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Hello from Vestal, NY -- 55 and 'retired' ..!
Old 02-10-2008, 09:44 AM   #1
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Hello from Vestal, NY -- 55 and 'retired' ..!

Hello all,
I am a 55 year old former IBM employee. Last December, after 26 years of service, I was told that my services were no longer needed and was given the boot. The good news is that I qualified for IBM's 'traditional' retirement (monthly check) by 17 days. The traditional retirement has been abolished for new employees, but there are a dwindling number of us 'old-timers' as it were, that could qualify with the right combination of age and years of service.

Strangely, rather than being upset, I am happy to be gone. I was working 6-day weeks, and forgoing vacation, just to keep up. Now I feel liberated, but somewhat adrift.

Anyone have a similar experience, or any advice on moving forward?
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Old 02-10-2008, 10:11 AM   #2
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Welcome to the board. If you have an old-time pension sufficient to meet your expenses, you are the envy of all of us.

As you browse some of the threads on the various forums here, you'll find lots of company of folks who were downsized, outsized, right-sized, etc. Enjoy the collective wisdom and we look forward to your participation.

If you don't mind sharing, what kind of retirement package did IBM offer to you (don't need the numbers, necessarily)? Severance? Health? Pension?
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As if you didn't know..If the above message contains medical content, it's NOT intended as advice, and may not be accurate, applicable or sufficient. Don't rely on it for any purpose. Consult your own doctor for all medical advice.
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Old 02-10-2008, 10:16 AM   #3
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I'm not retired yet (just wanttobe) so won't have much advice about moving forward. How fortunate that you qualified (by 17 days) for your pension, rather than missed by 17 days. Now you get to decompress - enjoy all the days doing what you want, not what they want. Welcome and so glad this worked out for you as well as it did.
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Old 02-10-2008, 10:54 AM   #4
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Welcome Vestal. I retired under duress, too, but I feel like I fell out of an airplane and landed on a haystack - with a pension and health care.

So, relax and enjoy it. You know you earned it.
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Old 02-10-2008, 02:46 PM   #5
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Anyone have a similar experience, or any advice on moving forward?
Sort of. I retired after 29 years in law enforcement, under a plan they stopped offering in 1978 when the accountants looked at it and fainted. I'd heard that police work is stressful, but even I didn't realize how much until a couple of years after retirement. If I was 22 I'd do it again, but it is a relief to be free of an environment where screwing up means somebody dies. I planned carefully to be in a position where neither I nor wife would ever have to work again if we didn't want to, but I didn't plan on what to do with me. Big mistake.

My experience so far:

For me, as with many others, the first year was like being on vacation. Enjoy that part. Then it starts to sink in - what to do next? I like fishing, but not all day, every day. Same with radio control airplanes. Helped a friend build a full-size airplane for about two years, 2-3 days a week. Took a few trips but we're not into travel. Finally I gave up and started looking for jobs that might be different.

I was a car salesman for a month, that was a unique experience - the first time in my life I've been fired from a job. I have many talents but sales is not one of them.

So, next week I finish the final phase of training/testing for job with a contractor to Homeland Security. Plan is to work 2-4 years full time for some toys like a full-size airplane (had one when I was 25 - lots of fun but expensive) then kick back to part time to support it. But I have my KMA* hat firmly in place if the environment proves unpleasant.

*Kiss My A**
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Old 02-11-2008, 04:46 AM   #6
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RK, I got to know several old-timer IBMer's in Fishkill and Yorktown over the years and more than a few that got pushed out or left due to low moral (this was all on the semiconductor side of things). Doesn't surprise me at all that you are happy to be gone. In fact I can't think of anyone I still know at the behemoth semiconductor companies who is content right now. Maybe different on the software-service side?
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Old 02-13-2008, 09:44 PM   #7
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Hi RK
I'm brand new to the board. In fact this is my 2nd post.

I know Vestal well, since I spent my senior year of college at SUNY Binghamton. Actually used data punch cards (oh the cobwebs...) on an old IBM 360 that was donated to the college.

Very nice area. And I DO miss the spiedies. I live in upstate NY, just 2 1/2 hours drive northeast of you.

Congrats on your escape...oops i mean retirement. But are they not the same sometimes? LOL

Freebird
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Old 02-13-2008, 09:55 PM   #8
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And I DO miss the spiedies.
Dang its been a year or two since I made those...

1lb lamb cubed (pork, beef and chicken are sometimes substituted and a mix is pretty decent...just marinate and skewer separately if you mix so you dont overcook the chicken while waiting for the beef to be done)
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. red pepper
1 tbsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. caraway seeds
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp. oil
1/4 c. vinegar
1/4 c. water

Marinate for up to 5 days although a day is satisfactory. Skewer and grill until done medium-rare. Grab off the skewer with big slices of italian bread and devour.

I tend to like the lamb because it keeps some character, while the chicken and pork tend to disappear in the marinade. This is the time for big flavor meats like pork and lamb shoulder, chicken thigh or beef chuck. If you go with the tougher and more flavorful cuts, make the cubes about 3/4". If using more tender cuts, go to 1.5" and marinate just overnight.
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Old 02-13-2008, 10:09 PM   #9
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ah, you are an an angel bunny. you posted THE spiedie recipe. i buy a commerical brand here locally, but it was never the same as good ol' Binghamton NY spiedies.

i am copying it down, and as soon as the temps come up a little, the grill is getting fired up.

bless you! LOL

Freebird
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Old 02-14-2008, 02:28 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by rknight View Post
Hello all,
I am a 55 year old former IBM employee. Last December, after 26 years of service, I was told that my services were no longer needed and was given the boot. The good news is that I qualified for IBM's 'traditional' retirement (monthly check) by 17 days. The traditional retirement has been abolished for new employees, but there are a dwindling number of us 'old-timers' as it were, that could qualify with the right combination of age and years of service.

Strangely, rather than being upset, I am happy to be gone. I was working 6-day weeks, and forgoing vacation, just to keep up. Now I feel liberated, but somewhat adrift.

Anyone have a similar experience, or any advice on moving forward?
Yes, my experience is very similar. Just insert "HP" where you had "IBM" and it's practically identical. I'm 55 and worked for HP for 26 years. My department's function was offshored to India. We were notified and two weeks later our work transitioned to the India team. That was mid-October, but my official termination date was in December. So, it's been a few months now since I've actually done any work.

Like you, I also qualified for a lot of benefits that were only still available to old timers. So, that was fortunate.

Once I got over the initial shock, I wasn't upset, but rather gleeful. I had worked crazy long hours with zero vacation and a lot of stress, so it was really nice to finally get some rest. It took a little while for it to sink in and to internalize that I was really retiring.

Now that it's been a few months, I'm happy to have gotten away from the corporation sucking the life out of me, but I do feel odd and a bit off. Don't know why exactly. At first I got busy organizing and decluttering my house. Then I went on a cooking and baking spree. These are things that I never had time for, but had wanted to do for ages. After that initial flurry of activity, I hit sort of a plateau. I'm not sure what the next phase will be. I'm trying to figure that out now.

I think it just takes time to get used to a new lifestyle. Having spent so many years in an intense, high-stress environment, it's strange to have so little that I have to do. I've gone from round the clock emailing and meetings as early as 4:00 am and as late as midnight, chasing deadlines, and an impossible workload to "gee, what shall I do today?". It's a sharp contrast.

Nonetheless, every day I am thankful to finally be released from that stressful job. I'm very happy to have been laid off. I would have preferred picking my time to retire, but I realize I would have hung in there too long, so this was all for the best.

So, I can relate to your liberated, but adrift feeling. It may be because we didn't have time to prepare for retirement like you normally would when you pick the date and then do a count down like so many people on this forum. Instead, you are suddenly retired and trying to adjust to an extremely different daily life. Nice on one hand and hard to get used to on the other. I guess it will just take time. I wish I had some advice, but I'm still trying to figure it out myself. : )
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Old 02-14-2008, 02:48 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rknight View Post
Hello all,
I am a 55 year old former IBM employee. Last December, after 26 years of service, I was told that my services were no longer needed and was given the boot. The good news is that I qualified for IBM's 'traditional' retirement (monthly check) by 17 days. The traditional retirement has been abolished for new employees, but there are a dwindling number of us 'old-timers' as it were, that could qualify with the right combination of age and years of service.

Strangely, rather than being upset, I am happy to be gone. I was working 6-day weeks, and forgoing vacation, just to keep up. Now I feel liberated, but somewhat adrift.

Anyone have a similar experience, or any advice on moving forward?
Yes, my experience is very similar. Just insert "HP" where you had "IBM" and it's practically identical. I'm 55 and worked for HP for 26 years. My department's function was offshored to India. We were notified and two weeks later our work transitioned to the India team. That was mid-October, but my official termination date was in December. So, it's been a few months now since I've actually done any work.

Like you, I also qualified for a lot of benefits that were only still available to old timers. So, that was fortunate.

Once I got over the initial shock, I wasn't upset, but rather gleeful. I had worked crazy long hours with zero vacation and a lot of stress, so it was really nice to finally get some rest. It took a little while for it to sink in and for me to internalize that I was really retiring.

Now that it's been a few months, I'm happy to have gotten away from the corporation sucking the life out of me, but I do feel odd and a bit off. Don't know why exactly. At first I got busy organizing and decluttering my house. Then I went on a cooking and baking spree. These are things that I never had time for, but had wanted to do for ages. After that initial flurry of activity, I hit sort of a plateau. I'm not sure what the next phase will be. I'm trying to figure that out now.

I think it just takes time to get used to a new lifestyle. Having spent so many years in an intense, high-stress environment, it's strange to have so little that I have to do. I've gone from round the clock emailing and meetings as early as 4:00 am and as late as midnight, chasing deadlines, and an impossible workload to "gee, what shall I do today?". It's a sharp contrast.

Nonetheless, every day I am thankful to finally be released from that stressful job. I'm very happy to have been laid off. I would have preferred picking my time to retire, but I realize I would have hung in there too long, so this was all for the best.

So, I can relate to your libererated, but adrift feeling. It may be because we didn't have time to prepare for retirement like you normally would when you pick the date and then do a count down like so many people on this forum. Instead, you are suddenly retired and trying to adjust to an extremely different daily life. Nice on one hand and hard to get used to on the other. I guess it will just take time.
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Old 02-14-2008, 06:31 AM   #12
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re So, I can relate to your libererated, but adrift feeling. It may be because we didn't have time to prepare for retirement like you normally would when you pick the date and then do a count down like so many people on this forum. Instead, you are suddenly retired and trying to adjust to an extremely different daily life. Nice on one hand and hard to get used to on the other. I guess it will just take time.

I am very happy for both of you. i also exited an intense stressed out work environment (engineer) almost a year ago. the first few months were typical - hit the library, read tons of books, did house stuff that was neglected for years, etc etc. but i always felt like i was supposed to be somewhere, doing something, and not getting any credit for it.

it took a while for that feeling to go away.

there's a great book by Ernie Zelinski, "How to retire happy wild and free". it is madcap and inspirational and has nothing to do with money. I recommend it to all who just retired. it's not a warm fuzzy find yourself book. i re-read it every 6 months just for the jokes and neat stories about other FIRE folks.

my current happy activities - volunteering. i drive disabled veterans home after medical appts, i am helping start up a family resource group, i'm helping the local volunteer fire dept with their records mgmt. i'm not in charge of anything, just good mindless feel-good stuff. and everyone LOVES a volunteer. win win.

Freebird
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