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View Poll Results: Your Employment-related Sources of Retirement Income
I have/will have 401K and/or pension plan income from my employer(s) 117 87.97%
No 401K/pension plan of my own but may receive benefits from my spouse's plan(s) 4 3.01%
Never had a 401K and/or pension plan and neither does/did my spouse 12 9.02%
Voters: 133. You may not vote on this poll

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Old Today, 06:26 AM
 
Location: R.I.
1,002 posts, read 613,999 times
Reputation: 4339

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
Absolutely.

My mind can barely wrap around these stories. I've been out of college for a decade, and have had ten jobs.


Seeing all these pensions, high match %ages, etc., is way more than I'll ever be able to achieve.

Did it ever occur to you that having 10 jobs in 10 years is the problem ??? You never stayed anywhere long enough to vest for retirement benefits from public or private sector employment. And not only that, if you had 10 jobs in 10 years you have red flagged yourself as a very poor candidate for employment consideration especially for Federal Government work. Not only does your red flag work history put you behind the 8 ball, you not being a Veteran pushes you to the back of the line behind all the Veterans who will have Veteran preference that gives them a leg up over you for employment consideration even if you have the identical credentials. And the IT field which you are in is one of the most competitive Federal Government jobs to attempt to get without Veteran preference because so many Veterans with IT credentials are actively seeking this type of employment. And I know many Veteran coworkers in my agency that took lower grade non IT jobs with the hopes of in the future moving into an IT job, and the small number that were able to move into IT happened around service year 10. All the many coworkers with IT position goals are still waiting, and very possibly they will never have the opportunity to move up and into IT because as I already mentioned the competition for those jobs is fierce.

Do yourself a favor and stay put in your current job for about 5 years because that will help to lower your job hopping red flag and make you a more viable candidate for future employment consideration for a higher paying higher benefit job.
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Old Today, 06:54 AM
 
Location: D.C.
2,875 posts, read 1,828,468 times
Reputation: 3908
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightengale212 View Post
Did it ever occur to you that having 10 jobs in 10 years is the problem ??? You never stayed anywhere long enough to vest for retirement benefits from public or private sector employment. And not only that, if you had 10 jobs in 10 years you have red flagged yourself as a very poor candidate for employment consideration especially for Federal Government work. Not only does your red flag work history put you behind the 8 ball, you not being a Veteran pushes you to the back of the line behind all the Veterans who will have Veteran preference that gives them a leg up over you for employment consideration even if you have the identical credentials. And the IT field which you are in is one of the most competitive Federal Government jobs to attempt to get without Veteran preference because so many Veterans with IT credentials are actively seeking this type of employment. And I know many Veteran coworkers in my agency that took lower grade non IT jobs with the hopes of in the future moving into an IT job, and the small number that were able to move into IT happened around service year 10. All the many coworkers with IT position goals are still waiting, and very possibly they will never have the opportunity to move up and into IT because as I already mentioned the competition for those jobs is fierce.

Do yourself a favor and stay put in your current job for about 5 years because that will help to lower your job hopping red flag and make you a more viable candidate for future employment consideration for a higher paying higher benefit job.
Exactly! Iíll have 30 years in November with government. I started maxing out my TSP contribution after working two years and been that way since. Since I turned 50 Iíve been doing the catch-up which allows me to contribute even more. Iíve diversified my allocations the last few years trending a bit more conservative, but most of my career Iíve been exclusively in the stock funds (mainly C), and it paid off well.
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Old Today, 06:54 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,787 posts, read 17,715,323 times
Reputation: 27858
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightengale212 View Post
Did it ever occur to you that having 10 jobs in 10 years is the problem ??? You never stayed anywhere long enough to vest for retirement benefits from public or private sector employment. And not only that, if you had 10 jobs in 10 years you have red flagged yourself as a very poor candidate for employment consideration especially for Federal Government work. Not only does your red flag work history put you behind the 8 ball, you not being a Veteran pushes you to the back of the line behind all the Veterans who will have Veteran preference that gives them a leg up over you for employment consideration even if you have the identical credentials. And the IT field which you are in is one of the most competitive Federal Government jobs to attempt to get without Veteran preference because so many Veterans with IT credentials are actively seeking this type of employment. And I know many Veteran coworkers in my agency that took lower grade non IT jobs with the hopes of in the future moving into an IT job, and the small number that were able to move into IT happened around service year 10. All the many coworkers with IT position goals are still waiting, and very possibly they will never have the opportunity to move up and into IT because as I already mentioned the competition for those jobs is fierce.

Do yourself a favor and stay put in your current job for about 5 years because that will help to lower your job hopping red flag and make you a more viable candidate for future employment consideration for a higher paying higher benefit job.
You have no idea how I've structured my resume or what most of those jobs were like. I can't even remember how long they are/what I had, short of counting them out, and I've had eight. I miscounted yesterday. I worked at one place for just three weeks.

Five of those jobs were the same type of work with virtually the same title. All of those are balled up into one line with the job title and "various contracts." I've had six interviews with four different organizations in the past two weeks. That pile of temp work ending five years ago rarely gets more than one sentence of mention. Anyone in the industry knows that job title is full of temping, hiring/firing, etc.

I temped at three different places in one calendar year - 2013. From 12/2012 to 3/2014, I had five jobs. While that's extreme, you're going to have a lot of jobs when you're on the "IT temping" carousel. I've seen gigs for as short as a month's time. Do you even bother listing that on a resume once you have an established work history? Many only run for three to six months. In this industry, many hiring managers view staying MORE than three to five years at a place as a red flag in and of itself - they perceive you're not learning anything new and becoming set in your ways. Since 3/2014, I've had only three jobs, each with progression in terms of responsibility and title.

I work for a larger, slower moving employer than I have in the past. Length of service is more valued here. I've been here for three years and taken on more work, have gotten a fairly sizable pay raise (~20%), but no promotion to the next grade. Reviews are next month. If that doesn't seem to be coming in fairly short order, I'm going to double down on the search. I'm a finalist for an IT management position in SC and have several other irons in the fire. I'd rather have shorter stays with progression than tenure with stagnation.

I can sort of feel the complacency setting in now. I have a mostly easy job, am paid well for the area, and do things that are pretty easy for me by now. I've been doing this kind of stuff for years. If you're sitting still, you're going nowhere.
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Old Today, 07:06 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,787 posts, read 17,715,323 times
Reputation: 27858
Quote:
Originally Posted by josie13 View Post
You live in Tennessee, isn't that the case? Forgive me, but I don't think the local economy is roaring great guns. If you want decent retirement benefits and compensation, perhaps you should think about getting yourself out to where employers are hungry enough to compete for new hires.

Private sector employers have to offer decent benefits in places like Seattle or Silicon Valley in order to win & retain the best workers. Those employers certainly aren't providing those great benefits out of the goodness of their hearts. Also, iirc, TN is a right-to-work state. Even though I came late to public service, I do know that the benefits offered at my workplace are the result of hard, protracted negotiation by my union with management. Management didn't just cough up those benefits because they wanted to be fair and kind to their workers; they were forced to concede them because of pressure during collective bargaining. Thank goodness.
I've also lived in better areas. Aside from vastly more professional jobs being available, things weren't all that different if you actually have a professional job in both places.

With some exceptions, private sector benefits are largely inferior to public sector. My 403b match here is probably the best I've ever had. I've had much better PTO packages elsewhere. You'll get some tinkering around the margins.

If you're some sort of back office worker at the local hospital system or bank in Silicon Valley or Seattle, you're not going to get the exceptional benefits that a tech unicorn company might give because your job isn't exceptional. Someone in an average job at a local bank isn't going to have the same kind of benefits that an intellectual property creator in the knowledge sector will get, even if they're in the same location. The skill levels aren't comparable.

Essentially, I work in a back office role at a large regional employer. It's "IT," but at the end of the day, a lot of it is still back office paper pushing.

My "problem" is that I'm located in the middle of nowhere with a salary that's comparable to what I'd probably make in a Nashville, Raleigh, or Charlotte for a similar role. I'm not going to one of the superstar cities. I have no interest in that. I had a couple callbacks from Raleigh in the last couple of weeks. One's top of the range was slightly less than I make now, the other slightly more - but not enough to even offset the state income taxes. I'm not going to move to Raleigh to take a private sector job at the same rate of pay with a much higher cost of living. If it's a big pay move in the private sector or a roughly lateral government move, sure.
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Old Today, 07:46 AM
 
Location: Loudon, TN
5,872 posts, read 4,885,739 times
Reputation: 19764
DH and I each have pensions, he has a small TSP account, I have taxable brokerage account, he gets SS now, I will get it in a few years. We also receive rental income from a vacation property we own outright.
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Old Today, 08:10 AM
 
Location: Illinois
7 posts, read 688 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightengale212 View Post
I work for the Federal Government and will retire with a defined pension which is calculated on the average of high 3 salaries x years of service x 1.1 for 20 years and > and 1.0 < 20 years. In addition I will also have a Federal 401K called the TSP which has a 5% match. The former Federal Government retirement system that was eliminated in the 80s was called the CSRS retirement system. Employees under that system did not contribute to Social Security so they had a higher pension calculation, and also they could contribute to the TSP but they got no match. The big benefit to the CSRS system was for those who started employment young, had no breaks in service, they would max out their pension in year 40. So if you started at age 20 you could retire at 60 with a pension that would be around 80% of your high 3 salaries. And since they could continue with Federal health insurance that would cover the gap to Medicare age 65 eligibility.
I work for the Federal Gov't too, the 1.1% is for those who retire after 61 (or is it 62?)--right? otherwise it is 1%, unless you are law enforcement or firefighter who get 1.7% (maxed at 20 years--anything more is at 1%). In my case I will have 33 years total--20 as law enforcement (1.7%) and another 13 at 1%.


The one big difference between TSP and a 401K (aside from limited funds to invest in compared to a lot of civilian plans) is that federal retirees don't have to wait until they are 59 1/2 to withdraw as long as they are at their minimum retirement age.
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Old Today, 08:54 AM
 
Location: SoCal
13,462 posts, read 6,433,987 times
Reputation: 10033
Most 401k let you withdraw at age 55.
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Old Today, 08:59 AM
 
1,716 posts, read 600,213 times
Reputation: 3194
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
My mind can barely wrap around these stories.

I've been out of college for a decade, and have had ten jobs of various types, lengths, and in various sectors of the economy since then. I've never held a government job. I've worked everywhere from a major defense contractor, to a small glass manufacturing facility, to a bank, to a software company, to a healthcare system. I've probably run the gamut of industries in a way most people never do, yet with all that moving around, the retirement benefits often cited here are so far above and beyond what is a current standard that it's just mind-boggling to me.

.....Seeing all these pensions, high match %ages, etc., is way more than I'll ever be able to achieve.
I know what you mean. Seeing the poll numbers and reading the responses has made me realize that in financial terms I am not only living on a different planet but probably in an entirely different universe than most people who post here.

It makes me wonder if the gap between how people on this forum view many other things about retirement versus the general population is likewise much wider than I've been assuming. Because based on what I'm reading here, my financial situation is no doubt considered to be dirt-poor by comparison.

ETA: I see some people have been mentioning your locale in connection with the kind of jobs you've had. All I can say is that I've lived and worked all my life in the suburbs of a major city and during the 1960s and 1970s which was the bulk of my worklife, most non-union large companies here were not offering pensions to non-management employees. For example I worked as a claims processor for Travelers Insurance Company during the early 1970s and clerical positions like mine were not eligible for any benefits other than health insurance and X number of vacation and sick days per year. But the majority of my employers were small businesses (auto dealerships, insurance agencies, law offices, and the like) with zero retirement benefits available to anyone.

Last edited by BBCjunkie; Today at 09:17 AM..
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Old Today, 09:00 AM
 
Location: Central Ohio
622 posts, read 257,785 times
Reputation: 1196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightengale212 View Post
Did it ever occur to you that having 10 jobs in 10 years is the problem ??? You never stayed anywhere long enough to vest for retirement benefits from public or private sector employment. And not only that, if you had 10 jobs in 10 years you have red flagged yourself as a very poor candidate for employment consideration especially for Federal Government work. Not only does your red flag work history put you behind the 8 ball, you not being a Veteran pushes you to the back of the line behind all the Veterans who will have Veteran preference that gives them a leg up over you for employment consideration even if you have the identical credentials. And the IT field which you are in is one of the most competitive Federal Government jobs to attempt to get without Veteran preference because so many Veterans with IT credentials are actively seeking this type of employment. And I know many Veteran coworkers in my agency that took lower grade non IT jobs with the hopes of in the future moving into an IT job, and the small number that were able to move into IT happened around service year 10. All the many coworkers with IT position goals are still waiting, and very possibly they will never have the opportunity to move up and into IT because as I already mentioned the competition for those jobs is fierce.

Do yourself a favor and stay put in your current job for about 5 years because that will help to lower your job hopping red flag and make you a more viable candidate for future employment consideration for a higher paying higher benefit job.

While all of this is undoubtedly good advice, I do think Serious Conversation has a point. He is a good bit younger than most of the posters on this retirement forum, who were much more likely to have a pension program at work. Even the program I had at Seattle city government was being reduced for new hires about the time I retired. I bet most of the posters on here worked for government or large industries that provided generous benefits and retirement programs. I was lucky to start working for city government at the age of 42, which allowed me to work 20 years and retire pretty comfortably at 62. If not for that, I would be in the "work until I drop dead at my desk" category. I really feel for younger workers today. All that said, Serious Conversation, if there is any way you can get on with the government at any level, I would say go for it! Either that, or move someplace like Seattle where you can make more $$$.
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Old Today, 09:20 AM
 
Location: SoCal
13,462 posts, read 6,433,987 times
Reputation: 10033
When I first started working at the age of 17, the three companies that I worked after that offered pensions but I was too young to qualify, you have to be at least 25. Then I found one that I qualified, I stuck by it because I have very high salary compared to my peers, it’s off the chart, but I didn’t stay there long enough to enough to get a pension. Had I did, I would get maybe $200 per month today. Then I worked at a company that offered no 401k. Then after that I too the contract route, earned double my regular salary because I was relying on my husband’s benefits. Fast forward toward the end of our working years, we ended up at two companies that offered pensions and retiree healthcare toboot. Who knew? We didn’t plan it that way. Sometime things worked out the way you didn’t expect.
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