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Old 01-11-2010, 11:37 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by xswzaq View Post
If Obama opens the door for early out after I leave I am joining to be very disappointed. I am 2 yrs and 3 months from 50 years old.
1) to be eligable for an early retirement the service requirements are 50 yo with 20 yrs of service or 25 yrs of service at any age. in a year you are eligable for the 25 yrs of service at any age.

2) there are other ways to get an early retirement from fed service besides a broad early out offer, eg a discontinued service retirement. if your agency is cutting positions see if you can get them to cut yours but make sure you have your 25 yrs of service before they cut it.

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Old 01-11-2010, 11:42 AM   #22
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A problem I see with your plan is the assumption that it is easy to get a job as a pizza delivery boy if you need it. Whilst you may be willing to do anything remember there are a lot of other people out there with the same attitude who have not been able to get work at all.

Given your situation I would probably stick it out for a bit longer and as others have suggested look around at transferring to another Federal position if possible.

8 years can either be a long time or a short time, depending on what is going on in your life. Never make the assumption that because you are healthy now you will always be healthy. We had a friend who was the fittest person we knew who was diagnosed with Stage IV kidney cancer at 44, so don't think it can't happen. You don't have to be Chicken Little, but when you don't have a lot of fat built into your budget it doesn't give you a lot of options.


I be a girl, he's a boy. Think I maybe FIRED since July 08. Mid 40s, no kidlets. Actually am totally clueless as to what is going on with DH.
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Old 01-11-2010, 12:50 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by xswzaq View Post

Well my stab at calculating the benefits has included.

1) the lose of COLA's on annuity that I will get between now and 62.
2) The lose of 401K Matching contributions from 47 to 56
3) The Social Security Supplement that I would receive from 56 to 62
4) The subsidized Health Care from 47 to 65 giving reduced value to this from 65 to 80 as Medicare will become primary.

I am thinking of taking the SS Supplement out of the calculations as I really don't see myself not working from 56 to 62 anyway.

The value of the Federal Employee Health Care may be going away soon as well.
I think you have to also consider the loss of value in your pension based on the increases in steps or base pay (that your pension is based on) that you would forgo if you get out.
"The four most dangerous words in investing are 'This time it's different.'" - Sir John Templeton
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Old 01-11-2010, 04:31 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by jimnjana View Post
I think you have to also consider the loss of value in your pension based on the increases in steps or base pay (that your pension is based on) that you would forgo if you get out.

Good point... except I don't think I have got a step increase in a decade. Our outfit has this new think where once you have have reached 75% of the way through your pay band that you can get no furthur step increases unless you go into management.

I have no desire to be a manager within the government. Maybe a manager of my own company but not for the Government.

I think another thing that might need to be added to my formula is not only what I will be losing by leaving the Government but also what I am losing by staying.

Lost opportunity for deals, lost opportunity for meeting influential people, lost opportunity for the skills needed to run a business, exc and so on, Sitting in the cubicle waiting for retirement can have its own disadvantages.

I am still right on the fence. I guess I will figure it out one day.

I see pluses and minuses each way.

Thank you for you input.
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Old 01-11-2010, 04:35 PM   #25
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Check out this blog. This guy did on less; I don't see why you can't.
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Old 01-12-2010, 01:14 PM   #26
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You’ve asked a question that only you can answer. Essentially you want to give up a well-paying, fairly guaranteed, long term govt. position (with decent retirement benefits – even early retirement potential), and go into business for yourself. I imagine the people that you’ve confided in as to your desire to be self-employed respond with “What, are you crazy?” I also understand your frustration with long-standing bureaucracy/crap – I have put up with my fair share (large corporation, not govt).

The financial information you’ve supplied really has no relevance on your decision/success (you have no plans to retire). It is one’s determination to succeed that normally brings about success. There’s a couple of things you can take to the bank – you are guaranteed to make mistakes along “either” path, and it’s definitely riskier going into self-employment. You do have the experience of doing part-time, what you’d like to do, full-time (I wouldn’t call your desire just pipe-dreaming).

There are all kinds of people in this world, and many would not think of venturing into a high risk self-employment scenario from a secure position such as yours (reference thread comments). People have given you good caveats about maximizing your time/investment in your govt. retirement benefits, and a few good reads. Your responses all follow the same pattern (desires) – think about it.

Your dilemma reminds me of the book “Rich Dad Poor Dad”. Robert Kiyosaki wrote one good book (my personal opinion) and then it would appear to me that he sold his soul to the Devil. It would be an interesting read for you, but the one thing to remember is not that he followed his Rich Dad’s advice, but rather that he “had” a mentor (most of us don’t and have to go it alone).

Fortune favors audacity (as they say) – just don’t do anything w/o weighing all your options to help yourself (and what path will really give you long term happiness).
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Old 01-12-2010, 02:42 PM   #27
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Thank you for your candid remarks.

I have only confided in three people and both really have no opinion at all and I haven't pushed for one. They may think I am crazy I just don't know. I definitely have not confided in anyone at work although I sense that many of them are fed up as well.

I see your wisdom in the risk of giving away the most probably stable government job. Actually it is possible that if I hadn't had the Government job to fall back on I may not have had the guts to take on some of the high risk Real Estate moves.

As for Rich Dad, Poor Dad I have read the book. It has been a long time ago but many of this statements still remain in my head. The biggest one of all to me: (Paraphrased)

>>Don't buy anything unless it make money for you from day one. >>

I like that! It is so easy to buy something just because it look good or is cheaper than something else or appeals to you dreams or whatever.

I have found that when I stick to the Rich Dads advise above that I always come out ok. When I stray sometimes I don't.

Maybe I still suffer along another year in my cubicle waiting for an early out!

I agree with the high risk of my part time job. Of all the people I know doing the real estate route full time there truly is only a hand full that are excelling. I think I could be one of them, I have done well part time trying to be one of them but there is a strong possibility that I could fail as the majority does.

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Old 01-13-2010, 01:15 PM   #28
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You have already decided to just need to convince yourself of it a little more.

Your job (as was mine) is a trap (as you know). You are not living, you must change and evolve and not remain in your rut or you'll become a bitter person as not doing so is lying to yourself. You are in the seeking phase and perhaps not sure exactly what you're looking for or it's just not completely visible from your vantage point right now. But you must move forward and if that means quiting the job that sucks the life out of you, then so be it.

Money is but one issue and you're OK...could be better, but that's always the case. Capable educated (not just school, but life or ad hoc if you like) people are always in demand (companies cannot grow without them...period!). You just need the self-confidence and you seem to have it. You'll manage and be happier.

My only real advice is that WHEN you quit, take at least a month, decompress and think.

Have a great life!
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Old 01-13-2010, 05:10 PM   #29
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I definitely see the trap.

1) I need to stay 8 years to get healthcare.
2) I need to stay 8 years so I can get colas in 12 years.
3) I need to kiss this person butt or that persons butt never really minding whether I am good at what I do as that is way down on the bottom of the list. Cause after all us government folks are not in the business of being efficient just stroking the top guys ego.
4) I need to stay so I can keep putting 16K into my 401K that who knows that the stock market is going to do to anyway.

etc etc.

I try real hard to not let all of this bother me and I am kind of good at it. But in the end I also believe that you are only as happy as the people that you surround yourself with. The people that I work with are miserable. Even the ones that are doing well in the chain. Maybe deep down inside they know that they are just full of it. Sometimes I think they would like me to be as miserable as them.

Over the years I have had the opportunity to meet and mingle with a huge variety of people. Some of the happiest people that I have met have sometimes been the poorest with the least opportunity.

Others have told me to look for another Government job and it is probably good advice for most. Given my local that to me means relocating. I would love to relocate and have lived in many places across this country. However, I believe that my part time job is calling me to stay where I am at since I have a system that I have developed over 7 years that works.

I am torn between:

Plan A: Stay at the current job a continue to not play the games (Mainly because it is not me) and do my best. Work the part time business with the time left over.

Plan B: Quit Main Job that is holding me back and dragging me down (even though I say I making the best of it) and give my part time business my full time attention. If I fail to keep the nest egg growing then go back into a hopefully better Government Job at 51 and carry on until 56 for full benefits and retirement. Again I am 47 now.

As for the quit and decompress. I think I have the means to do that and I believe it would do me good. But knowing me I can see myself dying to get into the Part Time business full throttle on the day after I quit just to prove to myself that I can make it happen.

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