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Old 09-16-2014, 06:27 AM   #21
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This thread just reminded me of something. I now direct an explative to all of you for reminding me of it. In a friendly sort of way, of course.

Before the company quietly changed their policy, this was supposed to be the week I retire. I have enough accumulated vacation time to not come in next Monday and not have to terminate employment until the end of the year. Last year (without announcing it) anyone that resigns (we have no retirement benefits to claim) will be cashed out for any remaining vacation time. I get a little over 4 hrs of vacation time for every week so by taking vacation you add additional vacation time in addition to getting the 401k and medical benefits.

Oh well, we were taken over by a British company a few years back and they are merging our benefits and policies. The vacation/retirement practice had been the norm and it definitely cost the company money over the present practice. One thing I've always noticed is that the Brits have a very sharp pencil in all things financial.

I've been trying to take as much vacation time as I can consistent with not making it too obvious I'm leaving and supporting the projects I'm on.
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Old 09-16-2014, 08:22 AM   #22
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This thread just reminded me of something. I now direct an explative to all of you for reminding me of it. In a friendly sort of way, of course.

Before the company quietly changed their policy, this was supposed to be the week I retire. I have enough accumulated vacation time to not come in next Monday and not have to terminate employment until the end of the year. Last year (without announcing it) anyone that resigns (we have no retirement benefits to claim) will be cashed out for any remaining vacation time. I get a little over 4 hrs of vacation time for every week so by taking vacation you add additional vacation time in addition to getting the 401k and medical benefits.

Oh well, we were taken over by a British company a few years back and they are merging our benefits and policies. The vacation/retirement practice had been the norm and it definitely cost the company money over the present practice. One thing I've always noticed is that the Brits have a very sharp pencil in all things financial.

I've been trying to take as much vacation time as I can consistent with not making it too obvious I'm leaving and supporting the projects I'm on.
I can see how that might help them financially--your pay is only part of your compensation and benefits like insurance, 401K match, etc are not free. I do think you are entitled to those anyway--they got your time up front. Like money in the bank you are entitled to some interest no matter how measly.

But it does seem easy to avoid--go on vacation until you use your time and then come back and work one day.
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Old 09-16-2014, 08:59 AM   #23
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Before the company quietly changed their policy, this was supposed to be the week I retire. I have enough accumulated vacation time to not come in next Monday and not have to terminate employment until the end of the year. Last year (without announcing it) anyone that resigns (we have no retirement benefits to claim) will be cashed out for any remaining vacation time. I get a little over 4 hrs of vacation time for every week so by taking vacation you add additional vacation time in addition to getting the 401k and medical benefits.

I've been trying to take as much vacation time as I can consistent with not making it too obvious I'm leaving and supporting the projects I'm on.
Hmm, I never thought this angle before. At my company, when you resign, you simply get the vacation time paid out to you. They never let us use up our vacation days to finish out our term of employment, which would let us keep adding to vacation, 401k, etc.

Our company also doesn't let us take more than two straight weeks of vacation, without special approval. I accrue 7.7 hours every two weeks, which comes out to 25 days per year.

My original plan had been to retire around my birthday, April 2, of whatever year I decide. Our raises kick in around that time, so the leave would be paid out at the higher rate. And that would give me enough salary in to do another year's worth of Roth IRA, plus a good chunk of the annual limit for the 401k. My company lets you put in up to 75%.

I'm starting to think it might not be bad idea, when the time finally comes, to start using up my vacation in large chunks, and work as little as possible, to stay on the company dole for health insurance, 401k, etc a little while longer.

But then, I don't know how I'll feel, once I started trying that. Instead of enjoying the extra time off, I may end up just hating the limited amount of time I'm at work, all the more. That's happened in the past, when I had part time second jobs and started cutting back on the hours when I didn't need them as much.
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Old 09-16-2014, 09:07 AM   #24
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But it does seem easy to avoid--go on vacation until you use your time and then come back and work one day.
I can't just leave for 3 1/2 months as much as I'd like to. It would be too obvious and someone in HR would decide my end date earlier than I want. I am scheduling as much as I think I can get away with. I have two weeks off scheduled for October. I don't work most Fridays and then only if a project needs to be put back on schedule or a client meeting is scheduled. The weeks of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years are also scheduled off. Even with all this I'll still end up with 7 to 8 weeks to get cashed out next year.

I have a serious taxable event that will occur within a month of my termination. I would much rather give ~20% of it to the government than about ~35% if I retired now.

To avoid any possible surprises my resignation date is scheduled for 5 January 2015. Two weeks notice is considered normal with people frequently being asked to finish out projects that may take a week or two more to complete. If I am not critical to a project, I'll suggest they waive the two weeks and I'm out that very day. The only thing "retirement" means with my company is that they hold a department lunch at a local Mexican restaurant. Other than that you're simply no longer an employee.
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Old 09-16-2014, 10:39 AM   #25
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I'm reading this thread with a lot of interest. In Oct we will have a discussion with a planning professional to understand how to fund our retirement (something I don't feel comfortable just going ahead and doing without some expert input on how to "pay" myself). Once I know how that can/will work I will be able to accurately pick a ER date and determining whether it makes sense to max out 401K for 2015 in the first few months, stay to a bonus date (if there are any) and how to use up the vacation. I was thinking about the cash out of vacation but the discussion here about still being on the payroll is a very good point. Of course the company could refuse my vacation request (I currently have about 200hrs on the books).

My first date I thought about was July but it could be moved back to Feb. I think in Feb we get our stock purchase plan so I'd probably stay until at least then. I'm seriously thinking about sooner rather than later
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Old 09-16-2014, 10:50 AM   #26
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Depending on your position there is some advantage to the company for you to take vacations and come back for a day or two here and there. It gives the company a chance to learn to live without you, have you come back and clean up those little issues and answer questions a time or two before you bow out permanently. Of course, management doesn't always see it that way. My management would probably have issue because technically you would still be on the rolls and that might cause issues with them looking for a replacement. Yeah, really! The rules that they make get in the way of them doing the right thing for the company, let alone for the employee...
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Old 09-16-2014, 11:08 AM   #27
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Hmm, I never thought this angle before. At my company, when you resign, you simply get the vacation time paid out to you. They never let us use up our vacation days to finish out our term of employment, which would let us keep adding to vacation, 401k, etc....
I tried to do finish out my term on vacation when I retired and they allowed me to take about 5 weeks (I had 7 weeks of vacation due to me). Close enough.
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Old 09-16-2014, 11:09 AM   #28
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I retired exactly two weeks after my last performance review and small bonus payout. For the 4th time in 5 years, I was told I was the top performer in the department, but the company was having "hard times" and my raise would be zero and my bonus was half of the calculated amount. The "hard times" at the company consisted of record profits and a nice cash balance of $21 BILLION. Somehow the CEO managed to pull in $18 million (an increase of $3 million) during these hard times. During my review, I asked my boss "how does the company expect to keeping valuable employees?" Her response - "they don't". Seemed like a good time to give notice and start my ER. My only regret was I didn't do it earlier.
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Old 09-16-2014, 11:18 AM   #29
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Did you tell them that 0% raises and bonus haircuts was why you were leaving?
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Old 09-16-2014, 11:20 AM   #30
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I'm reading this thread with a lot of interest. In Oct we will have a discussion with a planning professional to understand how to fund our retirement (something I don't feel comfortable just going ahead and doing without some expert input on how to "pay" myself).
If you haven't already done so, start a new thread with your financial particulars. There's no shortage of people here that will give you some feedback.

If you have $500k+ at Vanguard you can get a free financial plan. If you have over $1MM you get continuing contacts if desired. That's a nice benefit especially if you like Vanguard funds like many here do.

I am in the Vanguard plan development process now and the CFP validated a spending level that I doubt I'll ever spend. Of course, there were some other moves that he recommended but you aren't obligated to do any of them.
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Old 09-16-2014, 11:36 AM   #31
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Did you tell them that 0% raises and bonus haircuts was why you were leaving?
Yes, they knew that. My prior company (which I loved) outsourced most of Accounting and IT to this well-known company about 5 years earlier. Of the 35 in my department at the time of outsourcing only me and 2 others remained 5 years later. All the rest quit and were replaced mainly by contract employees. Since I was close to ER anyway, I didn't feel the desire to quit and go elsewhere (like everyone else) - although I probably should have.
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Old 09-16-2014, 12:46 PM   #32
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I tried to do finish out my term on vacation when I retired and they allowed me to take about 5 weeks (I had 7 weeks of vacation due to me). Close enough.
I was allowed to use my entire vacation balance (almost 3 months) before finally terminating. I also accrued additional vacation during that time, plus all other normal benefits (health insurance, RSU dividend equivalents, 401K match, etc). At my company, this was at the discretion of management. In my case, they needed me to help finish a project that would take several months, but only required my involvement 1-2 days per week. Worked out well for me and the company. In most cases, the vacation balance was paid in your final paycheck.
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Old 09-16-2014, 12:55 PM   #33
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I retired as soon as I hit 10 years of service and vested in both the pension plan and retiree health benefits. That happened last March so I've been able to enjoy the summer. Accrued vacation time gave me a nice $10k check and I've been living off rental income an my bank account so far. Ideally I could have stayed on for another two years until I reached 55 when my state subsidized health insurance and pension would start, but I hated my job and actually enjoying those two years is worth the $200k it has probably cost me.
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Old 09-16-2014, 02:12 PM   #34
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We had years of downsizing, layoffs if you will. As a senior manager I knew that my time would come. I decided on three courses of action. The first was to exercise my stock options in a prudent fashion so as not to jeapardize my FI. The second was to ensure that we were financially 'ready'. The third was to wait them out and not go without a golden handshake.

The downsizing came. I had done the research as to which lawyer to engage to negotiate on my behalf. It all worked out like a dream. I would have been happy to stay for another year but once I was told that my position was being eliminated I did the crocodile tears routine and make the pretence of looking for a similar position in the company.

After the termination settlement expired I went on unemployment insurance for 38 weeks-good advice from the lawyer. First time ever to claim this. To top it off, the lawyer negotiated for the company to include his fee in my settlement package. It took five months to finalize the details. I found this time challenging since I wanted a swift resolution but it was well worth the wait.

Waited another year still in order to reach a years of service plus age to commence my DB pension entitlement.
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Old 09-16-2014, 04:28 PM   #35
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It would be a dream come true to get laid off. There would be no golden handshake for me but there might be some sort of severance which is better than none that you get if you quit. And you could go on UEI as well...

But my corporate VP says...it's more punishment to keep me here. And he's right. But I also will not be given them much advanced warning. I don't feel any reason to do so.
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Old 09-16-2014, 05:02 PM   #36
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Since we're still 5-6 years out, our plans are tentative, but I'm planning on giving my 2 weeks notice the day after my bonus check clears in March of that year. DH will try for the annual RIF his company has every May, since the severance would be a nice bit of extra cash. If he doesn't get that opportunity, he'll give his notice after his bonus is deposited in July.
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