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Waffling... not the kind on dogs' heads
Old 07-10-2006, 10:17 AM   #1
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Waffling... not the kind on dogs' heads

OK.... I feared this was going to happen.* S.O. is getting right down to the point where he needs to give his notice, and he's started waffling.* I really thought he was going to make the big break.*

He is in the construction industry, so he really can't quit in the middle of a project.* He's within weeks of finishing the current one.* If he takes on another, it will be another year.* *He's worked 6-7 days, 60-70 hours this past year.* He thinks he can work less on the next project, I doubt he knows how to do this...

He has two reasons for waffling (besides the subconscious fear of the unknown):

(1) Another very key, senior employee in the company just quit, and S.O. feels like both of them leaving would be a huge blow to the Co. and kick off a flight of rats-from-sinking-ship.* I say "so what."* *He feels "guilty" taking a big "loyalty bonus" being offered then quitting.* He feels "guilty" using up 6 weeks of vacation then quitting.* *This Co. has been very good to him, but still...* he doesn't owe them his life.* They are getting rich on his sacrifice.

(2)* My health.* Not sure the logic here, except I foolishly mentioned that individual Health Ins. in ER is going to cost me a lot more now than it would have before. He thinks we should horde up a few more $$.* In my opinion, my questionable health is MORE reason for him to ER now -* enjoy life now because who knows what the future holds?*

We are only about $70-75k short of my ER target number now, (which I have revised upward three times, and feel very comfortable with) (and which doesn't even include inheritances which almost certainly will exisit) and could probably knock that off by end of year if the market doesn't nose dive (and I don't buy a new car).

So should I try to convince him to jump... or let him make his own decision?*




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Re: Waffling... not the kind on dogs' heads
Old 07-10-2006, 10:21 AM   #2
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Re: Waffling... not the kind on dogs' heads

Could he take the bonus, say nothing, and then 4 months from now announce that he is retiring two months thereafter?

Gotta quit sooner or later, and this would allow a smoother transition for the company, less guilt about the bonus, and only set you back a few months.

I think the key is to have a specific date in mind and do it. That way, it's not dependent on the company's fortune, just the calendar, so you aren't vulnerable to name-calling about the timing. Just some thoughts.
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Re: Waffling... not the kind on dogs' heads
Old 07-10-2006, 10:23 AM   #3
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Re: Waffling... not the kind on dogs' heads

Good thoughts Rich, but he would not quit in the middle of a project (building). He is finishing one now, and if he starts another would see it through. Takes about a year.
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Re: Waffling... not the kind on dogs' heads
Old 07-10-2006, 10:52 AM   #4
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Re: Waffling... not the kind on dogs' heads

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheryl
(1) Another very key, senior employee in the company just quit, and S.O. feels like both of them leaving would be a huge blow to the Co. and kick off a flight of rats-from-sinking-ship.* I say "so what."* *He feels "guilty" taking a big "loyalty bonus" being offered then quitting.* He feels "guilty" using up 6 weeks of vacation then quitting.* *This Co. has been very good to him, but still...* he doesn't owe them his life.* They are getting rich on his sacrifice.
Any way to phase out or act as a consultant to help when the company brings someone new on for the next project?
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Re: Waffling... not the kind on dogs' heads
Old 07-10-2006, 10:53 AM   #5
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Re: Waffling... not the kind on dogs' heads

Darn, Martha got in while I was typing,

al la "The Graduate" ..."Just one word, consultant."
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Re: Waffling... not the kind on dogs' heads
Old 07-10-2006, 11:05 AM   #6
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Re: Waffling... not the kind on dogs' heads

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheryl
So should I try to convince him to jump... or let him make his own decision?*
When DW was looking at ER, I helped her understand the numbers and gave her my quantitative opinion/analysis of the situation.* But, I always emphasized that the decision was hers and that, once made, I'd support her decision.* The consequences of pushing, prodding, aggitating someone into, or not into, ER and then having some unexpected life event make the decision turn out to be a mistake are serious.* I've never regretted not being a significant influence on her decision.

Since hubby has enjoyed a positive, mutually benficial career relationship with his present employer, it's likely that if he expresses a desire to retire sometime in the next few months, an amicable agreement will be worked out.* * *
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Re: Waffling... not the kind on dogs' heads
Old 07-10-2006, 11:06 AM   #7
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Re: Waffling... not the kind on dogs' heads

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheryl
Good thoughts Rich, but he would not quit in the middle of a project (building). He is finishing one now, and if he starts another would see it through. Takes about a year.
I smell a trap -- the Siren song of "never a good time to FIRE." Always another project just around the corner (can't quit in the middle...). When there are no active projects, does that mean the company's in trouble (bad time to quit on a company down on its luck)? No one else in the entire world can do what he does? Can't stay on part-time to ease the transition?

I feel your pain on his behalf, but have to wonder if he doesn't have other reservations about FIREiing now which are operative in the background. Just a hunch . Not an easy decision.
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Re: Waffling... not the kind on dogs' heads
Old 07-10-2006, 11:11 AM   #8
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Re: Waffling... not the kind on dogs' heads

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheryl


...In my opinion, my questionable health is MORE reason for him to ER now -* enjoy life now because who knows what the future holds?*...

IMHO, it is the best reason for him to get out now. *Been there, done that and have the scars to prove it. *You don't get a second chance sometimes so don't waste time working for that extra few buck when you could get by without it. *Time together is priceless. *

As for company loyalty.......I doubt the company would be as willing to bend over backwards for him as he appears to want to for them. *When the poop hits the fan, the company would not be as loyal to your DH. *One has to look out for themselves since the "company" has no obligation to do so. *He is a paid worker...regardless of his level in the organization and as such he works or not based on the whims of management and the condition of the company. *

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Re: Waffling... not the kind on dogs' heads
Old 07-10-2006, 11:23 AM   #9
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Re: Waffling... not the kind on dogs' heads

I help him make the decision he is comfortable with.* You could ask him to consider telling the firm that he needs to cut back and not be project manager on this next job.* He could tell the firm that with the loss of another project manager they need to develop bench strength, that he can do that by recruiting folks ready for larger responsibilities which he will mentor.* Offer to take a cut in pay consistent with less time invested.

He could quietly start looking around now for good recruits.*
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Re: Waffling... not the kind on dogs' heads
Old 07-10-2006, 12:41 PM   #10
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Re: Waffling... not the kind on dogs' heads

Quote:
would be a huge blow to the Co....* *He feels "guilty" taking a big "loyalty bonus" being offered then quitting.* He feels "guilty" using up 6 weeks of vacation then quitting.
I think that since he's working for a non-profit organization which isn't out to make money, and exists only to help people and cure cancer, that he should indeed feel guilty.

Oh, wait, he's working for a construction company that's out to make money. Never mind.



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Re: Waffling... not the kind on dogs' heads
Old 07-10-2006, 01:44 PM   #11
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Re: Waffling... not the kind on dogs' heads

When I felt guilty about leaving my employment to set up my own business, I told a 'white lie', or, more accurately, a half-truth: that I was leaving to take some time off, visit my sister in California, etc.

Which I did.

For two weeks.

Maybe you should decide with your DH to take a well-deserved cruise/vacation/sabbatical at a natural breakpoint in his projects.. and set a fixed date for this. He may see things in a new light after the opportunity to relax and reflect.. at least it will give him the chance to see that the time is his (& yours).. it doesn't "belong" to the company.. and is given freely in exchange for $$.

If you feel you have enough $$, you are in the driver's seat.

Take the vacation and the bonus, if it is his due, and decide at the end.

"Using up" vacation..?? That's what it's for.. to "vacate"!!* * THEN let him decide if he wants to "re-up", go the consultant route, or retire completely. If you are expecting an inheritance of more than the $75k you lack, retirement won't seem so impossible. The bonus should be based on his past performance, not his future..

Best wishes!!

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Re: Waffling... not the kind on dogs' heads
Old 07-10-2006, 01:52 PM   #12
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Re: Waffling... not the kind on dogs' heads

My Dad guilted my Mom into going ahead and retiring a year before she was ready and she resents it.

Of course I would never think you would guilt SO! I guess I just want to give that word of warning in case he is feeling pressure to ER.
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Re: Waffling... not the kind on dogs' heads
Old 07-10-2006, 02:02 PM   #13
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Re: Waffling... not the kind on dogs' heads

My step-dad pressured my mom into retiring at 62 instead of 65 (retirement break points that affect the pension) and she resented him from the time she gave her notice untill her last day. Then she quickly realised he was right.

So could you tell him that it's really important to you that he retire sooner rather than later, that you are concerned it will never be a good time to retire, and see what he says? You could tell him that if he wants to stay on for another year, that he has to tell his employer this is the last project. Sacrifice this battle to ensure you win the war. As long as he knows how much you would prefer him to retire now, he has a tangible example of how you compromised, and his compromise will be much easier to swallow.
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Re: Waffling... not the kind on dogs' heads
Old 07-10-2006, 02:36 PM   #14
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Re: Waffling... not the kind on dogs' heads

A good thought from Laurence, and I'd add the bonus of a Consultant (or mentor) to this one. A good time to inform the company of intentions, use the opportunity to pass on all that experience and transition to retirement at the end of the next project.

I tend to agree with the advice about not strong arming someone into retirement. Good to discuss and point out the pros and cons, but undue pressure could result in ongoing resentment for a long time. And should he decide to go another year, make it clear that you want to do some of the things you've always wanted to do...even if that means you do it on your own part of that time. Each of you has a right to enjoy some of what each of you want.
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Re: Waffling... not the kind on dogs' heads
Old 07-10-2006, 02:41 PM   #15
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Re: Waffling... not the kind on dogs' heads

I don't think you should pressure him into retirement. *He seems to have a lot of loyality to his employer, he thinks they need him. *Given that, encourage him to consider the change in role I discussed earlier - that is the best way for the employer to keep the business strong. *Him taking on another project in the way he has done in the past isn't doing THEM any favors. *It will be tough for his bosses to accept, but it is better for the company. *If they get angry and push him around he will see whether or not the loyality runs both ways.

Work is also social. *You don't need to be working to be active in Const. Spec. Inst. (can't use "CSI" now that others have *co-opted it, Sheryl will know who I mean) The AIA just doesn't cut it for many in the industry.
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Re: Waffling... not the kind on dogs' heads
Old 07-10-2006, 07:23 PM   #16
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Re: Waffling... not the kind on dogs' heads

Thanks for all the good comments.

I am definitely NOT pressuring him one way or the other, I want it to be completely his decision, but it's possible in trying to be so neutral I may not have even made my opinion clear.

The consulting/mentoring ideas are also good food for thought - if he could help others get the projects set up then get out of the picture.

He did discuss telling them upfront that this NEXT project is the last one... but that is easily forgotten if they are so inclined. He has agreed to set more reasonable boundaries this time... yeah... right....

I think Rich also is onto something in that he isn't REALLY sure he wants to quit... it's always "not the right time..."

Stay tuned for more in the never ending soap opera.... :

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Re: Waffling... not the kind on dogs' heads
Old 07-10-2006, 07:44 PM   #17
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Re: Waffling... not the kind on dogs' heads

Sheryl,

Tough one. Other things being equal, I tend to side with Brat here. Your S.O. feels loyalty to the company and they must have earned that.

But things aren't equal. Your health is a serious issue, I remember. If he wants to spend quality time with you, I don't see how he can on that schedule. (And when there is work, the schedule is always like that. How do you get part-time work in this business?)

If he does leave now, he should do it with grace and on as good terms as can be managed. The reason? Forgive me, but what if you don't last long? Without you he may want to get back to hard work and lots of it to fill the emptiness and the time. Since we are talking 'early' retirement, I am guessing that he will still be young enough to get back in the saddle.

I would say,
* run over the numbers with him,
* have a plan for the good and
* a plan for the bad and
* talk it all out with him. What if this? What if that?

Good luck,

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Re: Waffling... not the kind on dogs' heads
Old 07-14-2006, 12:21 PM   #18
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Re: Waffling... not the kind on dogs' heads

Update:* *He told them yesterday he will do the next project.*

It is absolutely fascinating how different minds can have completely opposite reactions to a situation -* *His rationale is he would feel too guilty quiting and "lounging around" while I am sick and still working.* If he works more then I can work less....* ARGH!* * *

And the downward trend of the market only reinforced his worry that we need more money...*

Anyway - resetting the FIRE clock for another 12 months....* ** *

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Re: Waffling... not the kind on dogs' heads
Old 07-14-2006, 12:34 PM   #19
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Re: Waffling... not the kind on dogs' heads

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheryl
Update:* *He told them yesterday he will do the next project.*

It is absolutely fascinating how different minds can have completely opposite reactions to a situation -* *His rationale is he would feel too guilty quiting and "lounging around" while I am sick and still working.* If he works more then I can work less....* ARGH!* * *

And the downward trend of the market only reinforced his worry that we need more money...*
I see his POV. I would almost certainly react the same way. It's not because he doesn't care about you; it's because he does.

Ha
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