Author Topic: Cellar Scribblings  (Read 2857019 times)

Offline serious crayons

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Re: Cellar Scribblings
« Reply #15540 on: April 21, 2018, 08:55:25 am »
We have that, but it generally involves tending to a sick family member and there's no guarantee of pay.


I'm blessed and I know it. My employer offers up to 10 days of Family and Medical Leave Act time off at full pay.

I've used 4 so far this year because of my dad, and I'll use another May 4 to go with him to an appointment with he gastroenterologist.

Just to clarify, when I said "we" I meant "U.S. citizens."

At my staff job, we get paid to care for a family member under FMLA the same way we get paid if we're sick, if we're on vacation, if it's a holiday. That is, we have X number of PTO days a year to be divided among all of those things.

For me, it's currently almost 8 weeks a year, plus a week carried over from last year (you can do that for a portion of the time).

It always seems like kind of a bummer to me, because some people might spend PTO hiking Machu Picchu and others might spend it sick. Still, I'll admit it does make sense. If the PTO were all divided into separate categories and you never take sick days, you might be resentful that you couldn't use them, or tempted to call in sick when you weren't. Or call in because you wanted to stay up late the night before watching the season finale of The Walking Dead.  ;)

These days are also used for holidays, which again makes sense because you might not celebrate the standard Christian holidays. Or you might not mind working on Memorial Day (and getting extra holiday pay), etc. Since it's a place where at least a few people have to work every day including holidays, it probably makes sense if you'd gladly work on Christmas but want time off at Passover or whatever.

Meanwhile, they set aside a small number of hours each year that you can accumulate and use if you have a longer term health problem or FMLA issue. Currently, I have <2 weeks' worth, so it wouldn't go far. Sometimes if people have really big problems coworkers will donate hours to them.

And then you can usually get unpaid extended leave, to write a book or do a year-long fellowship, for example. Or maybe to care for a loved one. I think they're pretty good about granting that, though once you use up your vacation days you don't get paid. I'm not sure what happens to your health insurance, etc., during that period. But I believe you get to go back to either your exact same job or at least one comparable.


There is a limit but it did not concern me and has possibly changed. It wil be 16 years in October since I gave up permanent employment and almost 9 years since I did a day of paid (casual) employment ;D

Brian, I'm curious -- could you briefly explain those terms? I think at one point I calculated that you're in your early 70s (correct me if I'm wrong). What was your permanent employment and how does the category of casual employment differ? What age did you leave each? Could you have continued in either if you'd wanted to?

I'm currently writing a lot about working into later life -- working longer at good jobs has health and cognitive benefits, but unfortunately the majority of people do it because they can't afford to retire. So I'm interested in how the system might be different Down Under. Where I assume things like saving for retirement or paying for medical expenses Medicare doesn't cover are less of a problem.




Offline brian

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Re: Cellar Scribblings
« Reply #15541 on: April 21, 2018, 04:39:58 pm »
I gave up permanent employment in October 2002 at age 59. I was a teacher-librarian. I had been a Geography/Economics teacher from when I graduated from University/Teachers College in 1966.
In the early 90's I tried to leave teaching, at first looking at running coffee or health food shops, then finally doing a librarian course by correspondence while working as a casual teacher (in Australia Colleges of Technical and Further Education, in NZ they are called Polytechnical colleges). It was officially casual but I was contracted for a term or year to teach a class. Many were repeating their final year which they had failed at school, others were mature students deciding to return to study, many courses were for apprentices (electricians/plumbers/carpenters etc) who needed to learn about business.

When I gained my Post Graduate Diploma in Library and Information Science (what a mouthful :) ) I applied for positions in all types of libraries who did not want to employ a 50 plus year old. So eventually I ended up with a job in a school where, as the principal who employed me later told me, I was a first year librarian but 30 plus years experience as a teacher, all the other candidates were first years in both. In many ways it was good as pay was much better, holidays were a lot longer and I was able to introduce the Internet just when it was taking off in schools. Generally I was happier in a library assisting students rather than managing a classroom. Discipline was never my strong point but I still have many friends from the students of my early teaching years.

However it was not an easy school and after nearly 9 years, I decided to give up full time work. I had developed a network of librarian colleagues in both the Catholic system where I was employed and the State system where I still had registration. In the State system the library cannot be open if there is not a fully qualified teacher present and while the Catholic system is not so strict, they usually employ a replacement if the teacher/librarian is absent for more than a few days. Long Service Leave is very good (10 weeks after 10 years and 2 weeks per year after that) and I had many friends who had been teacher/librarians for many many years and loved taking leave to travel. They were teaching in much nicer schools in better areas than where I had been.

So in my first term (50 school days) after I resigned I had a 12 day block casual work in a State school and 25 days in a lovely Catholic school in one of the top demographic areas of Sydney. Casual rates are higher but no sick or holiday pay. However I had my own accrued LSL and holiday pay so was doing well.
The next year, 2003, I took a temporary position in a State school. It began as 3 days per week but became 4 days in the 2nd half of the year. Temporary work is contracted for a term, pays less per day than casual but provides sick leave and holiday pay. Fortunately as I had a back operation that year although I planned it for the week before the school holidays so I only took a week paid sick leave.
The following year 2004 it went down to 2 days per week but I picked up so much casual work I was often back to working full time and actually took off 4 weeks for a holiday in NZ beside the gazetted school holidays.
I had full time work for all but 1 week of the first term in 2005, then having reached 61, I was able to access my private superannuation fund free of tax. It was not enough to live on but I could be more choosy and only look about 2-3 months of casual work per year.
My mother died in June 2006 (aged 96 years and 11 months). My sister and I shared in the proceeds of the sale of her Unit (condominium?) and, being aged under 70, I was able to roll back my super fund, add a lot to it, then start a new retirement fund. Sadly my sister was too old to do that, put her share into more risky investments and in the world financial crash of 2007 lost a large proportion. I lost some but not nearly as much.
From then on, I only worked casual to take an overseas trip or buy a new computer. In Australia any extra income up to $6,000 (now $18,000) was tax free as is private superannuation
In 2009 I was eligible for a state pension but in Australia that is means tested so I had to report any work so did not do more than a few weeks per year more as a favour to friends.
In 2010 I emigrated to NZ. In NZ everyone 65 and over receives the full pension but it is taxed. I received it backdated to the day I arrive. I do not get other assistance such as car registration, lower council and electricity rates (although the new government is going to give us all money in winter for heating from May) which I would get in Australia. My Australian government pension is paid to the NZ government but it is not much more than half what the NZ government gives me.  The NZ IRD ruled that they would not tax my Australian Private Super Income as it is not taxed in Australia (but Australia does reduce my state pension because of it). I do have to pay NZ tax on a few small investments I have in Australia plus those I have in NZ but would pay no tax if I still lived in Australia. However I am much better off. I generally live quite well on my NZ state pension and use the Australian private pension to travel. I do not have any medical insurance as I had in Australia so I have to pay for non-urgent surgery which can be expensive. If it was urgent it would free. The year before last I had to pay $5000 for eye cataract surgery, it would have been a few hundred in Australia and free in NZ if my eyesight was so bad I lost my licence but I did not want to wait for that. I will need the other eye done in a few years.
I could go on but have taken up more than enough of Chuck's blog.


Offline CellarDweller

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Re: Cellar Scribblings
« Reply #15542 on: April 22, 2018, 05:26:26 pm »
Hello Bettermost Friends!

It's such a nice day out today.  I have all my windows open, and letting fresh air into the apartment.

;D


Hope that everyone is having a good day!


Tell him when l come up to him and ask to play the record, l'm gonna say: ''Voulez-vous jouer ce disque?''
'Voulez-vous, will you kiss my dick?'
Will you play my record? One-track mind!

Offline CellarDweller

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Re: Cellar Scribblings
« Reply #15543 on: April 22, 2018, 05:27:50 pm »
I could go on but have taken up more than enough of Chuck's blog.

I enjoy reading about the lives of the members here, so don't ever feel like you've "taken up" too much space/time in my blog.  Thanks for taking the time to type it up and post it here!


Tell him when l come up to him and ask to play the record, l'm gonna say: ''Voulez-vous jouer ce disque?''
'Voulez-vous, will you kiss my dick?'
Will you play my record? One-track mind!

Offline serious crayons

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Re: Cellar Scribblings
« Reply #15544 on: April 23, 2018, 08:39:01 am »
Thanks for the explanation, Brian. So in NZ and Australia does everyone get the same pension, regardless of how much they made when they were working? Is it enough to live on if you didn't have additional savings?



Offline serious crayons

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Re: Cellar Scribblings
« Reply #15545 on: April 23, 2018, 08:40:09 am »
I enjoy reading about the lives of the members here, so don't ever feel like you've "taken up" too much space/time in my blog.  Thanks for taking the time to type it up and post it here!

Thank you for offering space, Chuck, to those of us who don't have blogs of our own!  :)



Offline brian

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Re: Cellar Scribblings
« Reply #15546 on: April 23, 2018, 03:07:13 pm »
Thanks for the explanation, Brian. So in NZ and Australia does everyone get the same pension, regardless of how much they made when they were working? Is it enough to live on if you didn't have additional savings?

In NZ everyone gets the same once they turn 65. There is a rate for singles and a rate for those married/partnered. There is also a supplement for those living alone. Our Deputy Prime Minister gets the same, as he is aged 72. Then it is taxed. In NZ you pay tax on every $ earned although the rate goes up with income. So I pay 18 cents tax in the $ on my income which is the lowest rate.
The amount of government pension goes up with the cost of living on April 1.  It is now just over $400 per week (after tax) for a single person living alone. That seems to me to be ok for people who own their own home, difficult if paying rent and perhaps difficult to run a car. We also get free public transport outside of peak hours. As I said, the new government is going to pay a heating supplement for winter to all people on any sort of benefit., not sure of the details yet, will start next month. It was an election promise because of stories of people not being able to afford heating.

In Australia it is more complicated. It is not based on how much you earned while working but is means tested. There is an income test and an assets test. You have to report any income and any changes in assets (the home you live in is not counted). So, when I go overseas and spend $10,000 or more I have to report that my assets have gone down (and Australia gives NZ more money on my behalf  :) ).  Because of my assets I only get about half the full pension. Anyone getting a pension (even if only 1$ per week) gets a lot of benefits eg half council rates, cheaper electricity, free driving licence and cheaper car registration.

However Australia has compulsory superannuation. It began in the 1980's when all employers had to put 4% of wages into a superannuation fund and the wage earner also had to put 4% in. It is now (I think) 9% each. You cannot touch that money until aged 60 (unless exceptional circumstances like incurable illness). Once I paid off my house I began putting in 20% which is why I can now travel.
In Australia you do not pay tax on the first $18,000 of income (It was only $6000 when I lived there), the government pension is not taxed nor is any earnings from private superannuation after you turn 60. So, if I still lived in Australia, I would not pay any tax.

Offline CellarDweller

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Re: Cellar Scribblings
« Reply #15547 on: April 23, 2018, 07:47:57 pm »

Hello Bettermost Friends!


It is good to be home!

Someone at work (one of the 'higher-ups) decided it would be a good idea to have a massive conference call for 2 hours, and start it at 3:00.  I usually leave at 4:30, so it meant I had to stay an extra 30 minutes.  Of course it ran over, so it didn't end until 5:30, and then a client needed help with something they could've looked up on their own, so I didn't leave until almost 6:00.   

Traffic was a mess, and there was construction I had to deal  with, and then at a busy intersection the left turn arrow stopped switching to green, so I sat at that intersection for about 10 minutes.   I'm usually home by 5:15.  Today, it was 7:20.

::)


Tell him when l come up to him and ask to play the record, l'm gonna say: ''Voulez-vous jouer ce disque?''
'Voulez-vous, will you kiss my dick?'
Will you play my record? One-track mind!

Offline CellarDweller

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Re: Cellar Scribblings
« Reply #15548 on: April 23, 2018, 07:49:03 pm »
Interesting information about pensions.

I remember when my grandfather retired from the railroad, he got a sizable pension monthly, and my grandmother got her own check as a part of that pension.


Tell him when l come up to him and ask to play the record, l'm gonna say: ''Voulez-vous jouer ce disque?''
'Voulez-vous, will you kiss my dick?'
Will you play my record? One-track mind!

Offline serious crayons

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Re: Cellar Scribblings
« Reply #15549 on: April 24, 2018, 10:40:48 am »
It is now just over $400 per week (after tax) for a single person living alone. That seems to me to be ok for people who own their own home, difficult if paying rent and perhaps difficult to run a car.

It would be impossible to rent on that here. Average rents in my city are something like $1,400 --  and it's an average size Midwestern city, not a notoriously expensive one like New York or San Francisco. But it's a bad situation even here, because of course lots of people can't afford that. They're trying to expand the supply of "affordable housing," which is housing that's no more than a third of your income.

The city government has proposed increasing affordable housing by allowing development of fourplexes in all city neighborhoods. Apparently now they're only allowed in a few. There's been a lot of opposition to that by citizens who think a fourplex would wreck their neighborhood of otherwise single-family homes. Personally, I hope it goes through. I once lived in a fourplex, and if you can tolerate your neighbors it's a nice size of apartment building.

Quote
However Australia has compulsory superannuation. It began in the 1980's when all employers had to put 4% of wages into a superannuation fund and the wage earner also had to put 4% in. It is now (I think) 9% each. You cannot touch that money until aged 60 (unless exceptional circumstances like incurable illness). Once I paid off my house I began putting in 20% which is why I can now travel.

That's like what we call a 401(k) or an IRA. Except it's not compulsory and employers don't have to contribute to it. There's an effort to at least make participation a default "yes" -- that is, when you get a job that has a 401(k) you automatically get one and can contribute whatever you want (again, not necessarily with an employer's match). Or you can refuse to participate but that would be extra paperwork. At the moment it's a default "no," which means people like my son, when he worked for a place that offered them (again, no match), wouldn't do the extra paperwork to sign up, despite my strong urging. It's too much trouble and he claims he "won't live that long."

Quote
In Australia you do not pay tax on the first $18,000 of income (It was only $6000 when I lived there), the government pension is not taxed nor is any earnings from private superannuation after you turn 60. So, if I still lived in Australia, I would not pay any tax.

Here the bar is much lower. Again same son -- he was filing his income taxes for 2017, when he worked waiter's jobs for about half a year, so made maybe $7-8,000, $10,000 at most. He filed the taxes and reported the earnings on an online system that automatically calculates your refund as you go. He had worked at a bunch of places, and as he filled in each place's earnings he watched in dismay as the refund figure steadily declined.