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Move to DC area if you don't want ER.
Old 09-12-2007, 08:32 AM   #1
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Move to DC area if you don't want ER.

The DC area is expensive, but working after 65! No thanks.

Squeezed by soaring health-care costs and dwindling pensions, ever more Americans are choosing to postpone retirement -- and the Washington region leads the nation when it comes to working past age 65, according to census figures released today...

washingtonpost.com

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Old 09-12-2007, 10:12 AM   #2
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Interesting. Just yesterday I was talking with an older colleague at work in DC, he's 79 and was worried about what might happen if he lost his job. I looked at him incredulously and reminding him of the couple of pensions he has, the large amount in retirement contributions he has socked away, and the fact that he has only himself to support. I told him there is no need for him to continue working, and he should just enjoy the remainder of his life. He looked at me, admitted he could retire, then said, "but this is my life."

I think many of those in the DC area really have no life outside of work. I also think this is especially true of government work, because it's focused on work as a mission rather than as a means to some other end. So, for such people, maybe it's best that they stay in the office until the end. What would they do otherwise?
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Old 09-12-2007, 11:09 AM   #3
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I worked in DC for 8 years. I still work for the G but now am out in a field office. Life is way different outside the beltway. It was a little hard to adjust because like you said in the DC area there is little life outside work. Now life is good and priorities are different. Now it's about trying to stay under the radar so the DC folks don't bother us.
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Old 09-13-2007, 11:13 AM   #4
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I think many of those in the DC area really have no life outside of work. I also think this is especially true of government work, because it's focused on work as a mission rather than as a means to some other end. So, for such people, maybe it's best that they stay in the office until the end. What would they do otherwise?
Um, that's a very broad generalization. Do you actually KNOW anyone besides that one 79 year old in DC? I work in the gov't and live in DC, plan to retire at 52 (I'm 38 now), and know lots of people who take early outs when offered.

"They", meaning gov't workers, are people with lives and hobbies just like everybody else. What a silly statement to make. And, I can assure you, that all of my friends have wonderful, enriched lives outside of work. We all keep plenty busy.

Now, granted, people may keep working because it's expensive to live here, but I don't plan to retire here.

Karen
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Old 09-13-2007, 12:02 PM   #5
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I can understand why people in DC would keep working longer than normal. I currently live just out of DC and DH works downtown. The amount of money one can make in the city can be staggering, and a shock to downgrade from it. We were warned of the quick adjustment people make to the income here (spending it just as quickly as it's made) and we're combating it full force and plan on ER, but just not here. Being from the midwest we know how nice life is elsewhere at much lower costs, but people from here don't seem to get it and possibly feel like they need to keep working to live a normal life.
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Old 09-13-2007, 12:08 PM   #6
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Could also be an ego factor for many - power (or the perception of power) is a strong elixir for many. Combine that with some of the big $$ and that is a strong incentive to, ah hem, stay the course.
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Old 09-13-2007, 05:51 PM   #7
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This MSN article profiled a couple of ERs.

Retired by 50: What it really takes - MSN Money

Seems to suggest the couples, while working, lived like paupers in higher cost-of-living metros.

I don't know what to think on this topic, i.e. does the potential reward in those areas -- solid real estate appreciation + higher paying jobs + other benefits -- outweight the cost? Might be a wash in the end but I have never really come to solid opinion of it.
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Old 09-13-2007, 07:27 PM   #8
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I don't know what to think on this topic, i.e. does the potential reward in those areas -- solid real estate appreciation + higher paying jobs + other benefits -- outweight the cost?
I'm probably mangling this quote, but isn't NYC described as a place where you have to earn $200K/year to solve problems that don't exist anywhere else in the country?

I'd rather pay the paradise tax.

My BIL the CPA lives in the DC area and works in Annapolis, and his spouse's career is at a local public utility. These days he's in a position where he gets to do his own thing without supervising anyone (he hates being a boss) so he's only miserable during tax-filing season. She does her grid-programming job and doesn't dislike the office camaraderie, although she also did just fine telecommuting for most of 1999's Y2K software reviews.

They're not seduced by the DC ambiance. The two of them have decided to ER together when she reaches age 55 and qualifies for retiree medical benefits (with him on her plan). Neither one is enthralled by their jobs or by the power and they won't miss their jobs for a millisecond.

But they enjoy being able to see big museums & theater and classic-rock concerts other culture whenever they want, and they enjoy all the other amenities (& family) of the area they were born & raised in. I think Martha has it right-- most people don't want to move and will adjust their lifestyle & portfolio to accomodate their preferences.
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Old 09-13-2007, 07:35 PM   #9
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I live in the DC Metro area. Outside of DC in Rockville Maryland.

The high salary seems pretty stellar compared to many other parts of the country. True, the cost of living is insanely high, but not everywhere. It's like saying, cars are so expensive, because you only see the brand new bmw's, mercedes, or lexus's. You still have the hondas and toyotas and you have the 2nd hand honda/toyotas. Though in general it is higher than else where...

But, take the high salary and get a 2nd hand honda/toyota and you'll accelerate past all your peers both in the DC area and those in other areas. When you're all down, retire somewhere else.
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Old 09-13-2007, 08:09 PM   #10
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I'm probably mangling this quote, but isn't NYC described as a place where you have to earn $200K/year to solve problems that don't exist anywhere else in the country?

I'd rather pay the paradise tax.

My BIL the CPA lives in the DC area and works in Annapolis, and his spouse's career is at a local public utility. These days he's in a position where he gets to do his own thing without supervising anyone (he hates being a boss) so he's only miserable during tax-filing season. She does her grid-programming job and doesn't dislike the office camaraderie, although she also did just fine telecommuting for most of 1999's Y2K software reviews.

They're not seduced by the DC ambiance. The two of them have decided to ER together when she reaches age 55 and qualifies for retiree medical benefits (with him on her plan). Neither one is enthralled by their jobs or by the power and they won't miss their jobs for a millisecond.

But they enjoy being able to see big museums & theater and classic-rock concerts other culture whenever they want, and they enjoy all the other amenities (& family) of the area they were born & raised in. I think Martha has it right-- most people don't want to move and will adjust their lifestyle & portfolio to accomodate their preferences.
I agree with you on that one. I think that if I were to pursue the high cost of living route, it would be so I could live in a great climate with boundless outdoor opportunities to fill the days. While I loved NYC, I think I would still opt out for other places. Nords, you still need a neighbor?
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Old 09-13-2007, 08:14 PM   #11
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Hmmm - oldest nephew, 10 yrs or so in - rotating to Pentagon from Coranado(North Island) - thought he had a lock on Cal.

Two young kids, now wife doesn't work. Could be fun. Apparently still on career track - and at least he's the one who 'actually' read Bogle on Mutual Funds and acted on my 'psst 500Index'.

Cal to D.C. (renting) ?Could be a wash cost of living wise,

heh heh heh - house hunting trip next month.
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Old 09-13-2007, 08:43 PM   #12
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Um, that's a very broad generalization. Do you actually KNOW anyone besides that one 79 year old in DC?
Well, as a matter of fact, I also know an 84 year old in the same office with the same story.

Quote:
I work in the gov't and live in DC, plan to retire at 52 (I'm 38 now), and know lots of people who take early outs when offered.
Good for you!

Quote:
"They", meaning gov't workers, are people with lives and hobbies just like everybody else. What a silly statement to make. And, I can assure you, that all of my friends have wonderful, enriched lives outside of work. We all keep plenty busy.
You're quite right, it was a very silly generalization. I was rushing out the door when I wrote that and was reacting to my recent conversation. I think part of what I said is correct, though, govt workers are more inclined to remain on the job than private industry workers. I have no facts, just a gut feeling based on those I've known, and base it on their dedication to the job over only salaries. Also, private industry has gotten so bottom line oriented that there is little job loyalty. But I mainly know older govt workers who have already decided to stay on the job, so I suffer selection bias.
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Old 09-13-2007, 11:28 PM   #13
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Nords, you still need a neighbor?
E komo mai, brah-- 5-8 feet at White Plains Beach today, tomorrow, and probably Saturday-Sunday too!

We're on a cul-de-sac where one neighbor is a sewage booster station and the house across the street has been mostly vacant for seven years. (The owner is a VP with Bank of Hawaii's Japan branches and I'm beginning to wonder if he's ever coming back.) This is the best place I've I'll ever live.
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Old 09-14-2007, 07:42 AM   #14
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This is the best place I've I'll ever live.
The two other retired guys on my cul-de-sac drive, one for a car dealer's customers and the other a school bus. I who does nothing - sit on the front porch in a neghborhood of kids and dogs, get hustled for various 'school raffles/projects/etc' and swear that the local tornado siren gets moved into my living room in time to 'run a test'.

Middle America. Suburbs. Ya gotta love paradise.

heh heh heh - to think of all the time I wasted in the PacNW, the Rockies, out on Lake Ponchartrain. Next thing you know after ER(age 49-65) maybe somebody will give me a J-O-B for my next birthday - hopefully with a receipt so I can exchange it.
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