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No 2010 COLA...
Old 08-21-2009, 03:52 PM   #1
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No 2010 COLA...

but we already knew that. Anyway, here's part of an email that I received from MOAA...
Quote:
The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that inflation dropped 0.2% in July. For the first 10 months of FY2009, cumulative inflation has declined 2.3%.
What would it take for retirees and survivors to see any COLA for 2010? Inflation would have to rise more than 2.4% each month for August and September. That's just not going to happen, barring some kind of disaster that nobody wants to see.
One last reminder: The law doesn't allow a negative COLA. If inflation is negative for the year, as seems almost certain, there just won't be a COLA.
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Old 08-21-2009, 04:55 PM   #2
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Double whammy here - dh2b is retired military and I have a CSRS survivor pension.
We live well below our means, so no critical impact. It would be really nice if our bills were deflated.
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Old 08-21-2009, 06:11 PM   #3
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All our costs are down or equal this year. Food is way down for us. Change of habits or a real cost lowering. I couldn't tell you. Im not that detailed in cost tracking Seems appropriate.
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Old 08-21-2009, 08:34 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by freebird5825 View Post
Double whammy here - dh2b is retired military and I have a CSRS survivor pension.
Check those COLAs we've been getting the last few years!

I don't want to have to cope with an economy that delivers large COLAs.
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Old 08-21-2009, 08:40 PM   #5
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Check those COLAs we've been getting the last few years!

I don't want to have to cope with an economy that delivers large COLAs.
Point and match. I wasn't thinking of a zero COLA as a positive thing.
I understand the tradeoff.
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Old 08-21-2009, 08:41 PM   #6
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Yeah in a deflationary environment. Not sure why you would be seeking a cola
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Old 08-22-2009, 06:27 AM   #7
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I always heard the COLA calculation described as based on the percentage increase in costs this year over last year calculated at end of August (e.g. 2009 against 2008). But if costs go down this year does the following year's COLA get calculated as the increase against this year's costs (i.e. 2010 against 2009) or at the higher 2008 base (2010 against 2008)?
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Old 08-22-2009, 08:10 AM   #8
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Good question, Donheff. I think it is always computed in comparison with the previous year but I have no reference to back that up.

In my particular case, I would not be eligible for the 2010 COLA anyway and my FERS diet-COLA will begin in 2011 because I will have turned 62 by then. I will be retiring on the newer FERS retirement plan, not the older CSRS retirement plan with the bigger "annuity"(=pension), that was discontinued for new hires over 20 years ago, and we have different rules.

Even when I qualify for the COLA it won't make that much of a difference to me, since a FERS pension is intended to comprise a much smaller fraction of total retirement income than the CSRS pension. I am grateful for what pension I get, and would love to see it grow, but realistically the COLA won't make or break my retirement. The TSP is much bigger part of the FERS retirement plan than it is for CSRS folks.
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Old 08-22-2009, 10:01 AM   #9
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I just retired from the Navy on 31 Dec 08, and this would have been my first COLA. Oh well...Not losing anything if the prices of food, gas, etc.. goes down!

On the plus side..my TSP just went a + from being negative since 2007!!!!
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Old 08-22-2009, 10:19 AM   #10
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Same here. I got a notice that my COLA'd retirement will go down .1%. Not a big deal. Yet.
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Old 08-22-2009, 10:21 AM   #11
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Same here. I got a notice that my COLA'd retirement will go down .1%. Not a big deal. Yet.
Wow interesting. Never heard of one being lowered.
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Old 08-22-2009, 10:34 AM   #12
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Those that get COLA are lucky. My husbands pension is in default status, was revised so we only will get about 80%-- if that even holds until he is out in 19 months. And they wiped out COLA increases going forward for all of us not yet collecting.
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Old 08-22-2009, 10:52 AM   #13
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Check those COLAs we've been getting the last few years!

I don't want to have to cope with an economy that delivers large COLAs.
I did, and let me tell you how it works. Say the govt COLA is supposed to be 10%. The gummint says, we know you're supposed to get a 10% govt COLA, but we also know you are patriotic and want to keep serving your country. Therefore we know you won't mind if we cap your COLA at 5% and serve as an example to those who get civilian COLAs so they can voluntarily cut their COLA in half (never happen). Thank you sir, may I have another?
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Old 08-22-2009, 11:48 AM   #14
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I did, and let me tell you how it works. Say the govt COLA is supposed to be 10%.

You have been retired since the 1970's?
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Old 08-22-2009, 02:27 PM   #15
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You have been retired since the 1970's?
No, not that old First retired from the Air Force in 1987. Another thing about COLA caps, once the idea starts, in the 70s, it's hard for it to stop. My COLA was capped for several years after retirement. Inflation then wasn't 10%, I was just giving an example, but the caps were pretty significant. After a few years I saw my retired pension drop to below that of more junior officers who retired a few years before me. I don't remember the exact numbers, I've put that episode out of my mind.
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Old 08-22-2009, 03:16 PM   #16
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Thing is,I cannot "buy" that inflation is so low. Our expenses are up. While a few items, such as gas, cost less than last year, those aren't a huge part of our expenses anyway. We pay more for services every year. Our health care premiums rose 10% this year (with reduced benefits). It cost us 30% more to have our townhouse's carpet professionally cleaned than it did 2 years ago (dirt not a factor -- the quotes are by square footage). Our car insurance keeps going up every 6 months, even though our car is getting older and we haven't done anything naughty. Property taxes rose again this year, even though the value of the properties has dropped. Negative inflation? Not seeing it.
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Old 08-22-2009, 03:23 PM   #17
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Yeah in a deflationary environment. Not sure why you would be seeking a cola
I usually prefer ginger ale. Freebird on caffeine is not funny, trust me.

I'll definitely survive with zero COLA.

My monthly bills have not deflated one little bit. Like Amethyst says, across-the-board costs are still increasing. So what is really deflating besides my bank account?
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Old 08-22-2009, 04:00 PM   #18
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In general our overall costs have decreased. The most noticeable has been groceries. A few things did go up for us. Perhaps it is due to location.
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Old 08-22-2009, 09:54 PM   #19
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DW's pension increases 3%/yr regardless of inflation. I had assumed this would be bad and that the 3% would frequently be less than actual govt measured CPI. But it looks like this year will be deflationary and that 3% increase is going to look pretty sweet. Of course, in future years when today's deficit spending results in high inflation, the 3% will look pretty sad.......
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Old 08-23-2009, 03:11 PM   #20
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Wow interesting. Never heard of one being lowered.
We don't have many board members on Medicare, but Business Week makes the point that no Social Security COLA plus rising Medicare premiums equals a net reduction of income.
Millions face shrinking Social Security payments - BusinessWeek

The solution? Have the govt bail 'em out!
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