retirement? I am 33 years of age, wife, and three sons all in grade school. I do not need to have any money set aside now for such a far-off eventuality. “It is the law,” I was so informed. So be it.

Move ahead to October 1982. 55 years of age. I jokingly explained that by then I was well paid for all of the mistakes they were willing to pay me for. Retired!

I always wished to live in the country and preferably in the woods. Built a home in virgin timber near a small town about 20 miles from Waterloo, Iowa near the family of my wife. Had a big Ford van that we had converted for travel, sort of a poor man’s version of an RV. Traveled over much of the United States, and all went so well until my wife became a victim of cancer and had other needs for better health care.

Moved to Waterloo, escorted bus tours for about 10 years, am still active in our church, and for the past eight years am property manager of a 48-unit condo association. Sadly, my dear wife is now a full time patient in a care center about 22 miles from our condo, an Alzheimer’s patient. I do have a very reliable automobile and am able to be with her twice a week.

We had a good life and retirement and could not have done it all without IMRF.