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Ready to RE, now they want me to go part time!
Old 12-12-2014, 03:27 AM   #1
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Ready to RE, now they want me to go part time!

I am 55, I announced in Sept that July 1 would be my last day. I have worked for a family office for 21+ years, and have a loyalty to my clients, and some co-workers. I have been the go to guy for special projects, problems for the past 10-15 years. I had a long conversation after work with my immediate boss (and long time friend). She wants me to continue to work on a part time basis. She tentatively offered 50% pay for 40% work, none of the admin cr*p, and it is the only way that my associate will get the promotion deserved! She realizes that they would need at least 2 people to replace the traits I bring to the table, and the budget doesn't have the $ in it to bring in two.

My question for those of you out there who were put into this spot when they announced is - What should I do? I have run FIRECalc and am @100% so the money isn't needed (though more cash is not all that bad!). My associate deserves the promotion, and though she is about a year away from being ready, bringing in someone else would put her several years behind. My clients would be best served by keeping her happy and motivated. In retirement, I would miss some of the problem solving tasks, and some of my colleagues, but I am looking forward to leaving the BS behind. Mentally, I am almost ready to retire, I have hobbies lined up, and plenty of nothing laid out that, after 35 post college working years, I am ready to enjoy "nothing"!
My DW isn't much help ("whatever will make you happy" is her response), and my other confidants aren't in a position to help right now.


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Old 12-12-2014, 03:33 AM   #2
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What about countering with 50% of your current salary for 20% work (basically 1 day/week) for a maximum of 1 year and the understanding that your primary role from this point out is to train your associate so that she can take over full time once your contract is up? You'd get a nice increased wage for a greatly reduced workload, the opportunity to pass on your knowledge, and the knowledge that you helped mentor/train someone who you think deserves to step into your role and who you already know is a good fit for the organization.
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Old 12-12-2014, 03:37 AM   #3
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I would have jumped at the chance to semi-retire (work PT) for a while before quitting altogether, but the decision is different for each if us. And you have factors tugging at you from both directions. If you're not sure, any chance you could try part time for a mutually agreeable period of time (eg, 6 months), and then re-evaluate after the period is up? Would give the boss predictability, the associate a little more independence and training/experience, and you some first hand experience with PT that might make your best decision clearer. If possible, that's what I'd do, but there is no singular right answer. Best of luck...
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Old 12-12-2014, 04:15 AM   #4
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Hi Taxman,
As usual(?), your DW is probably right.
You say you wouldn't mind some more cash, you like problem solving and enjoy some of your colleagues. Maybe, deep down you'd like to take the part time offer.

I did nothing for 18 months after I retired, but recently took a part time j*b (a few hours early morning). I found I needed something to do other than hobbies. Plus, a little pocket money is nice.

Maybe take off a month or two, then re-evaluate how you feel about the part time offer. Good luck!
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Old 12-12-2014, 04:51 AM   #5
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I think that happens to a lot of us. The main thing is to control your schedule and limit your schedule and get paid like a consultant. I'm making more than I did full time and negotiated working the Christmas holiday for very high pay, which will ease us into retirement with a bigger cushion.

I suspect your experience occurs rather frequently.


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Old 12-12-2014, 06:00 AM   #6
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In my opinion take the job. You have been given a transition period which most do not get. Carefully identify the parameters of "part-time". It means no responding to e-mails, telephone calls or deadlines when you are off. If the company does not have other part-time employees it will be very different for them to understand what part-time means. It means you are not working at all when you are off. It does not mean you are "on-call". The most difficult part I think will be for them to leave you alone on the "part-time" retirement portion. Good Luck.
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Old 12-12-2014, 06:44 AM   #7
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You will be doing 100% of the work, on 50% of the pay, and 40% of the hours as you will be much more efficient. That's corporate life.

If you are going to be bored, do it.
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Old 12-12-2014, 06:54 AM   #8
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Take the part time job for one year to make sure that the associate will really get the promotion if she deserves it.

Then make sure that your new schedule is known to everybody.
Define your work days long time in advance. Schedule long holiday periods.
Define your leftover tasks and make sure
a) your associate picks up what is left and
b) she is already involved in your leftover tasks to an extent that allows her to grow quickly.

Take your days off as a training period to get used to retirement. Stay away from business on your days off. No mobile and business email.
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Old 12-12-2014, 07:08 AM   #9
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It sounds like an organized transition will work for you. Only decision left is two long days, or three short ones. I would bargain for (2) 6-hour days in the office, and a 4-hour remote day.
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Old 12-12-2014, 07:16 AM   #10
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I would be careful with P/T. They may end up dumping all the work on you and pay you less for it.

I wouldn't be concerned about the associate who deserves promotion since you are not the one doing the promoting. From what I have seen, "deserving" promotion people are routinely passed over for outsiders with better connections and less knowledge.
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Old 12-12-2014, 09:30 AM   #11
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Taxman - like you I'm in a service profession. For me the issue would not be the percentage of work (40%, 20%), but could you have the flexibility to disconnect completely and take time off without being on call. You may have different objectives, but my dream would be to work about half time with absolute boundaries as to when I have to answer e-mails, calls, etc. You may want to consider that. I'm an attorney and my firm has several attorneys who are technically "part time," but wind up working almost full time because you are never really allowed to disconnect.
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Old 12-12-2014, 09:43 AM   #12
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... My associate deserves the promotion, and though she is about a year away from being ready, bringing in someone else would put her several years behind. My clients would be best served by keeping her happy and motivated. ...
IMO, if she has not planned for your replacement, especially with all this notice, maybe she does not deserve the promotion? What if you got hit by the proverbial bus, or just left for another job?

You are making her problem your problem. Retirement is about leaving those problems behind. DW is exactly right.

If you think you might like a little part-time work, make some of the counter-offers suggested. Put a strict limit on the time, don't allow yourself to be available away from the office, or they will likely suck you into more hours. The fact they have not replaced you is a sign that this is how they will act.

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Old 12-12-2014, 09:44 AM   #13
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The key word in my original post is tentative! There is no firm offer yet. Given the trend in our office for 24/7 email connectivity, I am worried about the possibility of hour creep and the part time becoming full time at part time pay. Given the budget constraints, I doubt there is much more $ in the mix, but I may be able to lower the hours a bit ( 50% pay for 33% w**k?). As to the promotion, they would need to promote her to the trust officer position or have a large client block without a trust officer (all sorts of compliance rules violated there!!), so I would see how they are keeping their word before I left.

I think that I will counter offer with 50% pay for 1/3 the hours and bunch the time in blocks (not every Tuesday and Wednesday, but a week here and there on an as needed basis)
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Old 12-12-2014, 11:27 AM   #14
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I think that I will counter offer with 50% pay for 1/3 the hours and bunch the time in blocks (not every Tuesday and Wednesday, but a week here and there on an as needed basis)
I was going to suggest you think about looking at your schedule to see how you can work this to your advantage. If you like to travel at all, would be far easier to score incredible last-minute deals if you have a block of 6-8 months open throughout the year (and you'd be surprised at last-minute deals to various parts of the world if you look for them).

If you have to work EVERY week, 1-2 days a week, that can cut into your possibilities of living life completely on your terms for that 6-8 month period. Or, since it sounds like January-April is your busy time, maybe 30 hours/week Jan-April, then 1 day a week a few other months of the year to still give you a nice block of weeks at a time where you can do whatever the heck you want.
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Old 12-12-2014, 11:33 AM   #15
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I transitioned from FT to PT for at my job for 18 months. As you suspected, it ended up as FT work over 3 days instead of 5, for 60% pay. I did enjoy the 2 mid week days off, and the 3 x 12 hour days weren't horrible, but after 18 months I went back to 100% Pay and a "regular" 5 day workweek. I was done working for "free". So while my original plan was to work PT for 10 years and then ER I reverted to working FT with a 5 year ER goal.

I like your thought on 33% "as needed" work for 50% pay. That should definitely work towards keeping the "work creep" in check. And if it doesn't you can ER as planned.
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Old 12-12-2014, 11:44 AM   #16
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I turned down a part-time job offer after I left my last job because they offered half pay for half work, but no bonus pool or benefits, which were worth a lot. Plus I know they would have dumped work on me like there was no tomorrow, whether I was technically half time or not.

I think for me an hourly contract might have worked out okay. They did offer that eventually, but it was in a different country so I turned that down, too.
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Old 12-12-2014, 11:59 AM   #17
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You've gotten some good advice on this thread already, so I'll try not to repeat and add a few things to consider or based on my experience.

* I have seen the full-time hours for less $$ many times, esp in professional services, and I agree this is a meaningful risk. It happens all the time in lawfirms, corp legal departments and auditing/accounting firms/departments -- so you want to avoid that for sure

* Your idea of countering at 50% pay/ 33% work is a good one -- particularly if you can batch your time as some have suggested. IME, the thing that leads to the problem in the first bullet is days/tasks bleeding over into other days or the days you work changing. If you can set it up to work one week in the office per month plus a set day or days remotely and stick to that schedule it has a much better chance of working out

* Benefits matter. Depending on what state you're in and your employer's policies, you may want to work the min % of time to qualify for employer sponsored HC plans. In many places that's 50% time, so it may not work for you - or it may be a trade-off you're willing to make.

* Have a deadline ... set a time period after which the arrangement will end .. you can assess how long that would be for you, or your employer may well have rule for how long someone can be part-time (or temp) without being hired or released.

* Consider singing even a simple letter agreement laying all of this out so that people are all clear up front about what's included/or not. Writing it down, even in informal bullet point form has a clarifying benefit for all parties, esp in cases where there may be project/scope/hours creep or similar unstated expectations.
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Old 12-12-2014, 12:27 PM   #18
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* Benefits matter.

* Have a deadline ...
* Consider singing even a simple letter agreement laying all of this out so that people are all clear up front about what's included/or not.
We already have looked at the benefits, and the HC is off the table, I am not willing to work 30 hours per week. Other benefits (401k match etc) would be available albeit at lower, non-officer levels.
I told my boss 2 years max (she brought it up first, but I already had decided to limit the time to that)
A written memo of understanding is a great idea and will be included.
Thank you one and all, this has been good advice, now to see what actually comes when the details are ironed out!!
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Old 12-13-2014, 08:48 PM   #19
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She tentatively offered 50% pay for 40% work...
"She" (different she) will likely offer me the same thing. With MY "she," it would start as 10 am to 3 pm (miss the rush hour traffic), but then there will be a 9 am meeting...could I stay for a 4 pm'er...calls on Saturday morning, leading to stopping to go over some things for a half hour on Saturday afternoon (plus the hour+ commute with little to no weekend traffic).

Within two months, I'd be back to 11 to 12 hour days at half-pay.

Good luck with that.
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Old 12-14-2014, 08:52 AM   #20
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I worked 80% and then 50% part-time for many years before I retired and it was wonderful. My deal was directly proportional to my full-time gig, so 50% pay for 50% hours, 50% of bonuses, 50% of full-time vacation accrual, etc. Where I worked, 50% time and over got health insurance the same as full-time. We had many "reduced hours" workers so there were processes in place for such schedules.

If I were in your place I would agree to a 6 month trial and then you can reassess how it fits what you want. For your employer, 6 months of part-time Taxman is better than quitting cold turkey.

My job was extremely time sensitive, so I was perpetually "on call" for client consultations so it was hard to have time allotted for golf outings with friends and other things I wanted to do. Also, it was hard to plan to do things because a morning conference call might be pushed to the afternoon when I had made other plans. If the nature of the work was such that I could have had regularly scheduled "time off" then I would probably still be working.
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