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Between the decision and the date?
Old 09-21-2012, 08:41 AM   #1
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Between the decision and the date?

My wife and I have decided that the stars and our retirement accounts all align for an April 1, 2013 date, although the numbers would work fine as of January 1. The only magic of April 1 is that I will be within 18 months of being 65 and can COBRA for 18 months. That and our youngest will be about finished with his next to last year of college and we have the last year's expenses in a 529 account. April 1 is also the start of the 2d quarter, so that works nicely.

The few remaining months between having made that decision and carrying it out make my motivation at work really low. There are a few things I need to wrap up and I will, but all the little nit picky stuff that goes on is really, really irritating.

I haven't discussed the actual date with my partners but will do so in October or November.

How have other people maintained that motivation during those final months and weeks?
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Old 09-21-2012, 09:02 AM   #2
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Good question. I'm in that stage now - decision was made in late July and last day is next week.
For me, the decision was the difficult thing. I spent much time looking at this from every possible angle I could imagine. It was a very hard decision for me to make. But once I did, I feel better about the decision everyday. My motivation at work has been lower, but I am making a conscious decision to continue to act professionally until my last day. I believe I have maintained good work relationships with as many people as I can through the years, and I don't want to blow that as I leave (although I have to admit it's tempting!!). Besides, it's a small world and I may run into some of these folks after I retire - you never know. I have found that having a definite end date makes it easier to maintain at least most of my motivation.
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Old 09-21-2012, 10:26 AM   #3
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How have other people maintained that motivation during those final months and weeks?
Congratulations on setting a date later this year

Respect for my friends and colleagues was my main motivation, plus a little self interest. I did my best to fully document the projects I was handing over and also to train the guy who was taking over my routine department responsibilities. I guess that I was lucky to be working with a bunch of guys and gals that I got on well with.

I suppose there was also a little self interest in that I need the company to continue to do well and pay my pension
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Old 09-21-2012, 10:31 AM   #4
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Congratulations! I only had a couple of months from when I decided to leave until my last day, but I tried very hard not to sweat the small stuff (much more effectively than before I made my decision) and to focus on positive things like passing along information to colleagues (most of whom I really respected and enjoyed both as co-w*rkers and as people). I also set targets for each Friday of something to complete on the path to the last day (cleaning out files both electronic and paper, documenting some aspect of my w*rk, etc.). Good luck and my prediction is the 6 months will go fine, probably faster than you think.
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Old 09-21-2012, 10:33 AM   #5
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.....How have other people maintained that motivation during those final months and weeks?
With some difficulty, but I wanted to preserve my "legacy" and reputation within the firm and leaving on good terms was important to me so I just kept my head down and bulled my way through that time. I was lucky in that things were a bit on the slow side during that time so it made it easier.
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Old 09-21-2012, 12:13 PM   #6
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I'm at T-4 and am starting to be affected to some degree motivation wise, but I do not want to drop the ball in these final days. It has been very busy at work, and I suspect it will become more so over my remaining months. While some of the typical annoying office stuff that I used to ignore is becoming a bit bothersome, my commute through several major construction projects is what really bugs me. Hope I can get through that without a major case of road rage.
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Old 09-21-2012, 12:52 PM   #7
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For me, there were actually two dates to think about: the date to make it known I would be leaving, and the date I actually left. They felt very different.

Going up to the date of letting them know I was going, I dealt with it by walking. A lot! There is a beautiful park not far from where my office was that I took full advantage of to walk and think about things or just enjoy the fresh air, the birds and the sky, kind of like walking meditation.

Once I communicated my intentions, then it was like a big release and it was great. Since I had worked there for so long (really, the only full-time job I had ever had), I wanted to give plenty of notice and I did - three months. I wouldn't have changed a thing, those three months were a great time to begin what ends up being quite an adjustment.
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Old 09-21-2012, 08:15 PM   #8
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When I made the "decision" I felt very elated and excited and like a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. I think I gave 6 months notice because we had to find my replacement and get him/her trained up to take over. I wanted very much so to leave on good terms and was determined to work as hard to finish up as I always had. I also had a bonus coming that was based on performance too. I wanted to get absolutely everything that I had coming to me and I was willing to perform to receive it. Everything went well and those 6 months went by very quickly. All in all I have no regrets and feel good that I left there on good terms with everyone and did my best to leave everything in good shape so that my replacement could carry on without a hitch. I really enjoyed that time and you should too. You'll see what I mean as the days go by.
Congratulations on your decision and good luck with the future.
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Old 09-21-2012, 10:33 PM   #9
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What others said about professionalism and not letting people down and leaving on good terms. Also, I felt better about focusing on important things and to some point, just stopped worrying about the busywork that didn't really help anyone, but you had to do to avoid getting dinged on reviews. Plus I could stop worrying about the politics.

At least that's how I like to remember it. The reality is, there didn't happen to be much important work other than putting together some slides and a document on what I did, and I blew off the things that didn't matter, so I didn't do all that much.
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Old 09-22-2012, 06:50 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 67walkon View Post
The few remaining months between having made that decision and carrying it out make my motivation at work really low. ... I haven't discussed the actual date with my partners but will do so in October or November. ... How have other people maintained that motivation during those final months and weeks?
I'm in the very same situation: set the date to retire Jan 31, plan to announce in November and the motivation now is a little low. However, I'm coping by enjoying the moment. I know I won't be dealing with the challenges of the fiscal year at Megacorp. So, I'm soaking in the Dilbert-ness of it all. (I hope I'm not unintentionally giving away my intentions with that little grin on my face!)
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Old 09-22-2012, 07:06 AM   #11
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Congratulations to those that now have firm or committed retirement dates. My memory of the final months and phase out period: my work environment did not change that much. There was still work to be done, meetings to attend, reports and presentations, etc. In a organization people assimilate the news and move on, so when the word gets out about the retirement date one is the "news", but pretty soon co-workers adapt, incorporate the change, and move on.

The one big difference was an immediate reduction in work related stress. The constant sense of impending crisis and artificial deadline was no longer. With that gone work actually became enjoyable once again.
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Old 09-22-2012, 12:33 PM   #12
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My wife and I have decided that the stars and our retirement accounts all align for an April 1, 2013 date, although the numbers would work fine as of January 1. The only magic of April 1 is that I will be within 18 months of being 65 and can COBRA for 18 months. That and our youngest will be about finished with his next to last year of college and we have the last year's expenses in a 529 account. April 1 is also the start of the 2d quarter, so that works nicely.
I'd originally picked April 1 for another reason but let my boss talk me into staying another couple of months to help recruit/train a replacement. This becomes interesting as the slow moving HR process meant my replacement was annointed 2 weeks before I left and had scheduled all but 3 days of that as vacation.

While I kept up the day to day and project stuff I didn't initiate anything new. No reason to make the new guy second guess it. Leaving on good terms was important to me. While mega-corp had its failings, it was good to me. No point in pointing out little irritations that wouldn't be changed anyway.
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Old 09-22-2012, 03:17 PM   #13
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The wife and I settled on July, 2013 as our severance dates, based on a number of factors related to years of service, hours worked for the year, etc.

That decision was made in 2010.

In May of 2011, my boss (a VP) called me in to discuss succession planning, and to let me know that in his succession plan he had identified me as his replacement.

Soooo, I had to break it to him that I had no intention of succeeding him, unless he got himself killed right away.

From that point until now, he and his peers and higher-ups were the only ones that knew of my planned retirement date. I have been charged with helping him to identify a suitable replacement for myself, which has resulted in my assigning some large projects to others as tests of their skills and resiliency.

The result is that nearly a year from retirement, I am running out of stuff to do, since all of my hard work is delegated to potential successors, who had to be told that I was planning to retire and that they were "auditioning" for my role. I participate in meetings daily in which long-term initiatives are being discussed, and my peers are the first to say "what do you care, you won't be here then". I do care, and I do want all of the company's efforts to be successful, but am more bored every week.

I used to work from 6am to 5pm five days a week, eating lunch at my desk, or not at all. Now I arrive later, sometimes as late as 8am, leave at 4pm, and often go home for lunch for an hour or so (we sold our house and are renting <5 minutes from my office). I go out to lunch with vendors, which I never did before.

I am basically employed as a career development coach for my replacement(s).
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Old 09-22-2012, 04:54 PM   #14
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I am still working, my goal is end of 2013 or mid 2014, so I can only respond about what keeps me going! I am taking on some different projects and my annual bonus is an important part of my retirement savings, so I want to work toward the best one I can get. Outside of my control, my dept was recently reorganized so that has livened things up a bit.

In reading the responses, I am surprised that anyone working for MegaCorp would give more than a month's notice. For a smaller firm/partnership it makes sense to allow extra time, but in the Megaworld there is always someone to fill your shoes. I plan to give my notice for two weeks when I retire, so there will be less finger twiddling after I pass on project knowledge. Of course, my company has no retirement benefits other than 401k, so no one really retires they just leave...no major discussions with HR or anyone is necessary...
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Old 09-22-2012, 04:56 PM   #15
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"For me, there were actually two dates to think about: the date to make it known I would be leaving, and the date I actually left. They felt very different."

I'm envious of the posters here in one aspect - that their current work continues to give them some motivation. I loved my career but was downsized 1 1/2 years ago. my current job is related to my career/experience, but is frankly boring and unchallenging.
For my motivation, I have THREE dates to think about - 12/25, when we leave for our end of year cruise, then mid-February when I give [2 weeks] notice and that m'gosh-I-can't-wait date of 3/1/13 when I finally leave!
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Old 09-22-2012, 05:05 PM   #16
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In a sense, I've got a "successor" already in place, and except for a few matters I'm committed to, there isn't a lot of new work to do. When a new case comes in (I'm a lawyer), I'm getting one of the younger guys involved immediately. There are 3 or 4 matters I'll see through no matter how long it takes, but I'm delegating all of the new matters. That means I have days like Steevo where there isn't all that much to do. That, by the way, is worse than being too busy.

I won't leave partners hanging, but on the other hand, I have no financial reason to work, I'm sick of the pettiness and BS, so it is time to go no matter what. I've go a million things to do outside of work and want to get going on them. So waiting until April 1 might be a problem, but I'll do the right thing by as many people as possible, including my wife.
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Old 09-22-2012, 06:41 PM   #17
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In reading the responses, I am surprised that anyone working for MegaCorp would give more than a month's notice. For a smaller firm/partnership it makes sense to allow extra time, but in the Megaworld there is always someone to fill your shoes.
My mega-corp currently has a market cap of about $40B. It was higher when I left. At no time has it had a head-office head-count above 200. It still took almost 3 months to make the obvious choice. Never underestimate the inertia of an HR Department.
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Old 09-22-2012, 09:43 PM   #18
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How have other people maintained that motivation during those final months and weeks?
I had two letters from the Navy's Bureau of Personnel framed next to my office door.

The first one said that I'd be allowed to stay on active duty until 1 June 2002. Our department had seen a lot of abrupt (disruptive) turnover, so this gave everyone some reassurance that I'd really be in the job for 56 months.

The second one said that I'd retire on 1 June 2002. This gave everyone a deadline for whatever they thought I could do for them.

My motivation was to leave a good turnover for my relief. We were all instructors at a military training command, so leaving a good tutorial was a matter of pride.
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Old 09-24-2012, 11:44 AM   #19
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I think I honestly started "thinking" about retiring at least 10 years before I did. I then had a date in mind, my wife had a later date in mind, and we went with the later date.

Because I was a Director and was the boss, I gave 3 months notice. In retrospect, it was a little too long,ut there is a lot to do when you are leaving. I can honestly say that motivation never dwindled for me, because there was so much to do. I was actually doing "meaningful" work 2 hours before my last day ended.

Now it has been a year already since I left. My how time flies.

In reviewing the past year, I must give myself some kudos. My projections for budgeting and retirement income have included no surprises.
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Old 09-24-2012, 01:30 PM   #20
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Reading these thoughtful replies makes me realize something else. I'm a lawyer and have a professional responsibility to clients and, for the most part, I like them! I'll finish up their matters even if I'm technically retired from my law firm.

But what I've realized after reading these and reflecting is that a major part of my frustration is that our younger partners just won't do anything to prepare for the older guys' retirement. One partner is older than me and would quit tomorrow if he had enough saved. The three younger ones refuse to come up with any sort of business plan to keep the firm alive, and it's been around for about 50 years. The younger guys are in their 50's and seem more intent on figuring out how to cut costs and contract space than they are about building a future. So I come in daily and see unhappy faces, people who aren't making as much as they wish they were making and pressure to accept cases we never would have considering taking just 10 or 15 years ago. Very little good quality work comes in except from us two older guys, and as we admittedly are feeling burned out, that means stuff we turn down gets turned over to the younger guys. It is a vicious cycle, I guess. There's internal pressure to bill a lot of hours but not enough good work to justify the hours and I'm not going to make up hours or do things that don't need to be done. I would rather not work than work under these kinds of conditions.

And it isn't that we haven't tried to get the younger guys to develop a business plan. It's partly the bad economy and people just trying to survive, but it's partly kind of what some of you referred to as the "mega corp" syndrome. We're not a mega corp, but lately it seems those folks want to work 8 hour days, go home and let someone else worry about where those 8 hours are going to come from tomorrow. We've done a poor job of developing leaders!

So that is a large part of my frustration. I can deal with it for 3 months or 6 months, but when you get to the financial point where you don't have to deal with, it's hard.
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