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Damn and Blast!
Old 09-26-2011, 06:05 PM   #1
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Damn and Blast!

Negotiating a new contract at work and it looks as though we will only get a two contract instead of the three I was hoping for - I am on the team and am trying really hard to make it three years. If it does end up being two years I will be retiring almost one year early and that really isn't in my financial plan - wanted to save more, pay off more debt, etc. with my salary and earn more months for my pension. I will know for sure next month and then I will have a new mindset and a new start to planning. It will mean the difference of $300 a month and I wasn't planning on working in retirement, however, my medical will be 100% paid in retirement by my job and I know that is worth ALOT of money. That is why I would leave after two years because I know they are coming back for more give backs after that.

So just kvetching here! I will adjust and just enjoy my freedom no matter what the monthly check says.
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Old 09-26-2011, 08:55 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linny727 View Post
Negotiating a new contract at work and it looks as though we will only get a two contract instead of the three I was hoping for - I am on the team and am trying really hard to make it three years. If it does end up being two years I will be retiring almost one year early and that really isn't in my financial plan - wanted to save more, pay off more debt, etc. with my salary and earn more months for my pension. I will know for sure next month and then I will have a new mindset and a new start to planning. It will mean the difference of $300 a month and I wasn't planning on working in retirement, however, my medical will be 100% paid in retirement by my job and I know that is worth ALOT of money. That is why I would leave after two years because I know they are coming back for more give backs after that.

So just kvetching here! I will adjust and just enjoy my freedom no matter what the monthly check says.
Welcome to the forum Linny!

Sorry to hear about the contract concerns. If things do end up turning out to be just a 2 year deal, consider the following:

Self-employed consulting: is there a way to sell your services in your current job as a part-time consultant or self-employed individual? Working 40 hours a week for a few weeks here and there might bring in enough to cover a $300/month shortfall

Part-time job with some good 'fringe' benefits: I'm not talking health insurance and free parking....I'm talking about things that aren't taxed, but would save you money. Think jobs like working at a bakery (where you could get free food to take home at the end of the day), or working at a sporting event to get some free game time (if you would otherwise be buying tickets), or working at a golf course to get free golf. By working part-time jobs at companies that offer non-cash perks - but which would keep you from having to pay money that you would have anyway - you can save up quite a bit, and might easily come to that $300/month more quickly than you realize.
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:29 PM   #3
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Thanks, you've made some great points! I have to think outside the box!
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:38 PM   #4
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Medical insurance paid 100 percent in retirement is just so golden I can't even get past that .

Maybe some other short term contract will come up for Year 3 for you, or the 2 year project will run long, or you'll realize you can cut $3600 out of your yearly retirement budget without too much hardship. You never know what will happen.

But wow, 100 percent paid health insurance in retirement! Sweet!
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:42 PM   #5
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I know, the retiree medical is amazing and in a few years it will be a thing of the past so I do need to retire under a contract that still has that benefit, which is why I may to leave at the end of the contract. I know it's worth quite a bit and certainly, peace of mind. I will take a pay freeze to keep the medical intact!
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Old 09-27-2011, 07:13 AM   #6
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OTOH, money in your pocket now (or in 3 years) is yours to keep and use as you see fit. A promise of future paid health care is just that--a promise. Lots of companies (and governments) have been breaking promises of late. If the health care arrangements offered after your third year are more sustainable, they may be inflicted even on those who jumped ship early to get the juicier benefits.
Obviously, much of this is hard to predict.
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Old 09-27-2011, 07:19 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Linny727 View Post
, my medical will be 100% paid in retirement by my job and I know that is worth ALOT of money. That is why I would leave after two years because I know they are coming back for more give backs after that.
Sounds like you are viewing the glass as 1/3 empty instead of 2/3 full Isn't it entirely possible that you will still be eligible for the insurance in a follow-on contract? If they propose to take it away, would you be in a position to "regretfully" tender your retirement but offer to negotiate an extra year stay under an extension of the previous contract to "help them out?" In the meantime you have two years to explore your options for additional income per earlier posts.
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Old 09-27-2011, 12:44 PM   #8
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Our retiree medical will be changed for new hires come January 2012 - it will be a health savings plan rather than a defined benefit. In the history of our city they have never imposed changes to current retirees and I doubt they would - however, if they did it would not be draconian.

Right now and in this next contract, if you retire they will pay 100% up to a certain medical plan. If you want above that you do need to pay but most plans will be 100% paid, when Medicare kicks in (if it does by the time I need it 13 years from now), they pay the premium for the supplemental, up to a certain amount.

Any contract after this next one will result in more payment of the premiums by the retired employee. Yes, I know this is a great benefit that most people do not get - but I will have worked here for almost 29 years when I retire and I want the best benefit I can get. I just know this is the last great contract that this City will ever see.

And basically, the "misc" employees pay for the high benefits of Fire and Police. They are the ones crippling the cities with almost 70% of budget going to their retirement benefits.
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Old 09-27-2011, 01:42 PM   #9
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They [fire and police] are the ones crippling the cities with almost 70% of budget going to their retirement benefits.
Not to get off track, but since you raised the issue: those who agreed to these contracts (and the voters who elected them) are the ones to blame for any unaffordable benefits, not the individual firefighters and police officers.
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Old 09-27-2011, 01:55 PM   #10
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The misc employees open their contracts and give back to the city, the police went without a contract for two years because they did not give back anything, so yes, the City Council believes the Police should get a much better benefit without paying much into it. We all contribute to our pension, the Police and Fire does as well, but this next year we will be paying more than the police and fire for a much lesser benefit.

Our City Council knows all the police by first name and the police contribute to their elections. It is all politics. I am saying in the public sector there is no equity and all the newspapers and citizens complain that we get high pensions. I can assure you it isn't me who gets the high pension, but a police officer will retire with over $100k a year. The average city employee will get a pension of $24,000 and NO social security.

I am a union negotiator so I am touchy on the subject.

I hope I can post here and not be slammed for being a city employee. I didn't complain when the dot commers were making millions. They chose that and I chose public service and low wages.
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Old 09-27-2011, 02:07 PM   #11
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I am a union negotiator so I am touchy on the subject.

I hope I can post here and not be slammed for being a city employee. I didn't complain when the dot commers were making millions. They chose that and I chose public service and low wages.
So, the only two options in life are being a "dot commer" (which most folks are not) or a city employee who get's a pension?

Sorry, I'm not (nor ever was) somebody "making millions". However, I'm also not the receipient of a pension (union or otherwise).

However, I am a taxpayer who does pay for the retirement of others, so I'm "touchy" on that subject.

I know I'm on a fine line with that comment (not trying to make it political), but just to point out that there is more than just a single black/white comparison on the subject.
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Old 09-27-2011, 02:20 PM   #12
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Noted. Goodbye.
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Old 09-27-2011, 02:21 PM   #13
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The average city employee will get a pension of $24,000 and NO social security.
"No Social Security" means you never paid into it. What if you took 6.2% of every paycheck for 40 years and invested it at, say, a 4% real return? Someone with a $50,000 salary could put away $3100 a year and have nearly $300,000 saved which could add another $10-12K to an annual income stream. Oversimplified, I know, but you get the idea.

Also keep in mind that "no SS" means your public employer could use their 6.2% contribution toward funding your pension -- and may have made your pension possible. So had they paid SS taxes for you, maybe they can't fund your pension.

Just saying it could be viewed as half-full, too. Agreed about the untenability of the "3% at 50" plans in some police and fire departments, though. I think we want to reward this kind of public service but our ability to afford it is sadly at the breaking point and unfortunately, the more the "rest of us" see our own retirements slipping away, the more the public resistance is likely to grow.
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Old 09-27-2011, 05:22 PM   #14
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....I hope I can post here and not be slammed for being a city employee. I didn't complain when the dot commers were making millions. They chose that and I chose public service and low wages.
Two things, Linny--check your PMs, and if you or anyone else feels you are being slammed for any reason, please report it by clicking here:
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