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View Poll Results: ER, was it your choice or did the company give you a push.
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Early Retirment: Your idea or the Company's
Old 09-28-2007, 05:30 AM   #1
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Early Retirment: Your idea or the Company's

This is a poll for those that ERd. When you ERd, was it a decision you made, or did the company make the decision (i.e., forceout, downsize, etc).

As a point of clarification. If the company offer an ER package, consider for the purposes of the poll that the company made the decision. Those packages usually come in a humane way... but if the numbers are not made, the force out (i.e., pressure begins).

Anyone can provide comments or clarifications in the post.


EDIT: I probably should have put this one in Life after FIRE
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Old 09-28-2007, 08:21 AM   #2
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I had already bought my retirement house in Fla. and was planning my exit. Then my boss decided to sell his business and that sort of just put my butt in gear.
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Old 09-28-2007, 08:38 AM   #3
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Can't speak for me, but in my dad's case it was a little of both. It was originally his idea. He stood at the edge of ER, his employer first pulled him back from the edge and then encouraged him to jump later.

He considered ER at 55 (in 1990) as soon as he was eligible, and he was close to pulling the trigger. But his bosses didn't want to lose him, so suddenly they started making his job a lot more tolerable, almost enjoyable. So he stuck around.

In 1992, though, Megacorp announced early retirement incentives. In this case, it included the following:

* lump sum payout of two weeks pay per year of service (up to a maximum of one year's pay -- Dad was eligible for nearly a full year's pay)

* An extra 5 years of service for pension purposes

* The Holy Grail -- fully-paid early retiree health benefits until age 65

Needless to say, at age 57 he was all over that one. His bosses couldn't make the job so enjoyable that he was going to pass on that.
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Old 09-28-2007, 08:43 AM   #4
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wow ... didn't get anything near Ziggy's dad. The severence was more like 2 years service for 1 week's pay ... and don't let the door hit you in the @ss on your way out.

Was shooting for FIRE at 45 ... got the package at 43. We'll make it work.
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Old 09-28-2007, 09:45 AM   #5
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I had been planning since the day I started, to ER @ 55. We could get the full pension bennies IF we had at least 35 years service and were 55 years old. I would have qualified with no problem! However, in Feb. '06, they announced an ER Incentive, lowering the qualifying age to 50 and/or the service years to 30. The only catch was you had to "buy" the years/service credit to meet the original 55/35 qualifications.

The ERI has been offered about every 5 years to get rid of us "expensive" employees, with the high longevity pay bonuses. I bought my 5 years, actual cost to me was $9600...and that was paid for with part of a tax-free spousal pension refund that I got (the balance of the refund was put in a Rollover IRA).

The initial idea to ER was completely mine......the "man" just made it easier and sooner!!!

(Since there was no option "C"....'Decision Equally Split Between Employee & Employer".....I didn't cast a vote.)
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Old 09-28-2007, 09:52 AM   #6
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Like Goonie, the decision was all mine but "the man" made it easier. I had been planning to FIRE for about four years before I pulled the plug. But megacorp made it easier by accelerating the vesting of some stock options for accounting purposes. That decision guaranteed I would FIRE as planned.
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Old 09-28-2007, 10:20 AM   #7
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The decision was all mine. The wonderful company I worked for had turned sour after moving from private to public. The focus of keeping the employees happy to making the stockholders happy instead had a profound effect on the company culture. Once I decided to hang it up and hand in my resignation, my boss came back with the line, "I was just in the process of promoting you". But who wants a higher paying job with mores stress in a company that you no longer repect?

Lucky for me the financial picture was in my favor to ER.... so I did. I thank my lucky stars for all the stress in the final years. Without those turn of events... I would probably still be working. HA!
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Old 09-28-2007, 10:29 AM   #8
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I applied for early retirement three times (14, 15 & 17 years of service) before reaching the "mandatory" 20-year retirement.

The first time I was just under the eligibility cutoff. The second time there was still too much deadwood of a backlog of more senior eligible submariners ahead of me. The third time the submarine community realized they'd already cut too deep and the leadership was scrambling. The fourth time there was talk of a waiver but I wasn't going to hang around to see what happened...
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Old 09-28-2007, 12:17 PM   #9
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Didn't vote, since I am still working.

I am going to ER in 2.2 - 2.8 years, come h* or high water (hopefully not the last, again). So, I would vote that it will be my decision.
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Old 09-28-2007, 12:42 PM   #10
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There seems to be a grey area between retiring voluntarily and being pushed out. Like many above, I was ready to go for a couple of years before I actually left. Megacorp was equally ready to have senior folks go and was identifying senior folks to boot........with a fairly generous severance package designed to avoid age discrimination lawsuites. It began with voluntary severance packages but quickly morphed into involuntary severance packages.

My case...... Multiple trips to the boss's office to "volunteer" off the record to be put on the involuntary RIF list and be booted with a severance package (and the same retirement benefits as if I'd simply applied to retire.) The results, two years later my name showed up on a list and within a few months I was RE.

Top management handled it as though it was an involuntary severance and did everything by the book. Even my boss, who I had discussed "voluntering for the involuntary list" with multiple times, never mentioned that in any of the exit debriefings/meetings/interviews. Peers and friends, however, handled it as though I was voluntarily retiring, threw the usual party and lunches, etc. and most of us are still in touch.

So, I don't know how to vote. I guess I just got thrown into that awful briar patch!
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Old 09-28-2007, 12:53 PM   #11
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My company has made it pretty clear that they don't want you after 55, unless of course you are upper management. Downsizing and bringing in new blood has something to do with it. It is also a way to cut wages by hiring new people at half the price, eliminating benifits, and increase the temporary/permanent employee ratio. It's a whole new ballgame out there now adays.
I really don't want to work there anymore so I guess it is my decision.
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Old 09-28-2007, 01:02 PM   #12
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My old company went through several mergers and acquisitions in the last few years but never offered any "packages' to those who were downsized as a result. In the back of my mind, I always figured that getting an "early out" and a package would be like finding an unexpected present under the Christmas tree, so when two more huge acquisitions were completed and new cuts were announced, with nice incentives, I was relatively happy to take the deal. I walked out the door, age 58, a little nervous because I just tend to be that way about feeling financially secure. That was 6 months ago and I think it was the best thing that ever happened to me.
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Old 09-28-2007, 01:38 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SamHouston View Post
My old company went through several mergers and acquisitions in the last few years but never offered any "packages' to those who were downsized as a result. In the back of my mind, I always figured that getting an "early out" and a package would be like finding an unexpected present under the Christmas tree, so when two more huge acquisitions were completed and new cuts were announced, with nice incentives, I was relatively happy to take the deal. I walked out the door, age 58, a little nervous because I just tend to be that way about feeling financially secure. That was 6 months ago and I think it was the best thing that ever happened to me.
Good for you. I hope I have the same feeling when I walk out the door for the last time.
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Old 09-28-2007, 01:46 PM   #14
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100% my idea. If I had stayed one more year my pension from my employer would have kicked in immediatly, however, by leaving when I did, I have to wait another 5 years for that pension to start paying off. So financially I should have waited, however, the time was right on all the other fronts and DW and I do not regret it one bit!
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Old 09-28-2007, 04:36 PM   #15
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what color was my parachute? i was only pushed in the sense that my job became a source of misery. they would have loved the opportunity to keep me miserable so it's not like i was pushed. it is more like i jumped.
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Old 09-28-2007, 06:33 PM   #16
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Pushed

Having worked for several companies that cut back, failed, or were liquidated, it wasn't anything new when the last one cut back during the last recession. I enjoyed the work, but not having to find something new every three years or so, particularly during recessions when the only companies hiring are those that could only manage to hold employees during a recession. The thrill was gone.
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Old 09-28-2007, 09:22 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SamHouston View Post
My old company went through several mergers and acquisitions in the last few years but never offered any "packages' to those who were downsized as a result. In the back of my mind, I always figured that getting an "early out" and a package would be like finding an unexpected present under the Christmas tree, so when two more huge acquisitions were completed and new cuts were announced, with nice incentives, I was relatively happy to take the deal. I walked out the door, age 58, a little nervous because I just tend to be that way about feeling financially secure. That was 6 months ago and I think it was the best thing that ever happened to me.
My company has just gone through one divestment of 2 of its businesses and I would have jumped at the package on offer but I wasn't in the businesses being sold. The remaining businesses have now been sold - waiting for FTC and EU regulators to approve. I would love to be offered a package if the deal goes through next summer, otherwise I'll just hang on until I'm eligible for ER (March 2010)
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Old 09-30-2007, 09:28 AM   #18
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Both?

"Pack yer **** and leave" isn't very subtle...

"But here's a nice parting gift."
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Old 09-30-2007, 10:34 AM   #19
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My idea totally ! I had enough of nursing and I always planned on retiring in my 50's so one day enough was enough and I quit .
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Old 10-01-2007, 03:58 PM   #20
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I was going to retire in 2008, but Ford made me "an offer that I couldn't refuse".

They also added on "If we don't get enough volunteers (early retirements or just voluntary separation) we will have involuntary separations !"

Maybe I saved some 40-50 year old who didn't have enough years to retire and did not want to relocate out of Michigan.
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