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Old 06-20-2008, 03:39 PM   #81
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I have 4 years left on my mortgage. It's my mission in life to get my house paid off ASAP. I've been in the same corporate job since 1999 and survived several mergers and acquisitions, but you never know what is lurking around the corner. I'm 31 so my house will be paid off by the time I'm 35. I have put away a decent amount into my 401K and Roth IRA too. If anything my only concern is not having a lot of short term funds available if disaster strikes, but I figure once the house is paid off I'll have plenty of extra money to regularly invent in non-retirement savings.

-Raymond
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Old 06-20-2008, 05:19 PM   #82
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Popowich, if it were me I'd make the priority (1) get emergency funds in place, (2) fund all tax advantaged accounts, and then (3) pay off the mortgage. But then I still have a mortgage in retirement because I've had a mild amount of leverage all my life and in our case there are tax benefits.
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Old 06-22-2008, 12:22 PM   #83
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I have them in the order 2, 3, 1.

I do have some non-retirement savings, and I figure worst case I also have the IRA contributions available if I need them.

It is true that since I have a Roth IRA that I can withdraw the contributions (nothing earned beyond them) tax free since it was taxed before going into the account, correct?

-Raymond
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Old 06-22-2008, 12:43 PM   #84
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It is true that since I have a Roth IRA that I can withdraw the contributions (nothing earned beyond them) tax free since it was taxed before going into the account, correct?
Yes, this is true for your *contributions* which have already been taxed. I don't think one should normally look at retirement savings as something to tap into before retirement, BUT this is one potential exception: if you are in the position to fund EITHER the emergency fund OR the Roth -- and there's no way you can afford both -- THEN it makes sense to contribute to the Roth as an "emergency emergency fund."

But even in that case, I'd wait until just before the Roth contribution deadline to fund it, because if you contributed $5000 to it now, needed $5000 in an emergency next month and then came across another lump sum, you couldn't put it back into the Roth. Whereas if you kept the $5000 in savings, you'd have it for your near-term emergency and could still fund the Roth up to $5K until April 15 of the following year.

And if you did have to consider the Roth as an "emergency emergency fund," then at least a portion of it should be invested very conservatively as you would do with a "real" emergency fund.
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Old 06-24-2008, 01:43 PM   #85
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Dave, I worked with degreed professionals also and in an R&D technology setting. I'm not sure you are talking about a mass layoff situation and I am. In those situations everybody is vulnerable. Perhaps you have not experienced this and have seen only a few layed off?

In any case I still contend that 99% of workers try hard and deserve our respect when layed off. In my workplace some of the first to be layed off probably deserved to be the first because some of them did not perform as well as the ones who stayed. But they still deserved a lot of respect from me and I feel like the company failed them.
Ibscal, you are correct...I was not talking of a mass layoff and we have not seen that at my company. The closest we've come to that in my 20 years with this
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Old 06-24-2008, 01:46 PM   #86
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Dave, I worked with degreed professionals also and in an R&D technology setting. I'm not sure you are talking about a mass layoff situation and I am. In those situations everybody is vulnerable. Perhaps you have not experienced this and have seen only a few layed off?

In any case I still contend that 99% of workers try hard and deserve our respect when layed off. In my workplace some of the first to be layed off probably deserved to be the first because some of them did not perform as well as the ones who stayed. But they still deserved a lot of respect from me and I feel like the company failed them.
Ibscal, you are correct that I was not talking about a mass layoff. The closest we've come is that senior management at one time determined that we had too many people in some areas compared to our peers. In this case, a VOLUNTARY separation package was offered to those employees.

All terminated employees (except those who have broken the law at work by embezzling, etc.) should be entitled to some basic outplacement services and respectful treatment.

Regards,

Dave
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Old 06-24-2008, 01:55 PM   #87
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I've been thinking more about how interesting and different a beast IT is. Just about every company I've worked with has centralized IT into a single cost center. So, there's no concept of moving around different departments within the company. At best, you'd be able to move around within IT to support different business groups. Still, most companies I know of any size have consolidated their IT disciplines into central groups as well. As a result, you don't have programmers tied to, say, the finance department's systems. Rather, you have a programmer group with some system specialists but many responsibilities just shared or passed around. There's no easy way to differentiate yourself.

For me, that's compounded by the fact that I'm generally in the upper non-management ranks in whatever IT shop I land. If I don't want direct reports, then there's nothing I could possibly do but move laterally to another company (assuming I want to stick in the megacorp world, that is).

Additionally, since most big companies see IT as a cost center, we're at risk for being off-shored to whatever the low-cost provider flavor of the month happens to be. I don't mind the competition, but the best defense is to move into perceived 'high-value' roles like the one I've had for the last 8 years. Sometimes, no amount of detailed system or business knowledge can help... especially when your employer is acting especially irrational. We're losing some of our best programmers here due to layoff; people with deep knowledge of both the business and system processes. They're being replaced with cheaper talent. I envy them because they're getting paid to leave (whereas I'm getting paid to stay).

That's not to say that there's no deadwood. Heck, I could come up with a pretty sizeable list of people I'd fire tomorrow. However, that list has a very low correlation to the list of people being laid off.

In the case of the people being laid off, most of them will pick up jobs rather quickly, even if the economy keeps slowing. Like me, they've worked to keep their network updated, keep their skills current, and to keep learning. However, just being good and being good at your job isn't really a factor in if you keep your current job or not.
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Old 06-24-2008, 01:58 PM   #88
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In this case, a VOLUNTARY separation package was offered to those employees.
Funny story. Our sister company went to thin out IT a few years ago. They offered voluntary packages. So many people took the package that they had to hire back a significant percentage as hourly contractors with an accompanying significant expense hike to fill gaps. Sadly, they learned their lesson when we did the same thing here because it ended up being a lottery almost. If you were lucky enough to have a given job title, you got the package. I remind my ex-boss once a week that he screwed me by changing my job title.
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Old 06-24-2008, 02:24 PM   #89
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They offered voluntary packages. So many people took the package that they had to hire back a significant percentage as hourly contractors with an accompanying significant expense hike to fill gaps.
Every few years, the military does pretty much the same thing in various occupational specialties. They never learn.
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Old 06-24-2008, 06:10 PM   #90
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I agree with this to a point, but at my company (a large company where people move around frequently to increase their exposure to other parts of the company...be it other functions, other business units, etc.). As a result, it's very common to hire into a group with 6 other people, and a year later 4 of them are different people...including the boss. In my company if you stay in one job more than about 4 years, people start asking when you're going to move to another role. In a large, complex company like ours I find this valuable. I've worked in 3 of our 4 business units, and I've worked in Purchasing, Finance, Research, and Operations. This gives me excellent insight into the overall business and allows me to make good decisions about how to make changes that improve the company. I'm sure this would not work well in many companies, but I believe it does in ours.

I guess what I'm saying is that the "clique" changes about every 6 months.
This is a good thing. It prevents group think because you don't just take what others say because you like them as people. It also prevents a lot of the FOB stuff I mentioned. In fact, it's the way I like it.

The kind of FOB stuff I mentioned occurred at a small company that was acquired. The people from the small company operate very much on an FOB basis. I'm not saying that they aren't hard working and smart, but there is definitely more sucking up and ass kissing than I'm used to. Like you said, in large companies, being a sucker fish doesn't help that much because the fishes change so often.
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Old 06-24-2008, 11:39 PM   #91
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... you are correct that I was not talking about a mass layoff. The closest we've come is that senior management at one time determined that we had too many people in some areas compared to our peers.
Maybe you work for a sheltered company or in a sheltered industry. I've worked in high tech for years and virtually every company has had mass layoffs of some sort. Sometimes several of them at the same time. Anyone can be caught up in these and your suggestion that only slackers and low performers are laid off is ridiculous. You've cultivated quite an attitude of superiority, but I think you are wrong.
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Old 06-28-2008, 09:33 PM   #92
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Maybe you work for a sheltered company or in a sheltered industry. I've worked in high tech for years and virtually every company has had mass layoffs of some sort. Sometimes several of them at the same time. Anyone can be caught up in these and your suggestion that only slackers and low performers are laid off is ridiculous. You've cultivated quite an attitude of superiority, but I think you are wrong.
Not sure what you mean by "sheltered". I work in a manufacturing company. We have had mass layoffs, but only of production workers, not professional workers.

I only said that "slackers and low performers" (as you put it) have been laid off IN MY COMPANY IN THE PAST 20 YEARS. I don't know how many times I have to say this...I have been talking about MY COMPANY and MY EXPERIENCES. I clearly articulated that this could easily be different in other companies.

I do not think I am superior to anyone, including you. Like 98% of the rest of the people where I work...I work very hard and apply all my skills and knowledge to the best of my ability. There are, however, 2% of my co-workers who choose not to do this...and it has come back to bite most of them.

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Old 06-29-2008, 10:26 AM   #93
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I do not think I am superior to anyone, including you. Like 98% of the rest of the people where I work...I work very hard and apply all my skills and knowledge to the best of my ability. There are, however, 2% of my co-workers who choose not to do this...and it has come back to bite most of them.

Dave
Don't worry Dave, I don't think you believe you are superior to anyone. OP asked folks for their experiences in large corporations and it sounds like you have been fortunate with the corporation you work for, and at the location you work.
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Old 06-29-2008, 11:42 AM   #94
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I only said that "slackers and low performers" (as you put it) have been laid off IN MY COMPANY IN THE PAST 20 YEARS. I don't know how many times I have to say this...I have been talking about MY COMPANY and MY EXPERIENCES. I clearly articulated that this could easily be different in other companies.
(1) Please don't shout.

(2) If you didn't mean to suggest that your experience was more or less typical, I wonder why you bothered to post about it.
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Old 06-29-2008, 06:50 PM   #95
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(1) Please don't shout.

(2) If you didn't mean to suggest that your experience was more or less typical, I wonder why you bothered to post about it.
My apologies for all caps...I should have used bold instead to draw attention to certain words.

I share my experience because if many of us share individual experiences, we then slowly get a true picture of what goes on overall.
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Old 06-29-2008, 06:51 PM   #96
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Don't worry Dave, I don't think you believe you are superior to anyone. OP asked folks for their experiences in large corporations and it sounds like you have been fortunate with the corporation you work for, and at the location you work.
Thanks Alan...yes I've been fortunate.
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