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#33601 - 09/29/05 03:54 PM Question: Which state will protect my CSRS pension
Socalmat Offline
recently joined

Registered: 09/29/05
Posts: 2
The situation: I may retire 11/06 with $75k per year from pension at age 50. We currently live in California. We have $1,000,000 dollars in equity. I also have $185k currently in TSP/401k account. I have been married 6 years to a 36 year old wonderful woman, who does not get along with my 20 year old daughter. My wife does not have any kids.

I am afraid of the long haul. When I die, will she share the wealth with my daughter? Is it true that the longer we stay together, the more of my pension she can take? What about other states? We are considering moving to either Colorado or Nevada. Would my situation be any better in those states? Here in California, she makes $90k a year, to my $165k. After retirement, I will make $75k. If we move, neither one of us will work, at which time my pension will be our only income. Would waiting till we live in Colorado, a non-community property state, help my situation?

Thanks in advance for any response.

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#33602 - 09/29/05 06:02 PM Re: Question: Which state will protect my CSRS pension [Re: Socalmat]
joan Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 09/24/04
Posts: 248
I live in Illinois and am also under CSRS. I have worked 30 years and have been married 20 years (18 yrs together and 2 1/2 yrs trying to get through the divorce). In Illinois they determine the split of the pention in one of two ways. In Illinois they divide the by how many years of service compared to how many years of work. So in my case the marital portion of my retirement is 2/3 of my total retirement (20 yrs of marriage/30 yrs of service). He gets 1/2 of the marital portion. So he gets 1/3 of my retirement. Then you can either determine current value (use a company such as Pension Appraisers at www.pensionappraisers.com) and pay her off her marital portion of the retirement or you can split the pension upon retirement. If you split the pension at retirement, she will also be entitled to any increases you receive up until the day of your retirement. The issues my stbx and I are having right now is that at his death he wants his portion of my retirement to be paid to his estate until the retirement stops. I think it's only fair that it comes back to me since that would be the way it would be handled if we were still married. I've been told that I am out of luck on that issue. I tied to pay him off and offered him $250,000 but he turned it down. As I understand it that possibibly only works if we both agree to it. The reason he turned it down is that once he begins to colledt a Federal retirement he is also entitled to health benefits.

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#33603 - 09/30/05 02:27 PM Re: Question: Which state will protect my CSRS pen [Re: joan]
Socalmat Offline
recently joined

Registered: 09/29/05
Posts: 2
Thanks Joan for your reply. Is Illinois a community property state? Or did that make a difference in your case? My marriage may work out, I really hope that it does. It is just kind of scary when the future that I have worked so hard for can be taken away by the state in which we live. I like the two or three places that we have looked at moving to. Colorado is not a community property state, so I am wondering if that will protect my interest better than a state that is a community property state. My position is this, I do believe that she has a right to say a third of the equity of the home. She has contributed one third of all costs. I did inherit $330k that we put into the home as well. That, I do not believe that she should have a right to. So, if we were to move to say Colorado, and things did not work out, would that better protect my assets?

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#33604 - 09/30/05 04:05 PM Re: Question: Which state will protect my CSRS pen [Re: Socalmat]
joan Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 09/24/04
Posts: 248
Illinois is not a community property state. It is an equitable distribution state. Therefore things are not always split 50/50. For example, in most divorces I see, the wife receives most of the assets because, normally, her future earning power is less. In my case, my stbx husband and I earned about the same amount which is why the marital portion of my retirement is being 50/50.

Also, in Illinois if you have pre-marital assets (which I did) and put those into a joint asset after marriage, you are just out of luck. Once it is moved into a joint asset such as a jointly owned home, it is no longer pre-marital.

It doesn't matter what she contributed to the income/costs vs. what you contributed, in a marriage all income is thought of as joint Using your argument, if she was a stay-at-home mom she would not have entitlement to any assets. The courts aren't going to buy that

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#33605 - 09/30/05 10:15 PM I am in CA and my ex is CSRS [Re: Socalmat]
Melody Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 06/03/04
Posts: 10102
Loc: California
After our 17 year marriage, I will receive half of what he earned of his retirement during the marriage. Since it came out to 34 years of service...we were married for half of that time....so I am entitled to 50% of half of his retirement, or 25%. This was is in CA. Are you considering moving to another state, THEN divorcing? If your wife is a wonderful woman, why are you raising this question? The longer you're married, the greater the interest she will have in your retirement. Presently you're not looking at a large interest as you've only been married for 6 years. In addition, you have a similar interest in her retirement program. While they may not equal each other....one still offsets the other.

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