1:50 am, July 11, 2014

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  • Investing as a 35:1 longshot
    deployed decoy
    I think just putting it all on 36 for one spin is as good as the market. Inflation adjusted, the stock market had not made a dime from 1966 to 2009. Feds do get more time off and less chance of downsizing/outsourcing. The reasons I turned down twice the pay in private sector in 1984. Cant wait to move off shore next year and not really care much if DC is in gridlock because critical places like DISA HQ are closed due to no power... Wait I should be sent home here in Kuwait. Everyone important are at home mowing the lawn today or telecommuting on a computer with no power and no distant end to connect to.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • What You Say Is True But...
    Detroit57
    After 32 years I am tired of the "you should be grateful...". I came to this job right from college while my classmates went to the Big 3 and some big name accounting firms. They made big bucks and made enough to pay rent and buy homes while I stayed with my parents. They bought new cars that I could only dream of at the time. I had to be the laughing stock of the class for staying with the government with a small salary and what was at that time, inadequate health coverage that I had to pay for. So after 10 years they ended up in the midst of reorgs and out of a job. They landed on their feet and I stayed with the government. Now they have either changed careers numerous times or were forced into early retirements. I am leaving with 32 years of service with the same agency and I can look forward to a decent pension and health benefits. Yes, I am grateful to have made it this far and I will not hide the fact that I earned it. We live with the choices we make. I don't like the fact that Congress and ill informed citizens want to make out like federal service provides an upper income lifestyle. It doesn't.
    How can you change the rules in the middle of the game? Going from high 3 to high 5 could mean the loss of $2000 a year that will never be recovered. Where is the integrity? Why should the "best and brightest" consider federal service when they hear they won't get a raise for 5 years and we might keep our word when you get ready to retire and we might not?
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Integrity?
    contrarian
    Did you see how the health care act was passed?
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • It passed like every other piece of legislation
    FERS Fed
    More voted for it than against it.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • NO IT DIDN'T
    Rob
    This was the first bill of this magnitude (representing 1/6 of the US economy) passed and signed into law without a single vote by the opposition party. So FERS Fed this did not pass like every other piece of legislation. And, I might add, it would not have passed if it weren't for the "behind closed door" deals (bribery) of Democratic Senators from Nebraska and others.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • health care
    Moderate
    Gee Rob. You are just angry that it is the law of the land. It was passed legally and with bargaining, just like all legislation. And yes, the radical right Republicans did everything they could to stop this from becoming law. They even brought up old granny and the death panels (what a crock) And they even tried to stall when it was sure to pass but saying the bill was imperfect and the Dems should start over. Sorry Rob. Obama tried to get the radical right involved in crafting the law, but they were mules and said no. Now that the lawsuits have failed, the poor will have medical insurance. Guess it might make up for the Bush and the Republicans Depression. And show us the stats that indicate this act will cost 1/6 of the economy.
    worker
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Too much of a good thing?
    contrarian
    Only if it's the same thing over and over. Just like sometimes I don't like being right, because that's not my goal in life. I don't enjoy other peoples' misery. But it appears that many people do and whether or not they're the majority they seem to be running the country.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • I mostly agree, except.....
    Laura R in DC
    I just have 1 minor nit to pick with the column. "FERS employees also receive a federal match to their TSP contributions and herein lies a kicker — you've got to contribute the maximum in order to get the full federal match." FERS employed only have to invest 5% of their salary to get the full 5% match. When I first started working as a fed, the cap on TSP contributions was 10%. More recently the cap has been increased to $17,000 for employees younger than 50, and $22,500 for employees older than 50. Currently, I am investing over 20% of my salary in TSP and I am still about $1000 short of the maximum investment.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Newby
    deployed decoy
    When a few of us on this blog started in 1984. We were forced into FERS, then had to wait over 3 years to even contribute the 5% max to TSP. I have maxed out every year since 1987. I made 5% or something in 2008 because I was sitting in cash (G Fund) and went in twice on the way to the bottom, that popped back fast enough that both 2008 and 2009 I beat the G & C funds. And I now have $452,000 in cash, to show for it all. I run out of TSP money when I am 76 (20 years) if I want to live on 80% of my final salary and that includes social security and my FERS 37.1% High 3. My advice work until you die, just die at the desk so they pay for the bag to haul you out in.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Good for you
    contrarian
    I rode it down and back up. My goal is to have $600K when I go, but it will require a couple of good years in the market.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Budgetting
    Moderate
    I think you will have to cut back if you paln on living on 80% of your gross salary (gross is added as I cannot tell whether you mean gross or net) I am guessing you defined benefit plan will supply about 40% or so of your living costs. I am guessing the supplemental social security will supply another 30% or so. If you expect to live beyond 76, cut back or get a part time job or you will be forced to cut back.
    worker
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Maybe Not
    X-taxman
    A lot of the cutbacks are automatic once you retire. You no longer have gas and tolls for commuting, dry cleaning, retirement plan contributions and other payroll deductions, etc. Factoring these in, my 62.5% of my high three average has afforded me pretty much the same lifestyle I had before retirement, just a LOT more relaxed. 70 or 80 percent should be a walk on the beach! And I have yet to tap in to my TSP.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • The Good News Is.....
    X-taxman
    ....those body bags don't really cost that much AND they are re-useable!! And none of the bag occupants EVER complain. Plus, no one was ever FORCED into FERS. FERS was the retirement system in place as of 1984. If you were already on board, you were not forced to change to FERS, if you were new, you accepted FERS as part of your employment or you didn't, no one forced you. FERS is indisputedly one of the best retirement systems in the world. Yet so many of its participants still like to whine and complain about it. I don't get it.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • To X
    Moderate
    I hope what the DD means is that person would rather be in CSRS. And the defined benefit plan is mandatory. So is social security. The TSP is not, but one is stupid if one does not get the full match. FERS is presently one of the best retirement systems, but it is not as good as CSRS. I had the opportunity to change. I looked at it and the administration that created it and said no way.------I will retire with an estimated 2/3 to 70% of my pay, but it will be much lower than your pension as your high 3 was probably much higher than mine. I want to work after I leave the government, but not crazy hours (want 35-40 hours per week.
    worker
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Glad to See
    Linda
    I was glad to see when the column writter compared Feds vs. Private Sector, he showed some have better benefits and some not so good. I am tired of hearing how the Feds have the best retirement system in the world and make the most pay, etc. PLEASE!!!!!.......I have friends and family who get 100% of thier medical insurance paid and most of the dependents. I have one friend who get Health Insurance covered in her retirement, but a pension, plus a 401(k), plus Social Security. Ok, so she is a bigger fish in a bigger company, but still. I concede that if you have a highschool education and work for yourself or a box store, you benefits and retirement package may not be so hot. But, the box stores all offer 401(k)s, people just don't put into them, and then complain when they have nothing at retirement. Social Security is a subliment people, it was never intended to be the entire retirement.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • I can have a decent retirement.
    Moderate
    I think accountants, especially CPA's make more on the outside than we do, even if you include benefits. However, I learned to live within my means, pay for my kids' college, and will have a decent, but not wealthy, CSRS retirement. I also have a small TSP account.------FERS will have it tougher because the powers to be reduced the defined benefit plan and introduced a defined contribution plan. This increased risk over security.
    worker
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
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