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Five Years RE'd Today
Old 06-30-2011, 11:27 AM   #1
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Five Years RE'd Today

At about this time of day on June 30th, 2006, a long time friend from HR walked in and announced "it's time to go!" I had cleaned out my office weeks before this, so there were no boxes, no brief cases to carry out. We walked to the parking lot shooting the shi* about old times, even extending the conversation leaning against my car. Eventually I bid farewell and it was taillights down the driveway for the last time. I was 58. DW had RE'd at 55, 3 years prior.

Things have generally gone well.

1. MegaCorp paid severance and provided health insurance as promised.

2. A half-hearted job search yielded nothing interesting but after a few months, a Megacorp friend already at another company called and offered me an attractive position. That's when I actually had to decide whether I was unemployed or retired. I chose the later.

3. Our FIRE portfolio, despite a scary dip during the recession, seems to be in good shape today.

4. We remain in our long time home near family and friends which is our personal choice despite the high cost of living here.

5. No life threatening health issues.

6. We have a small RV and are doing a lot of camping, fishing, kayaking and other outdoorsy activities figuring we'll switch to cruising and touring later.

Participating in this forum has been both informative and entertaining. I joined about a year before leaving MegaCorp and learned that being cut by MegaCorp but with full retirement benefits and a decent severance package wasn't necessarily a bad thing. Since retiring, I check the forum frequently and find the diverse ideas, opinions and information extremely helpful.

Thanks to everyone for being here and to all you FIRE'd folks, keep enjoying!
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Old 06-30-2011, 11:33 AM   #2
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So YouBet:

What advice would you have for someone on the cusp of retire-ing ?

How did the transition go ? Any Issues ?

Did you ever wonder if you did the right thing ? Did you ever miss working ?

How do you spend your days ?
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Old 06-30-2011, 11:53 AM   #3
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Congrats on a successful 5 years; wishing you many more to come
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Old 06-30-2011, 12:10 PM   #4
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So YouBet:

What advice would you have for someone on the cusp of retire-ing ?
I'm the last guy to ask for retirement advise as I would have worked longer if MegaCorp's business strategy had kept manufacturing on-shore or needed me to keep supporting recently off-shored operations longer. I was enjoying myself. And our favorable financial situation wan't due to long term planning for ER but rather we just got lucky taking jobs with DBP's and our relatively frugal personalities caused us to fully fund 401k's and 403b's for many years.
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How did the transition go ? Any Issues ?
No, not really. I fretted over a number of things, but nothing has crashed so far. Having the recession take my moderately aggressive FIRE portfolio down by 30% gave me a little heartburn but we decided to keep our spending levels up and, fortunately, that worked out OK.
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Did you ever wonder if you did the right thing ? Did you ever miss working ?
As mentioned, while the portfolio was down 30% I wondered if everything was going to be OK and questioned myself for not accepting the job offer I received. Yes, sometimes I do miss working. My final assignment at MegaCorp was fun and challenging. I was fulfilling a need that my education and experience had specifically groomed me for and involved a lot of international travel which I had not previously done.
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How do you spend your days ?
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Old 06-30-2011, 12:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by youbet View Post
At about this time of day on June 30th, 2006, a long time friend from HR walked in and announced "it's time to go!" I had cleaned out my office weeks before this, so there were no boxes, no brief cases to carry out. We walked to the parking lot shooting the shi* about old times, even extending the conversation leaning against my car. Eventually I bid farewell and it was taillights down the driveway for the last time. I was 58. DW had RE'd at 55, 3 years prior.

Things have generally gone well.

1. MegaCorp paid severance and provided health insurance as promised.

2. A half-hearted job search yielded nothing interesting but after a few months, a Megacorp friend already at another company called and offered me an attractive position. That's when I actually had to decide whether I was unemployed or retired. I chose the later.

3. Our FIRE portfolio, despite a scary dip during the recession, seems to be in good shape today.

4. We remain in our long time home near family and friends which is our personal choice despite the high cost of living here.

5. No life threatening health issues.

6. We have a small RV and are doing a lot of camping, fishing, kayaking and other outdoorsy activities figuring we'll switch to cruising and touring later.

Participating in this forum has been both informative and entertaining. I joined about a year before leaving MegaCorp and learned that being cut by MegaCorp but with full retirement benefits and a decent severance package wasn't necessarily a bad thing. Since retiring, I check the forum frequently and find the diverse ideas, opinions and information extremely helpful.

Thanks to everyone for being here and to all you FIRE'd folks, keep enjoying!
Good story, now QUIT SCREWING AROUND AND GET A JOB!!!
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Old 06-30-2011, 12:17 PM   #6
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Youbet, congrats on making it 5 years.

There are a lot of parallels to our retirement experiences - both we and our DW's retired at the same point/ages, but we FIRE'd one year before you two did.

The biggest difference appears to be in company severance and health insurance - we didn't have either of those.

Oh, and it wasn't a "long-time friend from HR" who walked me to my car and took my ID badge - it was Security.
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Old 06-30-2011, 12:41 PM   #7
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Youbet, congrats on making it 5 years.

There are a lot of parallels to our retirement experiences - both we and our DW's retired at the same point/ages, but we FIRE'd one year before you two did.
We're in good company then!
Quote:

The biggest difference appears to be in company severance and health insurance - we didn't have either of those.
The retiree health insurance is not cheap at $398/mo (me only, DW has her own) but it looks like Medicare + supplement will cost more when I get there. Ive been pleasantly surprised that it hasn't been dropped. It isn't being offered to current employees.
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Oh, and it wasn't a "long-time friend from HR" who walked me to my car and took my ID badge - it was Security.
I understand!

In my case, the HR guy was a fellow I hired as a factory supervisor years before and promoted a couple of times before he finished a grad degree in HR and eventually found an opportunity over there. When MegaCorp started my several month "countdown," I was randomly assigned to him for "counseling and guidance." My new, younger management had no clue that we were old friends (inside and outside of work) and we said nothing. It was so funny when my new boss introduced us and we shook hands and said "glad to meet ya" without cracking a smile.......

That helped my transisition out as I always knew what was really happening as opposed to folks dealing with a stranger. He arranged to walk me out instead of having a security guard do it.
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Old 06-30-2011, 12:43 PM   #8
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Congratulations on your fifth retirement anniversary!
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Old 06-30-2011, 01:27 PM   #9
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Congrats! I'm coming up on 4 shortly.
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Old 06-30-2011, 01:54 PM   #10
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Congratulations!

The decision to stay in place or move is, I think, a big one & very personal. Sure, there is a financial aspect, but there are so many other things to consider.

Did you make an active decision to stay after considering moving? Or was it a given for you?
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Old 06-30-2011, 04:10 PM   #11
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I am happy to hear that everything worked out so well.
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Old 06-30-2011, 04:22 PM   #12
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Congratulations!

The decision to stay in place or move is, I think, a big one & very personal. Sure, there is a financial aspect, but there are so many other things to consider.

Did you make an active decision to stay after considering moving? Or was it a given for you?
In our BG (before grandchildren) years, we always planned on moving to a rural/remote area to accomodate our love of outdoorsy persuits. We did quite a bit of house hunting and research in northern Arkansas and northwest Minnesota, two areas we frequent for camping, fishing and kayaking/canoeing. Then the three "little anchors" arrived and our wanderlust was overcome by "ain't-they-cute-itis," a common affliction of grandparents.

We're flexible. We actually like this area, other than the fact that it's a tad pricey. And we're able to get away frequently.
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Old 06-30-2011, 04:33 PM   #13
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I joined about a year before leaving MegaCorp and learned that being cut by MegaCorp but with full retirement benefits and a decent severance package wasn't necessarily a bad thing.
If I were in my 50s, I'd be banging down the door to be first in line to volunteer to be "downsized" with this deal. My dad's employer (also my first post-college employer and the one that later froze my pension) offered up an early retirement incentive when he was 57, back in 1992. It included a lump sum of six months salary, an additional five years of service for pension calculations and (the Holy Grail) 100% employer-paid health insurance until age 65.

It took him less than a second and a half to decide whether to take it. And it's a deal I can only dream of, because there's no way in Hell I will ever be offered anything remotely close to this (even without the pension part).
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Old 06-30-2011, 05:42 PM   #14
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If I were in my 50s, I'd be banging down the door to be first in line to volunteer to be "downsized" with this deal. My dad's employer (also my first post-college employer and the one that later froze my pension) offered up an early retirement incentive when he was 57, back in 1992. It included a lump sum of six months salary, an additional five years of service for pension calculations and (the Holy Grail) 100% employer-paid health insurance until age 65.

It took him less than a second and a half to decide whether to take it. And it's a deal I can only dream of, because there's no way in Hell I will ever be offered anything remotely close to this (even without the pension part).
That was indeed a sweet deal your dad got!

Mine paid out more lump sum cash but left out the pension seniority enchancement and free medical insurance. I would take your dad's deal over mine.
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Old 06-30-2011, 05:43 PM   #15
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Congratulations. I ERed one year before you and had a similar job choice. I was able to work a few projects and, although the work was interesting, I quickly concluded not working was more fun,
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Old 06-30-2011, 08:23 PM   #16
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Congratulations, youbet.
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Old 07-12-2011, 10:56 AM   #17
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Youbet, Congrats and thanks for then great post.
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Old 07-12-2011, 11:42 AM   #18
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Congratulation Youbet. It sounds like your ER has worked out perfectly!
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