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Old 10-03-2017, 06:34 PM
 
11,264 posts, read 8,429,934 times
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I"m sort of stuck and hope someone can shed a ray of common sense on this situation, or at least give me your opinion. I'll be frank.

I'm a GS11 (gov't pay) in CT. If I never go any higher in pay grade, I'll retire as a GS11. (I'd be okay with it.)

I'm interviewing Thursday for a GS9 job in NC (Eastern). It's a great job, in a location where I'd strongly consider retiring. It will be almost $10K less to start but there's a great chance to move up. If I don't move up I'll still retire as a GS11.

I have about 6yrs until I retire.

I pay $5K in property tax where I am. Cost of living is way lower in NC (thank you Capt. Obvious). On my little cheat sheet (right or wrong) on best places to retire, NC is #20, CT is #32. Cost of living is #19 vs #47.

I have a reserve military retirement coming at age 60 (9yrs active duty so it will be very helpful).

I'm going to interview as if I intend to take the job. It's obviously not a sure thing but I'm highly qualified. It's a really great opportunity. I know I'll absolutely love the job. It's the same thing I'm doing now. I have lifelong friends/family in that area.
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Old 10-03-2017, 06:42 PM
 
Location: Raleigh
8,047 posts, read 5,893,552 times
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I would do it in a minute, if we hadn't already retired to Raleigh. Not sure where you are headed in Eastern NC, but the smaller towns on the main rivers letting out into Pamlico Sound would be very good retirement locations. Anywhere along the coast from Wilmington up to Washington is worth exploring.
I'd go with a two story, master down, small yard, near a boat ramp, with a good hospital nearby if I had it to do all over again. There are a couple of bases along the coast to consider, too.
At 6 years to go I would more likely rent while the wife and I hunt for a place to settle permanently.
Good luck with the plan.
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Old 10-03-2017, 07:03 PM
 
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see if they can give you extra "steps" in starting pay, to get closer to your current pay.


see if "save pay" or "pay retention" will apply.
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Old 10-03-2017, 09:37 PM
 
Location: Wasilla, AK
7,253 posts, read 4,139,840 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flashlight View Post
see if they can give you extra "steps" in starting pay, to get closer to your current pay.


see if "save pay" or "pay retention" will apply.

The feds do that. But if his current GS 11 pay is higher than GS 9 Step 10, then it's a pay cut. But smart move on the Guard or Reserve. That will provide a significant amount of income, especially with 9 years active duty. I had six years active duty and an additional four plus years cumulative active duty during my Guard career. Retirement in NC will put him in the top five or 10 percent of retirees.
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Old 10-04-2017, 06:21 AM
 
Location: Central Massachusetts
4,800 posts, read 4,847,776 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hunterseat View Post
I"m sort of stuck and hope someone can shed a ray of common sense on this situation, or at least give me your opinion. I'll be frank.

I'm a GS11 (gov't pay) in CT. If I never go any higher in pay grade, I'll retire as a GS11. (I'd be okay with it.)

I'm interviewing Thursday for a GS9 job in NC (Eastern). It's a great job, in a location where I'd strongly consider retiring. It will be almost $10K less to start but there's a great chance to move up. If I don't move up I'll still retire as a GS11.

I have about 6yrs until I retire.

I pay $5K in property tax where I am. Cost of living is way lower in NC (thank you Capt. Obvious). On my little cheat sheet (right or wrong) on best places to retire, NC is #20, CT is #32. Cost of living is #19 vs #47.

I have a reserve military retirement coming at age 60 (9yrs active duty so it will be very helpful).

I'm going to interview as if I intend to take the job. It's obviously not a sure thing but I'm highly qualified. It's a really great opportunity. I know I'll absolutely love the job. It's the same thing I'm doing now. I have lifelong friends/family in that area.
First I retired at GS 9 step 10 with a year of GS11 pay figured in there. It was a close thing even at that. However I know that my GS 9 retirement alone would be good but add in that military retirement pay and you will be very well situated. I promise you that you will not regret the move. Being with friends will make that all the nicer as well as getting a head start in retirement in an area known for being good to retirees.
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Old 10-04-2017, 08:24 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
34,687 posts, read 33,690,741 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hunterseat View Post
I"m sort of stuck and hope someone can shed a ray of common sense on this situation, or at least give me your opinion. I'll be frank.

I'm a GS11 (gov't pay) in CT. If I never go any higher in pay grade, I'll retire as a GS11. (I'd be okay with it.)

I'm interviewing Thursday for a GS9 job in NC (Eastern). It's a great job, in a location where I'd strongly consider retiring. It will be almost $10K less to start but there's a great chance to move up. If I don't move up I'll still retire as a GS11.

I have about 6yrs until I retire.

I pay $5K in property tax where I am. Cost of living is way lower in NC (thank you Capt. Obvious). On my little cheat sheet (right or wrong) on best places to retire, NC is #20, CT is #32. Cost of living is #19 vs #47.

I have a reserve military retirement coming at age 60 (9yrs active duty so it will be very helpful).

I'm going to interview as if I intend to take the job. It's obviously not a sure thing but I'm highly qualified. It's a really great opportunity. I know I'll absolutely love the job. It's the same thing I'm doing now. I have lifelong friends/family in that area.
Pick your living location in NC with retirement in mind, not just the job.

I retired as a GS14 (high 3 years) living in MD (before that Long Island, NY) and working in DC. I left MD right after I retired with a pension (34 years) under CSRS and moved to TN. Despite the obvious huge decrease from gross pay to pension gross (what scares many feds at retirement time), I actually have more discretionary money in retirement than I did when I was working despite the difference in gross. It was a surprise to me. Here's why, in no special order of importance:

1. Tennessee has no state income tax on wages/pension. The only tax on personal income in Tennessee, is called The Hall Income Tax. The tax rate prior to 2016 was 6 percent, applied to all taxable interest and dividend income over $1250 per person ($2500 for married couples filing jointly). I don't even file a state return and no money is deducted from my pension for state tax in retirement. TN does have a high sales tax but if you combine NY's sales tax (for example) plus income tax, it's more expensive than TN's sales tax. Check that out for NC vs CT.

2. My rent was higher 10 years ago in Maryland (1br, 1ba) than it is now in 2017 even though I have an apartment (2br, 2ba) twice as big now. If you moved here to TN from CT, you would do the Happy Dance when you got your first property tax bill, if you own a house. Not sure about NC.

3. I happened to retire to a location where everything I do regularly (club, book group, classes, doctors, supermarket, post office, gas station, car wash, eating places, lake, pharmacy, etc.) is within a 3 mile radius of where I live and most within 1.5 miles. Compare this to commuting to work M-F 16 miles each way. Except for road trip vacations, I now typically fully gas up the car every 3 - 4 weeks instead of every 2 - 3 days. Also, the car is routinely serviced less frequently because it takes longer to hit the mileage service-due marks. Try to live somewhere close to the things you will do on a regular basis when you move to NC (with retirement in mind).

4. There's no paying to park in the town where I live now. No meters and no parking garages where you pay to park. Check this out where you plan to move/work.

5. My electric bill (both MD and TN fully electric) is half of what I was paying in MD.

6. My dry cleaning bill for clothes is virtually non-existent because in retirement, I live in machine washable "play clothes." This was a huge savings. Not sure what you wear to work but think ahead to your retirement if you have to work in clothes requiring dry cleaning. You'll save money.

7. Speaking of clothes, the cost of buying play clothes vs work clothes/shoes is cheaper.

8. I went from going out for lunch or eating in the cafeteria 5 days per week to going out to lunch maybe one day or two days per month in retirement. It has nothing to do with cost although lunch here is typically under $10 but it has to do with eating at home (no one to tip at home, either ) more or even skipping lunch altogether when you eat breakfast later or dinner earlier than you did when working. Also, no more chipping in for everything under the sun after you retire.

9. Here's a big one: I was throwing the max into TSP (deducted from paycheck) that last year of work. I get to keep that now and haven't had to use it, in retirement, either. I thought I would have to use it to supplement the pension. Now it's an emergency fund as far as I'm concerned. If you are putting money into TSP, think about that extra money when you retire.

10. All of the state and county parks are free to day users in TN and there are many. The National parks are also free. Check out the free and cheap things to do in the daytime where you decide to live even if you can't do them now while you are still working.

11. I have never been on a toll road/bridge in TN in over 10+ years. If any exist, I don't know it. Not sure about NC.

12. Consider in NC that you will run the air conditioner more months of the year and run the heater less months of the year. You may have to do more than an electric vs electric comparison if you heated your home in CT vs NC with something other than electric in either.

Of course, your lifestyle will have a lot to do with how much you'll need.

Last edited by LauraC; 10-04-2017 at 08:32 AM..
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Old 10-04-2017, 11:28 AM
 
11,264 posts, read 8,429,934 times
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Thanks so much! I love this forum!
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Old 10-04-2017, 11:52 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC, formerly DC and Phila
8,574 posts, read 12,673,240 times
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Keep in mind that there are some tax breaks you may get on military and federal retirement packages in some states but not in North Carolina (with one exception). I like to use the Kiplinger's state-by-state guide to compare. Of course, this shouldn't be your main consideration, but you do want to take it into account.

In North Carolina:
"Because of legislation enacted in 2013, previous tax breaks for pensions for both government and private employees have been eliminated starting in 2014. However, standard deduction amounts have increased to $15,000 for married filing jointly, $12,000 for head of household, and $7,500 for single/married filing separate.

A tax break known as the "Bailey exemption" remains despite the elimination of previous tax breaks; this tax break exempts from taxation certain retirement benefits received by a state or federal government retiree, if the retiree had five or more years of creditable service as of August 12, 1989. Railroad Retirement income is not taxed.

Read more at State-by-State Guide to Taxes on Retirees
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Old 10-04-2017, 01:22 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas
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I would do it. Sounds like a great opportunity even if you don't decide to stay there.
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Old 10-04-2017, 01:43 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
14,242 posts, read 44,911,592 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hunterseat View Post
I"m sort of stuck and hope someone can shed a ray of common sense on this situation, or at least give me your opinion. I'll be frank.

I'm a GS11 (gov't pay) in CT. If I never go any higher in pay grade, I'll retire as a GS11. (I'd be okay with it.)

I'm interviewing Thursday for a GS9 job in NC (Eastern). It's a great job, in a location where I'd strongly consider retiring. It will be almost $10K less to start but there's a great chance to move up. If I don't move up I'll still retire as a GS11.

I have about 6yrs until I retire.

I pay $5K in property tax where I am. Cost of living is way lower in NC (thank you Capt. Obvious). On my little cheat sheet (right or wrong) on best places to retire, NC is #20, CT is #32. Cost of living is #19 vs #47.

I have a reserve military retirement coming at age 60 (9yrs active duty so it will be very helpful).

I'm going to interview as if I intend to take the job. It's obviously not a sure thing but I'm highly qualified. It's a really great opportunity. I know I'll absolutely love the job. It's the same thing I'm doing now. I have lifelong friends/family in that area.
To me, going to NC from CT would be a "no-brainer" - better weather, better COL, less of a "nanny state".

Plus you move on Uncle's dime to a place you would at least consider as a retirement location, while you are still working.

Full disclosure - CT is on my "black list" of states I would simply never move to (NY, CA, MA, etc.) So I would move out of there, if I somehow, Kafka-esquely found myself there, with "disconcerting alacrity"!

BTW in making a "cheat sheet" to compare states for retirement, I would recommend making an Excel spread sheet, put across the top things like weather, COL, etc. that you care about. Reserve the next row for a "weighting factor" so you can weight say weather 2X what you weight COL, if that's what you want to do.

Then put in 1-10 ratings for each potential area.

OK here is where I did something a bit creative. Instead of just summing the factors, multiply each factor by it's weighting factor, then do an RMS - square them, add them, then take the square root.

What this actually does is map out a vector (well technically a hyper-vector as it has more than 3 dimensions) where the origin is "Hell", and the further away from it you get, the longer the radius, so the better the place is.
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