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View Poll Results: Are or were you or your spouse government workers?
I or my spouse are or were government workers. 80 56.34%
Neither I nor my spouse are or were government workers. 62 43.66%
Voters: 142. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-23-2010, 10:26 PM   #41
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Corporations lie, governments lie. Corporations do at least generate wealth. Governments at very best help maintain conditions for continued wealth generation, but more realistically and more often dissipate wealth.

The government not only
dissipates wealth but also re-distributes it.
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Old 10-23-2010, 10:26 PM   #42
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55% "yes" right now. I'm pretty sure less than 55% of the general population could answer "yes" here.

Not surprising that an early retirement board is disproportionately comprised of people who have jobs that are more likely to enable it, is it?

Last I remember it was 20% with and 80% without a pension.

The number without a pension benefit has obviously grown significantly over the past few decades. But I'm not sure whether what I'm recalling represents exclusively current benefits or whether it includes any pension benefit received during one's working career.
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Old 10-23-2010, 10:32 PM   #43
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I don't want to get into an ideological debate here, but come on. Government can raise taxes more easily than the private sector can raise prices in a competitive environment if they have budget/income problems, and the federal government can print money to meet obligations. This statement, if I may say so, is a non-starter.

I say this not to bash the public sector, but to point out the obvious reasons why government employment is of a different nature than private sector employment. Your statement, with all due respect, is silly.

Government has an unlimited power to tax (though it would be stupid to tax beyond the point the economy can grow). Businesses don't have an unlimited power to raise prices or slash wages (given the minimum wage and competition).
So all we do to keep SamClem away from my SS is to raise the income tax?
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Old 10-23-2010, 10:32 PM   #44
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Yes, the upper one percent have become markedly poorer over the last 30 years due to the government 'redistributing' their wealth.

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The government not only [/COLOR]dissipates wealth but also re-distributes it.
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Old 10-23-2010, 10:36 PM   #45
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The government not only [/COLOR]dissipates wealth but also re-distributes it.

It's better to have a smaller piece of a growing pie than a larger piece of a shrinking pie.
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Old 10-24-2010, 01:42 AM   #46
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Yeah, I'm a federal employee. I'm also retired from the USAF Reserves. I enlisted in the Air Force in 1977. Separated from the Air Force in 1981, and went to work for the Air Force as a civilian (fed) employee, and at the same time, joined the Air Force Reserves. I continued with the Air Force as a fed & reservist until 2008, when I took job with DoD, with an outfit called Defense Contract Management Agency. I still work for DCMA, and will retire in 2 yrs at 55. I'm stationed at a major defense contractor (Lockheed Martin) in east Texas, where I do Quality Assurance stuff. I retired from the USAF Reserves in April, 2010, after 33 years. Right now, I have a total of 33 yrs, 5 months federal civil service time. When I retire in January 2013, I'll have almost 36 yrs. I might work an extra 2 or 3 months to bump it up to a full 36....nahhhhh!
Some of my least-favorite acronyms... DCMA and QA.

Man-- what a glutton for punishment!
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Old 10-24-2010, 03:17 AM   #47
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No for me and DW.

Just out of curiosity, for those who answer yes to the question, I wonder how many could afford to retire early without a government pension, and what is the percentage of retirement income they derive from the said pension.
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Old 10-24-2010, 04:13 AM   #48
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That's an interesting question. I'm still working, but I hope to FIRE within 8-10 years. I'll have a FERS pension and it will likely comprise anywhere from about 30-45 percent of my retirement income, depending on how my other investments do. That's only me. If you factor in DW, a highly skilled professional, the pension share falls to about 15-20%. I think there is a better than average chance I could FIRE w/o it, but since it will be there, it pretty much clinches the deal. And the fact that health insurance carries over is just as important, if not more so.


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No for me and DW.

Just out of curiosity, for those who answer yes to the question, I wonder how many could afford to retire early without a government pension, and what is the percentage of retirement income they derive from the said pension.
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Old 10-24-2010, 06:30 AM   #49
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Some of my least-favorite acronyms... DCMA and QA.

Man-- what a glutton for punishment!

lol....yeah...me too!
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Old 10-24-2010, 06:33 AM   #50
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Just out of curiosity, for those who answer yes to the question, I wonder how many could afford to retire early without a government pension, and what is the percentage of retirement income they derive from the said pension.
My monthly FERS payments represent 13% of my income in retirement, so obviously not pivotal to my decision to retire when I did.
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Old 10-24-2010, 08:29 AM   #51
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When I retire from my civilian job in 2 yrs, my CSRS pension will be 100% of my income. My TSP will be cashed out to purchase our retirement home. My wife will continue to work a few more years (younger than me w/no pension, only a 401k). She'll retire just before I start getting my military pension, at age 60. At that point, my 2 pensions will make up around 80% of our income, with her 401k adding a little, but mostly being our emergency stash, once we roll it into an IRA. We also have ROTH IRAs. She'll get full SS at age 62, mine will be greatly reduced by WEP. She will have survivor's benefits from both of my pensions when I die, equaling 55% of each. With no mortgage, and the 401/IRA money, plus medical coverage, she'll be ok.
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Old 10-24-2010, 09:51 AM   #52
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She'll get full SS at age 62.
Are you sure about that?
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When I retire from my civilian job in 2 yrs, my CSRS pension will be 100% of my income. My TSP will be cashed out to purchase our retirement home.
Good for you. I thought the question was "Could you retire without the pension?".
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Old 10-24-2010, 10:57 AM   #53
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DH worked almost 27 years in 2 county agencies and has a state public employees pension.

I work for the local police department. Right before I got hired in 2006 they changed how they pay the employees in our department. They used to be in the pension system but it was changed to outside contracted employment so I'm not in the pension system, I'm in the SS system. I really think this was done specifically to avoid the extra cost to the city for the pension contribution.

For me this worked out fine. I took the job because I needed to complete my last SS credits and I never expected to work long enough to get more than the minimal out of the pension system.
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Old 10-24-2010, 11:11 AM   #54
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Our government has operated without pause since the nation's founding, even during civil war. Despite severe economic dislocation at times, the US has never devolved into anarchy, unlike many other countries.
"effective" does not equal "efficient"

Folks who criticize government usually want it to do fewer things and to do the things it is supposed to be doing (as outlined in US and state constitutions) with greater efficiency.

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Especially when compared to the private sector--where over 90% of businesses fail, I think the 'government' comes out looking pretty good.
It's good that businesses fail. The economies without failing businesses are moribund and the "businesses" are usually government enterprises ("People's Buggy Whip Factory Number 22"). See term "creative destruction" for more.
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Old 10-24-2010, 12:00 PM   #55
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It's good that businesses fail.
Bite your tongue!

Both little startups that I got involved with as a founding member went belly up. How was that good? Certainly not for us. We did not get rich like the billionaires that people read about all the time.

OK, so we did not know what we were doing, but just suppose, just suppose we got a little bail out to keep us going, who knows, things could have been different. We would be able to make it up on volume.
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Old 10-24-2010, 12:35 PM   #56
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No for me. My little 4 year stint in the Navy spent irritating NVN didn't come with a pension. Spent enough time paying into SS that I will be able to feed a cat at retirement. Everything else is what the IRS calls "unearned income", so my declining years will be funded by mememe.

Just wrote checks for the property taxes - am paying just a bit more this year than last, but the tax man says we took a nasty hit in our true cash value on the places. That doesn't affect the rents we receive, but does indicate that I stand to become one of those bitter old landlords, especially given that the man I was grooming to be my replacement has indicated that he is burned out - in just over a year - and he is taking 2 weeks during Christmas. Should be a nice punctuation to our time in La Quinta getting our snowbird home ready. I really want to come back to Oregon during the time of year I'm trying to escape.

That whine included, I would neither wish to have worked for a corporation, nor for any form of government. I value charting my own course and will accept my own reward, free of anyone else's promises.
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Old 10-24-2010, 12:44 PM   #57
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...the man I was grooming to be my replacement has indicated that he is burned out - in just over a year - and he is taking 2 weeks during Christmas. Should be a nice punctuation to our time in La Quinta getting our snowbird home ready. I really want to come back to Oregon during the time of year I'm trying to escape.
My condolences.

Perhaps some forum members will take a sacrifice to look after that La Quinta home for you, to keep that pool chlorinated while you are away.

Is that pool heated? You should really put in that propane heater, you know?
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Old 10-24-2010, 01:09 PM   #58
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Pool isn't heated - am thinking of a pool blanket to extend the season, but having never had a pool I really don't know the ramifications. Doubt we will be able to get it cleaned up and filled in time for the weather to bring it up to a temperature the early retirees on the board would deem acceptable this winter - wouldn't want to put the esteemed members to any discomfort on our account.
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Old 10-24-2010, 01:13 PM   #59
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OK, when you have that pool heated, let us know how you enjoy it because we do not have a heater either.

Umm... No one has been in our pool even once this summer. Too busy working on the RV, and then driving it...
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Old 10-27-2010, 12:10 AM   #60
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I know people love to rag on the government (which, by the way they vote for, so I wonder what that says for democracy ), but I think it's somewhat unfair to characterize the government as 'inefficient'.
There is nothing the government does more efficiently than the private sector. Even the DOD acknowledged it would take 3 military personnel to do the job of one of Halliburton employee. Of course its operated uninterrupted, a business cannot go out of business when it can raise prices (taxes) without losing customers.
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