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Old 01-24-2011, 08:05 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by travelover View Post
Good post. From observing corporate culture and from my own retirement experience, I can say that most of us greatly overestimate how hard it is to replace ourselves. All those files and notebooks we carefully assemble throughout our careers usually end up on a shelf unread or in a dumpster. Electronic files go with the next computer replacement sequence. I've been the guy loading the dumpster on more than one occasion.
Also, the sooner you announce, the sooner others just start dealing with your anticipated replacement for their own long term convenience.....which can be a good thing or make your last days boring as hell.
I filed for retirement a year before the blessed date (the earliest possible). Most of my command "knew" my retirement date even earlier than that.

Before I left the assignment officer finally admitted that my billet would be "gapped" for what turned out to be six months. No problem-- I pruned the files and put together a flawless turnover memo. On the day I started terminal leave I turned it over to one of my bright young lieutenants, who eventually turned it over to another bright lieutenant, who finally turned it over to "my relief". Other than my memo, the corporate memory was pretty much wiped out.

Six months after the new guy took over the office (a year after my last day), I got a call that no one could find the combination to the classified material safe. (You military are familiar with this "drill", so to speak.) Of course I had turned that paperwork over and obtained the appropriate ass-covering receipts so I didn't have to worry that it was my problem. However I knew the maintenance guy (a good friend) hated having to call the locksmith, so I suggested to the new guy that he try my old combination. (I thoroughly enjoyed reading it to him over an unsecure phone line in flagrant violation of all classified-material procedures.) Sure enough the safe opened, because neither of the lieutenants had bothered to change the combo (as required).

While I had him on the phone I asked him if he had any (unclassified) questions about my turnover memo. It "turned" out that he had lost it. I e-mailed him my archived copy. I never heard from him again.

Despite the lack of access to the classified info, and despite a lack of supervision for six months, and despite my relief's total ignorance, somehow the department managed to lurch on down the path to train the students and pass their nuclear inspection.

So apparently a turnover plan wasn't very important after all as long as everyone else knew how to do their jobs. And apparently companies will figure it out without you...
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Old 01-24-2011, 09:33 AM   #22
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When I retired, I gave 7 weeks notice (to train my replacement), but had nothing at stake - had they walked me out that day, I would not even had to return to my desk.

With 10 years of 1/2 health insurance coverage at stake, I would not even consider telling them before my eligibility date.
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Old 01-24-2011, 10:36 AM   #23
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In 27 months, I will turn 55 on Wednesday, April 24, 2013. I plan to ER on Friday, April 26, 2013 to avoid any penalties for accessing my TIAA-CREF retirement funds before age 55.

1. If all goes well between now and then, I plan on informing my supervisor on February 1, 2013 of my intention to ER. Is it acceptable to announce my intention in the form of a written statement; as opposed to first 'asking' for permission to leave their employ on April 26?
February 1 is too early -- psychologically it's easier on you, but more difficult for your co-workers. 4 weeks or 6 weeks max is all that is needed, as you want time to transfer your knowledge.

As a courtesy you should create a short memo to your boss indicating your retirement date, and extending best wishes to the company for its continued success.

There will be activities you will be involved in as you separate from the company. Certainly that can all be done in a 2 week period, but it a little longer period allows you time to walk out gracefully calm.

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2. The only benefit I'll get from my current employer (and it's not insignificant) is that they'll pay for half my health insurance until age 65. It's also important to TIAA that I do not 'separate from service' until age 55. So...Am I a fool, or is it ill-advised, to announce my intention prior to me actually reaching the age of 55?
Announcing prior to age 55 is only a risk if you feel you will put yourself in a position to be immediately terminated. If that is the case, give two weeks notice on your 55th birthday.

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Old 01-24-2011, 01:00 PM   #24
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I filed for retirement a year before the blessed date (the earliest possible). Most of my command "knew" my retirement date even earlier than that.

Six months after the new guy took over the office (a year after my last day), I got a call that no one could find the combination to the classified material safe. (You military are familiar with this "drill", so to speak.) Of course I had turned that paperwork over and obtained the appropriate ass-covering receipts so I didn't have to worry that it was my problem. However I knew the maintenance guy (a good friend) hated having to call the locksmith, so I suggested to the new guy that he try my old combination. (I thoroughly enjoyed reading it to him over an unsecure phone line in flagrant violation of all classified-material procedures.) Sure enough the safe opened, because neither of the lieutenants had bothered to change the combo (as required).
I am not surprised - actually when I left my corporate employer a few years ago, there was lamenting that I would be hard to replace...I kept telling them everyone is replaceable, some more easily than others....I got a few emails afterward asking for help, but they kept wanting me to do work for them free.....uhhh, no. Even now, 2-3 years later, I get emails every now and then. I first tell them we need to discuss the business aspects. It stops the conversation quickly....
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Old 01-24-2011, 02:29 PM   #25
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Until you turn 55, mum's the word.
And make SURE you get everything (benefits after retiring) in writing from HR.

After that, YOU can decide when your last day will be.

Good luck!
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Old 01-24-2011, 02:42 PM   #26
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I agree that in your shoes, I would give my notice on my 55th birthday, then go around grinning like a maniac for the next couple of weeks.
+1
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Old 01-24-2011, 05:54 PM   #27
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If remaining on payroll through age 55 is critical in terms of your benefits and you have concerns that your employer might discharge you early if they learn of your plans, then I would suggest that you keep your cards close to the vest until you turn 55, then provide notice and plan to work for a couple weeks more. A couple weeks or even a month is not much to ask to leave on good terms after a long career.

Alternatively, you could provide notice in early April 2013 and let them know that you intend to leave efffective April 26, 2013.

Depending on how much you trust those who you work with you could always "informally" let them know about your plans so that they can begin planning for your absence.

If there is any question in your mind that they might not do the right thing, as always, look out for number one.
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Old 01-24-2011, 06:42 PM   #28
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We've had several ERs who've announced their plans far in advance, primarily for the purposes of identifying & training their reliefs. In almost every case corporate couldn't figure out how to do either task until well after the ER had left the building. In some cases they were calling them up months later begging them to return on a consulting basis to do the turnover they'd offered to do while they were still employed.
This is exactly what is happening to me. Gave essentially 8 months' notice. I have just over 2 months to go, and they are no more ready for me to leave than they were 6 months ago. Well, I gave them the chance.

I agree with other posters; if you think something could happen and the 55 mark is a non-negotiable, I say your 55th birthday gift to them should be your 2 weeks' notice. Good luck with that!!
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