9:54 am, May 24, 2015

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  • retirement pay better?
    You must bear in mind that retirees went 2 years without a COLA. During those 2 years, health insurance premiums jumped up. Daily necessities jumped in price - food, gas, rent, car tires, etc. and you're on a fixed income. Retirees aren't allowed to have HSAs, FSAs, and health insurance is paid with after tax money. Life insurance, if you have the federal plan, is more expensive. You can't put money into an IRA or your TSP, you can only hope the market quits killing what you've put in up to retirement. You have to consider a much bigger picture over the long term not just a few dollars difference today or tomorrow. All active and retired feds should join NARFE. That's the biggest group working for us and they issue an excellent monthly magazine.
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  • Should I have retired or not???
    Larry in MD
    The calculation is complicated enough that each person needs to run the numbers for themselves. Rather than look back to 2010, I prefer to look forward. So the question I would ask is should I retire in Jan. 2012 or wait until Jan. 2013? The answer of course depends on if you are in FERS or CSRS, if you are going to give a spousal benefit, and how many years service you have. Here are some CSRS numbers. First there was a cost of living adjustment in 2010, so the high three will go up slightly - just over 1%. The exact amount depends on the size of the locality pay increase in 2010 for the person's location. Next by staying an extra year under CSRS I get a two percentage point increase in the pension. So with 30 years of service at the end of 2011 the pension goes from 56.25% to 58.25% or a 3.55% increase. Adding the two the total increase in the pension by waiting the extra year to retire will be around 4.6%. This is when you have to become a fortune teller. If the 2013 COLA for the retires is less than 4.6% then the pension will be higher in 2013 if you stay the extra year. However if the retiree COLA is greater than 4.6% then the pension will be lower than if you had retired in Jan. 2012 and gotten the Jan. 2013 COLA. And of course that loss goes on forever - it can't be recovered. On the plus side if you made the mistake and stayed at least you had full pay in 2012 rather than a pension that was only 56.25% of the pay you would have gotten.
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  • To retire or not?
    The numbers work more in favor of retiring for CSRS employees with more years of service than 30. Say you have 38 years of service which translates to 72.25% of your high three. The extra 2% added to your pension from working another year is only equivalent to a 2.76% retiree COLA. Change the decision date to Jan. 1, 2013 versus Jan. 1, 2014 when you have three full years of pay freeze. There is a good chance we will get another year or two of pay freeze. Now you will lose out if the retiree COLA is 2.76% or higher in Jan. 2014 (or 3.76% or higher in Jan. 2013).
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  • Retire or Not
    I'm a CSRS retiree who had 36 years.The 36 years gave me 68.25% of high 3.Then I didn't have to pay the 7%CSRS plus the 1.45% Medicare.I also didn't have to pay a 4% state and 1.5% city income tax.The 68.25% plus the other issues(14%) equaled about 82% of what I was making.I was working for just 18% of salary.Everyone is different and FERS is much different from CSRS.So do the math,folks.After I did the math,I retired asap.
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  • Retirement
    retired & loving it
    Speaking from experience, I retired before 50 with almost 28 years, I was offered a buyout/early out. I have never regretted that decision. Loving retirement. We live off a fixed income but our bills are paid and we get to take a vacation every year. AND I DON'T HAVE ANY WORK STRESS!!!!
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