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Senator 12-21-2016 08:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bigdawg (Post 1814240)
We all have free will. Make our beds then sleep in them. Spent one Christmas on barracks duty, one in Okinawa, one in Somalia and one in Sadr City. All my choice. I willingly did that knowing that I would rate a pension after 20 yrs. We can all take steps to change our situations and futures. After hours education/training, start your own business, learn a new skill, apply for a different job, get a second job, marry rich, save-invest-ER, etc...

100% true. If I was to count all the extra hours I worked while rehabbing rental, owning and operating a bar/grill, all while holding a full-time job. I have worked two jobs nearly my entire life.

100-hour weeks were common for me for many years. Some people cannot even get out of bed and they wonder why their life is difficult financially. Or they wonder why someone else cannot help they pay for rent, child support or their healthcare.

The harder I work, the more privilege I get.

Danmar 12-21-2016 08:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Senator (Post 1814478)
When I was a Section 8 landlord, all my tenants were retired at age 18...:nonono: Better healthcare, decent housing, free transportation and free legal. Even free Christmas presents.

The only disadvantage was choice.

Good point. I think the term "retirement" as in "never too young to retire" might be a little off the mark. Perhaps better to use "dropping out"in these extreme cases? Retirement is generally something that should be earned, no?

NW-Bound 12-21-2016 09:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by beowulf (Post 1814495)
... my dad, who had been an island hopper in the Pacific during WWII, told me that, if I was going to be drafted, I would be far better off becoming an officer than an enlisted man like he had been (drafted in Feb, 1942, discharged in Dec 1945). The thought of a pension for me at 17 was like thinking we would have cell phones or the internet. Wasn't on the radar...

A close friend of mine made the same choice knowing that he was going to be drafted anyway, and was trained to fly a Huey for evac in Vietnam. He did not stick around after his tour though, having seen enough. Getting out of the Army, he took school more seriously this time, and became a very good engineer.

Teacher Terry 12-21-2016 12:42 PM

After we retired in our 50's some friends of ours that were 10 years older were really mad and jealous about our small pensions. For years they were self employed life coaches working from home and they stated that they never wanted to retire so it didn't matter that they had no $ saved. They encouraged us to work for ourselves, etc. No thanks. I talked about my pension for years. Then when it was reality they were pissed that they still had to work. About 2 years after retiring I let the friendship go as it was not working anymore.

athena53 12-21-2016 07:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HMMY (Post 1814210)
Parents retired at FRA with only SS at $1200/mo combined. Their house was worth about $200k with a $40k mortgage, which would be a net worth of $160k. <snip>Although they live in a LCOL area, $1200/mo doesn't cover their expenses.

Wow. Whoever leaves this earth first, the other will be in a world of hurt when their SS stops.

NW-Bound 12-23-2016 10:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nemo2 (Post 1811697)
Stopped working at the end of December 1988 aged 46 years and 3 months......had $500k Canadian, (no pension)...

Currently have slightly over 370% of what I had when I stopped working, ( a couple hundred k of that came with DW).

With the standard Canadian government pensions, (similar to SS, plus DW qualifies for the age segment in 10 months), we do pretty well....a little travel once in a while...(sometimes twice in a while)..no complaints....(especially since I didn't start 'really' working until I was about thirty).

Oh, and our projected expenditure for 2016 is ~ $37,000 Canadian, ($28,000 US).

I don't know how much your standard Canadian SS is, but it looks like you are not drawing very much from your stash.

Perhaps you should travel more, as you like to do that.

Nemo2 12-23-2016 11:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NW-Bound (Post 1815315)
....it looks like you are not drawing very much from your stash.

Perhaps you should travel more, as you like to do that.

We spend less than we bring in.....currently, (not counting ~ $670K Canadian with a mutual fund company, which we include in our total worth, but any/all divs/gains get reinvested so are not counted as tangible 'income'), our divs/pensions (and DW will be eligible for her age pension in October 2017, which will increase the amount), run at around $49,300 p.a., of which $19,700 is pension.

This year's expenditures are currently at $36,174, (any further purchases will be on Visa and will appear on the January 2017 statement), so 'our' money spent was $16,474.

On the premise that the earnings/expenditure ratio will remain static, (although it'll probably increase to our benefit as we age), as of this a.m. (before the markets opened, and not including our condo townhouse, or DW's 2017 increase), if we cash out and amortize everything we have enough for 103.85 years, (if we continue as we are, then even longer)....and it's quite unlikely either of us will be around then.

Before she went over to her daughter's this morning to assist in Christmas baking, DW said "maybe we should look at one of the South American winter cruises around the cape".

NW-Bound 12-23-2016 11:41 AM

All right! No need to get stuck in the frozen north if you can afford an escape.

Besides, you need to spread that wealth. Can't take it with you.

Teacher Terry 12-23-2016 12:44 PM

Nemo: take a round the world cruise:))

Nemo2 12-23-2016 05:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Teacher Terry (Post 1815363)
Nemo: take a round the world cruise:))

:)

Teacher Terry 12-23-2016 05:34 PM

We are getting to be cruise addicts having taken 3 in the past 14 months. I guess people either love them or hate them.

Nemo2 12-23-2016 05:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Teacher Terry (Post 1815503)
We are getting to be cruise addicts having taken 3 in the past 14 months. I guess people either love them or hate them.

We use them primarily as one way transport; floating buses, to or from Europe.

Teacher Terry 12-23-2016 05:46 PM

What a great idea! I had not even thought of doing that.

Nemo2 12-23-2016 05:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Teacher Terry (Post 1815508)
What a great idea! I had not even thought of doing that.

Waaaay better than flying; approximately two weeks food and accommodation, ports to visit on the way, no jet lag...we love it.

kcowan 12-24-2016 10:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nemo2 (Post 1815510)
Waaaay better than flying; approximately two weeks food and accommodation, ports to visit on the way, no jet lag...we love it.

We have friends here in Mexico who do this every year for relocation trips from Europe to the US. They escape the oppressive heat here in PV in September, and live in luxury at a price comparable to Motel 6 all in.:dance:

We are meeting them in Berlin and then again in Paris and Nice this year.

Nemo2 12-24-2016 11:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kcowan (Post 1815699)
We are meeting them in Berlin and then again in Paris and Nice this year.

Right now we're still checking out a ship leaving from Civitavecchia and going to San Juan, P.R. in November 2017.......wondering where to go first......so many places to visit and re-visit, and since we dislike flying, and really dislike paying for the opportunity to dislike flying, air fare costs are a factor...there's something to see/do everywhere.

kcowan 12-24-2016 12:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nemo2 (Post 1815739)
Right now we're still checking out a ship leaving from Civitavecchia and going to San Juan, P.R. in November 2017.......wondering where to go first......so many places to visit and re-visit, and since we dislike flying, and really dislike paying for the opportunity to dislike flying, air fare costs are a factor...there's something to see/do everywhere.

If you are looking for a place to hang out near the airport, Fragene on the Med has long sandy beaches and is a quaint small town that is jumping in the summer. The hotel we stayed in has bikes and the roads are empty after Labor Day so you can see the whole town (with some spectacular villas for the rich Romans) and there are funky restaurants and grocery stores readily available. Also will fit your budget.

We stayed there after a hectic time in Sicily and thoroughly enjoyed our three days there before heading home. BTW Vueling flights to Sicily are cheap from Rome.

Nemo2 12-24-2016 01:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kcowan (Post 1815772)
If you are looking for a place to hang out near the airport, Fragene on the Med has long sandy beaches and is a quaint small town that is jumping in the summer. The hotel we stayed in has bikes and the roads are empty after Labor Day so you can see the whole town (with some spectacular villas for the rich Romans) and there are funky restaurants and grocery stores readily available. Also will fit your budget.

We stayed there after a hectic time in Sicily and thoroughly enjoyed our three days there before heading home. BTW Vueling flights to Sicily are cheap from Rome.

Thanks Keith, we'll check it out......on our list of pre-sailing venues currently, (but not exclusively; we change with the wind...even when we're inside), are Trieste, (spent a few days there in 1963, enjoyed it, never made it back), Palermo, Foggia...and and and.....

kcowan 12-24-2016 01:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nemo2 (Post 1815776)
Thanks Keith, we'll check it out......on our list of pre-sailing venues currently, (but not exclusively; we change with the wind...even when we're inside), are Trieste, (spent a few days there in 1963, enjoyed it, never made it back), Palermo, Foggia...and and and.....

Our stay in Sicily was Taormina and Catania. Great caprese salads and red wine. Apparently the lava soil is good for both!

Hyper 12-29-2016 11:37 PM

I'm definitely the odd one out! Find it odd that so many are comfortable about having pensions. DW will have a small one when/if she retires. I'd be petrified with current US situations of pensions if we HAD to depend on one for comfortable retirement. I'm much more comfortable depending on myself.

brucethebroker 12-30-2016 03:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hyper (Post 1817970)
I'm definitely the odd one out! Find it odd that so many are comfortable about having pensions. DW will have a small one when/if she retires. I'd be petrified with current US situations of pensions if we HAD to depend on one for comfortable retirement. I'm much more comfortable depending on myself.

I was paranoid about the continued existence of SS for retirement when I was in my 30's. However, I am now confident that it will be around for our continued use (boomers).

Of course, if we had ONLY SS, retirement would be quite bleak. But as part of the "3 legged stool" retirement concept (SS, a pension, and savings, as I learned it back in the 70's), it can be an important part of the plan. Now, non-pension people should be plugging in 401-k/IRA's in place of the pension. Those who do, retire. Those who don't......

brucethebroker 12-30-2016 03:49 AM

IMHO, part of the problem is the non-education of retirement planning. I seriously doubt that most people eligible for pensions (old days) gave them much of a thought when they began careers. They just trusted mega-corp would take care of them at retirement. Now, without pensions for most workers, the people need to be better educated in high school, college and on the job about the critical need to save for themselves.

Personally, I think rules should be put in place to NEVER allow loans from 401-k's, or WD for hardships, new homes, etc. Also, govt. should make 401-k transfers (at job separation) mandatory and not allow "cashing out", regardless of the penalty. Make rules similar to SS-no one takes an early lump sum there. (Imagine the chaos if that was allowed!)

There are too many people without a financial clue, who lose a job, then drain their 401-k before they seriously look for work, or downsize or do whatever else to survive. Some of whom, I suspect, wind up on news stories later about how folks can't retire on SS these days.

Pellice 12-30-2016 05:00 AM

Well, I will be holding up the low end of retirement income when I FIRE, somewhere between 62 and 64. (61 now). (If FIRE is applicable to that age group). I will have somewhere a bit over $1 million in funds; a decent social security income which will provide approx. 50% of my income needs when I take it at full retirement age. It will be close, but two different financial advisers are confident I can make it (retirement with slightly higher living-wage than I have now) happen. What will enable this is that I have been exceedingly careful with spending all my life. I have been willing to spend on eco-travel. I also donate to charity 5% of my living-wage income. Everything else is carefully considered. Possible because I am single, with no kids, and healthy, with health expenses paid if necessary. I chose the route of a secure, if somewhat stressful and unmeaningful, job. Maybe I'm among the last with such a choice. I never felt that I had many options, but, fingers crossed, my third act will bring those. I have so many plans and dreams! I want to make a more meaningful contribution to the world. My route to FIRE was discipline, frugality, and caution. Not the most glorious of paths, but, just wait!

garyt 12-30-2016 06:02 AM

I don't begrudge people who have pensions but I do have a problem with ridiculously high public service pensions which were negotiated by the same people who would benefit from those same pensions. In cities where I've lived the city officials got the same pension as the workers. So when the union negotiates for a bigger pension than the city can afford where's the checks/balances?
Your pension shouldn't pay you more than you made working. One thing my city got caught doing was giving promotions to people on their last day of work, so they then retired at a higher pension then they earned. They would then collect 30+ years making more money then when they worked.

ziggy29 12-30-2016 06:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by garyt (Post 1818003)
Your pension shouldn't pay you more than you made working. One thing my city got caught doing was giving promotions to people on their last day of work, so they then retired at a higher pension then they earned. They would then collect 30+ years making more money then when they worked.

This was a common topic of contention here after the financial crisis and near-meltdown of the global markets in 2008 turned a lot of 401Ks into 201Ks. It seems like every other thread was a debate over public pensions.

As I recall it, even most of those who have relatively generous DB pension plans tended to agree that the practice of "spiking" and other games (which does what you describe) is morally questionable even if it's legal -- it not only harms taxpayers but also damages pensioners who didn't do it, because the overgenerous payouts to "spikers" weakens the financial solvency of the pension fund for everyone else. That is a matter for state and local governing entities to tackle, though. I don't begrudge anyone for doing anything *legal* to maximize their position; it's no different in some ways than people with millions in the bank who "engineer" low incomes to get large ACA subsidies. The proper place to register indignance is with the folks who wrote the rules, IMO, not the people properly applying the law to their advantage (he says, not inviting a political discussion here).

marko 12-30-2016 06:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by garyt (Post 1818003)
I don't begrudge people who have pensions but I do have a problem with ridiculously high public service pensions which were negotiated by the same people who would benefit from those same pensions. In cities where I've lived the city officials got the same pension as the workers. So when the union negotiates for a bigger pension than the city can afford where's the checks/balances?
Your pension shouldn't pay you more than you made working. One thing my city got caught doing was giving promotions to people on their last day of work, so they then retired at a higher pension then they earned. They would then collect 30+ years making more money then when they worked.

And in my small town, if you develop something as minor as a small skin cancer on your ear within 6 years of retirement, your Fed taxes on that pension are paid for life. Plus everyone city employee gets a 25% discount on their property taxes.
Nice.

Enuff2Eat 12-30-2016 07:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hyper (Post 1817970)
I'm definitely the odd one out! Find it odd that so many are comfortable about having pensions. DW will have a small one when/if she retires. I'd be petrified with current US situations of pensions if we HAD to depend on one for comfortable retirement. I'm much more comfortable depending on myself.

I am with you.

The new trend for most of us is "you are on your own pension". Only government people, teachers, fireman, cops, state workers and general public folks can have a pension when they retire.

Danmar 12-30-2016 08:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kcowan (Post 1815799)
Our stay in Sicily was Taormina and Catania. Great caprese salads and red wine. Apparently the lava soil is good for both!

Agree. Particularly Taormina. Actually stayed there twice in 2014. On the water and up in the town. Spectacular. One of the nicest little tourist towns in Italy.

Danmar 12-30-2016 08:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nemo2 (Post 1815510)
Waaaay better than flying; approximately two weeks food and accommodation, ports to visit on the way, no jet lag...we love it.

Agree. Have done this in the past and plan to do it next Sept on the QM11. Haven't cruised for a few years as got tired of it. But cross-ocean cruises are different. No crappy tours to mundane, tourist traps with aunt Matilda bringing up the rear. Really like doing long workouts, lectures, cooking classes, reading on the balcony, happy hours, etc. The fact that they are often quite reasonably priced is a bonus.

Danmar 12-30-2016 08:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by garyt (Post 1818003)
I don't begrudge people who have pensions but I do have a problem with ridiculously high public service pensions which were negotiated by the same people who would benefit from those same pensions. In cities where I've lived the city officials got the same pension as the workers. So when the union negotiates for a bigger pension than the city can afford where's the checks/balances?
Your pension shouldn't pay you more than you made working. One thing my city got caught doing was giving promotions to people on their last day of work, so they then retired at a higher pension then they earned. They would then collect 30+ years making more money then when they worked.

Agree. It's a travesty how some of these public service pensions have gotten out of control. I have a very generous pension but at least it's paid by a private company.

beowulf 12-30-2016 10:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Danmar (Post 1818035)
Agree. It's a travesty how some of these public service pensions have gotten out of control. I have a very generous pension but at least it's paid by a private company.

Let's remember that the term "public service" includes the military, all federal employees, and most state employees, none of whom had or have any say whatsoever in the terms, amounts or taxation of their pensions. You can also, without any stretch of the imagination, count SS as a "public pension* since most people's benefits far exceed the amount they contribute over their working lives.

I fully agree with criticisms of local employee unions or public officials who push through absurd pension benefits. And practices such as spiking. Mismanagement of certain state pension systems is not on the employees - it's the elected officials. And, when taken in total, the number of people who benefit from these situations is far lower than those who don't.

Private pensions (those few that remain) aren't free - someone - the stockholders, consumers, indirectly the taxpayers (as pension and 401K contributions made by companies are expenses that aren't taxed as profits) pays for them.

It's the abuses that create bad publicity and far too many people condemn the whole system rather than those that are flawed.

rothlev 12-30-2016 10:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by athena53 (Post 1814735)
Wow. Whoever leaves this earth first, the other will be in a world of hurt when their SS stops.


Not as bad as you think. HUD housing 30% of income. nice . well maintained complexes, with activities, food stamps, no medical co pays, and food bank delivers large boxes of other food items, like bricks of cheese. My MIL used to give the extra food to her sons. Certainly not high on the hog, but very comfortable. It is the extras that we take for granted that are hard. Recreation, travel, meals out etc... that make it harder. Family members have to kick in for those things.

NW-Bound 12-30-2016 10:58 AM

The city of Phoenix tries to curb pension spiking. The most common form is to accumulate sick leave and vacation days, then take them in the last year of employment. As the pension formula uses only the last few years of pay (instead of 35 years like SS), this boosts up the pension. There was a city manager who accumulated $200K worth of spiking when he retired. Imagine the pension boost from that!

The city was taken to court by some unions. The city argued that there was never any explicit written document spelling that out. The city turned its eyes and allowed this practice starting in 1996, and now wanted to discontinue it. A Superior Court judge said "Too bad, so sad", and ruled for the unions.

PS. The above-mentioned city manager got $220K/year. He retired and moved to Santa Ana, CA, to take a job there. His predecessor at the Phoenix job got a $246K/yr pension.

Music Lover 12-30-2016 12:01 PM

I know a few people who retired with little or nothing saved...their only source of income is a federal pension. One person even cashed out a few weeks of vacation time when they retired to pay off their overdraft... :) :)

kcowan 12-30-2016 12:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NW-Bound (Post 1818094)
The city of Phoenix tries to curb pension spiking. The most common form is to accumulate sick leave and vacation days, then take them in the last year of employment. As the pension formula uses only the last few years of pay (instead of 35 years like SS), this boosts up the pension. There was a city manager who accumulated $200K worth of spiking when he retired. Imagine the pension boost from that!

Yes I think it is this type of public pension abuse that gives them a bad name. But we can't blame the participants. We have to blame the administrators. More power to that city manager who knew the rules and used them to leverage his retirement. Too bad he was allowed to do it by "the system".

Private pensions have some of the same problems. I was the beneficiary of one of them.

travelover 12-30-2016 02:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by beowulf (Post 1818065)
.........Private pensions (those few that remain) aren't free - someone - the stockholders, consumers, indirectly the taxpayers (as pension and 401K contributions made by companies are expenses that aren't taxed as profits) pays for them. ...............

I've got a private pension, but I didn't steal it from the stockholders, the consumers or the tax payers. It was part of my deferred compensation, as agreed to by all involved. I pay income tax on the pension as well as any 401(k) or IRA withdrawals, so no money goes untaxed, though it may be at a lower rate due to the deferral.

NW-Bound 12-30-2016 03:00 PM

Some more info on the pension spiking in Phoenix. It was not just accrued sick leave and vacation days that they added to the base pay in the last year of employment to compute pension pay.

The city managers even included their personal car and cellular phone allowances! You would think that these were provided for them to perform their work, but they argued successfully that these were part of the compensation. The taxpayers end up not only paying for these amenities while they worked, but also for the rest of their life.

Good lord! Why did they not include their office costs, parking privileges, utility bills and maintenance costs of their office buildings too? The cost of their secretaries? I guess they did not want to be so greedy. Or perhaps they did try but were successfully rebuffed.

NW-Bound 12-30-2016 03:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kcowan (Post 1818137)
Yes I think it is this type of public pension abuse that gives them a bad name. But we can't blame the participants. We have to blame the administrators. More power to that city manager who knew the rules and used them to leverage his retirement. Too bad he was allowed to do it by "the system"...

Sure. But what is most irksome is once it was allowed to happen it became grandfathered in and could not be changed, even though there was nothing formally on the book to allow it. See the lawsuit I described earlier. I am going to look up that judge to see if voters have thrown him out.

PS. His term ends in 2019, when he will face a retention vote. I hope the citizenry still remembers by that time.

Walt34 12-30-2016 03:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hyper (Post 1817970)
Find it odd that so many are comfortable about having pensions.

It depends on how well the pension plan is funded. I sleep well at night because mine is over 90% funded. Now, if I was retired from Chicago I'd need a lot of sleep aids....

And, sadly for me, it is not one of those luxury ones either. We're comfortable but I don't see a round-the-world luxury cruise in our future.

No one writes articles about well-run and well-funded pension plans because they're boring.

jollystomper 12-30-2016 04:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by brucethebroker (Post 1817982)
IBut as part of the "3 legged stool" retirement concept (SS, a pension, and savings, as I learned it back in the 70's), it can be an important part of the plan.

+1

I am very fortunate to be getting a relatively generous private pension when I retire (even after Megacorp's changes over the years that reduced it by close to 25% of what it would have been had they kept the same rules in place from 20 years ago). However, DW and I never felt comfortable with just that, and we also did not assume SS would be enough for us. So we made sure to save as well.

My company pension is fully funded, but taking no assumptions I've run the numbers with and without it; without it we can cover our expenses with a little wiggle room; with it we will have a comfortable retirement (though I'm not trusting the "high" level of comfort various retirement planning calculations are predicting :)).

Just_Steve 12-30-2016 04:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by travelover (Post 1818203)
I've got a private pension, but I didn't steal it from the stockholders, the consumers or the tax payers. It was part of my deferred compensation, as agreed to by all involved. I pay income tax on the pension as well as any 401(k) or IRA withdrawals, so no money goes untaxed, though it may be at a lower rate due to the deferral.

Sounds 100% like my public pension.

travelover 12-30-2016 04:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Just_Steve (Post 1818261)
Sounds 100% like my public pension.

In my case, the pension is funded, so it does not depend on future contributions to remain solvent. That is the rub with many pensions, especially SS.

Just_Steve 12-30-2016 05:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by travelover (Post 1818265)
In my case, the pension is funded, so it does not depend on future contributions to remain solvent. That is the rub with many pensions, especially SS.

Last time I checked my plan was funded around 90%, I can sleep well at night.

Onward 12-30-2016 05:28 PM

A good friend of mine is married to a professor at the U of California. The stories of what the tenured staff does, in the few years preceding retirement, to dramatically jack up their pensions would make you want to vomit.

beowulf 12-30-2016 06:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by travelover (Post 1818203)
I've got a private pension, but I didn't steal it from the stockholders, the consumers or the tax payers. It was part of my deferred compensation, as agreed to by all involved. I pay income tax on the pension as well as any 401(k) or IRA withdrawals, so no money goes untaxed, though it may be at a lower rate due to the deferral.

As said by another, that's exactly what a military, federal employee and many public sector employee pension is. Instead of receiving salaries that would be paid to those in the private sector for similar education, experience and responsibilities, we served the public at a lower salary with the implicit promise that we would receive such and such pension. This is all moot now. The military pension system has undergone changes devaluing its worth and more changes are in the offing. Yet there haven't been large increases in pay and benefits to make up for that. The former gold standard federal pension stopped accepting new employees in 1983. Since then any new employees have been under a much reduced system. And, while there have been small changes to that, even larger ones are coming. Yet again, no increases, other than inflation (not much of that) have offset the reductions in pensions. And all pensions are federally taxed in full.

travelover 12-30-2016 07:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Just_Steve (Post 1818276)
Last time I checked my plan was funded around 90%, I can sleep well at night.

Right. The grousing here was about public pensions that are not properly funded, Illinois being a prime example.

FUEGO 12-30-2016 07:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Danmar (Post 1818034)
Agree. Have done this in the past and plan to do it next Sept on the QM11. Haven't cruised for a few years as got tired of it. But cross-ocean cruises are different. No crappy tours to mundane, tourist traps with aunt Matilda bringing up the rear. Really like doing long workouts, lectures, cooking classes, reading on the balcony, happy hours, etc. The fact that they are often quite reasonably priced is a bonus.

You know you can stay on the ship while you're docked in the tourist traps, right? ;D Ship's half empty and it's wonderful.

We did this on both the cruises we went on in December when we visited Nassau, Bahamas. We've been there half a dozen times (EVERY cruise from the east coast seems to dock there) and seen and done everything and wanted a lazy day of relaxation. And got exactly that. And Nassau is probably the worst port I've visited in terms of aggressive touts for taxis, guided tours, etc (Cozumel possibly a close second). No thanks to running the gauntlet just to bum about the touristy area around the port.

I'm jealous of your QM2 voyage across the Atlantic. We'll be stuck in economy in a thin metal tube for 7-8 hours next summer (with a 5 year old) instead of traveling in style. Next time perhaps.

Chuckanut 12-30-2016 08:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by travelover (Post 1818323)
Right. The grousing here was about public pensions that are not properly funded, Illinois being a prime example.

True.

Then add to that many of the folks in that system are not covered by SS (Like Detroit). I would not want to be in their shoes.

It does make me wonder what happened to all that money the employer and employees did NOT pay into SS. Any ideas?

beowulf 12-30-2016 10:48 PM

Presumably the employees paid into their public pensions and the employer funded it. Or not. If it didn't go in, both kept their share.

travelover 12-31-2016 06:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by beowulf (Post 1818386)
Presumably the employees paid into their public pensions and the employer funded it. Or not. If it didn't go in, both kept their share.

I think it is a combination of inadequate funding from the employer / employee, fictitious assumptions about future growth of the pot, plus really crappy, nearly criminal investments by the retirement fund, in some cases.


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