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Old 10-15-2010, 07:03 PM   #21
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Very little experience with the Object Oriented languages (C++ or Java) or web programming which is what all of the jobs here seem to be looking for.
If you are interested in still working you could go back to school and update your skills.
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Old 10-15-2010, 09:14 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by NervousNellie View Post
Fortran and C here. Very little experience with the Object Oriented languages (C++ or Java) or web programming which is what all of the jobs here seem to be looking for.
I have always said that if God wrote code, it would be in C: All the power and efficiency of assembler without the annoyance of actually writing assembler code.

But, seriously: Java would be a breeze after Fortran and C. It is just a different set of tools. C++ does take a bit more effort; but, nothing you aren't already familiar with from you C experience (pointers, memory management, etc.).

Good luck with whatever route you take.
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Old 10-15-2010, 09:31 PM   #23
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But, seriously: Java would be a breeze after Fortran and C. It is just a different set of tools. C++ does take a bit more effort; but, nothing you aren't already familiar with from you C experience (pointers, memory management, etc.).
I think if you know C, then both Java and C++ would be relatively easy, and a lot of the web stuff like Dreamweaver and HTML would be a piece of cake for someone like you. With web stuff you don't have to wait until someone hires you to get experience. You can take college, community college, adult ed and online classes to learn the basics and then get experience making sites for friends, volunteering for nonprofits, making your own sites, etc.
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Old 10-16-2010, 12:26 AM   #24
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Welcome NN-
Have you tried looking with one of the job-shopper places like Ajilon or MPS? I think they hire a lot of IT people with a variety of skills to help with legacy systems. They are contract or temp jobs though, if I remember right.

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Old 10-16-2010, 06:12 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by NervousNellie View Post
We haven't tracked our spending in over 15 years. In the past we would just transfer any excess money to savings every few months. I plan to start tracking our spending in January. This should help us now and in the future for our retirement planning.
NervousNellie
I really think you answered your own question here.
As others said, having a good handle on your expenses makes household financial management pretty straightforward.

By all means, start immediately, because you'll most likely find yourself tweaking how you categorize expenses quite often in the first year you do this.
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Old 10-16-2010, 10:19 AM   #26
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I have always said that if God wrote code, it would be in C: All the power and efficiency of assembler without the annoyance of actually writing assembler code.

But, seriously: Java would be a breeze after Fortran and C. It is just a different set of tools. C++ does take a bit more effort; but, nothing you aren't already familiar with from you C experience (pointers, memory management, etc.).

Good luck with whatever route you take.
Assembly language, now that's a blast from the past! I haven't thought about assembler in years. When I was in college (back in the late 70's) they taught a course in assembly language and I think the purpose the course was to weed out the people who wouldn't make it through the computer science program. I hope I don't have nightmares of registers, program counters, stack pointers and of course ones and zeroes.
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Old 10-16-2010, 10:21 AM   #27
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Welcome NN-
Have you tried looking with one of the job-shopper places like Ajilon or MPS? I think they hire a lot of IT people with a variety of skills to help with legacy systems. They are contract or temp jobs though, if I remember right.

R
No I haven't. I am just starting to get together a resume. I haven't had to do that for years and I can't find a past one to just update!
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Old 10-16-2010, 10:25 AM   #28
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I think if you know C, then both Java and C++ would be relatively easy, and a lot of the web stuff like Dreamweaver and HTML would be a piece of cake for someone like you. With web stuff you don't have to wait until someone hires you to get experience. You can take college, community college, adult ed and online classes to learn the basics and then get experience making sites for friends, volunteering for nonprofits, making your own sites, etc.
Going back to school for a few classes at our local community college is something I have considered even if just for my own satisfaction of learning something new. Volunteering for a nonprofit is something I have not considered. If I can't find a job that may be something I can look into. Thanks for the idea!
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Old 10-16-2010, 10:32 AM   #29
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I really think you answered your own question here.
As others said, having a good handle on your expenses makes household financial management pretty straightforward.

By all means, start immediately, because you'll most likely find yourself tweaking how you categorize expenses quite often in the first year you do this.
A long time ago I was out of work for about a year and I tracked our expenses using an old, old version of Quicken. I'm trying to recall what categories I used then but my memory is not what it used to be!

I do remember that each night I asked my DH what money he had in his pocket so I could reconcile our expenses for the day (almost) down to the penny!
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Old 10-16-2010, 10:41 AM   #30
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If you wanted to keep working instead of ER at the moment (say while getting your financial plans in order) it really should only be a few months work to learn a modern language and some useful APIs/frameworks, then pick a project to make that can serve as proof of your ability to work in areas that are in demand now.

Always the possibility of making your own software and selling it now, the smart phones + Internet have made self published work more visible (though that route is certainly more entrepreneurial and uncertain).

Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
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Old 10-16-2010, 11:57 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by NervousNellie View Post
Assembly language, now that's a blast from the past! I haven't thought about assembler in years. When I was in college (back in the late 70's) they taught a course in assembly language and I think the purpose the course was to weed out the people who wouldn't make it through the computer science program. I hope I don't have nightmares of registers, program counters, stack pointers and of course ones and zeroes.
Ah yes, assembler language. Was the hot ticket in the 70's and early 80's.
LR R2,R1
LA R3,R1

BTW you mentioned earlier about FEHB and the hope for a change in grandfathering current employees (DH). I'm a current employee covered under FERS and have FEHB. As far as I know, all FERS and CSRS employees will always be eligible for retiree FEHB coverage once they reach their retirement age. So I was not quite sure what you meant.
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Old 10-16-2010, 12:58 PM   #32
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If you have your bank & investment statements in hand, you can determine your outgoing cash-flow now. It will give you a good starting point.

You can then fill in the exact categories over the coming months.

Welcome to the board. All the best.
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Old 10-16-2010, 01:07 PM   #33
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BTW you mentioned earlier about FEHB and the hope for a change in grandfathering current employees (DH). I'm a current employee covered under FERS and have FEHB. As far as I know, all FERS and CSRS employees will always be eligible for retiree FEHB coverage once they reach their retirement age. So I was not quite sure what you meant.

I didn't mean to imply there was any change in the FEHB coming, I just keep seeing threads on mega corps changing benefits for retirees and it makes me think of the 'what if' situation for the federal employees.
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Old 10-16-2010, 01:11 PM   #34
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Always the possibility of making your own software and selling it now, the smart phones + Internet have made self published work more visible (though that route is certainly more entrepreneurial and uncertain).
Interesting idea. I will give that some thought. Thanks.
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Old 10-16-2010, 01:18 PM   #35
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If you have your bank & investment statements in hand, you can determine your outgoing cash-flow now. It will give you a good starting point.

You can then fill in the exact categories over the coming months.

Welcome to the board. All the best.
Yes I can probably get that info now. Gathering that info would be a good starting point. I know from my previous tracking of our expenses that we really cut back when I start tracking expenses then little by little we get back to a more normal spending habit.
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Old 10-16-2010, 01:21 PM   #36
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I didn't mean to imply there was any change in the FEHB coming, I just keep seeing threads on mega corps changing benefits for retirees and it makes me think of the 'what if' situation for the federal employees.
Yes, I see now, thanks. In the meantime, I think there's no worry for FERS/CSRS eligibles with FEHB in retirement... unlike mega corps, which seem to dropping their retiree plans as fast as possible. But many companies are now looking for subsidies under the new health care reform law for their retirees between 55 and Medicare eligible age:

Firms Plan to Eliminate Retiree Health Plans - Planning to Retire (usnews.com)
Firms Plan to Eliminate Retiree Health Plans

Employers are increasingly trying to avoid paying for health insurance for retirees who leave the workforce before they become eligible for Medicare. Some 43 percent of companies currently offering retiree medical to soon reduce or eliminate them, according to a recent Towers Watson survey of mid and senior level benefit professionals at 392 companies providing health plans to retirees.
[See 7 Ways Laid-Off Baby Boomers Can Find Health Insurance.]


“Beginning in 2014, when health insurance exchanges become operative, pre-65 retirees will have access to competitive plan choices without preexisting condition underwriting,” says Dave Osterndorf, a senior consulting actuary for Towers Watson. “This important development will likely accelerate employers exiting sponsorship of retiree health programs and, in many cases, adopting account-based solutions.” Towers Watson suggests that some companies will a portion of their current retiree health spending into a medical reimbursement account such as a health savings account or retiree medical savings for former employees to help with premium costs and uncovered expenses.


Until these health insurance exchanges become operational in 2014, many employers plan to accept federal subsidies to maintain their retiree health care coverage. The Obama administration announced earlier this month that companies will get $5 billion from the federal government to maintain health care coverage for early retirees. Most companies that offer retiree medical benefits intend to apply for the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program, which will subsidize employers that provide health insurance to retirees age 55 and older who are not yet eligible for Medicare.
[See How the Health Care Bill Impacts Retirees.]


More than three-quarters (76 percent) of companies with retiree health plans plan to pursue reimbursement through the program which goes into effect June 1, according to a Hewitt Associates survey of 245 large employers that offer medical benefits to over 1.3 million retirees. Employers that are accepted into the program, which was created by the health reform bill, will be reimbursed for up to 80 percent of each retiree’s medical expenses between $15,000 and $90,000.
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