Author Topic: Chicago Real Estate: Nimble or Foolish?  (Read 9438 times)

prof61820

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Re: Chicago Real Estate: Nimble or Foolish?
« Reply #50 on: August 07, 2014, 04:38:20 AM »
Prof61820 , I looked at the same things you did and asked
- how much of it is Chicago
- how much of it is Illinois in general
specifically I read the auditor report from our Comptroller that states very clearly that our unfunded liabilities are for the state. no punditry necessary.

Here's a good summary of Chicago's and Cook County's pension (and not retiree healthcare - as you correctly noted, another large amount) debt from January 2014.  The State, unfortunately, has its own debt for its employees, teachers and Universities that is also severely underfunded.  One of the ways that the State can pay a portion of its pension debt - without raising taxes (at least on the state level) is to stop sharing sales tax revenues with local governments.

http://cgfa.ilga.gov/Resource.aspx?id=5

Executive Summary
This report examines the financial status of various public employee retirement systems
in Chicago, Cook County and the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, as of Fiscal Year
2012. The following is a summary of the findings:
• The Chicago Transit Authority Retirement Fund covers all employees of the
Chicago Transit Authority. At the end of 2012 there were 8,317 active employees
and 7,794 employee annuitants. Total Actuarial Assets of the system at the end of
that year were $1.703 Billion and Total Actuarial Liabilities were $2.867 Billion.
• The Cook County Employees’ Retirement Fund covers all persons employed and
paid by the County. At the end of 2012 there were 21,447 active employees and
13,609 employee annuitants. Total Actuarial Assets of the system at the end of that
year were $7.834 Billion and Total Actuarial Liabilities were $14.630 Billion.
• The Cook County Employees’ Retirement Fund active member headcount has
dropped by approximately 4,100 employees since 2006. This is due mainly to
positions not being filled by attrition and an Alternative Retirement Cancellation
Payment Option that was offered to Cook County employees in 2007 (P.A. 95-
0369).
• The Cook County Forest Preserve Employees’ Retirement Fund covers all persons
employed and paid by the Forest Preserve. At the end of 2012 there were 467
active employees and 355 employee annuitants. Total Actuarial Assets of the
system at the end of that year were $172.6 Million and Total Actuarial Liabilities
were $304.5 Million.
• The Firemen’s Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago covers anyone employed by
the City of Chicago in its fire services whose duty it is to in any way participate in
the work of controlling and extinguishing fires. At the end of 2012 there were
4,740 active employees and 2,821 employee annuitants. Total Actuarial Assets of
the system at the end of that year were $0.993 Billion and Total Actuarial
Liabilities were $4.066 Billion.
• The Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund covers employees hired by the following
units of government: (1) All counties except Cook and all school districts except
Chicago, (2) Other units of government with general taxing powers, such as cities,
villages, townships and special districts, (3) Units of government without general
taxing powers, associations or cooperatives authorized to participate by State
statute. At the end of 2012 there were 174,771 active employees and 90,196
employee annuitants. Total Actuarial Assets of the system at the end of that year
were $27.492 Billion and Total Actuarial Liabilities were $32.603 Billion.
ii
• The Laborers’ Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago covers persons employed by
the City of Chicago in a position classified as labor service by the employer;
anyone employed by the Board, anyone employed by the Retirement Board of any
other Annuity and Benefit Fund. At the end of 2012 there were 2,865 active
employees and 2,737 employee annuitants. Total Actuarial Assets of the system at
the end of that year were $1.316 Billion and Total Actuarial Liabilities were
$2.375 Billion.
• The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Retirement Fund covers any person
employed by the District whose duties include service during a calendar year for a
minimum of 120 days. At the end of 2012 there were 1,856 active employees and
1,681 employee annuitants. Total Actuarial Assets of the system at the end of that
year were $1.077 Billion and Total Actuarial Liabilities were $2.136 Billion.
• The Municipal Employees’ Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago covers persons
appointed under civil service rules who are employed by the City of Chicago and
Board of Education of Chicago (except teachers); temporary and non-career service
employees; aldermen and other officials of the City and the Board that make written
application. At the end of 2012 there were 31,326 active employees and 19,614
employee annuitants. Total Actuarial Assets of the system at the end of that year
were $5.073 Billion and Total Actuarial Liabilities were $13.638 Billion.
• The Park Employees’ Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago covers all persons
employed by the Chicago Park District. At the end of 2012 there were 2,977 active
employees and 2,104 employee annuitants. Total Actuarial Assets of the system at
the end of that year were $440.7 Million and Total Actuarial Liabilities were
$866.4 Million.
• The Policemen’s Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago covers any employee in the
Police Department of the City of Chicago sworn and designated by law as a police
officer. At the end of 2012 there were 12,026 active employees and 9,035 employee
annuitants. Total Actuarial Assets of the system at the end of that year were $3.149
Billion and Total Actuarial Liabilities were $10.052 Billion.
• The Public School Teachers’ Pension and Retirement Fund of Chicago covers
certified teachers and employees of the Chicago public schools. At the end of
FY 2012 there were 30,366 active employees and 22,636 employee annuitants.
Total Actuarial Assets of the system on that date were $9.364 Billion and Total
Actuarial Liabilities were $17.376 Billion.
• The Public School Teachers’ Pension and Retirement Fund of Chicago headcount
has dropped by approximately 4,300 employees since FY 2006, This is due to early
retirements and teachers opting to retire under the Pension Enhancement Program
iii
(PEP), which allows teachers to sell a portion of unused sick days back to the
employer.
• Almost all of the systems included in this report have seen headcount reductions
during 2010, 2011 and 2012.
• The Chicago Laborers’ Pension Fund lowered its actuarial assumption on the future
investment rate of return from 8.00% to 7.50% annually as of the most recent
valuation, i.e., FY 2012.
• Most of the retirement systems profiled in this report have provided CGFA staff
with multi-year funding projections performed by the systems’ actuaries. Unless
otherwise noted, all long-term funding projections are based upon the retirement
system’s Fiscal Year or Calendar Year 2012 actuarial valuation. The statutory
funding requirements differ for each system and are outlined at the beginning of
each system’s chapter under the heading “Required Employer Contributions”. In
cases where a recent legislative enactment has changed a particular system’s funding
requirement, the Public Act number is displayed in the tables showing multi-year
funding projections.
• Please note that the following systems are projected to completely run out of assets
in the following years, i. e., their total assets will reach zero: Chicago Laborers
(2027), Chicago Municipal (2025).

#########################

From the City's Website on what the police "ramp" means in 2016: http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/mayor/press_room/press_releases/2013/february_2013/mayor_emanuel_policesergeantsassociationannounceunprecedentedcon.html

In 2010, the Illinois General Assembly passed what is known as S.B. 3538 (Public Act 096-1495), which requires local governments across the State to begin funding pensions for police and fire employees on an actuarial basis.  Actuarial funding must start in 2016 and be sufficient to assure 90 percent funding by 2040.  Without any corresponding reforms, this funding requirement would force the City of Chicago in 2015 to either identify nearly $600 million in spending cuts, impose a property tax increase for that same amount in 2015 or a combination thereof to cover what is due across the city’s two public safety pension funds.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2014, 08:13:04 AM by prof61820 »

prof61820

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Re: Chicago Real Estate: Nimble or Foolish?
« Reply #51 on: August 07, 2014, 04:57:03 AM »
for us , the piece I can not get is why would be even consider Chicago suburbs vs north west Indiana unless we already have family there. I can get the same or better house in Munster Indiana for 60% of the price of the house in Naperville, newer construction, 1/3 property taxes, and more land , and still be closer to the loop and to the train station than many of its subdivision.  This is especially true if Indiana finishes its southshore train expansion, the value is just so much higher in many places of north west Indiana.

This is an interesting thought.  It may be safer to park real estate dollars in Indiana or Wisconsin for the next 3-4 years while this all gets worked out to the point where you will know what your property taxes will be like in the state and how cuts to schools will impact your childrens' education.  Unfortunately, I don't know a whole lot about NW Indiana real estate or commuting from Indiana to Chicago.  I hear stories about people moving from Chicago to Indiana but I don't have any statistics to show this as a demographic trend.  I just did a yahoo map and Munster is 30 miles away from downtown Chicago.  This commute would be much different than the 2 mile commute we have now (or one from an Illinois suburb served by Metra or the CTA).  What are the public transportation options in Munster (is there a Metra stop)?  How are the schools in Munster?
« Last Edit: August 07, 2014, 05:25:48 AM by prof61820 »

prof61820

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Re: Chicago Real Estate: Nimble or Foolish?
« Reply #52 on: August 07, 2014, 04:58:44 AM »
GoCubsGo - I would be interested in the website you have mentioned for the schools as I am probably in the same demographics you discussed (mid thirties, young kid and desire to get to better schools in few years).

I am also interested in this website.

MidWestLove

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Re: Chicago Real Estate: Nimble or Foolish?
« Reply #53 on: August 07, 2014, 08:49:15 AM »
"This is an interesting thought.  It may be safer to park real estate dollars in Indiana or Wisconsin for the next 3-4 years while this all gets worked out to the point where you will know what your property taxes will be like in the state and how cuts to schools will impact your childrens' education.  Unfortunately, I don't know a whole lot about NW Indiana real estate or commuting from Indiana to Chicago.  I hear stories about people moving from Chicago to Indiana but I don't have any statistics to show this as a demographic trend.  I just did a yahoo map and Munster is 30 miles away from downtown Chicago.  This commute would be much different than the 2 mile commute we have now (or one from an Illinois suburb served by Metra or the CTA).  What are the public transportation options in Munster (is there a Metra stop)?  How are the schools in Munster?"


to be honest, I am not thinking about it as parking money- I am picking a place to live and think about items that are of importance to me
- distance to elementary and middle school (closer the better)
- school quality
- distance to the local park (closer the better)
- distance to the train station (in minutes under worst traffic on car, ideally bike and walk)
- train timing from train station to the loop, cost of single ticket and monthly item
-  real estate - price on purchase, cost per sq, RE stock age and quality. property tax history, utilities cost, etc.
- crime reports for the area and for the city in question , amenities we are likely to use .

not investing but picking a place to live. I run all of the above picking good suburbs west of Chicago vs places in NWI and see where trade off points are.

for your question regarding people moving out of IL , it is at 62% right now (6 people moving out for each 4 people moving it), second highest in the nation beat by New Jersey at 63%.

for Metra commute options, the Hammond station is currently likely to be the one that we will drive to if living in Munster until (or if) they finish the rail extension. South Munster to Hammond station is 7 miles, same distance as south Naperville to its train station. The plan is to switch to the roles that are more heavily telecommuting (my wife is already working part time) so transportation becomes less important.


MidWestLove

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Re: Chicago Real Estate: Nimble or Foolish?
« Reply #54 on: August 07, 2014, 09:52:27 AM »
As for Chicagoland community as far as rentals and landlording opportunities, I think they exist and would continue to exist going forward regardless of what is happening with all of the items we have discussed.  many millions of people will need a place to live , and services will continue to be provided.  I would not personally buy anything now (with crazy easy money and lowest interest rates in history) as a landlord, and instead save the cash and deploy it when people are fearful (rates high and buyer market). it is just not my interest