Best date to retire? How about never?

With Congress and the White House proposing major changes in the federal retirement program, many retirement-eligible workers are considering retiring soon (like this month or next) in order to beat the changes. The problem is that nobody knows the effective dates of the proposals and which of them, if any, might be approved in what’s left of the legislative year.

Jessica Klement, legislative director of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE) says that people shouldn’t base their retirement date on what Congress might do. Many of the proposals from the White House and Congress have been trotted out before, only to fizzle because of lack of time, lack of interest, or opposition from groups representing workers, managers, executives and retirees. She speculated that if any of the proposals pass, it would likely be one that produces major budget savings, such as raising the employee contribution rate.

Under one proposal, everybody under the FERS system would pay the same 5 percent rate. Another plan would boost contributions 1 percent each year for six years. Both would save the government (and cost you) a lot of money. Klement was the guest Wednesday on our Your Turn radio show. If you missed it, or want to pass it on to a friend, you can listen anytime by clicking here.

Meantime, here’s a tip from a Washington-area federal retiree who is fed up with retirement. She said she knows that feds are retiring in droves. Here’s her warning:

1. Most feds are getting, on average, a 1.9 percent raise; retirees are not!
2. Medicine for workers is going up every three-to-six months. Retirees are making life decisions on: (a) pay rent — it goes up every year — and maintain your independence, (b) buy ever-increasing medicines and medical supplies, (c) buy food, (d) pay for TV not a movie, not a restaurant, not a carry-out, not an ice cream cone.
3. I don’t have a husband to get his SSI or retirement or 401(k). I lost my husband when he was young and I raised four kids on a GS-7 pay only to achieve my GS-12 in my mid-forties.
4. No people are not going to retire because they heard the horror stories from retirees like me.
5. I will have to leave the Washington metro area where I was born and relocate to live with my daughter in New Jersey, and she can use my little retirement to help her household.
6. Maybe I could live in Costa Rica or the Dominican Republic. I don’t know a soul in those places, but hey, it beats living in this high-cost DMV area. I bet meds are cheap, too.
7. So yes, people will be working ’til they are on walkers, oxygen tanks, crutches, taking medicine for PTSD, depression, anxiety, stress, diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, schizophrenia, bipolarism, mood disorders, anger management, etc.
8.  As a matter of fact, the government should give people buyout packages so you can get young and fresh folks, but you can forget about moving on up in those high-paying jobs. FORGET IT!

In closing, folks are living a better quality of life at work than others who are catching hell in retirement. I won’t be surprised to hear people working to 75, 85, and 95 years of age.

This is just my insight, being a retiree is not lucrative by any means whatsoever. Retirees should be treated as valued people and not a disregarded group people getting entitlements.
LP

Nearly Useless Factoid

By Jory Heckman

During the 1928 Olympics, Australian rower Bobby Pearce stopped during a rowing race to allow a family of ducks pass. He still won out of eight competitors in that round.

Source: Wikipedia

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