Note that typically, the best buy-out offer for taking an early retirement is limited, by law, to $25K. A Federal worker at GS-12 or higher can make that amount of money by not retiring and working 3 additional months. In reality - when buy-outs are being proposed, many workers will hang in there for the added time for the buyouts to become law...and then they take it; without buyout offers, they might have retired earlier.
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