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Old 11-30-2008, 12:53 PM   #21
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Take the offer. Negotiate if you will, but take the offer in the end.
My wife's company dissolved their local office and offered a termination bonus or transfer to a different company department, located much farther away. We took the money and ran. Within 6 months the other department was decimated with layoff, without any "golden boot". The additional money boosted her SS earnings and maxed out her unemployment. With several unemployment extensions and marginal part time jobs to earn enough to re-qualify for the unemployment extensions, she kept income coming in for about 2 years.

Many years ago NG was laying off and offered a close friend a termination package of money and a retirement years credited bridge. He took it. Later, after the company down turn became really apparent, the upper management got "golden parachutes" and everyone else got a "brass boot".

Take the money and run. Sort things out later.
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Old 11-30-2008, 01:52 PM   #22
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another thought - if your mother takes the $$, can she ask that the severance is paid to her in 2009 - another year's earnings, as far as SS.

ta,
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Old 11-30-2008, 03:13 PM   #23
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Zweipak - I think that you are getting good advice above!

Your posts have described your mother's situation as if there is no husband involved; there are situations where she could collect SS based on an ex-spouse's SS record provided that they were married more than 10 years. Perhaps she is a widow... at 60 she could collect a spousal survivor benefit and still work.

www.socialsecurity.gov covers the info

The following from SS

Quote:
How divorce affects your future retirement benefits

If you are divorced after at least 10 years of marriage, you can collect retirement benefits on your former spouse's Social Security record if you are at least age 62 and if your former spouse is entitled to or receiving benefits. If you remarry, you generally cannot collect benefits on your former spouse's record unless your later marriage ends (whether by death, divorce, or annulment).

If your divorced spouse dies, you can receive benefits as a widow/widower if the marriage lasted 10 years or more. Benefits paid to a surviving divorced spouse who is 60 or older will not affect the benefit rates for other survivors receiving benefits.

In general, you cannot receive survivors benefits if you remarry before the age of 60 unless the latter marriage ends, whether by death, divorce, or annulment.
If you remarry after age 60 (50 if disabled), you can still collect benefits on your former spouse’s record. When you reach age 62 or older, you may get retirement benefit on the record of your new spouse if they are higher. Your remarriage would have no effect on the benefits being paid to your children.
Hope this is helpful.

JohnP
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Old 11-30-2008, 05:19 PM   #24
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Since you said she lives in Tampa Bay area she could probably sell the house and find an apartment for a lot less than $1200 a month .
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Old 11-30-2008, 05:33 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by JohnP View Post
Zweipak - I think that you are getting good advice above!

Your posts have described your mother's situation as if there is no husband involved; there are situations where she could collect SS based on an ex-spouse's SS record provided that they were married more than 10 years. Perhaps she is a widow... at 60 she could collect a spousal survivor benefit and still work.

www.socialsecurity.gov covers the info

The following from SS



Hope this is helpful.

JohnP
I wish... I know this sounds like a made-for-tv-Lifetime-channel movie, but her boyfriend (whom I consider my stepfather), died suddenly months before being married in 2000. ...and no, they didn't live in a State where "commonlaw" rules applied.
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Old 11-30-2008, 05:43 PM   #26
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Since you said she lives in Tampa Bay area she could probably sell the house and find an apartment for a lot less than $1200 a month .
Well, it might just come to that, but we'll exhaust all other options first. Her home has, essentially, been the family home for years. A lot has been put into it by various family members, I painted most of the rooms, neighborhood friends installed tiles, fixed easy plumbing issues, etc. It truly is an attachment...

Push comes to shove, I'm thinking using her 401 and equity to buy a 2 bedroom condo in a 55+ community, resulting in a tiny mortgage. However, given current market conditions, selling a home is going to take a lot of time. Beautiful time to have retirement forced upon someone...
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Old 11-30-2008, 05:45 PM   #27
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another thought - if your mother takes the $$, can she ask that the severance is paid to her in 2009 - another year's earnings, as far as SS.

ta,
mews
Great idea, but I don't know if it will apply, as she'll need to draw off of SS as well to get by.
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Old 11-30-2008, 07:14 PM   #28
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Exactly. The laws, in my opinion, are hollow. Too easy to get around. Aside from that, the CEO has openly stated, after stating 3rd quarter results, there will be layoffs. Which makes any age discrimination case even harder to prove I would imagine.

They are also trying to gauge whether or not she's going to take the offer. She recently got called into her supervisor's office to see if she received the plan, and what she thought of it... The sad part is, from what I gathered from the conversation, her supervisor, in not soo many words (and this is the part no one can prove outside of an actual legal recording), told her if she didn't take it, there could be layoffs in the future, whereas the option would be lost. Now I know that's really skirting a legal line, I know she needs to have a REAL option... ...but like you mentioned, too easy to get around.
what i'm hearing is that they may be trying to...believe it or not...do well by her by offering her an early out before KNOWN layoffs occur. Or it's just a CYA exercise due to her age and gender. it's kinda hard to tell from here.
my vote is take the offer and move forward.
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Old 12-01-2008, 12:24 AM   #29
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Great idea, but I don't know if it will apply, as she'll need to draw off of SS as well to get by.
She is lucky to have you looking out for her.I also think she should consider the offer and on a positive note, at least she has a little time to think it over whereby some get pink slips without much notice as I did a few years ago after working for 20 plus years.It is indeed a scary time but as I said before, having a person such as yourself helping her, she will be okay.
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Old 12-01-2008, 12:51 PM   #30
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There are two things have popped in my mind. How easy would it be for her to get another job in her area? If she took the package, could she receive unemployment benefits?
This was my initial thought- take the early package, then work somewhere else.

You did not indicate what the ER offer from employer was? This would factor into the decision.

I would list annual expenses for your mother
then indicate how much of this SS will replace.

The consider the delta as the problem to solve with ER package+working another job. Maybe she works another 10 years (delaying SS until age 70) and collects a higher benefit.
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Old 12-01-2008, 12:59 PM   #31
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After reading the whole thread now, I think there are many details to consider.

Collecting spouse's SS benefit until her own benefit is higher should be considered.
Collecting her SS benefit now and delaying collecting spouse's benefit should be considered.
The size of the ER package should be factored into the whole decision- is she getting 1 weeks pay per month worked (or something similar) as severance? Is she getting a decreased pension? Is she getting some other ER benefit? I have seen companies do combinations of these- give a 3-12 month severance pay, plus a decreased pension benefit to get salary off the books.

SS will be taxed if your income plus half your SS benefit exceed a given dollar amount. Make sure you factor this into the equation (SS is normally tax free). Up to 85% of SS could be taxed if your mother's other income was too high.
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Old 12-01-2008, 08:34 PM   #32
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Let us know what was in the package, I just went through this myself,been ERed since Oct31. They gave us a years severence pay,well actually 2 weeks per year of service, I have been there 31 plus years so I have a years pay. Full pension none COLA but they payed it up so that there was no reduction due to ER. Also I and wife can stay in medical plan until 65,but of course have to pay monthly premium
like everyone else that works there. Lost dental and life insurance.
There are many laws governing these types of packages so I am sure it is all on the
up and up, but my thinking was layoffs could be around the corner since we were
aquired by an investiment company, and I dont trust them to not have future layoffs
especially since the economy has gone south. I can also get unemployment but the pension is subtracted so I dont get much, on a weekly basis.
Old Mike
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