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Old 08-22-2015, 03:40 PM   #21
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When my Megacorp overreacted in 2008 and retired everyone over 55 years old, we were all eligible to receive unemployment benefits for almost two years. Although I had to report in every week that I was looking for a job, the money was sure nice.

It would sure be nice if you took the severance package if you're eligible for unemployment. In Georgia, it's not bad money.
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Old 08-22-2015, 03:54 PM   #22
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As everyone suggested try negotiating for both having your termination date Jan 2016. Maybe have them pay you until Jan and then take the balance. Although it sounds like it isn't as pressing an issue as it once

The health plan is nice to have but may not be as big a deal as you think. A quick google shows me that you can get a silver ACA plan in Georgia for $450, assuming your retiree health plan is at least that good. So a $300/month health plan is worth maybe an additional $200-250. But it sounds like you are in a good position to manage your taxable income. If you can keep around $30K a year you can get an ACA subsidy to keep your health care cost down to $200. So in some circumstance the health benefit is actually not worth anything.

It sounded like emotionally you were ready to leave 2 years ago, and nothing says my company appreciates me more than having your job eliminated

The 40 weeks severance is worth ~100K which far exceeds the value of anything else. So this is a no brainer take the severance, which it sounds like you are planning on doing.

Congratulations on your retirement, you planned it well
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Old 08-22-2015, 06:07 PM   #23
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Thanks! You have given me a lot to think about. I will see what they come back with and negotiate from there.
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Old 08-22-2015, 06:24 PM   #24
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I also want to say I love you guys. You have given me options that I would have never thought on my own or even from the family and friends that I have talked to. I hope you give even more!
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Old 08-22-2015, 06:50 PM   #25
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Retiree medical might be more important if they repeal the ACA, something to consider.
Also if you become unemployed any health premiums you pay can be withdrawn from IRAs without the 10% penalty.
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Old 08-25-2015, 06:06 PM   #26
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I think there is a trick to get access to the 401K money and still get the severance package. This is to get a new job and keep it until turning 55 in January. While employed in the new job, transfer the old 401K into the new job's 401K. Then quit the new job and the requirements for quitting the job after 55 in order to access the 401k money tax free have been met.

Of course, who wants to go find another job for 6 months?
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Old 08-25-2015, 07:48 PM   #27
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I am just over 5 months from my 55th birthday when I will be able to get retiree medical benefits. I have asked them to check if I will still get that benefit. I hope so as my health insurace would be less than 300 per month on that plan.

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Are you sure about the $300? Most often, once you leave, you will pay your employee share and the employer share....
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Old 08-26-2015, 10:59 AM   #28
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Yes, I have confirmed that is what I will pay. I have it in writing from HR. However I have learned I can't take the package and get this benefit as I won't be 55 for 5 months. I can take the lower grade job and then wait until after my birthday and get the subsidized retiree medical (have that in writing, too.) The VP in my function has talked to me twice and says that he wants me to stay and hopefully beyond my 55th birthday. I made no commitment on that! I did tell if they had waited just a few month that would have been better for me. He says the "couldn't wait that long". Yeah, right! Have to give them an answer end of the week.
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Old 08-26-2015, 12:47 PM   #29
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So if I'm following the thread correctly it comes down to a choice between 1) taking the 40 weeks of severance and forgoing the retiree medical benefits and access to the 401k until you are 59 1/2 (but you don't really need access to the 401k and you could probably do some sort of SEPP if necessary) and 2) working at the same pay for another 5 months to get the retiree medical benefit and access to the 401k but giving up 40 weeks of severance.

How much would a comparable ACA plan cost? You can look it up at healthsherpa.com. Also, keep in mind that the employer can change the retiree medical benefit at any time and many employers have. I think I would lean towards the severance.

If you are as well, can you tell them that you are leaning towards the severance but if your services for an additional 5 months would be useful to them in this transition then you would be willing to negotiate something where you stay until the end of January and then get 20 weeks of severance.... it might be a win-win.
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Old 08-29-2015, 11:20 AM   #30
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Good Morning! I have made the decision to take the new position and not take the severance package. I would have had to work 2 more months to take the package, so working an additional 3 plus months until my birthday does not seem like too much of a hardship.

Thanks for all of your input on all of my options. I think this helped me to become comfortable with my decision
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Old 08-29-2015, 04:03 PM   #31
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Congratulations, Sasset, on making your decision. Now you can start that countdown calendar!
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Old 08-29-2015, 08:51 PM   #32
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Sasset, congratulations on a good decision and pending retirement. It will come quick and you'll never have regrets of forgone benefits.


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Old 08-30-2015, 03:26 PM   #33
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Hi Sassett,

First sorry about the job elimination. I'm somewhat conservative so I would recommend staying on until you are 55. You are lucky that your employer has given you this option.

The difference between 40 weeks of severance for leaving now, and the ~20 weeks or so for staying on and getting HC and penalty-free withdrawals wouldn't be enough for me to leave now. You say that you have found a way to fund expenses from now until 59 1/2, but what if s*&t hits the fan?

You also say "Of course one can deal with anything for 5 to 6 months" That tells me you should stay. If the new situation were intolerable, then that would be different.
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Old 08-30-2015, 07:08 PM   #34
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Hi Sassett,

First sorry about the job elimination. I'm somewhat conservative so I would recommend staying on until you are 55. You are lucky that your employer has given you this option.

The difference between 40 weeks of severance for leaving now, and the ~20 weeks or so for staying on and getting HC and penalty-free withdrawals wouldn't be enough for me to leave now. You say that you have found a way to fund expenses from now until 59 1/2, but what if s*&t hits the fan?

You also say "Of course one can deal with anything for 5 to 6 months" That tells me you should stay. If the new situation were intolerable, then that would be different.
Oops Guess I didn't finish the thread prior to posting. Congrats on your decision!
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