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Accelerate The Plan--Panic Time
Old 09-12-2005, 02:00 PM   #1
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Accelerate The Plan--Panic Time

Iím sort of panicked a little. I had disposed of my retirement issues by making a very neat plan. My wife will retire in June of 06 and I would follow sometime in 07. Nice and neat. Sort of felt like I am in control. And work has been so good I kind of cannot figure out why I would want to retire. Now everything is changing. I will have a new boss within a couple months. Donít know how that will go but it would be difficult to improve on my current boss, a major reason I like my job.
But there will be some big cut backs and reorganizations at the Federal agency where I work. It doesnít look good. Sometime in the next few months there will be modest buy out offers followed by cuts. I am senior enough that I imagine I could hold onto my job but I would hate to lose my young assistant who I recruited and I hate to see a pleasant place turn miserable while everyone scrabbles for cover.
I guess I will have to see how the new boss goes and how the cuts look and the buyout offering. But Iím panicked as all this is accelerating the plan I had in place. I just went to the funeral of a coworker a few days ago, he was 65 and in good health and a really nice guy. He gets zero retirement. But I have a son in high school and I expected to work until he was off to college. Good for the family schedule and build up the finances a bit. I am a pretty good planner in general and I think I have the basics covered but I would like to have more reserves and get another variable (sonís college costs) worked out.
So I wonder, has anyone put a plan together and suddenly had to accelerate the plan?
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Re: Accelerate The Plan--Panic Time
Old 09-12-2005, 02:08 PM   #2
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Re: Accelerate The Plan--Panic Time

First, take a step back and take a deep breath. At the very least, you have months to figure out your course of action.

I see two ways this could go:

1) You tough it out for a few years and then separate service. Close to the original plan, but maybe less pleasant than originally expected.

2) You go with Plan B, whatever it turns out to be. For example, suppose you take a buyout offer and go away. If you feel the need to keep cash coming in for a few years, you take a different job, maybe even contract/temp.

Take your time and come up with possibilities. Nobody has a gun to your head to make a decision right now.
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Re: Accelerate The Plan--Panic Time
Old 09-12-2005, 02:15 PM   #3
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Re: Accelerate The Plan--Panic Time

Brewer is right, you have choices and time to figure out which course is the best for your particular situation. No reason to panic, just an opportunity to adjust your plans to changing circimstances, something all of us have to do.


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Re: Accelerate The Plan--Panic Time
Old 09-12-2005, 02:40 PM   #4
 
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Re: Accelerate The Plan--Panic Time

It sounds like what you're thinking is this:

In a few months my boss, who is the best boss in the world, is going to be replaced by the boss from hell.* I may lose my job, but even if I don't I will lose my assistant (also best in the world) and will be forced to work in the most miserable environment in the world.* I will be unhappy, nobody will love me, and I will have to sell all my kayaks.

My point is that you may be crystal-balling bad things, and then worrying about them.

The changes could be for the better, you never know.

P.S. I don't want to sound like a know-it-all here -- it's just that I often worry about things that may not happen.

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Re: Accelerate The Plan--Panic Time
Old 09-12-2005, 05:32 PM   #5
 
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Re: Accelerate The Plan--Panic Time

My sense from reading thousands of posts here is that the "carefully planned" retirement is the oddity.* Many have a general scheme laid out, but pulling the plug ends up being a gut call.* Others are accidental retirees, with sudden layoffs pushing them into the abyss.*

As I recall, you are in an enviable position:* full pension with CPI, house paid off, active curious mind and numerous interests.* You can retire at any time now, right?* No need to wait for a take-it-or-leave-it early out.* *The only real factors are college costs and the fact that you actually enjoy your job.* The former can be managed, the latter just adds another delightful twist to your problem.

I can't see you going wrong either way.* But you seem to have all the classic attributes of someone who could really exploit all the advantages of leaving earlier than you had planned.* Good luck!

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Re: Accelerate The Plan--Panic Time
Old 09-12-2005, 05:40 PM   #6
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Re: Accelerate The Plan--Panic Time

If you want to hear God laugh - tell him your plans!

Some of the best advise I've ever received - "If you see ten troubles coming down the road at least nine will likely run off in the ditch before they get to you - you will likely only have to deal with one."

Hopefully, all ten will run off in the ditch for you!
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Re: Accelerate The Plan--Panic Time
Old 09-12-2005, 06:42 PM   #7
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Re: Accelerate The Plan--Panic Time

Quote:
Sometime in the next few months there will be modest buy out offers followed by cuts. I am senior enough that I imagine I could hold onto my job but I would hate to lose my young assistant who I recruited and I hate to see a pleasant place turn miserable while everyone scrabbles for cover.
It doesn't sound like money is the issue here -- more a psychological question. Would it be possible, in that case, to take some vacation time now or soon and PRETEND that you don't have to go back?

This may be another one of my wacky ideas, but then again, maybe the trouble is you can't really imagine yourself retired, that this was OK when retirement was two years off, but it's not ok when it might be right around the corner.

Seems I remember more than a few folks on this forum saying they were temporarily off, or laid off and expecting to return, and found that they liked it so much they just stayed retired permanently.

Good luck sorting it out,
Caroline
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Re: Accelerate The Plan--Panic Time
Old 09-12-2005, 06:48 PM   #8
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Re: Accelerate The Plan--Panic Time

I was reluctant; never knew anything but work (43 years). Will be two years retired in January and because I had a lot of vacation, actually I've been gone 2 years on 10/1/05. At first, a little depressed. But, it grows on you. Now, I would be depressed knowing I had to make a 7:30 business meeting tomorrow. In fact, I'd be late. .
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Re: Accelerate The Plan--Panic Time
Old 09-12-2005, 06:55 PM   #9
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Re: Accelerate The Plan--Panic Time

Yep

Laid off Jan 1993 - so far haven't went back - did a one year temp in 1995 - that really cured me.
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Re: Accelerate The Plan--Panic Time
Old 09-12-2005, 07:04 PM   #10
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Re: Accelerate The Plan--Panic Time

Thanks to all the folks here, I knew there was a reason I love this board

One thing I did today that will definitely disrupt my routine, if I get selected, I volunteered to go work on Katrina cleanup. Federal agencies can offer employees on loan to FEMA. They actually stated they were looking for logistics people. Hey, that's me, I can figure out train loads, truck loads, fuel use, support equipment, supplies, energy requirements and the like. Though they may end up sending everyone out to dig ditches for all I know. Sort of like the military, they recruit you for a skill but assign you where ever they need. So I sent my name in for a 30 day tour, we'll see if the phone rings.
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Re: Accelerate The Plan--Panic Time
Old 09-12-2005, 08:55 PM   #11
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Re: Accelerate The Plan--Panic Time

Good for you Yakers. I passed on it when they asked at the office. Our detail would have been for 30-90 days and either to TX, AR or NM. My 16 yr old DD has her DF wrapped around her little finger and would havedone pretty much as she wanted. I keep a pretty close eye on her and I am the strict one. She tried for 2 hrs to get me to go! Anyway, I think it is a great thing you will be doing if you go. I am sure that will help to put your life in perspective. Good luck with everything!

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Re: Accelerate The Plan--Panic Time
Old 09-12-2005, 09:08 PM   #12
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Re: Accelerate The Plan--Panic Time

Quote:
Originally Posted by yakers
But I have a son in high school and I expected to work until he was off to college. Good for the family schedule and build up the finances a bit. I am a pretty good planner in general and I think I have the basics covered but I would like to have more reserves and get another variable (sonís college costs) worked out.

So I wonder, has anyone put a plan together and suddenly had to accelerate the plan?
Sure, I was about 30 months away from retirement when spouse realized that she was probably gonna leave active duty. If I was in her shoes I wouldn't have lasted as long as she did.

We looked at our retirement portfolio and realized that we had enough, especially if she was willing to drill in the Reserves or to go get a "real" job. Keep in mind that we've had an extremely detailed picture of expenses and future capital costs of new roofs, replacement vehicles & appliances, etc. So after a few hours on Quicken, FIRECalc, & Financial Engines we felt confident that her Reserve money and our savings would bridge the gap. We did the initial calculations in early 2000 and stuck to our guns through Sep 01 ("the low point") & Oct 02.

The key to the whole drama was worrying constructively. Instead of "What if?" the discussions became "If this happens then we'll do..."

From my active duty days I remember that civil service human-resources offices are able to advise an activity on how a reduction in force would be executed. The Navy HROs called it a "mock RIF". They literally look at all your employees' years of service and seniority/priority preferences and then figure out who'd be on the line and who'd have preferred relocation. You may be able to get similar info from your human resources office regarding your own staff and your own position in the food chain.

Does your kid share your conviction that he's going to college? Among all the other crap raining down about you now, hopefully you're learning how to fill out a FAFSA and how to chase those scholarship dollars. Or tell the kid to look at a co-op school or a service academy!
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Re: Accelerate The Plan--Panic Time
Old 09-13-2005, 09:35 AM   #13
 
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Re: Accelerate The Plan--Panic Time

Better watch out, they may make you head of FEMA.
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Re: Accelerate The Plan--Panic Time
Old 09-13-2005, 09:42 AM   #14
 
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Re: Accelerate The Plan--Panic Time

I don't believe yakers has horse show experience.
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Re: Accelerate The Plan--Panic Time
Old 09-13-2005, 09:45 AM   #15
 
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Re: Accelerate The Plan--Panic Time

Well, he has horsesh!t experience.
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Re: Accelerate The Plan--Panic Time
Old 09-13-2005, 09:55 AM   #16
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Re: Accelerate The Plan--Panic Time

How about Nords for head of FEMA? He is a well organized military type and his daughter did dressage so there is the horse connection. Pony tail has to go though. (For some reason that sounds dirty in this context).
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Re: Accelerate The Plan--Panic Time
Old 09-13-2005, 10:04 AM   #17
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Re: Accelerate The Plan--Panic Time

We need MORE ponytails in govt, IMHO... 8)
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Re: Accelerate The Plan--Panic Time
Old 09-13-2005, 10:56 AM   #18
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Re: Accelerate The Plan--Panic Time

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
How about Nords for head of FEMA?* He is a well organized military type and his daughter did dressage so there is the horse connection. Pony tail has to go though. (For some reason that sounds dirty in this context).
I'm just about through spending my days with horse's assets, so to speak. But if you're wondering how bad you have to be to get fired from that type of job, it's pretty bad.

Ironically one of the Reserve billets that my spouse has been applying for (several years now) is Navy Emergency Preparedness Liaison Officer. NEPLOs work with FEMA (some billets are paid for by FEMA) and get sent to places (like Guam) after the typhoon has rolled through and the military is heading in to assist with SAR. As part of buffing up her resumť she's spent a lot of time on the FEMA website completing their training courses. Looks like they're gonna have to find a new place to hold this year's NEPLO conference, too, although New Orleans would make an outstanding field exercise for the community.

I wonder if FEMA will be pulled out of Homeland Security and set up as an independent bureaucracy. I would've thought that a cabinet-level head was a big help at budget time but I guess that didn't work out so well. Considering how FEMA's budget has been stripped to fund the rest of Homeland Security, I'd say that the new director could do just about anything and still look good. Including growing a ponytail!
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Re: Accelerate The Plan--Panic Time
Old 09-14-2005, 08:58 AM   #19
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Re: Accelerate The Plan--Panic Time

I would not panic but check finances in detail.
Till it happens what might happen or not, you might agree with DW to try to reduce costs, shopping, spending as much as possible and add the rest to the cushion.
You may also try to brush up your contacts and take an active role in looking for other job options or self employment, just in case.
Last but not least you may talk business with your son. As long as he is still in school he has a chance to brush up his performance to qualify for a free ride to college or to develop marketable skills to contribute to college costs.

If you find later on that your original plan still works or if the package is nice enough to take it - even better.
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