Monday, October 31, 2011
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.