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Old 09-22-2011, 07:31 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by MBAustin View Post
Good for you! Sounds like a terrific plan.

Things to do before you ER (these are mostly for the last month or so):
- get e-mail addresses for people you want to stay in touch with, and postal addresses for any great bosses you want to write a personal note to after you retire;
- take a picture of your office before you start packing it up;
- make sure to stay on good terms and have contact info for HR folks, especially those involved with COBRA, pensions, etc. (whatever applies)
- develop and rehearse an "exit statement" so everyone hears exactly the same thing - tell your boss first and then others as appropriate. I told my boss two weeks before my coworkers, which she appreciated to have time to plan before the word was out. YMMV
Good luck with the transition!
Thanks for the great advice especially about preparing an exit statement.
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Old 09-22-2011, 07:46 PM   #22
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Another vote for being careful about notice and bonus. Of all the MegaCorps I've worked at, once someone is known to be leaving, their bonus dollars are routinely reallocated to other high performers who are still with the company. Occasionally even if there was an official formula, the "discretion" amount was used to do the shifting.

As for the general plan, congratulations. Your kids are only these ages briefly and I wish I had done something like you are planning. Life is about how you use your time.
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Old 09-24-2011, 09:52 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by henryserves View Post
DW will work full time for at least 3 years until I earn a teaching degree and get a job as an elementary school teacher.
A couple of comments on that........

I assume you've done some research on the availability of elementary school teaching jobs in your area. Here, elementary school teachers are in vast over supply and still coming out of the pipeline in large numbers. Large percentages of recent grads are working in daycare or private schools after not being able to locate a position with the public school system. It may be better where you are in New York, but be sure you understand what your opportunities will be before investing time and money in the required education. If you have a specialty such as bi-lingual, special ed, speech/language, etc., that will help.

While you're planning your return to school, check out getting an MAT (Master of Arts in Teaching) instead of a second BA/BS. Here, an MAT requires only a small amount of additional course work and you'll have your Masters degree work behind you from the get-go instead of needing to go back for it later.

I love your plan and hope you're able to pull it off with no wrinkles!
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Old 09-29-2011, 06:40 AM   #24
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I'm aiming for a good midyear rating in November with written documentation from my manager on what I need to do to maintain that rating for the yearend. Of course, I will work towards a good final yearend rating. But, since ratings are not finalized until May (and I hope to leave in April), it will be good insurance in case my organization decides to screw me after I walk out.
All the documentation in the world isn't going to be of any use unless you are willing to devote substantial time and energy to arguing with your former employer and perhaps litigating the issue: which I cannot recommend.

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Originally Posted by henryserves View Post
My boss is quite fair and I do not expect any issues but just in case...
Your boss may be fair but presumably there is a finite bonus pool to be distributed amongst all of his/her employees; and it only makes sense that the greatest amount possible be distributed to star performers who are staying on, rather than sharing out with people who are leaving.

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As for my reason to choose April 2 as my departure date: I would have to stay past June 30th to be eligible for any of the next fiscal year's annual bonus. With end of school year activities in May and June, especially my daughter's last months in elementary school, I don't want to stay at work til July.
If you give one month's notice after receiving the bonus, that would mean that you could leave at the end of April or the beginning of May, right?

I agree with travelover and Dangermouse: don't give notice until the bonus has already been paid.

Alternatively, if the anticipated bonus is too small to worry about, simply leave it out of your planning and pick the best notice/departure time that works for you and your family.

Good luck!
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Old 09-29-2011, 07:10 AM   #25
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Good news... Congratulations.
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Old 09-29-2011, 07:10 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Milton View Post
I agree with travelover and Dangermouse: don't give notice until the bonus has already been paid.

Alternatively, if the anticipated bonus is too small to worry about, simply leave it out of your planning and pick the best notice/departure time that works for you and your family.

Good luck!
+1. Very good advice there. Also, given that this year's performance for most companies may not be excellent, the bonus amount may be impacted. So if the bonus amount is not large, don't fret over the timing too much. How much is "large" is rather subjective but for me, if it can finance a fabulous holiday after ER, then it makes sense to stay on a bit more.
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Old 10-03-2011, 03:04 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by youbet View Post
A couple of comments on that........

I assume you've done some research on the availability of elementary school teaching jobs in your area. Here, elementary school teachers are in vast over supply and still coming out of the pipeline in large numbers. Large percentages of recent grads are working in daycare or private schools after not being able to locate a position with the public school system. It may be better where you are in New York, but be sure you understand what your opportunities will be before investing time and money in the required education. If you have a specialty such as bi-lingual, special ed, speech/language, etc., that will help.

While you're planning your return to school, check out getting an MAT (Master of Arts in Teaching) instead of a second BA/BS. Here, an MAT requires only a small amount of additional course work and you'll have your Masters degree work behind you from the get-go instead of needing to go back for it later.

I love your plan and hope you're able to pull it off with no wrinkles!
Thanks for the advice. Yes, I have already done some analysis of the potential opportunities for elementary school teaching opportunities in Long Island (NY) when I graduate with a Masters degree in 2013 or 2014. I'm already making connections in my local school district as well for guidance and future help.

Financially speaking, I've set aside money to pay for the degree. And, the income I would earn as a teacher would be supplemental to what my wife will earn. So, I see getting a degree as a step towards pursuing my passion. Putting that into reality with a job would be icing on the cake!
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Old 10-04-2011, 11:55 AM   #28
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Join Date: Sep 2011
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Originally Posted by Milton View Post
All the documentation in the world isn't going to be of any use unless you are willing to devote substantial time and energy to arguing with your former employer and perhaps litigating the issue: which I cannot recommend.

Your boss may be fair but presumably there is a finite bonus pool to be distributed amongst all of his/her employees; and it only makes sense that the greatest amount possible be distributed to star performers who are staying on, rather than sharing out with people who are leaving.

If you give one month's notice after receiving the bonus, that would mean that you could leave at the end of April or the beginning of May, right?

I agree with travelover and Dangermouse: don't give notice until the bonus has already been paid.

Alternatively, if the anticipated bonus is too small to worry about, simply leave it out of your planning and pick the best notice/departure time that works for you and your family.

Good luck!
All-- Thank you for the support and thoughtful advice. With the concern raised here about the bonus payout and timing of my early retirement, I am now considering July 5 as my last date.

We call the "bonus" our "Annual Performance Plan" and I am entitled to a full year's payout if I stay through the end of our fiscal year (March 31). The amount is based on the company's financial performance (which will like be very good), my business unit's results (ditto) and my individual rating (hopefully ditto). After analyzing our published formulas, I calculate the maximum variability of my total payment is ~$5,000. That would be the difference between what I ought to get based on my individual rating and what I would get if I get screwed. While the amount is not a deal breaker, it is a significant enough to ponder.

The individual ratings are finalized by late May. So, perhaps I wait til then to announce my ER and leave after the next paid company holiday (July 4). I shared this with my wife and she would like to start employment after the summer. So, this timing seems to work (although I'm not crazy about extending my timeline by three months.)
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