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Work for the state.
Old 10-04-2010, 12:19 AM   #1
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Work for the state.

I doubt I really belong here, since I didn't retire early. I just retired August 1, 2010, at age 68. That's not "early", right? I never gave much thought, when I was working, to what life would be like after work, but by accident, I think I made a good choice in going to work for a state government (Hawaii). My retirement wage is going to be a little better than my working wage, and the retirement system here pays for a rather nice health insurance package, as a retirement benefit.

So, uh, if you're in the private sector, and worrying about what retirement is going to be like, think twice about staying private.
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Old 10-04-2010, 01:36 AM   #2
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Congratulations on retiring early. It's great that it's working out for you. But in many states including the one in which I live, retirement benefits for new employees are horrible compared to those that started 20 or 30 years ago. Has Hawaii not reduced its benefits for new employees yet?
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Old 10-04-2010, 01:49 AM   #3
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Has Hawaii not reduced its benefits for new employees yet?
I have no idea. My job here started in 1971. If benefits for newer employees are reduced, well, I take it all back. Maybe going to work for the state is not such a good idea, after all. My reasoning has been that I wanted to be in a large voter pool, so that legislators could not afford to reduce my benefits for fear of being voted out of office by me and my pals.
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Old 10-04-2010, 07:13 AM   #4
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I was hired in the last year Maryland had a real DB system. They changed it and then tried every kind of pressure, lie and trick to shift people to the new system. They ground it down to the point where they could not get teachers.

Most Academics were pressure/ conned into the TIAA/CREF option (403b but like a 401 K) The funding formula in effect meant that the School did not have to pay pension legacy costs on such people, but did if they joined the DB plan . I wrote memos about this to colleagues in 1979. Some of them saved my memos and stayed with the old system. The state was stunned when so few fell for the lies.

Much the same was done in Federal employment with the shift to FERS from CSRS.

The only problem with the DB system was the golden handcuff issue. Academics have no salary scale. Some academic Management decided that folks on the DB system did not have to be paid a competitive salary since they assumed the faculty could not leave. Others took a somewhat more enlightened approach.

I have no personal complaints.
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Old 10-04-2010, 07:17 AM   #5
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Welcome to the Early Retirement Forum, Greg, and congratulations on your retirement! Despite being a little older than some (but not all) of our members, I think you will enjoy our discussions.

As for the public vs private decision, I spent my last ten working years as a federal employee. Although my pension is small, the retiree health insurance benefit has been wonderful to have since my retirement last November.
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Old 10-04-2010, 08:20 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by GregLee View Post
I doubt I really belong here, since I didn't retire early. I just retired August 1, 2010, at age 68.
Of course, you belong here. Who even knows what "early" means? And age is a relative thing, you know.
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Old 10-04-2010, 09:34 AM   #7
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Of course, you belong here. Who even knows what "early" means? ...
Before death comes to mind.

Welcome Greg, better now than never.
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Old 10-04-2010, 11:53 AM   #8
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Welcome to the boards, Greg.

Even if public jobs have their retirement benefits cut for new hires, I would guess their retirement benefits usually are still better than those in the average private sector job (which sometimes have been changed down the road, and I don't think that has yet to happen to people in the public sector).
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Old 10-04-2010, 12:09 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by GregLee View Post
I doubt I really belong here, since I didn't retire early. I just retired August 1, 2010, at age 68. That's not "early", right? I never gave much thought, when I was working, to what life would be like after work, but by accident, I think I made a good choice in going to work for a state government (Hawaii). My retirement wage is going to be a little better than my working wage, and the retirement system here pays for a rather nice health insurance package, as a retirement benefit.

So, uh, if you're in the private sector, and worrying about what retirement is going to be like, think twice about staying private.
Welcome to the forum. Early is not a physical thing, it's a state of mind. You'll fit right in
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Old 10-04-2010, 12:16 PM   #10
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... and I don't think that has yet to happen to people in the public sector).
A certain age group of federal employees is still remembering that little FERS to CSRS conversion, and then there's the more recent Rumsfeld experiment with DoD employees...
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Old 10-08-2010, 08:53 AM   #11
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A certain age group of federal employees is still remembering that little FERS to CSRS conversion, and then there's the more recent Rumsfeld experiment with DoD employees...

Yes...that would be me! They tried hard (and in some cases succeeded) to get us to switch from CSRS to FERS. I'll retire in 2 years under CSRS, on my 55th birthday, after nearly 36 yrs, including 4 1/2 yrs active military. I can hardly wait.......
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Old 10-08-2010, 10:37 AM   #12
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A certain age group of federal employees is still remembering that little FERS to CSRS conversion, and then there's the more recent Rumsfeld experiment with DoD employees...
Most of my co-workers did not switch out of CSRS. One good friend did and was able to use the portability of FERS to leave for private industry, broaden his experience base, and then return to government in a management position. He is/was a saavy investor and until 2007-08 had probably done better financially in FERS.
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