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So... When Ya Gonna Retire?
Old 03-13-2019, 05:23 AM   #1
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So... When Ya Gonna Retire?

I've actually had a customer now ask twice, "So, when ya gonna retire?" Both times this has been said in front of others. The latest question came in the middle of a meeting with two of my managers, and the customer's top manager. As mentioned elsewhere, I've gone part-time (3 days), with plenty of notice. On both sides of this challenge, customer and services company, there is a certain amount of ineptitude, inexperience, and processes, which could literally sink a ship.

Not intending to make a negative topic. I have great answers for this question, when it comes. Somewhere around this E-R forum I first learned of the question, and how important it is. There is definitely a wrong answer, and of course I use an answer that does not destroy what leverage I have built over the years.

In the room, there are six people. Our company is +1 in numbers. LOL. Two of us are in the room as we are the bodies in a body shop. No getting around that, the customer rents our human capital. The first realization of that fact (many years ago for me) can make one crazy. The best approach IMO is to declare yourself a mercenary, and get the best offer, for as long as you can. Unless you're in the last job, in the services marketplace you are guaranteed that it will end. For some workers, it may last a very long time. For example, in the paper making industry I met individuals who had been temps for over 15 years. But these arrangements are temporary, meaning short, intermediate or long term.

Many years ago a union worker mentioned to me, "Go with flow." It was great advice. Of course it helps to be aware of what leverage you have, and not over-use it.

To wrap it up, I answered that I have no plan to retire, but it is obviously a good thing for customer and company to work together to add one person, and hopefully another, once the work is better defined. I mentioned that I evaluate all at the end of each year, and finish with, "I enjoy this job tremendously, and know it works for customer and company."

If not for the tight job market, and our serpentine search/hiring process, I'm sure these conversations and meetings would have a different tone. Later, I pointed out to our tight-control upper manager, that if this same process were used on me a few years back, I would not be in-place for over three years. That is a great amount of money for the company, and a bunch for me too.

Another interesting point to these meetings, is how often the customer mentioned they want me involved with the new hire. The reason for this is that I've become very knowledgeable about the subject matter. If I were a typical worker, I would not have accumulated the same leverage. For FIRE dreamers, that is a key bullet. Know your customer and their product. This may not have rewards in your current job, but in the next situation it will pay off in spades.

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So... When Ya Gonna Retire?
Old 03-13-2019, 05:38 AM   #2
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So... When Ya Gonna Retire?

I had a senior person say to me “retire Ray” I’d get annoyed but normally a she was work horse and nice person but lately was missing days and suffering from the big C. When I left she said “maybe I can follow you in a few years”. Odd I thought given she was a millionaire and could do it.

Looking back I was asked that question a number of times and I generally answered “I can retire anytime I want”. And that’s what i did.

I’ve heard some alarming statistic about the number of people forced out when they hit 58 or so. Perhaps it starts with the question being asked in a public forum. To me it is a kind of harassment.
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Old 03-13-2019, 07:03 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by rayinpenn View Post
I had a senior person say to me “retire Ray” I’d get annoyed but normally a she was work horse and nice person but lately was missing days and suffering from the big C. When I left she said “maybe I can follow you in a few years”. Odd I thought given she was a millionaire and could do it.
This resonates powerfully with me.

Since nobody else on this forum knows me, I can be absolutely honest here. I often say I'm squeezing out OMY in the salt mines, but I know it's probably untrue. I have every expectation that my 2019 target date will come and go and I'll defer it another year.

FIRECalc, along with several other calculators, greenlit my retirement some time back. DW likewise has been telling me I should clock out for good and enjoy the permanent vacation. But like Ray's work horse friend who has both the means and motivation (her health) to move on, I'm not ready.

I know that tomorrow is not guaranteed. My introductory post in 2016 recounted how the early & unexpected demise of my first boss in my first career assignment shaped my thoughts about retirement. So why am I still hanging on to that paycheck when it all probability our savings already are sufficient to outlive both me and DW?

My only answer is that it doesn't yet feel right. Call it whatever you want: greed, fear, insecurity... it's probably all those and more. But until the emotional side of my brain accepts what the logical side tells it, I'm not ready.
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Old 03-13-2019, 07:46 AM   #4
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Mdlerth <b>“My only answer is that it doesn't yet feel right. Call it whatever you want: greed, fear, insecurity... it's probably all those and more. But until the emotional side of my brain accepts what the logical side tells it, I'm not ready.”</b>


I retired on 1/04/19 at 64.5 I could have gone years earlier but I had a great stimulating job and thoughtful leadership that was very nice to me. I’ll admit before I retired - retirement was a touch of the great unknown - will I be unhappy? bored to tears? fighting with the wife? Then there’s letting go of the safety net provided by a salary. Retirement is a big step with lots of considerations.

I voiced my concerns in this forum and some great folks responded “Ray you’ll be fine” and I am.

- I am exercising more then I did when I was working which was a big goal of mine.
- Oddly I don’t miss work
- As the weather improves I am getting outside

I was ready to pull the pin when I learned a fishing buddy of mine passed away. I think it gave me a gentle nudge. Go when you are ready but don’t wait too long. No one lives forever.
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Old 03-14-2019, 03:17 PM   #5
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rayinpenn thank you for this. Very helpful to hear your experience.

I am waffling myself at this time but have told the corp I will stay another 2 years. I get a lot of satisfaction from the interaction with people, both customers and at work. I get dissatisfaction from being yelled at. So I am watching to see how much yelling vs pleasure there is in the future. Don't know the tipping point yet but will know when I find it.
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Old 03-14-2019, 04:17 PM   #6
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Always say 10 more years since most people are so broke they HAVE to work 10 more years.
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Old 03-15-2019, 06:15 AM   #7
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Always say 10 more years since most people are so broke they HAVE to work 10 more years.
I should have used that line, now that I look back. A senior manager used it, in reverse, in a review last year. Obviously my human capital is valuable to the company (they bill 2x salary to customer), and he mentioned in a joking way that he'd like 10 years notice before I leave.
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