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Re: Hi, new here, maybe in the right place though!
Old 03-19-2006, 01:07 PM   #21
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Re: Hi, new here, maybe in the right place though!

Quote:
Originally Posted by clf0309
5. In terms of finances, despite FIRE, I am still concerned I might be missing something. Here's a breakdown of where we are at:

450K* *401K/Pension vested
300K* *Company stock from recent swap (1yr before trade for tax reasons)
50K* * *Net value of stock options not yet exercised (likey to use Mom's estate proceeds to turn this before final resignation).

I think we could be comfortable between 40-50K with any part time work as 'icing on the cake'.* Missing anything here in my thinking?
A couple comments:
- I don't know the tax reason on holding such a high percentage of company stock, but if the company is cutting back on options and if your boss is a small sample of the executive talent, then no tax reason in the world is worth holding on to this millstone. You may save a few percent on taxes by holding longer but that won't be much comfort if your company stock goes Enron on you.
- At the risk of preaching to the choir, remember that if you exercise options, hold onto the stock, and the stock goes in the toilet, you will still owe the taxes on the exercise of the options. In other words you might be left holding a bunch of worthless shares and owing four or even five figures of taxes on them. Don't hold the stock a moment longer than you have to.
- I don't know if NUA applies to your company stock or to the stock options you're exercising tomorrow, but I do know that you need to consult a CPA right away about the tax implications of diversifying that company stock into just about anything else.

Other posters on this board, much more knowledgeable about options than I ever will be, can weigh in on this in the next couple days.

You have two challenges here-- short-term & long-term. You're dealing well now with the short-term, and figuring out finances & part-time income is part of the long term. It looks like you have enough cash on hand to wait a year or so before deciding the next step. I'm not necessarily advocating that, but you shouldn't feel like you're going stale on the shelf if you take six months off.
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Re: Hi, new here, maybe in the right place though!
Old 03-19-2006, 01:19 PM   #22
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Re: Hi, new here, maybe in the right place though!

The option issues can be very tricky.* As many in tech can attest, you still owe taxes on the stock even if the stock tanks.* *Consult a CPA knowledgable in this area (not all are).* Consider also that a lot of your employer's stock could be in your 401(k) -* that too has tax implications.* If you want some free ideas of the issues in that area consider posting questions on the Google misc.taxes.moderated board.* Free advise is worth what you pay for it, but it will enable you to use your time efficiently when you see a CPA.

I need to add: don't put your HR Director in a jam by sharing information that you don't want management to know.* It's a cruel world out there, they will skin that Director alive if they learn s/he doesn't give management a heads-up.
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Re: Hi, new here, maybe in the right place though!
Old 03-19-2006, 05:21 PM   #23
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Re: Hi, new here, maybe in the right place though!

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Re: Hi, new here, maybe in the right place though!
Old 03-19-2006, 05:38 PM   #24
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Re: Hi, new here, maybe in the right place though!

Well, if you did - it is my understanding that if you withdrew it from your retirement account (taxable event) you would get favorable tax treatment. Maybe an urban (tax accounting) legend, but worthy of verification.

Bottom line, if you leave, before you move your 401(k) paw through it's contents and explore your options.
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Re: Hi, new here, maybe in the right place though!
Old 03-19-2006, 05:54 PM   #25
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Re: Hi, new here, maybe in the right place though!

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Re: Hi, new here, maybe in the right place though!
Old 03-19-2006, 06:17 PM   #26
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Re: Hi, new here, maybe in the right place though!

In some ways what you describe could be a benefit. Money without the responsibility. You write a nice letter thanking him for his understanding of your situation and his offer to let you work as you are available during your difficult situation that you had requested FMLA. That puts it back in his court and makes a good case if they later terminate you for poor performance. They asked you to work when you could. You just couldn't.
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Re: Hi, new here, maybe in the right place though!
Old 03-19-2006, 06:19 PM   #27
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Re: Hi, new here, maybe in the right place though!
Old 03-19-2006, 06:41 PM   #28
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Re: Hi, new here, maybe in the right place though!
Old 03-19-2006, 08:39 PM   #29
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Re: Hi, new here, maybe in the right place though!

Clf, I don't have any expertise on corporate life or politics. I think the many here who do ahve given you a lot of good information. (Which you have clearly recognized.)

Your life sounds pretty rough, but almost all of it sems to be coming from your messed up employer. Your family (despite your Mom's unavoidable decline) is really strong, and you all will be able to help one another.

One thing I would consider is giving the cars to your sons, and getting that expense and exposure off your books. You have a health emergency and your husband is not healthy. Your sons can afford to pick up some of the burden, IMO.

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Re: Hi, new here, maybe in the right place though!
Old 03-20-2006, 03:57 AM   #30
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Re: Hi, new here, maybe in the right place though!

Once you become FIRE there aren't any blemishes -- at least on your work history because it's over.* I understand your wanting everything to be clean but it seldom is.* On the plus side, employers do not do anything anymore except verify termination date, last title and final salary.* Anyway, if you look for something in the future, it will probably be short term contract work.

You also need to understand that if you trigger FMLA your days as a bonus baby manager are over. They will find a way to slid you out of the way to make room for someone more committed. They won't phrase it that was but it will happen.

Bottom line -- most companies I've worked for are pretty antiseptic and rigid under their "family friendly" policies.* The managers politic amongst themselves for their own gain. Others (including trusted subordinates) are simply chess pieces to sacrifice while they win the game. When they're done with you or anyone else, they won't even kiss you. That's why FIRE is so appealing to the people on this forum.

Your mother is responding to the fear and lonliness of her situation.* Calling her daughters is a way to get prove she's not alone.* Being on call all of the time is worse than a full time job as far as stress is concerned.* I understand you wanting to be there for her.* Logically, your mother would be as well off or better with the professional health care people taking care of her needs.* I can tell you want to be a martyr.
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Re: Hi, new here, maybe in the right place though!
Old 03-20-2006, 07:15 AM   #31
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Re: Hi, new here, maybe in the right place though!

'Gotta love a bunch of people who rally around someone in need. As they say in OZ: Good on ya everyone!

I don't have the exact numbers to quote, but the death rate amongst adult-child caregivers is through the roof. Perhaps you might want to temper your need to care for Mom with a look over your shoulder at those other folks in your life who need you to stick around.

If you have access to Hospice, they are great!

Best Wishes!

MG
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Re: Hi, new here, maybe in the right place though!
Old 03-20-2006, 07:37 AM   #32
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Re: Hi, new here, maybe in the right place though!

One other thought to the many good comments on this thread. I agree with many of the posters who said that you should talk to a lawyer about your leave options under state and federal law. You also might be able to take intermittent leave to take care of your own health. Intermittent leave may give you a way to cut down on all the hours and all the traveling.
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Re: Hi, new here, maybe in the right place though!
Old 03-20-2006, 07:55 AM   #33
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Re: Hi, new here, maybe in the right place though!

clf,

You have received a ton of good advice here and there is not much new I can add other than to reiterate a couple of things already touched on in this thread.

1. *Your employer and especially your manager will keep expecting more and more from you until you push back and say No. *"Free" labor from overly dedicated career-oriented ladder climbers are the grease that oils the corporate gears. *Management by guilt and brow beating is indicative of a very poorly managed company. *

2. *Leaving a toxic job before it kills you or affects your relationships with family members would be a positive step in taking back your life. *You have allowed your company to create a prison cell for you that goes with you everywhere; even when you are "on your own time." *You truly have no such thing. *Being on-call even when on vacation is not a vacation...it is slavery and unless you get your mind away from it for a while it will eat you away inside.

3. *HR is not your friend. *They are required to report everything that could affect the company back to management. *They are just doing their job. *Never assume anything spoken to a fellow employee is ever truly in confidence. *

4. *Taking time off to be with your dying mother is a once in a lifetime experience and you will not regret the time spent with her in her final days; it is time that cannot be repeated and will be lost forever. *No job is worth missing this experience. *Once people die there are so many things we with we could have done more of or had done better or had done differently. *Regrets will haunt you the rest of your life. *

5. *Your stock swap is most likely held outside of your company's ability to change it. *Once you have done the swap it is yours; you just have to deal with the tax implications when you sell the shares. *

6. *Stock option exercises can generate a ton of AMT tax if they were ISO shares (which appears to be the case). *If you sell them short you will not have any AMT taxes from these and while the short term tax will be at your regular income tax level, it beats getting screwed if your company stock drops before you can sell your shares after a year. *Been there, done that, and have the scars to prove it. *

7. *Your current salary is great but you are also paying a huge price for it. *How much is the extra money really worth to you? *What is it costing you? *Would you be happier in another job but making less money? *Why are you willing to give up most of your life to a company that clearly is toxic to you and other employees? *

8. *What would you really like to do? *What would it take to do it? *How can you prepare your journey to get there? *I think you already stated this part so the rest is up to you.

9. *If you believe you really want to leave this job don't worry about the Family Leave. *Your current employer may hold it against you as Soon2B stated but why would you really care? *Use it as a means to an end while spending time with your mother. *As Martha said too, get a lawyer on your side before anything else happens. At least they can give you the truth about what you can and can't do relative to Family Leave.

10. *If you are serious about leaving then use this as your way out. *Even if your manager takes you back after the leave with open arms, he will most likely have a knife in his hand ready to stick it in your back. *Don't let them brain wash you into thinking you are nothing without this company. *It is not true. *There are many other jobs out there that you could do even if you need to change careers. *Take charge of your life...it is the only one you will get.

Good luck and I hope your mother's passing is as painless as possible. *
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Re: Hi, new here, maybe in the right place though!
Old 03-20-2006, 09:12 AM   #34
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Re: Hi, new here, maybe in the right place though!

I took time to be with my Father durng his last months and have never regretted it. In addition I think taking some time and waking up in the morning and knowing you do not have to go to work will be a wonderous experience.

Bruce
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Re: Hi, new here, maybe in the right place though!
Old 03-23-2006, 07:43 PM   #35
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Re: Hi, new here, maybe in the right place though!

Quote:
Originally Posted by clf0309
450K 401K/Pension vested
300K Company stock from recent swap (1yr before trade for tax reasons)
50K General savings to use for first year after resignation
50K Misc. savings, funds

Other assets:
275K House -
Own all 4 vehicles (A4, conversion van, family car, SUV)
50K Net value of stock options not yet exercised (likey to use Mom's estate proceeds to turn this before final resignation).

Husband now gets about 12K annually in SSDI.

While I make over $160K now, only 2 years ago that was closer to $90K. I think we could be comfortable between 40-50K with any part time work as 'icing on the cake'. Missing anything here in my thinking?
Ok, to simplify the math, lets take the 12K annual from 42k (a fairly low number in your range), and say that you now need 30K annually from your assets.

Spending assets you have:
401k/pension: $450k
300k company stock: $255 (assuming you sell it, pay the LTCG, 15% right?)
General savings & misc savings: 100k

That's around $800k you have to spend. You can usually assume that you can spend 4% of your funds per year, assuming a proper investment (which you'll have time to read about in retirement).

Total cash generated per year: $32,000 (yay, at least we hit the 30k.. though not with a lot of wiggle?)

Now, you're a bit tight on the medical costs here. Other areas of improvement:

Housing: Can you move? Your kids are gone, you can probably downsize. You said you were in a fairly small midwestern town (as I am also). For around $200k, you can get a nice 2 bedroom house, which would get you another 75k ($3000 per year added onto the budget)

Auto insurance: You would have to cut off the kids auto insurance, your budget is too tight. Plenty of kids in college manage to pay for their own auto insurance, so for your own health, I'd recommend that as well.

That extra $50k in stock options. It'd be awfully nice to have that exercised and in cash. Could you use that extra $100k you seem to have around to exercise it now?

I think your budget will work, especially if you cut out some expenses, invest properly (read a lot on this forum, and on some of the many retire early forums out there, we can always give you a list), and maybe do some low-stress part time work.

My guess is that you're over-stressed in the current job, but after a few months of relaxation, you could handle a low stress position.

So, my final wrap-up suggestion:

1. Take the family leave to be with your mom. It is just as good as quitting, except you have an "in", if you need to go back. Legally they have to take you back after the break.
2. Immediately cut expenses, look up health care costs, etc See how fast you can build up a little nest egg, you're making a pretty penny right now, which will look very nice in the distance when you have no income
3. Once you have rested for a few months (perhaps your mom has passed in the time period), re-evaluate your finances.
4. I say depending on how you feel, you might go back to work for a few months (as long as they'll keep you, or as long as you want). Work 40 hours per week, ignore the complaints. If you are really done with the rat-race, you don't need to impress anyone anymore. You can get your extra cash, get the extra health care, etc. When you're ready to go, you can walk out the door -- or get kicked out, and possibly get some "walk away" cash.
5. If need be, get a consulting position, or just a low stress position. There are plenty of managers out there who work 40-45 hour weeks, who don't need much travel, etc.
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