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There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. For those looking for some more in depth stuff, forget this book. One person found this helpful 2 people found this helpful. Surprisingly few details on coastal drives, Willamette Valley hotspots, etc. Only marginally useful on our first trip to Oregon. One person found this helpful. This book includes color pictures, maps, and recommendations for places to eat and stay.
The text describes not just the geography of the region, but also the community spirit. Ecotourism is given prominent coverage, along with art and community events. Various kinds of tours are discussed, including guided tours and self tours. Well-known Oregon attractions like OMSI are covered, but lesser known destinations like wineries and gardens are also suggested.
For adventure travelers, recreational activities like boating, hiking and camping are covered in detail. For more relaxed travelers, you can find sightseeing tours and restaurants. So there is something for everybody. Anticipation is half the fun of traveling, and reading a travel guide before you go on vacation is like getting a taste of ice cream before buying the whole scoop.
Vacation time is short, so it is good to be prepared. Have fun on your trip and enjoy the book. I live in south central Oregon and have for over thirty years. If you are a first-time visitor to our beautiful state, this guide will work fine for you. This touches on the different areas of the state - and Oregon is quite diverse. We have lakes, rivers, waterfalls, desert country, low mountains, seashore,Crater Lake National Park, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, small towns, cities. The worrisome part of these proposals is that the Legislature may just throw up its hands and pass something against rational legal advice and let the Oregon Supreme Court sort it out.
They gambled on this approach in and lost bigly, digging the hole the system is in today. The Supreme Court of will be different from the Supreme Court that ruled unanimously in early against the retroactive grab at the COLA from the Legislature. The new executive director will come from outside PERS and Oregon, and will go into the Legislative session at a distinct disadvantage in not fully understanding the system, and all of the complex interactions that any legislative action might produce.
Rodeman excelled at clear communication of anticipated and unanticipated consequences of legislative actions, thus preventing most legal quagmires before they were created. This will create an information vacuum that no one will be able to fill quickly enough to do a credible job dealing with the potential fallout from any proposed PERS legislation. Worse still, the NYT article may be the wedge that finally creates the schism between the older members with better retirement benefits and the younger employees in the system who have less generous benefits.
I expect the demands for generational equity to create a flash point for legislators and unions representing many public employees in On schedule, the Legislative session is up and running. My opinion of Julie Parrish is unprintable, even on my own, uncensored blog. Suffice it to say that she is as strong as an ox, half as smart, and mean as a junkyard dog. How is that for a string of mixed metaphors?
On the better news front. Tier 1 members will still get the Guarantee of 7. In more news, the first retiree monthly check to be affected by the withholding tables resuting from the December Tax Reform will be issued on March 1, This should result in less Federal withholding, possibly less State withholding, and higher net benefits.
For some, this really represents a tax cut; for others, me included, this is going to result in us having to completely rethink withholding strategies as it is unlikely that our taxes will really go down when they are due in April The IRS has constructed their new withholding tables with an eye towards underwithholding, which means you might be in for a surprise in April , unless you plan ahead.
As soon as you finish your taxes, you ought to start planning for There is little room for error during , to avoid unpleasant surprises in The stock market correction that began the week before last has many people freaking out.
I am not one of them. The time to be concerned is October , not now. Steve is the last senior manager I know personally since , and his departure completely breaks all my ties with PERS staff since Getting direct information and advanced copies of documents will be more challenging than ever now.
A bit of context. It remains as fresh today as it was in It is an optimistic song, and describes my own wishes and goals for the next few years. I give it to you as a Holiday greeting and well wishes on your own retirements. Lyrics are copyright, Jimmy Buffett Following my song line Past bamboo shacks and shops Behind a jitney packed like sardines, With bananas piled on top.
Awakened by a stewardess, With Spain somewhere below. On the threshold of adventure, God I do love this job so. So while I make my move On the big board game Up and down a Spanish highway, Some things remain the same.
They run across the oceans Through mountains and saloons And tonight out to the dessert Where I sit atop this dune. A Sunset framed by lightening bolts Burns a lasting memory And a string of tiny twinkling lights adorn the sausage tree.
While the embers from the log fire Flicker, fly, and twirl Then drift off toward the cosmos From the Far Side of the World. They are dancing on the tables People bouncing like gazelles Two is ushered in With air raid horns and bells. I will still be there when I get through Attending this soiree. The first is a curious email I received about 10 days ago concerning Residency Recertification.
Others received a similar email, but so far as I can tell, a large swathe of others did not. The puzzling thing about this email is that it offered no rationale, no reason, no apparent option for those whose residence has remained the same since retirement or after. The issue at stake is the Income Tax Remedy that retired Tier 1 members get as long as they pay Oregon income taxes. The law changed in SB requiring that Tier 1 retirees who live out of state and who retired before the end of be ineligible for and lose the Income Tax Remedy.
The problem is that PERS gets tax information directly from the Oregon Department of Revenue, but the information is always a year out of date. PERS has always taken these DOR certifications as both retroactive and prospective, thus providing a window of two years for a residency certification.
But herein lies the problem, and why my tin foil hat antennae are waving around in the wind. First, the email was sent to what appears to be a nearly random group of people, almost all of whom have lived in Oregon during their working careers and their retirements and have consistently paid taxes in Oregon at the prescribed April 15 timeframe.
That begs the question of WHY these people including me had to go in and confirm what PERS already knows, that I am and continue to be an Oregon resident and, therefore, eligible for the tax remedy. Let this be a warning to ALL readers of this site. The significance of these tables is that they take into account all the new assumptions, including the reduction in the Assumed Interest Rate from 7. These factors apply to retirees under Money Match, Formula plus Annuity, and Full Formula with a beneficiary option in other words, most potential retirees.
People eligible to retire right now are in a predicament because these tables are essential for determining how much a delay in retirement will cost them, both in future value due to lower assumed rate as well as the value of the lost retirement benefits from delaying all other things being equal - longevity, pay, etc.
As far as I am concerned, this borders on being unethical by leaving people unmoored at one of the most important times in their lives. To me, these two very unrelated events or non-events have left a very sour taste in my mouth. The primary issue is related to whether the change to the assumed rate and the mortality tables will adversely affect members in the near term. The short answer is that any change to the assumed rate has an impact on not-yet-retired members who plan on retiring via money match, Full Formula with beneficiaries, and Formula plus Annuity.
For inactive members eligible to retire, the answer to me is a no brainer. Rattle the lock, break the chains and get out by December 1, For all others, the calculus is much more complicated. If you are still working for a PERS-covered employer, you have to consider factors such as lost earned income, health care benefits, and future growth in the IAP account, not to mention growth in your Tier 1 or Tier 2 account due to earnings or the assumed rate.
Basically, if you estimate your benefits for a December 1, retirement and then estimate your benefits for a retirement using the new AEFs, not yet available , it will take you until April 1, to recover benefits lost from the change to the assumed interest rate. Thus, on or after April 1, approximately, depending on age and other factors , your benefit will the same as it was on December 1 using a different assumed rate and a different set of mortality factors.
If it were this simple, the advice would be obvious. However, this ignores some things that really need to be considered. All these questions should be filtering through your decision matrix about now. I will have my hands on the new AEF tables as soon as they are made public. While they are voluminous and difficult to assess globally, I will post them here so that people will be able to see their precise impact.
I make an exception for inactives. Just keep in mind that nothing good will come your way by waiting past December 1. It has been nearly two months since I posted the last entry. Truthfully, nothing much of substance has happened, although the various newspapers around the state, the various anti-public employee organizations e. Even national columnists and investment advisors are writing about the impending doom from a public pension debacle. One certain thing is that States, by the constitution, cannot go bankrupt.
As an extension, a public retirement system run by the State cannot go bankrupt. Moreover, the COLA freeze, adopted by the Legislature in , was definitively ruled an illegal breach of contract by the Oregon Supreme Court in So, for instance, going to a 5 year averaging for FAS has the problem that the accrued benefit includes the 3 year average for FAS, and so how do you implement this for anyone reasonably close to retirement?
As long as individuals have access to the 3 year average, it will trump any 5-year average or salary cap for individuals close to retirement. Ditto for sick leave. Inactives are protected from any of these rule changes so long as they accrue no service credit after the effective date of the changes. Sure, go ahead and see how that works recruiting for difficult-to-fill positions now.
There would be no liability but for employers failing to pay bills when they were due. The Board spent very little time debating between the extremes of 7. In the end, the Board went to 7. A few wanted to split the difference at 7.
The rest of the Board quickly approved the motion and, in a blaze of light, the meeting was over. After the meeting, I checked with Matt Larrabee, the principal actuary for Milliman, who confirmed for me that the setback would be 4 months for a typical retiree. This means that if you delay retirement past December 1, , it will take you 4 additional months of working to recover the benefit you would have received if you retired on December 1.
The changes to mortality had virtually no impact on the rates, as changes in one element were offset by other changes. Overall, the totality of the economic assumptions other than the assumed rate itself, had a near zero impact on liabilities for the system. The impact to employers on the uncollared rates will be approximately 1. If nothing positive happens between now and then, we might expect to see some attempts to significantly alter PERS. The Legislative session began with a bang, and goes out with a whimper.
Thus, they presented the Rs in the Legislature with the uncomfortable choice between corporate tax reform and PERS reform. So, the Legislative session will end sometime soon with neither goal accomplished, and the situation even worse when they return in for the short session and in for the long session.
Those who hung in and retired before the Legislature did anything bad are now spared the uncertainty for the future, while those who decided to gamble have bought themselves another 6 months or so before PERS itself makes some crucial changes that will exacerbate the problem statewide, although the change is necessary.
Next month July , the PERS Board will make decisions about the economic assumptions necessary for the next system valuation, which is the basis for setting employer rates for the biennium. These assumptions include the assumed interest rate, salary growth, mortality tables and the all-important actuarial equivalency factors that will take effect on January 1, Two of these three assumptions are likely to change significantly.
The assumed rate is likely to go to 7. Full Formula retirees who select Option 1 no beneficiary are NOT affected by changes in mortality or assumed interest rate, as the benefit is simply the product of the formula itself. Those of you who are gambling that you can escape without any further pain are, unfortunately, delusional. The situation is likely to get worse in the near future, and the next long Legislative session, if not the short session, is likely to include some unavoidable changes to future PERS benefits.
But I expect that desperate times may beget some desperate measures, even those with a slim likelihood of getting through the Courts. Court membership changes with each election and one of these days we may get a court that is not so sympathetic to the plight of active workers. If you are near retirement, I advise you to consider seriously making plans for exiting the system before the Legislature convenes in early February The pressure will be excruciating on that body to do something about escalating PERS costs.
It is naive to think that the PERS problem is going to go away. This year, the Legislature had a chance to do something meaningful, but blew it.
This will probably be my last post for awhile. I will have no more information at the end of July than I have now. The bottom line is that no one seems to have the votes to do much of anything and legislative paralysis looks more and more likely. The other special interest groups want the PERS reform, but without the pesky tax increases the Ds and the Unions want. There are less than 4 weeks left in the Legislative session before the mandatory adjournment date of July 10th rolls around.
Without agreement on these issues, the Legislature is doomed to a Special Session in the Fall. There are two other options available, neither particularly appealing to legislators.
That, to me, was a catastrophic failure of Measure 5, and the Legislature could remedy that in either of two ways: If that requirement is necessary, why not have the reverse requirement, i. In in the meantime absolutely nothing of consequence has been achieved by the malingerers in Salem who have been bought by all the special interests lined up in opposition to anything but stasis.
What a waste of human capital, and that applies across the aisle. However, as a trained evolutionary biologist, I can state with confidence that long periods of stasis are often followed by explosive adaptive radiations. These can be good, or bad, kind of like the proposed asteroid that brought about the end of the dinosaur reign near the terminus of the Cretaceous period.
We can hope for something that catastrophic to wake up those who are asleep at the wheel in Salem. As this legislative session has dragged on for what feels like an eternity, we seem no closer to any answers than we had when the session started in February. Obviously, the higher the ask, the harder it is to get agreement from any of the stakeholders. This gridlock would suggest that a Special Session is almost inevitable, but …… wait for it.
The unions are floating a trial balloon offering to have active workers those still working in Tier 1, Tier 2, and OPSRP provide some of the funds to offset increasing employer costs.
So, in step the unions offering a compromise deal. The PERS Board would control the fund and would direct resources from the fund if employer normal costs rise due to changing rate structures.
I have many problems with this proposal, not least of which is that the unions who represent employees are behind it. Everyone loses the same percentage which seems fair on the surface , but those closer to retirement not only preserve their existing benefits, but suffer from the cut for a shorter period of time. On the other end, those furthest away from retirement already have the worst of the three retirement plans, yet have the longest period over which to suffer the cut, but also, the longer period over which their redirected money can be captured because of rising employer costs.
Worse still, this does nothing to force the employers to come to grips with the fact that their own profligacy is a major contributor to systemic problems. This approach provides employers with a cushion against their own fiscal mismanagement, and gives the PERS Board a new way to mitigate responsibility for the employers to pay the full cost of the system, something the employers have refused to do since If the unions propose it, you can bet they will not sue the Legislature if they agree to it.
For union members and all active members of PERS, this becomes a lose-lose proposition. I realize that everyone is in a pickle this budget year. To get more revenue, the Ds need a couple of Rs to join in. It is easy for me to criticize all efforts at PERS reform; none of them affect me. But I try to look at this in a more long term perspective. Does this proposal do anything to address the long-term problem with PERS?
The UAL will still be there no matter what happens. Does the proposal offer generational equity? Those with the best benefit structure pay relatively little compared with those who are just starting their careers or are in the first decade of their careers. Will this help attract the best possible workforce? Every time you take something away from people just coming into the system, it makes it harder to recruit and retain talented and enthusiastic workers.
Finally, we have no clue how much this will actually save, and whether it would be enough to stave off further raids on active worker pension promises in the future. So, in the end, active members will get the shaft from two ends - reducing the amount of money going into their IAP, plus lowering the payout structure for annuitized benefits at retirement. Because of my own confusion about how the revenue forecast s [note the plural] work, I underestimated the power of forecasting to turn two different forecasts into winners for everyone.
All this combined reduces the pressure on the Legislature to come up with big revenue enhancements, but the Rs in the Legislature have announced that the budget is good enough for them that NO revenue enhancements are needed, since the shortfall can be covered by program cuts.
For PERS members, this means more wheel-spinning. The Rs are the ones pushing for PERS reform; the Ds are pushing for revenue enhancement, particularly the corporate income tax. These two forces stand in direct opposition to one another; there is no way the Ds will agree to PERS cuts, or many other cuts, without the Rs agreeing to corporate tax reform. Expect this saga to drag on for awhile, and lead to, possibly, a stalemate that results in the need for a special session after the revenue situation for is sorted out in the latter half of August.
This only pushes the problem for PERS members further into the future, staying the date of execution until later. PERS members are coming down to the Wire bad pun for some to make final retirement decisions.
Nothing of substance has moved in Joint Ways and Means, but broad hints have been dropped about what might await those members near and far from retirement. It also seems fairly likely, at this point in time, that June 1 is still a safe date to retire and avoid any possible impact from the legislative changes.
Of course, if none of the changes take effect until January 1, , one could wait to retire as late as the last working of November for a December 1 retirement. The calculus of choosing that date over June 1 or possibly July 1 is complicated however.
If you are inactive, the calculus is different, especially for Tier 1 members. While your Tier 1 account balance continues to grow by 7. So, when you combine these details for an inactive member, adding in the angst and worry over what the Legislature might still do, you are probably at a near wash between the earlier two dates and the later date. You have to run your own numbers to see how this works for you this is why financial calculators and spreadsheets were invented.
I continue to try to verify the legitimacy of the rumor with multiple sources. Next Tuesday, May 16, , at 8: This event signals the final push to wrap up budgets, bills that affect the budget, and to enter the glide path towards a desired June 23, adjournment of the Legislature.
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