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20 Months to go - When do I tell my employer?
Old 04-22-2016, 04:20 PM   #1
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20 Months to go - When do I tell my employer?

Hello,

I am 50, my husband is 58. He retired from federal service last year. The children are all educated without student loans, we have one child left at home, and no debt. I plan to retire January of 2018, after the youngest ages off my health insurance. I will have health insurance in retirement through my husband.

We have done the expense tracking, and are confident we can maintain our current standard of living after I retire.

What I am not sure of is when I should let my employer know I am planning to retire.
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Old 04-22-2016, 04:53 PM   #2
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A favorite topic of discussion. Here are a few sample threads...

How much notice did you give to ER?
How much advance notice to give?
WAY too much notice! Drat...
How much notice did you (should I) give?
Another question about notice
Giving Notice
Question - Informing your employer you are resigning
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Old 04-22-2016, 05:00 PM   #3
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Are you in a position that requires succession planning? If not, I recommend giving just two weeks. That's what I did.

Heck, we were always getting the message from Megacorp that "no one is irreplaceable". When I gave my two-week notice, my immediate boss was scrambling to figure out what he wanted me to do before leaving. The short time frame made him really focus on what information needed to be documented and transferred to my coworkers. Any experiments I had planned for the next few months would just have to be done by someone else.

I was a great feeling. I only had to do important things for the last two weeks. I'm convinced that if I had given a couple of months notice, my boss would have expected me to do all of those experiments and write the report and transfer the knowledge... All the while adding more lab work as results came in. Nope. I heard the corporate message. I'm replaceable. Go ahead and replace me in two weeks.
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Old 04-22-2016, 05:00 PM   #4
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Welcome to the forum. Hang around there's lots to learn.

I gave just over 2 weeks notice after being there for 29 years. I had an IT skill set that's odd, so yes, I was hard to replace. Why so short of notice for someone who's skills are admittedly hard to replace?
Well bad stuff can happen and I've seen it happen when you give your power away. If they wanted me gone, I would have been escorted out, right then. So for my benefit I chose that.

Some things to consider:

Options, employment contracts, vacation, sick time, insurance(you mentioned health).
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Old 04-22-2016, 05:09 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Philliefan33 View Post
Are you in a position that requires succession planning? If not, I recommend giving just two weeks. That's what I did.

Heck, we were always getting the message from Megacorp that "no one is irreplaceable".
+1 on the 2 weeks for most megacorp positions.
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Old 04-22-2016, 05:21 PM   #6
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If I were crossing the street tomorrow and got hit by a beer truck, would they be able to cope with my loss?

Of course they would. They would have no choice but to figure out how to cope.

No need to give any more notice than you feel comfortable with. Two weeks is pretty standard, and gives them a nice two week cushion instead of the sudden loss cited above. Besides, in many cases they will put off looking for your replacement until the last minute anyway.

Just smile to yourself and keep your own counsel. That smile may become so wide as you close in on your date that some friends might notice, but that's OK too.
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Old 04-22-2016, 05:30 PM   #7
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When I was ~600 days out, I started the countdown. Several friends knew it. I wanted to make sure I was not on too many long-term projects.

Now I am at 71 days left, and everyone knows. My 100-day countdown chart is posted. I have not yet given official notice, as I do not plan on collecting the pension until later at age 65. Plus, if by some chance there is a severance package, I want to be eligible.

I am not worried about my employer at all. Just my retirement.
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Old 04-22-2016, 06:03 PM   #8
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I am going to give 3 months. It will take a while to turn over what I do to someone else, involving joint visits to customers.
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Old 04-22-2016, 06:13 PM   #9
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Short answer? Say nothing until you are ready for them to respond with: "In that case, why don't you pack up today?"

Many threads here about folks who gave longer and found the time wasted by their employers (not hiring replacements until the final weeks/days) or getting frozen out/lame ducked months before their date. Also many things could change between then and now.
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Old 04-22-2016, 07:21 PM   #10
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Short answer? Say nothing until you are ready for them to respond with: "In that case, why don't you pack up today?"

Many threads here about folks who gave longer and found the time wasted by their employers (not hiring replacements until the final weeks/days) or getting frozen out/lame ducked months before their date. Also many things could change between then and now.
+1

Very wise advice. A year out, I had planned on giving 2 weeks notice, although I ended up giving even less. I had all my personal effects out before handing in official notice. So I spent my last days de-junking my office and saying long goodbyes to the folks I liked. I struggled unsuccessfully to contain my glee as I politely attended the last of those boring meetings.

I was pleasantly surprised by a goodbye lunch, not an immediate escort out the door, but you never know. Remember that this time you are in the driver's seat, so you can put your own interests first, for once...
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Old 04-22-2016, 07:26 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Philliefan33 View Post
Heck, we were always getting the message from Megacorp that "no one is irreplaceable". When I gave my two-week notice, my immediate boss was scrambling to figure out what he wanted me to do before leaving. The short time frame made him really focus on what information needed to be documented and transferred to my coworkers. Any experiments I had planned for the next few months would just have to be done by someone else.

I was a great feeling. I only had to do important things for the last two weeks. I'm convinced that if I had given a couple of months notice, my boss would have expected me to do all of those experiments and write the report and transfer the knowledge... All the while adding more lab work as results came in. Nope. I heard the corporate message. I'm replaceable. Go ahead and replace me in two weeks.
Yep, w*rking in corporate can sharpen listening skills.

When I hired in as a college kid 2 decades ago, I was used to push out the 50-somethings who were experienced and well paid. I realized that my time would come at some point and I planned accordingly. Left in my 40's to live the dream, my dream!

Funny thing was they didn't want a download of any skills and knowledge. To be fair, though, I had been training my replacements, mainly Pacific Rim, for over a decade. Guess I did a good enough job...
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Old 04-22-2016, 07:27 PM   #12
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I think it depends on your role within the organization. If you are in a senior or executive management role then more notice would be nice if you want to leave on good terms. If you're lower on the totem pole then a couple weeks is sufficient.... perhaps a month if you want to be nice.

Even though I was a proverbial small cog in a big wheel I gave a few months notice with no problems and no regrets but I had an outstanding employer and a great relationship with my boss so I was quite comfortable giving them a lot of notice.
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Old 04-22-2016, 08:28 PM   #13
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I gave the required 30 day notice. Had to be done to start my pension at the beginning of the next month. I took vacation for the last week or so. That all was pretty standard for retirees at my megacorp. Lots of folks retired in late 50s or early 60s.
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Old 04-22-2016, 08:48 PM   #14
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Short answer? Say nothing until you are ready for them to respond with: "In that case, why don't you pack up today?". . .
.
Totally agree. If you have any objectives to complete before you leave , don't give notice until you have completed that objective. You never know what their reaction may be, and for the sake of planning, you should assume the worst.
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Old 04-23-2016, 08:58 AM   #15
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This question is like a Rorschach blot, the answers depend on our individual circumstances - there is no right answer that applies to everyone. It will be worth your while to skim the threads Rewahoo listed. After reflection you will decide what is right for you.
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Old 04-23-2016, 10:13 AM   #16
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Plus, if by some chance there is a severance package, I want to be eligible.
I wanted to +1 and emphasize this excellent point. At my megacorp during our last round of layoffs, we had several people who had telegraphed their retirement plans. Even though some had not even set an official date (stated something to management along the lines of "first quarter next year"), they were deemed ineligible for the severance package. If there's extra incentive available, you don't want to miss out by announcing too soon.
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Old 04-23-2016, 10:23 AM   #17
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Funny thing was they didn't want a download of any skills and knowledge.
If you're good at your job, you make it look easy, which leads people to believe that it is.

Usually this competency trap works against the employee because they get a new role, the old one implodes, and then they get sucked back into their old role or (worse) doing both.

In the case of departing the company, it works against the employer who is suddenly SOL on something where there is no ready replacement at hand but is actually quite complicated.

As a leader I always try, sometimes unsuccessfully, to dig into the situations of people who look like they have an easy job. Either they do, in which case it time to add load, or they're excellent at their job in which case it's time to protect them from departure and/or get a successor lined up ASAP.
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Thanks for your replies
Old 04-23-2016, 11:12 AM   #18
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Thanks for your replies

I plan to give official notice two to three weeks in advance, and have most of my stuff removed from my desk before I give notice.

Currently, we are expected to provide short and long-term development goals. "Retiring" is probably not an appropriate long-term goal. That is really my current challenge.
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Old 04-23-2016, 11:14 AM   #19
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Two weeks, the last day being the last day of the month, for health insurance purposes.
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Old 04-23-2016, 12:49 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
I think it depends on your role within the organization. If you are in a senior or executive management role then more notice would be nice if you want to leave on good terms. If you're lower on the totem pole then a couple weeks is sufficient.... perhaps a month if you want to be nice.

Even though I was a proverbial small cog in a big wheel I gave a few months notice with no problems and no regrets but I had an outstanding employer and a great relationship with my boss so I was quite comfortable giving them a lot of notice.

Some good distinctions made above. If you like your manager and want to help them out, stay in touch or secure a good reference, sure, announce a little earlier. I just gave 2 week notice last week and my last day is Tuesday at this particular j*b. In that situation, my strategy is to get away from a toxic and incompetent boss before my career is damaged. Why prolong that agony more than the standard minimum two weeks? Calculate what you think will advantage you the most and do that. There is no "right" because the At-Will Employment culture cuts both ways and makes you an At-Will employee.
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