No. of Recommendations: 1
"I used my starting salary (certain to go up, hopefully, sometime in the next 35 years)"

Don't count on it. Here in Florida, we have not had a wage increase of ANY KIND in 6 years...and counting. Every day I work, I make less thanks to inflation. But, like most of the unemployed, even the employed have limited options to change jobs. To make things worse, we have a Governor who is castigating employees of our fine state as a bunch of money grubbing parasites. He continues to harp on how we should all pay 5% of our own salary into the pension system because "that's how the private sector does it". Did I mention we've had no salary increases for 6 years and prior to that, the increases were less than 2% - well below inflation. Well, an exception is the teachers and the cops, who are well unionized. They usually get theirs and the rest of us got the scraps. He's also targeting to have us pay annual increases in healthcare premiums approaching an additional $10,000 for family coverage. When 75% of our employees earn less than $40,000/year, you can see the cause for alarm. What Rick Scott conveniently leaves out is that the employees of the State of Florida are the WORST PAID employees in the entire country. But, he's not letting the truth get in the way of a good story, is he?

Someone else said that the bulk of your pension's value is gained in the back half of your career. My advice is, if Wisconsin offers the 401(k) style plan in the near future, and it's highly likely, jump on it. It will be forever yours, completely portable, and politics will never affect your retirement. Also, if you are married, jump onto your spouse's medical insurance.

These two simple things will help you sleep at night so you don't have to worry who will get what based on union or no union, age, salary level, experience level, whatever. Give 'em the finger...
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