Your 401k and the Public Sector

Consider this.  Anyone with a 401k should conservatively assume that they can withdraw 5% of the balance of their 401k in an annuity payment to fund their retirement.  If you put away $100k,  you get $5k per year in retirement.  $1 million?  $50k.  Fortunate enough to have $2 million in your 401k?  $100k per year.  To do this you have to work until you are 60, or 65, 0r even 70.

Now consider that you are a firefighter in say, Yonkers, NY.   You finished high school and you decided to become a fireman, and you have diligently served your community, and on a few occasions  you have even encountered some big risks.  But you have worked for 20 years, and you now want to retire.  You are 48 years old, and you do retire.  48 years old.  Not 60, not 65 or 70.  40 years old.  Your guaranteed retirement pay?  $100k per year.  Your contribution of your salary to your retirement?  Zero.  Your contribution to your medical insurance?  Zero.

This is not extreme.  All over America government employees experience similar benefits.  These people are not bad, most of them did their jobs well and with dedication.  But their benefits, funded by us as taxpayers, are completely out of line with the experience of the taxpayers.

See David Brooks today in the NY Times.  Let’s treat government employees with respect, but get them in line with the realities of the average citizen.  Otherwise we will find ourselves paying 14% sales taxes, 20% local taxes, 30% state taxes, and 75% federal taxes.  I’m not embellishing.  Think about it.

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