2 Replies Latest reply on Jan 5, 2011 1:09 PM by JerryD

    Early retirement buyout from CUNY


      CUNY has offered an early buyout.  They are offering $25,000 which really stinks. After working and saving with TIAA-CREF for 26 years what should an average person have accumulated, consideringt  taking on moderate risk My salary went from the 20's in the 1980s to the 80' s now in 2010. I have saved over $500,000 includi g monies into the SRA. Have I really messed up my retirement with poor investing--too much risk. I blame it all on the crash of 2008--or else I would be in better shape now. what do people think?. Thanks.

      It seems like the TRS people are getting a better deal. If I had chosen that--I would be guaranteed circa $40,000  a year with the same $25, .000 buyout.


        • Re: Early retirement buyout from CUNY

          First of all, I think you've done well to have saved over $500,000 in 26 years.  I don't know how much of it you contributed via the SRA and I don't know how old you are - I'll assume you started at CUNY at age 22, so you're probably 48.  If you go to money dot cnn dot com and click on Retirement there are several tools that will show you how you stand relative to others with similar incomes, ages.

          Personally I think you're lucky to have been offered an early buyout.  I'd take one in an instant.  You think $25,000 stinks?  Then just keep working.  I don't understand why people complain when they're offered an incentive to do something.  No one is forcing you. to take it.  And at least you are being given a choice.  Think about those who have been laid off.

          I'm not sure where the mentality of society/employers owe us comes from, but I'm sure tired of hearing people gripe about it.  You're fortunate to have been able to work there for 26 years.  Why don't you look at it that way.  And if the TRS people (whoever they are) got a better deal, then they're just luckier than you and you're luckier than those who aren't offered an early buyout and million times luckier than those who were simply laid off with no choice.

          • Re: Early retirement buyout from CUNY
            julietta said...

            ... Have I really messed up my retirement with poor investing--too much risk. I blame it all on the crash of 2008--or else I would be in better shape now. what do people think?. Thanks.


            One of the most eye opening books on wealth that I have ever read is "The Millionaire Next Door" by Thomas J. Stanley, PhD and Willaim D. Danko, PhD. Both did decades of research for marketeers on who and where are the true millionaires in the US. This book destroyed many of my prejudices about who is rich and how they got there.

            One of the most objective measurements I have ever seen on how I (or you) should be doing in my (your) pursuit of wealth accumulation is:

            "Multiply your age times your realized pretax annual household income from all sources except inheritances. Divide by ten. This, less any inherited wealth, is what your net worth should be."

            They developed another simple rule: "To be well positioned in the PAW category (prodigious accumulator of wealth - a very successful wealth accumulator), you should be worth twice the level of wealth expected (from the calculation above)."

            I can't deduce your numbers from your post and you probably don't want to post the exact numbers, but as an example, let's say that you are 50 and your total pretax income is $90,000. Using this formula, you should have a net worth of $450,000. Since you say that you already have $500,000 in your SRA alone, I would guess that your total net worth must be closer to the PAW category than that of a failure, certainly above the minimum expected net worth they suggest. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!

            I haven't re-read this book in a while, but one of the things about people who are self-made millionaires (not from inheritances) is that they live below their means (they don't need fancy clothes, houses, cars, vacations, etc.) and work their plan in everything that they do financially. Sounds like you might be following that strategy, Julietta.