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hope i can
Old 09-29-2013, 03:31 PM   #1
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hope i can

HI,

I am 61 years old now, and I want to retire or semi-retire in one year, when I can collect early SS.

I have been working in the website programming field for about 18 years, and have been at my current job a little over one year. I still like the work, but the field seems to be completely dominated by very young men. As an older female, I do not feel I belong.

I was forced to leave a previous job because the young male manager for some reason decided I didn't know anything about software. I had already been at the job for 10 years and thought I was doing ok. He started giving me very negative reviews, and I knew I would be fired if I didn't quit.

I went to another company. My manager is young, but not arrogant. The director is a middle-aged female. Everything was great for the first year.

But now I have a very young co-worker who acts like he's my boss. He knows everything, even when he doesn't. It reminds me of my previous manager and I hate it.

Well anyway, I had wanted to retire at 62 even if I liked my job. I have a lot of hobbies and interests, and friends and relatives I hardly ever get to see.

A lot of people believe Suze Orman and when I mention wanting to retire early, they give me a very skeptical look.

In another year I should have over $500,000, and would get I guess $15k a year from SS. I thought I might buy some fixed immediate annuities. If I had a base income of about $30k, then maybe I could earn about $14k by working freelance or part time.

I currently earn $75,000 a year, and my take home is about $50,000. I probably only spend about $30,000 a year.

I realize that I can't predict inflation. And I don't know if interest rates will ever go back to normal.

I live in an extremely expensive area, so if necessary I guess I could move somewhere cheaper.

Does it sound like I could semi-retire in one year? If I wait until age 66 I would have more money and more SS, but I don't know if it's worth it. It is hard to be an old female in the business I am in. Very degrading when a 20-year-old co-worker seems to think I am stupid.

The director and the manager have told me I am doing a great job. But this co-worker doesn't seem to agree with them.

Thank you for any opinions or advice.
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Old 09-29-2013, 03:45 PM   #2
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Instead of buying annuity(do not forget it is not cola and current time is the worst time for annuity..very law annuity payout rate) why not invest and withdraw 15K from your investment(divident/capital gain..and if not enough may be some principal) and let that grow until you're 66. You work part time from now - til 66 and earn 15K to meet your 30K annual expense. You can then collect your full social security(higher amount and like annuity but with cola) and income from your investment can bridge the gap for a long time.
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Old 09-29-2013, 04:24 PM   #3
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Welcome to the board!

The first thing to do is to get a really good handle on your expenses. "Probably only about $30,000" could be $25-35K in reality. Go through your statements for the last 1-2 years. Next, run your scenarios through FireCalc. Remember to account for major expenditures in the future. Also, note that FireCalc does not take taxes into account, so include taxes in your projected annual spending. The good thing is that you will probably pay lower income taxes in retirement. A 3% withdrawal from a $500K portfolio is $15K a year. Even with part time work and lower taxes that seems a little tight. Even with longer in the workforce, it may make sense to move to a lower cost area after retirement. At your relatively early age and with interest rates at historic lows, this is not a good time to buy an annuity.

While you are doing this analysis, I suggest you tackle the immediate problem at work. You have said that your managers are happy with your work. The rookie is clearly an arrogant young man who is behaving disrespectfully. This is inappropriate in any workplace and needs to be stopped. I recommend that you ask for a confidential meeting with your manager to discuss this behavior and how it is affecting you. Any good manager should take your concerns seriously. After all, he or she does not want a disruptive employee to drive away good staff and poison the workplace.

Good luck!
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Old 09-29-2013, 05:06 PM   #4
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Age discrimination can be very bad in the field I have been working in. I experienced it in my previous job, and really can't go through it again. But it isn't something you can fix or do anything about. There are lots of young guys who are extremely arrogant and over-confident. But they are valued by management because they have unlimited energy and work like mad. Also because they are always aware of the newest trends in technology.

I am very experienced, hard-working and reliable, but I don't have drive and I don't care about the newest trends. I just want to get the work done.

So if they had to choose between Jim, my young co-worker, and me, they would choose him. Also, he is a personal friend of the manager. I know they pay him $95k, a lot more than me. They value him -- rightly or wrongly.

I thought about complaining, but then they might start to see me as a whiner.

I complained a lot at my previous job, mostly to HR, and that made the situation worse.

I just want to survive the year somehow. Maybe Jim will get a better job.

I could also try to switch jobs again, but if I did there would probably be another Jim there. They are everywhere in IT.
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Old 09-29-2013, 05:08 PM   #5
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He knows everything, even when he doesn't.
I have to be around someone like that as well. I can't wait for him to leave for college.

I suspect that many IT jobs these days no matter where you work are going to have a lot of co-workers that age. But on the plus side you seem to be in overall good financial shape and you have a lot of options, including some great advice in this thread so far.

Some other options to consider would be:

Upgrading your skills to something in very high demand to get a higher salary or higher rate contracting jobs and maybe get treated better.

Change careers to something you would enjoy more with less age discrimination.

Read books or take classes on dealing with people you can't stand.

Work for yourself - make sites to sell, make ad supported sites, etc.

Become an expert and do consulting in a specific technology.

Good luck.
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Old 09-29-2013, 05:15 PM   #6
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They may look like they work like mad, but that doesn't mean they know how to work
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Old 09-29-2013, 05:32 PM   #7
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I want to either change careers or be self-employed. I had some teaching experience and I might try to get part-time teaching jobs. Or get contract programming work. Either way, my income would be less. I don't want any more pressure and stress, so the only way I can get a high income is with a full time job. And I don't want that anymore.

I have some IT skills that are very much in demand, so I guess I could get contract work. I would like to work less than half the year.

I have been saving at least $20k every year for a long time. When I have over $500k (that should be within 6 months), then I can cut back on saving. If I don't have to save as much, I don't have to earn as much.

If you collect SS at age 62, you can only earn about $14k without penalty. So if interest rates are still low next year, maybe I shouldn't start collecting SS then.

But I really do have to consider my psychological health. I could continue working with Jim for another 5 years and collect SS at age 66. Maybe I would be better off financially, but I might be a psychological wreck.
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Old 09-29-2013, 05:39 PM   #8
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You seem to be very burnt out. You do not want to address the workplace issue (conflict avoidance) even if it means shooting yourself in the financial foot. You do not want to learn new skills. Realistically, how ready are you to promote yourself as an independent consultant?

A compromise would be to approach your employer about the possibility of working from home, either as an employee or as a consultant.
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Old 09-29-2013, 05:42 PM   #9
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They may look like they work like mad, but that doesn't mean they know how to work
It's hard to know, and the work is hard to measure. I do think that Jim is smart and knows what he's doing. But I also think he is over-confident and an arrogant BS-er. He talks loud and fast so everyone thinks he must be right. But very often what he says makes no sense at all. The managers like it though.

This type of guy has an instinct for getting ahead and plowing through anyone who might be in the way. They are smart, but they know how to seem much smarter than they actually are.

An older experienced person can seem like a threat to them. Their instincts tell them to target any potential threat. They are not necessarily bad people, and probably have no intention to hurt anyone. They are just self-absorbed and ambitious.

I can't really fault them for being that way. It is human nature to want to get ahead and to be valued. Their identity is tied up with being "smart."

Oh by the way, the other day I was listening to a conversation between Jim and one of the young managers. They were saying that everyone in congress who is over age 40 should be thrown out, because they're all stupid and know nothing about the modern world.

And they must have known I could hear them. And since I am over 60, they must know I am over 40.

I don't want to overhear any more conversations like that. Of course I will, during the coming year. If I keep thinking it's just one more year, maybe I can stand it.
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Old 09-29-2013, 05:45 PM   #10
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[QUOTE=Meadbh;1361804]You seem to be very burnt out. You do not want to address the workplace issue (conflict avoidance) even if it means shooting yourself in the financial foot. You do not want to learn new skills. Realistically, how ready are you to promote yourself as an independent consultant?

I never said I don't want to learn new skills. I constantly learn new skills. I am just not thrilled about every new thing that comes along.

Yes conflict avoidance is a very important workplace skill. I have a very non-aggressive personality and I try to be someone who is nice to have around, who doesn't make trouble. I think that is a better way to survive the year than constant battle. Jim is loud, I am quiet. He would inevitably win any fight. And the managers value him.
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Old 09-29-2013, 05:56 PM   #11
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Yes conflict avoidance is a very important workplace skill.
I think you might want to rethink that since it isn't really working for you right now.

If you want a job where you get treated great, self employment is one option or developing a rare and valuable skill is one other, or maybe doing a bit of both -

http://calnewport.com/blog/2010/01/2...g-what-you-do/
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Old 09-29-2013, 06:05 PM   #12
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I think you might want to rethink that since it isn't really working for you right now.
+1

Heck, I would just love to defend you in a bust up with that little prick Jim.

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Old 09-29-2013, 06:06 PM   #13
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I think you might want to rethink that since it isn't really working for you right now.
Ok, well I had considered writing an email to the director and/or manager. I thought I would ask them if I am supposed to be reporting to Jim now. It's possible they have made him my supervisor and forgot to tell me. Jim acts like he is my boss. But even worse, he tries to micro-manage me.

I could say I am looking for clarification, since Jim acts like he's my boss, but I was never told to report to him.

Maybe they would say oh no, Jim isn't your boss. Maybe they would tell him to back off.

But since they value him so much, I am afraid that my complaining about him might backfire.
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Old 09-29-2013, 06:12 PM   #14
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You called this thread "hope i can". To quote a well respected leader in my old profession:

"Soon is not a time, and hope is not a plan."

Please muster the courage to stand up to this bully.

And I just noticed that you did not capitalize the I. Is self esteem a problem for you?
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Old 09-29-2013, 06:16 PM   #15
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Before you write that letter, I strongly suggest taking a class or getting a book on assertiveness training or setting boundaries, and try to deal with Jim directly.

I used to manage an IT staff and I'm getting lots of passive-aggressive undertones throughout your posts. Try reading books like the Gentle Art of Verbal Self Defense or Coping with Difficult People.

Or try flattery, asking Jim's advice or take him out to lunch. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

Many people in IT have the at least some aspects of the Geek syndrome, especially the more brilliant ones, so as long as you are in IT there is probably no getting away from the Jims of the world -

http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/9...ergers_pr.html

All you can do is learn to deal with them.
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Old 09-29-2013, 08:01 PM   #16
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Spend some time thinking of what you might do when you're free. I'm not kidding about that.
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Old 09-29-2013, 08:23 PM   #17
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I would either retire or focus on you and your job. I would not spend any more time thinking about Jim.
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Old 09-29-2013, 08:27 PM   #18
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I remember a Seinfeld episode about "Jimmy".
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Old 09-30-2013, 03:46 AM   #19
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Before you write that letter, I strongly suggest taking a class or getting a book on assertiveness training or setting boundaries, and try to deal with Jim directly.

I used to manage an IT staff and I'm getting lots of passive-aggressive undertones throughout your posts. Try reading books like the Gentle Art of Verbal Self Defense or Coping with Difficult People.

Or try flattery, asking Jim's advice or take him out to lunch. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

Many people in IT have the at least some aspects of the Geek syndrome, especially the more brilliant ones, so as long as you are in IT there is probably no getting away from the Jims of the world -

Wired 9.12: The Geek Syndrome

All you can do is learn to deal with them.
That is my point, and why I want to retire.

I was able to ignore Jim until recently when we are working on projects that have to be coordinated. There is absolutely no way I can ignore him now.
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Old 09-30-2013, 03:47 AM   #20
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You called this thread "hope i can". To quote a well respected leader in my old profession:

"Soon is not a time, and hope is not a plan."

Please muster the courage to stand up to this bully.

And I just noticed that you did not capitalize the I. Is self esteem a problem for you?
This is getting ridiculous.
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