Monday, October 31, 2011


Halloween? Already?

I guess I have to wonder where time is going as it sure seems to be slipping away very quickly. Halloween is here already and it hardly seems like we are past summer. Of course a part of that is because summer was short and late this year and the weather guru's are saying that we will likely have another La Nina weather pattern much like the one we had last year. I suppose that compared to what happened weather wise in much of the rest of the country we here in the northwest cannot complain very loudly. But I am definitely more of a summer type person than a winter one, so I will complain a little. Oh well, the way time is flying it really can't be too long until summer comes again but I hope the next one will come in a more timely manner.

Pat and I are doing pretty well although we both do have a few of those things going on that seem to affect older people. It is a surprise to me how much more of our money goes out for various medical things than it did in the past. I really think the Powers That Be ought to change the things they include when they calculate the annual increase in cost of living for Seniors, as I am sure that medical costs are a lot higher percentage of our annual expenses than they are for those in whatever base they do use.

My basic retirement plan from Metro Transit is paid through the State of Washington Department of Retirement Services (DRS). When I retired at the end of 2003 I was told that I would start getting an annual cost of living increase, starting in the year when I reached age 66. For me, that was 2009. I got an increase that year and again in 2010, but this year the State Legislature decided to partially balance their short fall in budgeting on the backs of retired folks and they ended those COLA increases. All during the years I worked I paid 6% of my total income into that plan and my employer matched my contribution. The state was supposed to also match but there were many years when they either shorted their contributions or failed to make any contributions. Now they say they don't have enough money to pay all the things they want to pay and still give me a COLA increase any more. I think it is the State's fault but I am going to have to pay for it. Oh, and it doesn't affect the other retirement plans the State has, only mine and the original teacher's plan. Now they are talking about asking me to vote for some tax increases. Guess how I'll vote on any tax increases in the future? If they think I can live the rest of my life with no more income than I have now, then I think the State can, too!

Sorry about all this complaining on a Holiday, but it is starting to weigh on me.

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The vicious part of this problem is that it is the unwillingness to tax the upper income levels which is getting us to a place we have to cut so many things for the middle class. And with so many having signed that pledge to never raise taxes, you know where this is heading. More and more the old and poor will be paying the price of wars we didn't pay for which I know isn't the case of state pensions but it all impacts each other.
Glad to hear that you are both doing ok.
Haven't been by to visit for awhile, but I'm trying to get back into my blogging, so here I am visting everyone.
Hope your winter isn't too cold.
Take care,
Pardon the expression Dick but that just sucks about your pension! It bugs me when seniors who have paid their taxes AND paid into a retirement plan for so many years get shafted in the end.

Let's hope next year won't be another La Nina year, but like you I'm so glad I don't live out east!
Have not come by in some time...but I so agree with you!! THEY tell US to tuck in our belts, tis time for them to do the same!! MORE than time!!
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