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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE
Old 01-18-2006, 10:48 AM   #21
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE

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Originally Posted by unclemick2
My little niece's hubby (knot head Marine lifer) will be going in next month for his third tour.

I haven't seen my doughnut shop bubby since Katrina - power plant control systems - 400k in a safe job - two Iragies died saving their contractor butt's and he'll have a bad back the rest of his life. The telephone guy and the retired Army motor pool sarge turned down their offers.
"knot head Marine lifer"-- how much redundancy can you pack into a single description?

I read about an old shipmate who actually left military retirement to return to the USMC at his former rank in civil engineering.

He says that no civil engineer or Marine ever gets "opportunities" like this, and the chance to bear arms is just a job perk. His first job was restoring the power to Fallujah.

The joke was that his application to return to active duty was deferred pending the results of a psychiatric examination. Then they realized that he was a Marine and immediately approved his request.
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE
Old 01-18-2006, 12:14 PM   #22
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE

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Originally Posted by MasterBlaster
Is your point that he is ripping someone (eg. US government) off ?

Would many people likely take that job ?

What exactly is your point ?
Just pointing out what the overhead must be for having people over there if the salary alone is that high......then you factor in the health insurance, retirement benefits, etc etc etc.

In the end, it is costing the taxpayers a lot of money to have that person over there. Just good things to keep in mind when you start thinking of whether or not you want to have that situation or not. Most everything comes down to wants/needs with price being the basis for choosing either one.
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE
Old 01-18-2006, 12:24 PM   #23
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE

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Originally Posted by azanon
Anyway, my point wasn't that being a government employee is a bad deal (with the pensions and all).* But by no means are we necessarily better off than the private sector either.* So for that reason, I dont think i should have to qualify any claims of ER just because I may have a pension.* *The potential to make the most money clearly lies in the private world, especially the small businessman; potential to easily make up for not having a pension.* *
I think the original point of the original post was simply that if someone states that they are comfortably retired on a nest egg of $500,000 but does NOT mention that they have an alternate source of income - whether it's a pension or a sugar daddy* - then readers might get a false impression of what it takes to ER.*
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE
Old 01-18-2006, 12:49 PM   #24
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE

Seems to me that a generalization might be made here relative to Gov. vs private sector retirement benefits.

Generaality #1:
Gov. pay is most likely lower for the same job and years of experience than a very similar job in the private sector.

Generalization #2:
Retirement benefits i.e., Pension and health care tend to be better in Gov. jobs. Gov. pensions appear to cover a larger percentage of the final earned wage and medical seems to be paid or more fully funded by the Gov.

Generalization #3:
Private sector jobs pay more (in general) but the retirement packages are not as good. Medical may not be fully funded or even be an option at all. Pensions may not exist or if they do they pay out a smaller percentage of final income levels. DCB plans may be better in the private sector.

Generalization #4:

Bosses everywhere tend to suck and management expects people to do more with less on an escalating scale while at the same time, restricting wage growth and limiting other benefits.

There is no point to the list....just the ramblings of an old man.
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE
Old 01-18-2006, 12:51 PM   #25
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE

Generalization # 5:

You can count on your government pension/healthcare. Not so for private companies and Megacorp.
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE
Old 01-18-2006, 02:19 PM   #26
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE

Quote:
I think the original point of the original post was simply that if someone states that they are comfortably retired on a nest egg of $500,000 but does NOT mention that they have an alternate source of income - whether it's a pension or a sugar daddy* - then readers might get a false impression of what it takes to ER.
If that was the original point (i'm too lazy to look now), then that seriously goes without saying.* *Of course, only a moron would brag about how he retired on just 500K and "fail" to mention the 30K dollar pension he's getting.* *Same is true for bragging about ER with a working spouse.

I thought the discussion had more to do with us Government workers supposedly having an easier route to ER and therefore we're obligated to mention our "grand" pension when we list our retirement date so everyone can assume, oh, he really retired early cause he had that "better" government job.
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE
Old 01-18-2006, 04:48 PM   #27
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE

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Originally Posted by azanon
If that was the original point (i'm too lazy to look now), then that seriously goes without saying.* *Of course, only a moron would brag about how he retired on just 500K and "fail" to mention the 30K dollar pension he's getting.* *Same is true for bragging about ER with a working spouse.

I thought the discussion had more to do with us Government workers supposedly having an easier route to ER and therefore we're obligated to mention our "grand" pension when we list our retirement date so everyone can assume, oh, he really retired early cause he had that "better" government job.
Since one can retire pretty well from a management or professional level gov't job with little or no savings, it really is a whole different world. Also, except at the top, I do not believe that government workers are underpaid even just considering current wages and current bennies. At the lower and lower middle levels, gov't workers are overpaid. Have you ever watched a groundkeeper for the county parks dept? Then watch some Mexican working for a private contractor.

Case closed.

Most government functions could be contracted out with enormous savings to the taxpayer. Sadly, the govít workers know this and jump all over it when they see it coming. And the taxpayer is asleep.

Ha
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE
Old 01-18-2006, 07:27 PM   #28
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE

Now that's an original thought!

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaHa
Most government functions could be contracted out with enormous savings to the taxpayer.
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE
Old 01-18-2006, 08:36 PM   #29
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE

Before we all get into a "tif", think about what human resources consultants [I used to work with a few ] call "total compensation". Pensions are forced savings for employees in a round about way. The companies simply defer paying the employees some compensation until the employees retire.

For example, all those gov't employees with the sweet pension, at least the feds in CSRS, were forced to contribute around 7.5%-8% of their salaries every year [and don't get SS]. Those in FERS only contribute 0.8% to the pension, and the rest that would've gone into the pension goes to SS.

So, it's not like the gov't employees are retiring with no savings, they may just not have a whole lot of savings outside the pension. This would be more or less the same as someone would just annuitized most/al/a good bitl of his/her savings at retirement. And this "large pension" may just be deferred compensation that the gov't has forced the employee to save.

There certainly are people who aren't gov't employees that did RE. And I'd bet that a lot of this is due to the persons ability to save a good deal of their income, which many of their counterparts spent instead of saving. So, you don't really need a sweet pension, you just need to save as much as the gov't employees were forced to.

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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE
Old 01-18-2006, 08:50 PM   #30
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE

Hmmmm

Contracting out govt.( generally state) - especially some oversea's IT - has drawn a little smoke, fire, screaming and yelling.

Caught a Thom Friedman/Charley Rose PBS interview a while back(World is Flat book review). Wherein The Republican kicked the crap(election wise) out of the incumbant Dem because he wanted to give some overseas owned co. a contract and save the taxpayers 8 mil tax dollars/yr. He thought it was amusing since he thought Rep. were free enterprise types.

I got a lot of literature - back when I owned more water utilities - another battleground with a lot of in's and out's.

Garbage pick-up is another fun area - they compete for my business around here.

And and - niece and one nephew's wife got out(Navy) and doing the civilian contractor thing.

I may get around to reading Freidman's book - or just stick with funnypapers.

? For the CA cats on this forum - do they still contract out city management, police, fire, and other services in the smaller communities
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE
Old 01-18-2006, 11:12 PM   #31
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE

Quote:
Originally Posted by tozz
Now that's an original thought!
No need to be original, just accurate.

Ha
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE
Old 01-19-2006, 08:21 AM   #32
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE

Quote:
Since one can retire pretty well from a management or professional level gov't job with little or no savings, it really is a whole different world. Also, except at the top, I do not believe that government workers are underpaid even just considering current wages and current bennies. At the lower and lower middle levels, gov't workers are overpaid. Have you ever watched a groundkeeper for the county parks dept? Then watch some Mexican working for a private contractor.

Case closed.
Haha, this is an early retirement messageboard.* *I thought you were a regular.* *Now, maybe you can tell me exactly how I go about getting all these great benefits without working 30 YEARS.* * *

Yes, the benefits would be great if i slave 30 years.* Unfortuntely, that doesn't apply here nor does it relate to any ER discussion.

Azanon

.........

Excellent post, Alec. You were dead on.
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE
Old 01-19-2006, 08:31 AM   #33
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE

Quote:
Originally Posted by azanon
Haha, this is an early retirement messageboard.* *I thought you were a regular.* *Now, maybe you can tell me exactly how I go about getting all these great benefits without working 30 YEARS.* * *

Yes, the benefits would be great if i slave 30 years.* Unfortuntely, that doesn't apply here nor does it relate to any ER discussion.

Azanon

AZ,

I think it may come down to what YOU define as EARLY.* For some of us, early is before age 65.* Others see early as 35.* My view of early was 50.* I did it but then went back to work so now my next ER date is 2007.* I may find some other job I want to do after that and may ER again.* If you want to ER before working 30 years then that is your definition.* HAHA is not off base on his comment because it is his view just like less than 30 years is your view and over 30 years is my view.* There are not rules to what is ER; it is relative to each of our own personal wishes and abilities.


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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE
Old 01-19-2006, 08:43 AM   #34
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE

And it is partly what kind of job you have. We lose secretaries on occasion to government. We pay better than anyone else in town EXCEPT government. Not only do they make more, they get a decent retirement plan, and great vacation benefits. All our local bankruptcy clerks are former legal secretaries.
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE
Old 01-19-2006, 08:59 AM   #35
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE

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We lose secretaries on occasion to government. We pay better than anyone else in town EXCEPT government.
I would guess the competition for these higher paying jobs like for secretaries is high. I know that our state government has hired secretaries as limited term employees and kept them like this for 10-20 years, which means no retirement benefits and few raises for that time. I am sure that is normal anymore.
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE
Old 01-19-2006, 09:30 AM   #36
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE

When some of these compensation numbers get thrown around for hourly pay, such as that $35.00 per hour quote for the gov't, are they perhaps talking about EVERYTHING they pay, such as health insurance, tuition/books for college classes, other training, vacation time, 401k match, etc?

For instance, I make $50,000 per year, which comes out to around $24.04 per hour. But if you throw in the 5 weeks of leave, the portion of my health insurance that the company picks up, the life insurance policy, the 3% they give us for our 401k (whether we contribute anything or not), and so on, I calculate that my figure could easily be fudged up to around $58K per year or more, which comes out to around $28 per hour.

FWIW, my Mom is a GS-12, but I forget the step. I remember her saying that her retirement will be something like $60K per year, if not more. But then, she'll have over 40 years of gov't slavery in at that point, and will retire just before she turns 60, so I don't know if you'd exactly call that "early".
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE
Old 01-19-2006, 10:39 AM   #37
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE

As far as wages and other compensations by job by state etc, look here.

http://www.bls.gov/ncs/home.htm
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE
Old 01-19-2006, 10:53 AM   #38
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE

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Originally Posted by Nords
"knot head Marine lifer"-- how much redundancy can you pack into a single description?

I read about an old shipmate who actually left military retirement to return to the USMC at his former rank in civil engineering.

He says that no civil engineer or Marine ever gets "opportunities" like this, and the chance to bear arms is just a job perk.* His first job was restoring the power to Fallujah.

The joke was that his application to return to active duty was deferred pending the results of a psychiatric examination.* Then they realized that he was a Marine and immediately approved his request.*
Nords: *I very much enjoy playing Tournament Golf, and Fly-Fishing, (a little hunting now and then), but beings I am sometimes subject to melencholy at my age, would appreciate it if you wouldn't add to that by posting a "young guys have all the fun" type situation.

Hell, we already know that.
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE
Old 01-19-2006, 11:08 AM   #39
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE

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Originally Posted by Jarhead*
would appreciate it if you wouldn't add to that by posting a "young guys have all the fun" type situation.
Sorry!

Did I mention that he's 50 years old?

I guess "young guys" is a relative term...
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE
Old 01-19-2006, 10:43 PM   #40
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE

Well, let me put in my 2 cents. I am a gov worker and I do not earn $35.00 per hour. I am a GS 11 and have over 32 years on the job. I have always paid more into my civil service pension fund than people do for social security and I also pay into Medicare. The government has never put 1 cent into my thrift savings plan and I have had it since it was first offered. My pension which will be less than $40,000.00 per year will be lowered since I want to leave my spouse part of my pension if I die first. Your social security benefit is not lowered in order to provide for your spouse. I have never received a stock option, Thanksgiving turkey or a Christmas bonus. I will never receive any of my spouse's social security. I worked under social security prior to working for the gov and if I finish getting the needed credits, then my social security benefit will be figured a different way which results in a lower amount of money. I have had people curse me, threaten our office and tell me that they pay my salary. I am about 99% sure that I am going to take an early out if it is offered this year. I will be 53 and will have worked for the gov for 33 yrs at that time, so I am sure that the 30 somethings do not consider this very early. Do I think that working for the gov has been so bad? The surprising answer is no. I feel fortunate to have had my career and I feel that I have helped many, many people over the years. That is a good feeling for me. Also, the vast majority of people that I have served over the years, have been extremely nice people. I will miss the public contact. I did not get rich working for the gov, but it has helped to provide a good middle class for my family. Of course, my spouse works and he does earn more than I do, which also helps. I will be able to keep my health insurance and I will have my gov pension. My spouse is going to keep working for awhile also. I have enjoyed my career for the most part, but with so many changes, I think that it is time for me to go. For anyone wanting to work for the gov, I would encourage you to submit your resume and hopefully become a public servant.

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