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Old 07-08-2008, 02:42 PM
 
72 posts, read 169,836 times
Reputation: 39

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OK here is my question for anyone out there who may be familiar with CSRS retirement within the federal gov. I have been a nurse with the VA hospital for 26 yrs. I would be eligible for retirement in 4 yrs. Since I work in PUERTO RICO I receive COLA. This additional income is not used to calculate retirement payments. Now if I were to be living in mainland US, in a high cost of living area (DC, NY) I would be receiving locality pay. I have been hearing about people moving to these places to lock in a higher retirement check and then moving somewhere with lower COL. Does this sound right??

Last edited by ladygrace; 07-08-2008 at 02:45 PM.. Reason: correction
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Old 07-09-2008, 05:24 AM
 
Location: DC Area, for now
3,517 posts, read 12,052,621 times
Reputation: 2141
Yes. That is correct. There is a bill in congress to covert the COLA areas in PR, AK, and HI to locality pay so you don't take that hit on your annuity calculation. I don't know how likely it is that it will finally pass.

I think the original reasoning was that those places presented the fed with a much higher COL but was not the person's "home". They were expected to come back to the lower 48 upon retiring. Also that law predated the locality pay by many years and never got changed.

If you do move to a high locality pay area, remember that you need to do it for 3 years before you retire or the base pay gets into the calculation.
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Old 07-09-2008, 08:42 AM
 
72 posts, read 169,836 times
Reputation: 39
Yes I have heard about the proposed bill but I think it's getting the run around by fed.employees in PR because it would be taxable income. Well I'm glad to know that the relocation idea for increased retirement annuity payments isn't as outrageous as I had become to believe. In fact if this info was correct I was considering DC as a possibilty. Since you are a resident of this area I would greatly appreciate your OP. I enjoy reading the positive posts on the DC site but I sometimes worry about the bashers
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Old 07-09-2008, 09:15 AM
 
Location: DC Area, for now
3,517 posts, read 12,052,621 times
Reputation: 2141
Compared to PR, which I had the pleasure to visit a couple of times, DC is different but it isn't horrible. I found our people (and even random strangers) in PR to be extremely gracious so that probably means coming here would seem like people aren't. Housing is very expensive. I live 50 miles by road from where I work for that reason. I ride the commuter train into work. Some areas are pretty crime ridden and nasty but many other areas are very nice. Winters will seem very cold by comparison but they are warmer than they used to be. Of course we get our hazy, hot and humid Bermuda high days in the summer but over the last few years, we are getting fewer of those too. One thing that is nice about DC area is that people come here from everywhere so there is a lot of variety and not as much provincialism as in some other places.

If your plan is to retire in PR but get a better boost to your annuity, you might consider keeping your property in PR and only "camping" out here in the DC area with temporary housing for the next 3 or so years. There are a lot of fed jobs here but I don't know anything about the VA.
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Old 07-09-2008, 09:57 AM
 
72 posts, read 169,836 times
Reputation: 39
That is exactly what I am considering but I am open to any alternatives to improve quality of life. I know crime is rampant all over but sometimes even this beautifull island feels unbearable.....Just doing my homework to know my options.
I was born and raised in the states, specifically Army bases as my father served the US Army for 30 yrs but after he retired he decided to bring his family HOME. So I've been here for awhile and looking for a change.
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Old 07-09-2008, 11:28 AM
 
Location: DC Area, for now
3,517 posts, read 12,052,621 times
Reputation: 2141
Check out Federal Soup - lots of good info on fed retirement and they have experts who will answer questions.
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