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Got a Request - Should I or Shouldn't I
Old 08-05-2012, 06:57 PM   #1
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Got a Request - Should I or Shouldn't I

Fidelity's, Vanguard's, and FireCalc say I am 100% past age 90. My own where I ran 11 scenarios says worst case scenario I will run out at age 82, but will still have Social Security for myself and my wife, my AF Retirement, and a small disability payment (plus another small <$100 pension for my wife).

I have been for the last 5 years Semi-Retired - working 18 - 20 hours a week and generally getting acclimated to retirement. As of June this year that has dried up and I guess now I am retired..., but

Friday, I got a call from an old client (kind of an old client) of a previous employer who wants me to come in and help them out (though another contractor). They want me Full Time and with the Work Statement they provided it would take a couple of years effort to complete. This client is not who I used to support - they are the client that I used to report as a shortfall every month while working for my client. They have been directed to get their act together - they want me to help...

I do not want to go back to work Full Time for two years (maybe more), but we have been doing a lot of renovations lately with our downsizing and planned moves and the money would easily replenish the pot that we have been pulling from and would allow us to add some more to it (larger buffer)...

I could take it and after 6 - 9 months just say I have had enough (renovation pot replenished), but that just does not seem fair - they would have to find someone and then that person would need time to get up to speed etc. etc. etc. They are not going to be able to find someone that can do it as easily or maybe even as efficiently as I can since I am the original discoverer and already know the business and a lot of the solutions - but TWO years...

What do ya'll think. They are a nice group of people, but again...
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Old 08-05-2012, 07:02 PM   #2
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Maybe tell them you aren't interested but will, for appropriate compensation, work with them for 6-9 months to help find someone, get them started and up to speed on the project?
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Old 08-05-2012, 07:08 PM   #3
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Of course, you are the only person who can answer the question, because it's about what matters to you.

If I were in your situation, I would not want to commit to two years of full time work. I would propose another idea: spend up to a year, part time, mentoring someone else. After all, you are not the long term solution, so that will be necessary in any case. If they didn't agree to that idea, I would play hard to get. If you have proprietary expertise, you have negotiating power.
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Old 08-05-2012, 07:18 PM   #4
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If you have proprietary expertise, you have negotiating power.
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Maybe tell them you aren't interested but will, for appropriate compensation, work with them for 6-9 months to help find someone, get them started and up to speed on the project?

I kind of do have proprietary expertise. I have trained 8 people in this area over my career - only two were able to stick to it as a career - to be successful in it you kind of have to have a natural talent that many claim, but only a few possess (there are others doing it - just badly - that is why they want me). I already upped my $$ requirement by 30% (should have gone 50% LOL).

They have been looking for almost 4 months now - kind of explains why when one of the supervisors from the area saw me at Lowes he asked a lot of questions about how I was enjoying retirement and whether or not I ever considered coming back. They were trying not to ask me. They got directed to ask me...

Oh and that is one of the requirements - to get one of them ready to take my place...
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Old 08-05-2012, 07:31 PM   #5
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REW and Mead have the right idea. You are hesitant because it is far from ideal, being too long of a commitment and full-time. Since you seem willing and able to say no, counter with a proposal that you would definitely say yes to, which sounds like part-time and shorter duration. If they don't agree, that's fine, it's not for you. If they want you bad enough, they'll come around.
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Old 08-05-2012, 07:48 PM   #6
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Friday, I got a call from an old client (kind of an old client) of a previous employer who wants me to come in and help them out (though another contractor). They want me Full Time and with the Work Statement they provided it would take a couple of years effort to complete. This client is not who I used to support - they are the client that I used to report as a shortfall every month while working for my client. They have been directed to get their act together - they want me to help...
I do not want to go back to work Full Time for two years (maybe more), but we have been doing a lot of renovations lately with our downsizing and planned moves and the money would easily replenish the pot that we have been pulling from and would allow us to add some more to it (larger buffer)...
I could take it and after 6 - 9 months just say I have had enough (renovation pot replenished), but that just does not seem fair - they would have to find someone and then that person would need time to get up to speed etc. etc. etc. They are not going to be able to find someone that can do it as easily or maybe even as efficiently as I can since I am the original discoverer and already know the business and a lot of the solutions - but TWO years...
What do ya'll think. They are a nice group of people, but again...
I hate to extrapolate without data, but that's never held me back before.

From the way you describe these clients, they sound like charmingly incompetent people. "Charming" because they have you seriously flattered and considering employment for a project that "only you can show us how to do". "Incompetent" because they seemed to be a chronic laggard back when you were working, now they're under the gun, and they've been looking four months without success.

Are you sure you want to go back to work at all, let alone for these... people? When you do, all of their "incompetent" problems will become yours to solve. They'll have no incentive to train & promote from within, and they'll certainly have no incentive to find your relief from outside. It's quite possible that they'll just bumble along for two years and then ask you to extend.

If you like them, then work for them on your terms. Tell them that you'll be willing to log 18-20 hours/week for two years six months. Quote them an hourly rate that's 50% higher than what you'd normally charge: not only because they're not paying your 401(k) match or your health insurance, but because you want to see how truly committed they are. Tell them that you're planning an extended vacation next April-- that way there's a deadline and it's their problem.

THEN you can decide whether you want to surrender your liberty.

Personally I think you're being flattered into volunteering for whipping-boy duty. But again I might be extrapolating from insufficient data.
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Old 08-05-2012, 07:57 PM   #7
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I couldn't have put it better......I agree with Nords!
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:06 PM   #8
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Actually some of what Nords said is very true and I know it, but the only thing that is even making me considering it is the replenishment of the renovation funds (that have or will exceed the budget).

I have another telecom with them either tomorrow or Tuesday. I will ask more questions and some of the replies here (including Nords) have provided me with more food for thought when I talk to them.

I posted to see if replies generated would provide me with additional thoughts with this subject. I know the final decision with this is on me, but adding additional thoughts always helps...
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Old 08-05-2012, 10:34 PM   #9
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Semi, I reread your initial post and I saw only 3 things: 1) a desire to replenish some funds 2) having a 100% success rate of retirement money 3) not wanting to work full time. I did not see anywhere that you mentioned you would enjoy this opportunity. Is it possible you are examining this opportunity more out of needless financial worry or out of true desire? Only reason I mention this is I am dealing with this same situation. Three months ago I got talked into a job after initially rejecting it. He added more money to the offer and I accepted. Well those 3 months are up next week and I now have to start. I took it because I thought this would be my last opportunity to add to my stash. I now seriously think I made a mistake as my monthly pension income is way more than my needs. It is a year long commitment and no way will I back out this late because its a friend of mine. I just hope the new routine will set in quickly and I keep a positive attitude. But, I am certain the commitment will not extend to year two!
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Old 08-05-2012, 10:46 PM   #10
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I don't know, to me once you have enough money why work. One more year syndrome, I like my job, stop it and go and enjoy yourself.
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Old 08-06-2012, 07:50 AM   #11
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Lying to them about how long you intend to stay is simply unethical. Just be honest. Say you can only guarantee 6 months and will help them bring on someone else to take the reins. Try Nords' angle if you are not sure you even want to do 6 months. When I first started with the government I remember an real estate appraiser who retired and stopped back by the office to visit after about six months. He had no interest in working but told us a company he liked a lot kept pestering him to take on a complex industrial appraisal in a different state. He finally said he would do it for twice what he considered reasonable as a polite way to brush them off. They jumped on his offer and he did the job.
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Old 08-06-2012, 10:25 AM   #12
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It sounds like you are able to afford the renovations whether or not you are working, so I would take that out of the equation as to whether or not you should take the 2-year gig.

If your part-time work hadn't dried up, you would probably still be doing that, right? Maybe you're not ready to be fully retired? I can see that you might want to take this project on and perhaps let it be your swan song?
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Old 08-06-2012, 10:40 AM   #13
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It seems like you hold almost all the cards in this negotiation so i would ask for exactly what you want (e.g., 6-9 months or 50% FTE or whatever). But I would also make a strong case for why they would still be able to meet their goals with your lessened work schedule.
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Old 08-06-2012, 06:17 PM   #14
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Lying to them about how long you intend to stay is simply unethical. Just be honest. Say you can only guarantee 6 months and will help them bring on someone else to take the reins. Try Nords' angle if you are not sure you even want to do 6 months.

Well, had my telecom - I am still a retiree. I offered 4 - 6 months with part time after that if they still needed it. The bosses were in agreement, but then the person I would be training (so to speak) had to open his mouth (*^*&)... He wanted to know why I was negotiating - did I not understand they were offering me a job and that the unemployment lines were long long long...

That ended the negotiations... There was no way I would work with him.

Looks like Nords was right...


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It sounds like you are able to afford the renovations whether or not you are working, so I would take that out of the equation as to whether or not you should take the 2-year gig.

If your part-time work hadn't dried up, you would probably still be doing that, right? Maybe you're not ready to be fully retired? I can see that you might want to take this project on and perhaps let it be your swan song?
Yes, the renovations were in my budget plans and do not impact anything substantially. Refilling the pot just left an opening for maybe another large project that we may want to do in the future (you never know)... We are planning on one more move sometime in the next few years so it could provide a little extra when that comes to pass.

I will always pick up short term project work if it becomes available or I will do hobby work to pick up a few bucks. It really has nothing to do with being ready to be fully retired or not. We use the extra money for more extravagant vacations or bigger toys... My budget allows for $600 a month for vacations or splurges. If I pick up a little extra cash now and then I can go to England or Hawaii instead of Orlando or Nashville... It also keeps my mind active.
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Old 08-06-2012, 07:00 PM   #15
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The bosses were in agreement, but then the person I would be training (so to speak) had to open his mouth (*^*&)...
You need to send him a thank you note for saving you all the grief associated with saying yes and regretting it every hour of every day...
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Old 08-06-2012, 07:21 PM   #16
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If he is still alive, that is, after saying that stuff in front of the bosses! Unemployment lines, indeed. As if!

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You need to send him a thank you note for saving you all the grief associated with saying yes and regretting it every hour of every day...
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Old 08-06-2012, 07:25 PM   #17
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If he is still alive, that is, after saying that stuff in front of the bosses! Unemployment lines, indeed. As if!
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You need to send him a thank you note for saving you all the grief associated with saying yes and regretting it every hour of every day...
Ha Ha... I might just have to do that. I did not even know he was on the line - he just spoke up out of nowhere.

My wife is happy - so I am happy... She was worried about the stress levels the area has since they are probably under the gun...
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Old 08-06-2012, 08:10 PM   #18
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Well, had my telecom - I am still a retiree. I offered 4 - 6 months with part time after that if they still needed it. The bosses were in agreement, but then the person I would be training (so to speak) had to open his mouth (*^*&)... He wanted to know why I was negotiating - did I not understand they were offering me a job and that the unemployment lines were long long long...

That ended the negotiations... There was no way I would work with him.

Looks like Nords was right...
You are well out of it. The putative trainee just doesn't get the big picture. It doesn't augur well for the company's future. But if senior management gets it, they may come back with another offer and a choice in your successor. I'll bet you still won't bite.
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Old 08-06-2012, 09:47 PM   #19
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My first reaction, of course, was that the trainee is an idiot and doesn't understand how the job market works.

My second reaction was that it wasn't THAT bad of a question, not one that seems like it should prevent you from working with someone.

However, it was bad enough if you really didn't want the job very badly. It sounds like it didn't take much to convince you that the job wasn't for you. That's not a bad thing at all, it shows where your mind is, and it's just as well this came up before you accepted the job, because a week in you'd have probably seen it wasn't what you wanted.
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Old 08-07-2012, 06:51 AM   #20
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That ended the negotiations... There was no way I would work with him.
Just curious, when the d*head spoke up how did the conversation end? Did you back off and indicate you were not really interested or did the managers return to needing a two year commitment? In other words, will the managers think the other guy derailed the discussion or clarified it?
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