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Getting through that last year or so
Old 03-05-2019, 03:49 PM   #1
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Getting through that last year or so

I have about 500 days to go. Not retiring super early, but at age 62. I'm grateful, but am finding it increasingly hard to slog through at work. I've been in public sector the last 8 1/2 years, which is a pretty good place to end a career given the pension and medical benefits, but spent 30 plus years in private sector. Now there seems to be the chance of a major re-org where I work, and I'm just not up for re-org number 1000 of my career. Unfortunately I do need to get to 10 years to get retirement medical benefits, which are critical as I have several pre-existing conditions. I think all will be OK job wise with the re-org given that things tend to move more slowly in government.

Feel like I sound a bit whiny here, but I have a feeling others have been where I am. I don't want to "retire in place" if you know what I mean, and given my responsibilities, I couldn't.

Advice from those who came before? How did you stay motivated during those last months? I'm not quite close enough to see light at the end....
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Old 03-05-2019, 03:51 PM   #2
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Just curious..since you can no longer be denied coverage or have higher premiums due to pre-existing conditions, what is it about the retirement medical benefits that are a must-have (aside from most likely being insanely less expensive than the "A"CA or COBRA)?

I didn't have anywhere near 500 days to go, but the last 100 days or so were pretty brutal - so I wish you the best (and some luck to go along with it)..
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Old 03-05-2019, 03:57 PM   #3
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Retirement benefits from my job are FREE, including reimbursement for Medicare Part B. Talk about handcuffs. Thanks for your support. :-)
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Old 03-05-2019, 04:13 PM   #4
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Retirement benefits from my job are FREE, including reimbursement for Medicare Part B. Talk about handcuffs. Thanks for your support. :-)

Nice. Guess that explains why federal and state taxes are so astronomical. SOMEONE has to pay for all those wonderful benefits..
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Old 03-05-2019, 04:16 PM   #5
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Retirement benefits from my job are FREE, including reimbursement for Medicare Part B. Talk about handcuffs. Thanks for your support. :-)
There you have it, think about this when you are not in the mood to go to work. It's always about choices...
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Old 03-05-2019, 07:13 PM   #6
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I found just knowing I was going to retire in a year or two made a huge difference.

I didn't worry about petty office politics. I didn't worry about saying the wrong thing, and I didn't get worked up about it when someone made a stupid decision or wanted to do things in a stupid way.

That's not to say I had a bad attitude. I worked pretty hard (well, as much as ever) right up to the end.

But I had a different attitude. I could offer my opinion, but didn't have to live with the consequences if it wasn't followed. Let the people who are going to have to deal with it long-term make the decisions. It was very liberating.
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Old 03-05-2019, 08:41 PM   #7
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I have just a few months to go, date not yet certain, and I’m slogging too. I actually like the work, but getting up, dressed, and out the door for my hour-long commute is harder every week. I’m scheduled to cut back May 1, and I had thought I’d retire before the next winter. Now that the May 1 date is scheduled, I want to retire that day! Inappropriate in my profession (psychologist), but I can’t figure out how much more notice I need to give. Maybe I can get away with June 15.

This is hard. The last snowstorm commute made me sit up and take notice. I don’t need to keep working. Only anxiety was keeping me going. I have part time freelance work I will do for extra money, rather lucrative. I want out!

Sorry. I’m no help, and I have a shorter time frame! Mark off the days on a calendar and plan for the future? That’s what I’m going to do.
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Old 03-06-2019, 12:01 AM   #8
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I found just knowing I was going to retire in a year or two made a huge difference.

I didn't worry about petty office politics. I didn't worry about saying the wrong thing, and I didn't get worked up about it when someone made a stupid decision or wanted to do things in a stupid way.

That's not to say I had a bad attitude. I worked pretty hard (well, as much as ever) right up to the end.

But I had a different attitude. I could offer my opinion, but didn't have to live with the consequences if it wasn't followed. Let the people who are going to have to deal with it long-term make the decisions. It was very liberating.


I agree with this and operated in much the same way. Other things I did to keep my sanity were:
- Make a list of everything good about the job and refer to the list daily
- Try to focus on the good relationships you have at work, especially with subordinates. I groomed my direct reports to take on several of my responsibilities, knowing that I would only give 30 days notice and it would likely take months to find a replacement. And I spent a lot of quality time with them towards the end.
- Whenever I found myself stressing out about something at work, Iíd remind myself that this wouldnít matter to me in X months.
- I put a countdown clock on my phone and also celebrated smaller milestones along the way - last budget Board meeting, last audit, etc. Since I only gave 30 days notice, these little celebrations were just in my mind, but I did make a list of them so that instead of focusing on 500 days, I could focus on much shorter time horizons to finish the last whatever.

I know it seems like forever right now, but just keep reminding yourself that youíre doing whatís best for YOU in the long run. The time will come before you know it!
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Old 03-06-2019, 05:18 AM   #9
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Blah blah, stop whining you are so blessed.
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Getting through that last year or so
Old 03-06-2019, 06:26 AM   #10
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Getting through that last year or so

Ah Count Down Syndrome...

An FYI I pay $2,700 a month for health benefits including dental (my age, my state) and it is only for 5 months until I reach 65. So the Beer-man is right you are blessed start believing it.

I too survived numerous mergers, reorganizations and reduction in force. Yeah I even had to post a resume for my own job. You are passed all that now start smelling the flowers and appreciating that beautiful blue sky. I spent my last months quietly planning my stealth retirement - packed up my stuff when no one else was around and told them I am working my last 4 weeks from home. It was awesome and it will be for you to. You can do the last 500 days standing on your head...

I know several people who can really never retire. Retirement isnít a right it is earned ... now get ready to enjoy it.
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Old 03-06-2019, 06:38 AM   #11
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I have about 500 days to go. Not retiring super early, but at age 62. I'm grateful, but am finding it increasingly hard to slog through at work.

Now there seems to be the chance of a major re-org where I work, and I'm just not up for re-org number 1000 of my career.

Advice from those who came before? How did you stay motivated during those last months? I'm not quite close enough to see light at the end....
I feel your pain. My last company liked to do several reorgs each year. In my last two years of work I reported to 5 different bosses - each one worse and more remote than the last.

I found that once I had a specific end date in mind I could tolerate a lot of nonsense that would have caused me to find a new job in the past. You want yet another nonsensical monthly report? Sure! You want my team to capture 5 more ridiculous metrics? Okay! I was able to either grin and bear it, or grin and practice avoidance for the final 6 months. In a few cases, I just had to say "No" when I was asked to do something stupid or something that simply wouldn't work for my family (like being on the road for several weeks each month). In spite of my initial concerns, there were no real repercussions for saying "No", since I wasn't looking for a promotion or such anyway.

The only problem I had was when one of my newly-reorged bosses asked my opinion about some particular metrics. He clearly didn't like my answer, and I quickly learned that there was no value in being honest with him. That made dealing with him much easier. Yes! sure! No problem! Whatever you say!

You can see a light at the end of your 500 day tunnel. You might have to squint a bit, and a countdown calendar might help.

You can do it!
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Old 03-06-2019, 11:50 AM   #12
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I think I need to get a tattoo that says "FREE Benefits" on my inner arm to stare at when I'm in unbearable meetings LOL.
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Old 03-06-2019, 11:50 AM   #13
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That is really helpful advice. Thank you very much.
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Old 03-06-2019, 11:52 AM   #14
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That's a good perspective. Thank you. I have a staff that I'll need to support through whatever re-org this is, but true, more than likely I won't have to worry about it.
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Old 03-06-2019, 11:54 AM   #15
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Well Beer-man, raspberries to you. I know I am blessed, but to be fair, being a government worker also means a lower salary, no incentives, etc. I have been on both sides of the fence as I said. I had 30 years in private sector. I would have appreciated more helpful advice, but if that's all you've got, so be it.
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Old 03-06-2019, 11:54 AM   #16
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That you...those all all great ideas.
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Old 03-06-2019, 12:11 PM   #17
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Well Beer-man, raspberries to you. I know I am blessed, but to be fair, being a government worker also means a lower salary, no incentives, etc. I have been on both sides of the fence as I said. I had 30 years in private sector. I would have appreciated more helpful advice, but if that's all you've got, so be it.


So I see both sides of this. Could be communicated a bit better. For those of us with no federal pension or subsidies on health care we can get jealous of these generous benefits. Just pretend itís prison and you have a set release date without the risk of getting shivved (sp?)
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Old 03-06-2019, 12:38 PM   #18
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My DF used to say "grin and bear it". Use the time to plan your first 6 months of retirement bliss.
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Old 03-06-2019, 12:42 PM   #19
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Yes, it is wonderful, but don't get too envious. Salaries are lower, and no incentive programs. Again, good place to end a career though!
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Old 03-06-2019, 12:43 PM   #20
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LOL...that is good. I'm not exactly at that point yet, but good advice!
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