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6 or 9 months notice?
Old 10-26-2011, 01:48 PM   #1
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6 or 9 months notice?

I am working out my end of game strategy. Part of me would like to pick a date next year to let my boss know that I intend to retire in 6 or 9 months. I am not really concerned about being left out or being "put on the shelf" during that period...in fact that might be a good thing.

I would like to know about your experiences/views on the pro's and con's of this approach.
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Old 10-26-2011, 01:55 PM   #2
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It depends on your boss and the company, but assuming you have a good relationship I think it wouldn't be a bad idea. It gives them the chance to get someone else trained for the job, although they'll still wait until the last week or so to do it. But it could put you in good standing regarding future contracting work (if applicable) and all around positive light. Also assuming you are absolutely sure you're going to leave. You don't want to get yourself in a position where you change your mind and they don't want you anymore.

I let my bosses know I was planning on leaving months before I went, although I still had force my way into a RIF when the time came.But it worked out pretty well for me.
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Old 10-26-2011, 02:07 PM   #3
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I am working out my end of game strategy. Part of me would like to pick a date next year to let my boss know that I intend to retire in 6 or 9 months. I am not really concerned about being left out or being "put on the shelf" during that period...in fact that might be a good thing.
I would like to know about your experiences/views on the pro's and con's of this approach.
We've had at least two posters here who were putting the final touches on their ER plans and were just about to give their notice when... they were called into the boss' office and laid off. The severance benefits were a nice little ER bonus.

For that reason the usual recommendation is to give the minimum required notice.

Others have taken the approach of letting the boss know that they'd like to be the first laid off so that they can be at the head of the line for the severance package, or so that they can go first and avoid the distress of seeing some other debt-burdened co-worker get laid off.
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Old 10-26-2011, 02:13 PM   #4
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Others have taken the approach of letting the boss know that they'd like to be the first laid off so that they can be at the head of the line for the severance package, or so that they can go first and avoid the distress of seeing some other debt-burdened co-worker get laid off.
Actaully, both of these applied to me, although the pleasure at saving someone else's job was diminished when they just nailed him 6 months later in the next RIF.
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Old 10-26-2011, 04:00 PM   #5
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I didn't decide for sure until 2 months before my exit date, so I gave 6 weeks notice which was appreciated (and although I didn't get a severance package, they did count my retirement as a headcount reduction which saved a colleague's job). For me, it would have been hard to be effective working for 9 months with everyone (or at least some) knowing I was leaving. That might, however, have something to do with the position I held, so YMMV.

Good luck and happy FIRE!
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Old 10-26-2011, 04:10 PM   #6
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For retirment, my former company required 6 months in order to ensure all the paperwork was completed.

Of course, I was based in the U.S. with HQ in Euroland, so that may have had something to do with it (along with traditional Euroland customs).
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Old 10-26-2011, 04:43 PM   #7
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Although my supervisor knew all along that I planned to retire sometime in November of 2009 (since she had been my best friend and co-worker before becoming our supervisor), I didn't officially give notice verbally and with a followup email until March of 2009, some 8 months before retirement. I didn't get my paperwork completed for retirement until a month or two later.

The likelihood of anyone in my job description at my agency being given any benefit for agreeing to leave was almost nonexistent for a variety of good, ironclad reasons. So, I knew it would not do me any financial harm to give a lot of notice. Being a federal employee, I knew my job was secure. I wanted to give a lot of notice because it took me nearly 6 months to transfer my projects, train as needed, and get things wound up neatly.

I'm glad I did it my way. However, if I was working in the private sector I think I would be very cautious about giving so much notice. I don't know if they could lay you off right before retirement, or what. It just sounds risky. Also, as mentioned, you could get left out of any bonuses or RIFs with severance pay.
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Old 10-26-2011, 11:54 PM   #8
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I've seen folks give generous notice, months or more, only to have the company reallocate bonus pool money or stock grants to give them zero for the year, since they were leaving anyway. Depends on your employer, but I'd be cautious to avoid losing any benefit you expected to earn that hasn't actually been put in your hands yet.
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Old 10-27-2011, 12:13 AM   #9
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It really depends on where you work. I gave notice to my boss almost 4 months in advance. We had upcoming projects where I knew he would count on me to be involved if I didn't say something. We had worked together for 30 years so it was easy for me to tell him. In my case, it worked out well. I had initially planned to fully ER and he suggested that I continue on very part time - 1 day a week. I ended up happily doing that for the last 18 months so it all worked out.

But I can certainly see that in many cases -- perhaps most -- it would be unwise to say anything very far in advance.
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Old 10-27-2011, 07:53 AM   #10
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I've seen folks give generous notice, months or more, only to have the company reallocate bonus pool money or stock grants to give them zero for the year, since they were leaving anyway. Depends on your employer, but I'd be cautious to avoid losing any benefit you expected to earn that hasn't actually been put in your hands yet.
+1 - I'd err on the side of caution with a minimal notice.
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Old 10-27-2011, 08:05 AM   #11
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Maybe it's because I've seen too much of the "dark side" of corporate HR policies, but I'm impressed with the many honorable posters here. My perspective/opinion is different. I see little benefit to giving ample notice and considerable downside to doing so.
My ER target date keeps changing somewhat, and as of now it's December 2012. I don't know how much notice I will give, but it won't be more than 4 weeks. For my current employer (as well as my previous one) I wouldn't dare give 6 months' notice.
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Old 10-27-2011, 09:12 AM   #12
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6-9 months is an *eternity* to stay around someplace after you have given notice. I think you should give more than 2 weeks, but 6-9 months is ridiculously long - I think you will regret it.
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Old 10-27-2011, 09:43 AM   #13
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There is no one-size-fits-all. Depends on you, your position, your employer, your relationship with your employer . . . lots of other factors.

Without knowing more, all I can say is keep it a secret and give two weeks notice.

The last place I w*rked anybody giving notice was escorted out within an hour. One guy left a letter on his boss's desk on a Friday afternoon and on Monday boss met him at the door and told him he didn't w*rk there any more. This is an extreme case (and extremely unprofessional behavior). Certainly not every place is as small-time as this.
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Old 10-27-2011, 10:22 AM   #14
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There is no one-size-fits-all. Depends on you, your position, your employer, your relationship with your employer . . . lots of other factors.

Without knowing more, all I can say is keep it a secret and give two weeks notice.

The last place I w*rked anybody giving notice was escorted out within an hour. One guy left a letter on his boss's desk on a Friday afternoon and on Monday boss met him at the door and told him he didn't w*rk there any more. This is an extreme case (and extremely unprofessional behavior). Certainly not every place is as small-time as this.
Giving notice and retiring are two different things. I'm sure there are some companies that would treat a retiree that way, but many have a process for retiring that takes a while, and many would also like to train a replacement. Retirees are often going to receive a pension or a lump sum, maybe medical bennies, things like that. Someone in that position isn't a security risk. Someone leaving for another job is a risk, and if they are in a sensitive position they do need to be removed from the sensitive position, and maybe the building. But I believe we're talking retiring here.
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Old 10-27-2011, 10:28 AM   #15
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I am working out my end of game strategy. Part of me would like to pick a date next year to let my boss know that I intend to retire in 6 or 9 months. I am not really concerned about being left out or being "put on the shelf" during that period...in fact that might be a good thing.

I would like to know about your experiences/views on the pro's and con's of this approach.

I was advised by both my employer & my pension board to give no more than the minimum required notice, 2 weeks only. Rational was once I formally notified my employer I was bound by it & if in the unlikely event I became sick or disabled my sick or disability benefits would end as of my declared retirement date. I would not be allowed to change my retirement date in order to continue on disability or sick benefits. Hence give as little notice as possible to reduce the risk of the scenario happening. After 29+ years I at least advised my employer I was considering retiring in a couple of months, sometime in summer, but only gave 2 weeks official notice. Interestingly my first pension cheque came in on time within a month. Replacing me however is taking much longer, basically 3+ months now and not a lot happening as they save money not getting around to it. My position was considered an "essential service"! As a result not the slightest bit guilty about not giving more notice, it wouldn't have mattered. Fortunately I did not need to use the disability or sick benefits option.

Just another little issue to consider if it applies to anyone.
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Old 10-27-2011, 11:04 AM   #16
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You are great! I really appreciate the time and your feedback it is giving me some good things to think through.

In my case this will be FIRE, I don't have any pension related dates that might be impacted. However, if I do decide to stay through the end of the year I believe that giving early notice would result in being allocated $0 bonus for the year...assuming the company issues bonus' next year.

I will investigate the disability rules associated with giving notice in particular. Not that...God willling....I am likely to become disabled but better to know the rules of the game going in.

Again, this community contiues to impress me with your willingness to share your wisdom, experiences and feedback.
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Old 10-28-2011, 07:35 PM   #17
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In my case I gave 15 months notice that I would be leaving my job to travel. I spent a long time thinking about this and debating the benefits and many of the concerns that people have highlighted here. For me it came down to wanting to talk about my plans with people around me and not fearing I would be letting out a secret.

Like you I had to be ready for the worst case scenario that they would put me on a shelf and kill my bonuses. To help address that when I gave my notice I outlined an idea for what I wanted to do in my remaining time.

The result: In those 15 months I was promoted twice, was given my dream project to drive an effort and acquisition I felt was key for the company, and got the largest bonus I had received in my life. They were able to let me run with projects because they wanted to keep me motivated and I certainly was. It was a great 15 months of fun work, new challenges, and a result I am very proud of today.
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Old 10-28-2011, 09:00 PM   #18
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Things don't always work out the way they are planned or discussed. Last summer (2010), my boss and I were discussing the end of my assignment at year end 2012...with him essentially asking me to stay, me saying no, then both of us agreeing that I would stay with the company but spend a couple weeks in Asia per month and do everything else remotely. That led to a discussion this past summer (2011) with me again being asked to stay...and me actually ready to accept it, with a caveat that I take home leave more often.

I did take the step, however, of getting the boss to agree to promote my intended successor to an interim step. It was hard for me to do...Kind of like walking our daughter down the aisle (I do know that feeling, as I just did it in August).

All in all, I'm relieved that we are taking that step, but also relieved that I can oversee the transition of power. I've been here so long, and have grown the company from what it was when I inherited it to 3x the size, and watched it shrink again during the recession...but all the while maintaining a respectable profitability that my predecessor could never achieve. Now it is time for my successor to take the controls and grow it again, to level I did not or could not achieve...and since it is my baby, I'll be smiling when he does.

Moral of the story...be flexible. Be in tune with your bosses. If they are good people, good leaders, and are able to coordinate a smooth transition with you, then maybe indicating your goals early is a good idea. If your boss is just another SOB you have to work with for another 6-9 months, then maybe it's best to just give the minimum notice required by company policy to get your retirement/bonus/options/restricted stock, etc.

FWIW

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Old 10-28-2011, 09:45 PM   #19
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As others have mentioned much depends on your level and your employer. For the life of me I do not see the value of 9 months notice. You can finesse opting out of year long assignments without disclosing your intentions. Even 6 months is too long but you can start developing your successor so that there will be a smooth transition.

If your employer cannot gracefully handle 30 days notice shame on them.
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Old 10-30-2011, 07:44 PM   #20
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I gave my notice in mid Sept 2010 to leave in mid December 2010. They transferred my employees to others and by mid Nov. I basically had nothing to do. Those last three months were an eternity but if you are a manager then you need to give several months notice just to be professionally responsible.
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