Had this program been available when I was planning my retirement I might have considered it to test the waters before leaving altogether? The new Phased Retirement program is authorized under section 100115 of Public Law 112-141, the “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act,” or “MAP-21,” approved on July 6, 2012. If you select a phased retirement your future annuity will drop a little since you would be drawing a reduced pension while still working part time under this program.
Phased Retirement encourages federal employees with experience to continue working part time to provide continuity of operations and to share their knowledge with those who would take their place in the work force. The main purpose of Phased Retirements is to mentor and train employees who will be filling the positions of more experienced employees who are preparing for full retirement. It’s intended to encourage experienced employees to remain, in at least a part-time capacity, until less experienced employees are fully equipped to fulfill the same duties and responsibilities as those employees who wish to retire.
This program is voluntary and requires the mutual consent of the agency. Essentially older employees can work a part time schedule (if approved by your agency) to ease them into retirement. This can be from a short period to years and you have the option of returning to full time service if desired.
Employees who elect phased retirement receive a reduced annuity in proportion to the time worked. One of the good things about this program is that you would still receive annual pay and step increases until you took full retirement.
Phased retirement provides agencies an excellent opportunity to train employees to backfill critical positions. It would also allow employees entering the program a way to judge what to expect when they retire full time. I like the thought of easing into full retirement and it could be good for all parties.
Visit http://federalretirement.net/phased_retirement.htm  to find out more about this program.
Movies Then and Now
The last time my brother and I were at a movie theater together was probably in the early 1960s at the Rolland Theater in Wilkinsburg where we grew up. What a change since then. Back in 1962, on a rare occasion, we would go to a Saturday matinee to see several cartoons and the feature of the day. It costs us 50 cents to get in and a small bag of popcorn and a drink costs 10 cents each; for a grand total of 70 cents we had a great time. I would collect pop bottles for weeks before the show and cash them in at the local grocery store for 2 cents each for 12 ounce bottle and 5 cents for a quart bottle for spending money in my early teens.
I can still remember the auditorium with balcony, not so comfortable seats, and the popcorn machine; a large glass domed affair, where you put your dime in and it filled up a bag that held maybe two cups of popcorn. If you wanted butter you just put it on yourself using a dispenser they had next to the machine.
I think the last time my wife and I went to see a movie was about 6 years ago shortly after I retired. It isn’t that we are shut-ins or antisocial we just enjoy renting movies and watching them from the comfort of our own home which you couldn’t do when we were growing up.
My wife and daughter were going to see the American Idol concert recently and I didn’t have anything planned. My brother wanted to see the new Bat Man movie and called to ask me to come along. The movie admission was $5.25 for seniors, not bad considering how much everything else costs these days. However, when we went to the concession stand the prices were astronomical. A tiny bag of popcorn costs $4.50 and $4.50 for a small soft drink!
When we went into the theater the sound system was on steroids blaring out preview after preview and I had to turn my hearing aids off. Even with them off the sound was way too loud for comfort. For some reason they keep this theater’s temperature so low that we were both shivering the entire time. I thought maybe someone was going to come around and offer to rent us blankets. That may be a good side business for some enterprising entrepreneur. The movie’s special effects were realistic but contrived and it seems that today it is easier to use computer animations than actually staging real events. Whatever happened to great movies like Cleopatra and so many others that were made on a grand scale back in the 1960s?
I fondly remember the shows at the Rolland growing up. It was always a treat to go. I won’t say the same for my recent experience. It may be awhile before they see me at a theater in town again.
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