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View Poll Results: Do you have a pension that has any significant impact on your retirement budget?
Yes, more than 25% 196 46.45%
Yes, less than 25% but still meaningful 57 13.51%
Yes, I have a pension, but it doesn't have a significant impact on my retirement budget. 43 10.19%
No pension 126 29.86%
Voters: 422. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-28-2017, 08:03 AM   #161
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Fair enough, I should clarify that the majority of the members here are very upfront regarding their situation. We should all be sure to avoid flippant opinions that may have an adverse effect. The majority of those statements appear with little prior posting and disappear after awhile.
it is an interesting point. I do think perspectives offered are most valuable within the context of one's personal situation. Just think of asset allocation and withdrawal strategies (very frequent topics): The perspective of someone with a significant pension is different than one that has all of their future riding on saved assets, for example.

I think of myself in the latter camp, though DW does have a very small pension, diet colo, that she can begin taking at 60.

Though not a material part of our income planning, I do expect it to be a reliable one. She did not work most of her earning years, so we are very pleased that she managed to qualify (with a bit of jostling).
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Old 02-28-2017, 08:43 AM   #162
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When I was 55, the NPV of my pensions played a big role in my AA. Now 20 years later, it is a relatively minor factor. Surviving two equity market slumps was a major factor.
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Old 02-28-2017, 09:39 AM   #163
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I just reviewed CalPERS' AA, and it is on the low end of this (~50-60% equities). CalPERS is the largest pension system in the US and, I suppose this is typical but, I'm surprised. Maybe I shouldn't be. BTW, CalPERS is underfunded & many small California municipalities covered by it seem to be struggling.

Guess those state & local defined benefit pensions are not as solid as I'd previously thought.
Yes they are not as solid as many thought. Check out the Dallas Police and Fire Pension fund. People are retiring and taking lump sums because it is teetering.

Interestingly, in the CalPers fund the recent (6/30/2016) target AA shows 61% equities (of which 82% is equites, the rest Private Equity), 20% Income, 12% Real Estate, 1% Infrastructure and 6% Inflation (commodities, options, structured notes, credit default swaps, etc).

They manage a cool $295billion.
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Old 02-28-2017, 09:57 AM   #164
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I sleep very well now that I'm FIRE'd!
Amen Brother! No more cell phone or pager calls at 0200!

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Old 02-28-2017, 10:04 AM   #165
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Pension? What pension?
FWIW, which is probably very little, my first job out of college was with an oil company. Fully paid pension, savings plan where they matched my contribution up to 4% dollar for dollar, and an Employee Stock Ownership Plan.

Now that is a good way to plan for retirement, right?

For the oldsters yes. But, for my generation the good times lasted maybe another 20 more years at most. Downsizing, mergers, etc. put a lot of people who thought they had it made in the shade on the street where the great deal they had was not to be found again.
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Old 02-28-2017, 10:28 AM   #166
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FWIW, which is probably very little, my first job out of college was with an oil company. Fully paid pension, savings plan where they matched my contribution up to 4% dollar for dollar, and an Employee Stock Ownership Plan.

Now that is a good way to plan for retirement, right?

For the oldsters yes. But, for my generation the good times lasted maybe another 20 more years at most. Downsizing, mergers, etc. put a lot of people who thought they had it made in the shade on the street where the great deal they had was not to be found again.
Reminds me of when I left Air Force active duty and was offered a Civil Service engineering job; would have been under CSRS retirement system. I decided instead to work in the commercial sector, for a large engineering & construction company for 31 yrs. But, 31 yrs under CSRS would have resulted in a great pension; likely in the $70k/yr range, which is the equivalent of well over $1M lump sum.

Always interesting to think about the path not taken.
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Old 02-28-2017, 10:46 AM   #167
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it is an interesting point. I do think perspectives offered are most valuable within the context of one's personal situation. Just think of asset allocation and withdrawal strategies (very frequent topics): The perspective of someone with a significant pension is different than one that has all of their future riding on saved assets, for example.
To think that someone would make a significant change to something as important as their retirement finances based on opinions presented in an anonymous internet chat room, boggles my mind. Surely not.
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Old 02-28-2017, 11:01 AM   #168
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FWIW, which is probably very little, my first job out of college was with an oil company. Fully paid pension, savings plan where they matched my contribution up to 4% dollar for dollar, and an Employee Stock Ownership Plan.

Now that is a good way to plan for retirement, right?

For the oldsters yes. But, for my generation the good times lasted maybe another 20 more years at most. Downsizing, mergers, etc. put a lot of people who thought they had it made in the shade on the street where the great deal they had was not to be found again.
Indeed many megacorps canceled their pension plan, but my former employer did not. Actually, they grandfathered that for existing employees, and only stopped for new hires. And their 401k matching was more generous than that of many other megacorps. The pension income number that I quoted earlier was based on that of a guy I know who is about my age, and also retired early at 55.

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My itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny yellow polkadot bikini FERS pension covers 10% of what FIRECalc says I can spend*...
I saw this earlier, thought about it, and put it aside. But I cannot help now but post that song for the youngsters who might not have known it. I learned of this song in French as sung by Dalida (it made #1 in France), but I just found the original version. It made #1 in the US and in New Zealand, in addition to being among top 10 in several other countries.

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Old 02-28-2017, 11:21 AM   #169
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If you're saying that you're surprised that over half the folks responding indicate that a pension is a significant part of their ER funding, then I'm surprised you're thinking that.....

Most everyone here is either FIRE'd or has a good shot at being FIRE'd someday. And there is no doubt that a traditional pension, either private or public, plus SS is a big factor in making that happen for many. Other than the highly compensated, lottery winners, inheritance receivers or financially successful dink couples, it takes a loooong time to patiently LBYM and accumulate an adequate FIRE portfolio. A pension providing 20% - 30% or more or your retirement income requirements goes a long way towards shortening that.

I'm not surprised there are a lot of folks with pensions here.
This hits the nail on the head! Have a (or more than one) pension, you have good prospects for retiring early (whatever early is for you). No pension, it is much more difficult.

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Old 02-28-2017, 04:23 PM   #170
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Guess those state & local defined benefit pensions are not as solid as I'd previously thought.
It depends on which ones. Many are in fine shape but that makes for a boring news story. Can you picture the headline:

County Pension System Responsibly Managed and Fully Funded! No One is Going to Eat Cat Food!

How many people are gonna read that?
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Old 02-28-2017, 04:51 PM   #171
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Ours is doing well but my siblings retired from IL and their plans are not doing as well.
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Old 02-28-2017, 06:18 PM   #172
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This hits the nail on the head! Have a (or more than one) pension, you have good prospects for retiring early (whatever early is for you). No pension, it is much more difficult.

Steve
It helps but any significant pension can mean the golden handcuffs. Retiring early (e.g., age 50) may involve not collecting the pension until years later at age 62 or 65 with no COLA for those years. With salary increases and ten more years my pension at age 60 with 30 years of service doubled from what it would have been at age 50 with 20 years of service. And I would not have been able to collect until age 60.
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Old 02-28-2017, 06:43 PM   #173
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I have to agree with Jollystomper I have one that is worth $300k but I do not take it into my retirement calculation. Just will give us a bit more in the end
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Old 02-28-2017, 07:26 PM   #174
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I voted "over 25%" but that will continue to drop since it is not COLA protected. Perhaps a better "gift" Megacorp gave me was Health Insurance subsidy. There have been years when that has been more valuable than my pension. Coordinating with MC, our out of pocket costs have been quite manageable of late. As HC costs escalate, and as we slip into decrepitude I don't know where we will end up on that daunting front. YMMV
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Old 02-28-2017, 09:44 PM   #175
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As a former 30 year smoker I have set a realistic estimated age of death at 83. I do not believe that my quality of life will be that good past 70, hence that is why I am considering front loading my pension and social security distribution...
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MIL smoked her entire life and finally succumbed at 93. So do not count on it!
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+1
My Dad was a very heavy smoker all his life plus worked underground as a coal miner for 42 years and lived to age 84...
Life is full of uncertainties, and not everyone who does the same thing faces the same fate. A while back, I read that out of 10 lung cancer patients, only one is a non-smoker. Yet, only one out of 10 smokers eventually gets cancer.

Lung cancer is not the only health risk with smoking, however. My 92-year-old MIl was hospitalized recently with pneumonia. When examining her X-ray, and seeing that she said not to be a smoker, the doctor said that she had to have been a smoker in the past because it showed. Indeed she used to smoke, but I do not know how heavily. She is now classified as having COPD, and is on oxygen, perhaps permanently.
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Old 03-01-2017, 08:34 AM   #176
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This isn't directly related (as it's total income and not an average), but I thought it fairly relevant to the discussions in this thread.

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Old 03-01-2017, 09:30 AM   #177
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That is a curious chart. I wonder if one or two companion charts might help me understand it a little better. Perhaps the size of the population matching the income categories would be helpful.

For example, it shows the amount of earned income these seniors collect is roughly equal to the amount of SS. If we knew that 75% of the age 65+ population collects SS benefits, which we know average something on the order of $1500/mo, while only 25% of them have any employment earnings, then we might conclude that a bunch of those employed seniors are probably earning triple what their SS benefit would be, which suggests a lot of them are more than part-timers - that would be a very interesting thing to know!

Similarly, 8% of senior income comes from govt pensions. I can't tell from the lone chart whether that means govt pensions are chintzy or that they're very meaningful but only to a small number of recipients.

Anybody else read something in here which escapes me?
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Old 03-01-2017, 11:27 AM   #178
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I took it to mean that only 8% are getting government pensions but I could be wrong)
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Old 03-01-2017, 11:32 AM   #179
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I took it to mean that only 8% are getting government pensions but I could be wrong)
I took it to mean that of the total income of the group surveyed, that 8% of that income comes from Gov't pensions. But I could be wrong too , heck, the source could be wrong.

To put it another way - if only 10% in that group had Gov't pensions, then 80% of their income would come from Gov't pensions. But that would only hold if their income was average, and maybe not even then (other factors I didn't consider?).

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Old 03-01-2017, 12:09 PM   #180
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Wasn't sure how to answer. I had a mega corp pension which I took as a lump sum. ...
Good point. I also took lump sum. The question appears to be aimed at finding out how many have been helped by having a pension and how much it helped. Therefore I answered that "yes" I had a pension. Took a WAG at what part of my yearly income that lump sum generates and put that into the survey.
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