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After nearly 5 years of part-time ESR
Old 05-05-2014, 01:56 PM   #1
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After nearly 5 years of part-time ESR

I just talked to the owners about finding my replacement so I can fully retire. I've been here nearly 40 years, and it's definitely been more good than bad, but it's time to step aside and let someone else pull my share of the load going forward.

I considered FIRE about 5 years ago at age 52 but chose instead to downsize my position by stepping back from the management and planning aspects of my job, and limiting my responsibilities to accounting, software system maintenance, etc. I really enjoy my work and many of my co-workers and wanted to ease the transfer and see if I might come accross the right person to groom to take my place. Well, I haven't! One of the owners assured me he would take over the HR and Controller duties, but unfortunately he didn't follow through. Many fellow employees have expressed concerns over this, and it pains me to see those things being handled haphazardly (if at all). That is a factor in deciding to FIRE completely.

So now I am searching for my replacement. I hope to have someone in place within a couple of months, and trained within 3-6 months. I may have to return some early next year to help with the year end processes, but we'll see how it goes.

Perhaps this sounds strange, but I will feel a lot better once I have found someone who I can trust to handle things. That is important to me mainly out of respect and concern for my co-workers. They deserve a person who is capable and good to work with, as I hope I have been. If it weren't for that, I could more easily just give a decent notice be on my way.

While I am fully aware that I, or anyone, is not irreplaceable at work, I never anticipated that I might struggle to make as sure as I can that I leave things well looked after "back at the store".

As far the financial and personal planning parts of FIRE are concerned, I'm feeling very good about all of that. My DW and I have planned and discussed things a lot, and are looking forward to all things FIRE. 5 years of ESR have allowed us to adjust to being together more. We have a lot of interests together and individually and are both looking forward to FIRE immensly.

I am not a prolific poster to put it mildy. But this ERF community has been so helpful in answering questions, sharing insights and financial, social, and personal aspects of FIRE, that I just can't thank everyone enough.

Just wanted to share this with you all, and welcome any thoughts you might have. Thanks!

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Old 05-05-2014, 02:29 PM   #2
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ajs56, you are good people. But it also sounds like you were and are fortunate enough to work with good people so naturally you don't want to deliberately make their lives difficult.

Congratulations on moving on to the next phase!
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Old 05-05-2014, 02:36 PM   #3
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I just talked to the owners about finding my replacement so I can fully retire. I've been here nearly 40 years, and it's definitely been more good than bad...

Perhaps this sounds strange, but I will feel a lot better once I have found someone who I can trust to handle things. That is important to me mainly out of respect and concern for my co-workers...
Wow! Nowadays it's hard to find someone who stays at a job for that long. And as it seems like your workplace is not a Megacorp, you must have good rapport with the people there, management as well as workers. So, it's natural to be sure that your departure is not too disruptive, as other people would feel like family.
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Old 05-05-2014, 04:06 PM   #4
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Well done. Give the next guy lots of leeway since he has big shoes to fill.
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Old 05-05-2014, 05:28 PM   #5
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ajs56, you are good people. But it also sounds like you were and are fortunate enough to work with good people so naturally you don't want to deliberately make their lives difficult.

Congratulations on moving on to the next phase!
Thank you Walt. Yes I feel I have been fortunate to have worked with many good people. They are valued as co-workers and some also as friends. I want them to do well and prosper when I leave.
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Old 05-05-2014, 05:29 PM   #6
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Well done. Give the next guy lots of leeway since he has big shoes to fill.
Thanks Joe. I hope the next guy/gal has even half the success and career I have had.
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Old 05-05-2014, 05:35 PM   #7
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Wow! Nowadays it's hard to find someone who stays at a job for that long. And as it seems like your workplace is not a Megacorp, you must have good rapport with the people there, management as well as workers. So, it's natural to be sure that your departure is not too disruptive, as other people would feel like family.
Yes, I have a very good rapport with the owners and the crew. And I respect them as well. It takes years to build that trust and respect, and I value it a great deal. I did take a leave for about 7 years, guess I had to see just how green the grass was on the other side. Well, as many have found, it wasn't any greener! Live and learn.
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Old 05-06-2014, 10:24 AM   #8
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Live and learn.
I hope to Live and Learn as I move towards retirement also. I wish I could go part time where I am but that's not an option.

I agree with the others that you are a special kind of person. 40 years with one company, and concerned about their bosses and co- workers. I rarely see that among the new hires we have today. I guess that's why they call them the "me" generation.

Congratulations on your decision ! I have a feeling you might second guess yourself from time to time. Resist that urge and move forward with your new life. All the best to you !
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Old 05-06-2014, 12:35 PM   #9
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Thanks Live and Learn... I don't feel I'm doing more than feels appropriate. I worked for a small company (60-80 employees) and overall it has been a good place to work. Lots of good people, several close colleagues who have another 10-20 years to work, so I want to do all I can to bring in someone who will blend in and help them all move forward. I will be very content to observe from the sidelines while proceeding with my own FIRE.
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Old 05-06-2014, 12:43 PM   #10
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Update... A VERY good candidate has come onto the radar. He is very capable, personable, and familiar with our business as a professional we hae worked with for years! Nothing is nailed down yet, but he is very interested and I feel VERY good as he is and has the right stuff, and as a bonus he probably would require much less training (hand holding?) than I thought might be needed.

I had thought it could take 6-12 months to transition, but this could shorten it to 2 or three months, with a little bit of follow up at year end in about 10-12 months. I may be FIREd for the latter part of the summer!

I am amazed at how much weight I feel is off my shoulders with this possibility. i feel really good about this person. As I said, it's not done deal yet, but it's looking good based on discussions with the owners and the candidate. Next week we're planning to meet to see if we can put it all together!
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Old 05-06-2014, 03:58 PM   #11
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Congratulations, AJ! Hope all works out with your candidate and you can make it official sooner rather than later.
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Old 05-06-2014, 07:53 PM   #12
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Congrats! Why wait 6-9 months and why is it your responsibility to find a replacement. Decision is made. Create some new goals and get on with it, already!
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Old 05-07-2014, 09:05 AM   #13
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Thanks MBAustin, I am quite giddy at the prospect of hw this might work out!

Oscar1 - Thanks. My FIRE plan and goals are already in place, just waiting for me. I have had a great career and have great respect for my co-workers and company owners. I will make sure I leave things in the hands of a capable successor, both for professional reasons and out of respect for and caring about those still there. It's the right thing to do.
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Old 05-07-2014, 09:58 AM   #14
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Congrats AJ! I went through a similar semi-retirement phase followed by securing a good replacement. It's reassuring to know that your replacement can handle the job once you retire.
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Old 05-07-2014, 04:31 PM   #15
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I agree with Oscar. In no way should the concern over finding a replacement be yours. Thats on your employers shoulders. Frankly they should have planned for this long ago. They reap the huge profits for making the bigger decisions like this, have they been paying you huge profit dividend shares to be so concerned?
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Old 05-07-2014, 06:06 PM   #16
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AJS, I'm with you. Do what you feel is right. If you feel like leaving your co-workers and employers in capable hands is the right thing for you to do, then do it.

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Old 05-08-2014, 09:56 PM   #17
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Scrinch - thanks. It is the right thing in this situation.

Al in Ohio - In every way it is a concern of mine. Both from a personal and professional standpoint it is the right thing to do. Not that it should matter, but since you ask, yes I have been paid very well as the #3 person in the organization. In a professional and management setting, positions such as mine often involve long term and strategic planning, and doing ones best to facilitate such a change comes with the territory, or at least it should. For people not in such positions it may seem strange, as it obviously does to you. All I can say to that is that when the times comes you can jump ship in any fashion you choose to, and I won't suggest to you that in no way should you give any more than the minimum 2 weeks notice...
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Old 05-09-2014, 08:52 AM   #18
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Thanks Ronstar. The part-time was a win-win, good for my situation and it also allowed some colleagues the opportunity to step up and learn some of my responsibilities. Now I am ready to ER, though at 57 not super early as many on here, but it is feeling good to me!
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Old 05-21-2014, 02:08 PM   #19
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Well, time for an update perhaps? I don't want to count my chickens before they hatch, but after some discussion it looks as though my #1 candidate is going to sign on! Both I and the owners feel very good about this person and though it will likely happen a lot faster than I originally thought it might, I am geeked for sure! I'm trying not to get too excited until the "fat lady sings", but that's difficult now that she's stepping up to the microphone! Looks like I'll be joining the class of 2014!
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