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Old 04-07-2010, 02:22 PM   #21
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Just one thought, to add to all the great help in other posts. Be very very very careful about financial advisers and fees. I can't tell you how many horror stories I have had to deal with for colleagues in your situation. I'm talking about situations that made investing with Bernie Madoff a better deal.
I use Vanguard but there are several other equally well regarded places to "park" money until you get sorted out.
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Old 04-07-2010, 04:15 PM   #22
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I am 55 and will be recieving an early retirement lump sum of 600,000. I need some help on what to do with it to recieve monthy income starting in the next year and the half. I can't be to risky with my choices. I am losing my job and not counting on finding one to soon.
Thanks, Paraman
Something I haven't seen answered: is this $600K something you can roll over into a self-directed IRA? Or is it money you are going to have to pay taxes on? That might really affect what you do with it - and how much is left after taxes. Ouch if that's the case. You also might not want it all invested with one company.

Another thing: does your severence include health insurance other than COBRA? And do you want to work again?
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Old 04-08-2010, 10:13 PM   #23
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The 600,000 can be rolled over. I will add my 401k to it as well. I can wait ~ 1.5 years to pull any money out of retirement in the worst case. Insurance is free for 1 year after that it's going to be tough. I will work on that in the next several months to figure that out. My warning period ends on July 5 and then I will start to collect unemployment. I am going to look for some sort of job after the summer.

Again thanks so much for all your comments
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Should I persure discrimination
Old 04-08-2010, 10:24 PM   #24
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Should I persure discrimination

I should of mentioned early on that I was asked if I would accept an early retirement package by my boss in order to save an younger worker. I have all the proof to back up this. Should I persue this or just move on and forget about it.
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Old 04-09-2010, 07:10 AM   #25
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I should of mentioned early on that I was asked if I would accept an early retirement package by my boss in order to save an younger worker. I have all the proof to back up this. Should I persue this or just move on and forget about it.
This sounds suspiciously like a legal question best asked of an attorney -- preferably one specializing in labor disputes. Nevertheless, it is probably something that you should pursue -- and soon... because it may be a time-sensitive issue.
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Old 04-09-2010, 10:16 AM   #26
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I should of mentioned early on that I was asked if I would accept an early retirement package by my boss in order to save an younger worker. I have all the proof to back up this. Should I persue this or just move on and forget about it.
This is something you need to ask of a lawyer.

[Edit to add: And it's something you'd need to ask *before* signing a letter to accept their severance package. These severance packages are usually only paid out after you sign away your right to sue them.]
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Old 04-09-2010, 10:45 AM   #27
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Summary of my understanding:

$144k in your 401k
$600k in retirement lump sum
2 years salary in severance.

confirm - 2 years not included in the $600k?

1 year free healthcare
eligable for unemployment (how long does that last now? 18 months @ $1400/mo?)

so your tax protected assets should be $744k, two years salary are in lump sum or payed out over 2 years?

My recommendation would be to roll lump sum retirement into 401k or IRA and preserve the tax status, cut your expenses hard right now, and if you have to ease back for comfort in a few months, you'll have room. Save all of the unemployment and as much of the severance as you can in taxable funds. The mix of taxable and tax advantaged will help you manage your tax expense. Spend the year of free healthcare checking and rechecking your options after - professional groups, individual policy, spouse job, etc for the best option. Depending on where your life/kids/social life are, you might consider in a year or two downsizing your residence. Depending on your lifestyle and needs (and kids, etc) you might be able to retire from here, or to find a low-pay non-profit job with benefits, or part-time work you enjoy. It sounds like you have a space to explore your options here, and while it's not easy, you have some viable options in front of you. Good luck!
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Old 04-09-2010, 10:58 AM   #28
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I should of mentioned early on that I was asked if I would accept an early retirement package by my boss in order to save an younger worker. I have all the proof to back up this. Should I persue this or just move on and forget about it.
Thanks
paraman

As other have said... ask a lawyer if you want to pursue... but some questions...

Did you ACCEPT this offer? If so, then I don't think you have anything to pursue as they did not lay you off. They offered you something and you accepted.

If they offered early... you did not accept... and then later they did it anyhow... I would look at your severence offer. One of the things that was on mine (and I do not know if it would be enforceable or not) was I could not sue. If I wanted to sue, then they would get back all severence payments, insurance etc...

Also, you are with a big company... I am sure they laid off a big number of people and could show in court that it was not 'age related'. One of the things they can lay you off for that is not age related is SALARY... good ole George gets paid $150,000 and is 50 YO, but Steve only costs us $80,000 and is 30. They can save a lot of money by laying off good ole George.


Last, what damages would you think you could get? Maybe two years salary You already have that... so it has to be more. What are the chances of you getting a lot more? Also, what are the state laws? In Texas, they can fire you for not cleaning the toilets if they ask you and you refuse... it is a 'right to work state'... it is not against a federal law..
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Old 04-09-2010, 03:55 PM   #29
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Thanks again for the great info everyone.
I like to add some info about the discrimination issue. My boss called me on my personnel cell phone which he had to get from one of my friends. He was asked why he didn't use the company phone to call me. ( I work in different building and my work number rings at both of my offices at the same time). He said he didn't want to use the company phone to my friend (co-worker). Please note! Incoming calls are taped at our company for security reasons since 1990. My boss called my cell phone (please understand he never ever has called me at home, my cell and really never even at work) and represented himself as being on the selection committee and asked me if I could retire with a package and be OK. Long story, short he used every trick to coerce me to say, put me on the list! He was saying things like our group may be going away and the severance package may be reduced. The final kicker was If you take a package they can save a younger employee. Please Note! I said put me on the list after much debate. Then he said he can't guarantee it. Well It happened and I was told my job was eliminated via a meeting with my Director and Look and Behold a younger Manager demoted was assigned to my Boss. I have Stella reviews and no issues ever and can perform everything for Method Development to Troubleshooting equipment and much, much more. I then told the Director of what was asked of me to do and that is when the stuff hit the fan. I ended up having to speak to the Department head and once I gave him all the info I had he ended up asking me if he found me a job , WOULD it Help!!! Looks like I have something to go with to the Lawyer. Next day He pretty much acted like my long lost friend and it was sickening. There is so much I didn't fill in but you can get the picture. I believe I have a case. I am looking at Lawyers right now and have until July 5 to sign my severance agreement if I do not pursue the case. Sorry for the long rant again, but my families quality of living is at stake here.
Thanks again and any help is really appreciated.
Paraman
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Old 04-09-2010, 08:56 PM   #30
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For the legal stuff you need to consult with an attorney knowledgeable about that area of law.

For the non-legal I am assuming based upon general knowledge of other companies that the $600k is a lump sum in lieu of a pension? And so it goes to an IRA or 401K? Is that correct?

Then you have the money already in your 401k.

I assume you would get this if you left even without the early retirement package? Is that right?

Then the early retirement package gives you an extra 2 years of salary? Is that correct?

For some people those kinds of packages are great and just gives them extra money.
A lot of it may depend on whether you could retire on about $750k ($600k plus your 401k) and 2 years salary.
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Old 04-10-2010, 12:14 AM   #31
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For the legal stuff you need to consult with an attorney knowledgeable about that area of law.

For the non-legal I am assuming based upon general knowledge of other companies that the $600k is a lump sum in lieu of a pension? And so it goes to an IRA or 401K? Is that correct?

Then you have the money already in your 401k.

I assume you would get this if you left even without the early retirement package? Is that right?

Then the early retirement package gives you an extra 2 years of salary? Is that correct?

For some people those kinds of packages are great and just gives them extra money.
A lot of it may depend on whether you could retire on about $750k ($600k plus your 401k) and 2 years salary.
Yes you are correct, The 600K is my lump sum retirement and my 401k is 150K, total 750K. The severance, if I signed my rights away would give me two years pay and free Insurance for 1 year, 5K for retraining and help with job placement. I was going to use the 2 year severance to pay mortgage off as well as the rest of my debt except my 70K boat loan. Then I was going to start a Charter business and use the boat as a right off for that. That is at least my plan.
I will hopefully get some honest answers from the lawyers on what to do about pursuing anything pertaining to my loosing my position.
Thanks so much for your comments.
Paraman
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Old 04-10-2010, 06:02 AM   #32
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2 years severance pay + 600k + 144k at 55.

You did not describe if you have a spouse working or not.... about health care coverage after the year, can you buy-in to the group plan (if so how much is the cost)?

You need to take a careful look at your spending. Consider health care costs.

Regarding you idea of a charter business... And I do not mean to rain on your parade, but inject some reality into it. Are you sure you can make a go of it or are you just going to wind up wasting money? Also, boats are fine, but expensive... you probably need to make a decision as to whether you can afford the toy.

IMO - Analyze your spending needs for the next 10 years (Including health care). Determine if you can make it on $30k/yr (4% of assets). Unless you are absolutely sure of it, consider working longer or part-time. The job market it difficult today, however it will improve. You should probably assume that your Charter idea is not likely to pan out as a reliable income stream... but more likely lead to extra expenses.
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Old 04-10-2010, 08:22 AM   #33
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2 years severance pay + 600k + 144k at 55.

You did not describe if you have a spouse working or not.... about health care coverage after the year, can you buy-in to the group plan (if so how much is the cost)?

You need to take a careful look at your spending. Consider health care costs.

Regarding you idea of a charter business... And I do not mean to rain on your parade, but inject some reality into it. Are you sure you can make a go of it or are you just going to wind up wasting money? Also, boats are fine, but expensive... you probably need to make a decision as to whether you can afford the toy.

IMO - Analyze your spending needs for the next 10 years (Including health care). Determine if you can make it on $30k/yr (4% of assets). Unless you are absolutely sure of it, consider working longer or part-time. The job market it difficult today, however it will improve. You should probably assume that your Charter idea is not likely to pan out as a reliable income stream... but more likely lead to extra expenses.
Here is some more info: My wife is presently unemployed collecting 476/week. I am losing my Job so I canít work longer. It will be tough to find a replacement job and I will not make the money I am currently making at any job locally due to not enough opportunities presently. I have the ability to make the charter business work due to my many years involved in boating as well as tournament fishing and can get overflow from friendís charter business. I am not looking to get rich. I am looking to be able to still do what I like to do and pay for it. I plan to increase my activities in the next year to build on my skill sets based on electronic installation and boat detailing as well. I am usually able to pay my boat expenses because I hold a Commercial Fishing Permit as well. I looked at my finances and right now can live at about 40K/year(net) doing everything I do presently. I do know it will be harder as time moves on with the costs of Insurance as well as everything else. I have no clue what to do about Insurance past this year yet and have lots of learning to do about that. I also have a disabled dependant to worry about and that is also troublesome. I will give myself one year starting September to get my business on the right track and if not I will peruse a new career (what, I am not sure of). We will probably not move from the area I live, but who knows for sure. I am realizing more and more I wasnít ready for this and I should of planed better earlier. I thought I had at least 5 more years to get it right. I am glad I found this site and thank everyone for their very helpful comments. I am going to meet with some local finance people as well as look at Scot-trade to see if I can get into some safe income generating funds with less costs to me as well.
Thanks again
Paraman
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Old 04-10-2010, 04:03 PM   #34
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Just in passing - your boss is SLIME! That bit about calling you on your cell phone. Ugh. I assume you didn't delete the incoming calls record - it might be useful to prove that the only incoming call from him was that day - that this was not the normal way you communicated. How truly disgusting. Maybe this will turn out to be a good thing. I assume you got COBRA for 18 months - I think that's a federal mandate - so you should have that much time to figure out health insurance.
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Old 04-10-2010, 05:14 PM   #35
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Just in passing - your boss is SLIME! That bit about calling you on your cell phone. Ugh. I assume you didn't delete the incoming calls record - it might be useful to prove that the only incoming call from him was that day - that this was not the normal way you communicated. How truly disgusting. Maybe this will turn out to be a good thing. I assume you got COBRA for 18 months - I think that's a federal mandate - so you should have that much time to figure out health insurance.
I have all my phone info as well as witness (2 of them) to what was said. You are correct about not the normal way of communication. He uses his blackberry to email everyone and again he never, ever called me on my cell phone or home phone. He didn't have my personnel cell number and got it from a friend and co-worker who quickly pointed out that my phone rings in both buildings I work in and didn't feel comfortable giving my cell number, but did. Since I will not see the severance package until mid May I have no clue what the Insurance coverage is. I believe its the same as what I have now but its free for ~15 months. As far as my BOSS goes. I found out how bad he really was by seeing the aftermath of the cuts in our department and how the Management was saved and actually increased. Talk about BS, they changed Titles of some Managers put them in the labs as team leaders with the same pay and they will do squat. Even Director level Managers were saved in various ways with demotions and then they cut the lower level workers. Most of the workers were over 50 that were let go with a few token younger workers.
I hope the meetings with the lawyers this coming week will be fruitful as well as the Finance people be able to take care of my needs.
Thanks for your comment and I will post the results of all of this, from what I ended up doing for retirement income to (fingers crossed) taking care of my discrimination case.
Paraman
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Old 04-10-2010, 05:36 PM   #36
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I have no legal training and what follows is just an opinion from a layman:
Keep in mind that your interests and those of the lawyers are not the same. On the face of it, it will be very hard to prove age discrimination. The lawyers who would take this case will be working on contingency, and will do very well if the case succeeds. OTOH, if they lose they will have lost only the hours/labor they put in. Let's just say, for argument's sake, that they can do just fine as a firm if they win 1/4th of the cases. You, on the other hand, lose a lot if you forfeit the proposed package from your company and then don't win this lawsuit. The lawyers are not going to do anything to make up what you lost--you'll be left on your own.
This is a very important decision, keep a close eye on exactly what your options are and analyze the interests of all the players. Anger and other emotions can sometimes get in the way of making a good decision.

There's also something to be said for closing out one chapter of your life and moving ahead. A court case will delay that.

Again--this is not legal advice.
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Old 04-10-2010, 05:38 PM   #37
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Since I will not see the severance package until mid May I have no clue what the Insurance coverage is. I believe its the same as what I have now but its free for ~15 months.

Thanks for your comment and I will post the results of all of this, from what I ended up doing for retirement income to (fingers crossed) taking care of my discrimination case.
Paraman
Sounds like you are covering yourself well. It's so sick that you (or anyone) should have to go to this extreme. Feels like an age discrimination suit matter... but you DON'T want to ever work for that guy again!

I wonder if COBRA kicks in after your paid-for health insurance expires? Hmmm. That would be good!
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Old 04-10-2010, 07:40 PM   #38
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Sounds like you are covering yourself well. It's so sick that you (or anyone) should have to go to this extreme. Feels like an age discrimination suit matter... but you DON'T want to ever work for that guy again!

I wonder if COBRA kicks in after your paid-for health insurance expires? Hmmm. That would be good!
I mentioned early on after my meeting with the department head that he said what if I can get you a job in another department that matches my skill sets. Maybe the lawyers can work out some deal with that in mind so I can get to retire when I'm ready. I am not counting on it. I will only sue if I fee it is my best interest. Remember I has them good with witness's and recording saying (will you take a package to save a younger worker). That has to count for something. I can go to the State and they will take them on, but the max you get from that is 2 years severance and nothing else. It is no cost for me and the fine for the Company would be double my severance. It will feel good but doesn't make my life better in the short term.

I looked at the paper they gave me and it mentions Cobra for 18 months at their cost. Looks like I have some time to figure this out.
Thanks again for all the great feedback.
Paraman
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Old 04-10-2010, 08:10 PM   #39
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Were I you I would start interviewing PLAINTIF EMPLOYMENT attorneys. If you are in CA there is a firm that corporate employment attorneys "respect" in the Bay Area (they have a reputation for doing their home work and have been very successful). If you PM me with your state I can ask for suggestions from my former colleagues.

Actually age discrimination isn't too difficult to prove through statistics - which means that there is a potential class action (salivating attorneys), I did that more than once in my youth.

If they ask you to sign a wavier to receive severance they are obligated to offer you attorneys fees to review the waiver - it they don't and don't allow reasonable time for review the waiver isn't worth the paper it is written on.

Plaintiff employment lawyers are specialists, this is an issue where experience is very important. Odds are settlement will be negotiated.

There are time frames for notice and EEOC (or their state counterpart) are obligated to attempt mediation. This notice period is very short. This is your representative's opportunity for a little free discovery.

I think you get the picture.....

IF you go the litigation route you need to demonstrate that you made all reasonable efforts to find employment, and your former employer is only obligated to pay the difference between what you earned and what they paid (including fringe benefits). There are no guarantees in litigation.
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Old 04-10-2010, 10:06 PM   #40
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If this was a bulk layoff, wouldn't he have to prove that the majority of the layoffs were people of a certain age? If it is just himself at 55 and a bundle of other younger people not sure that age discrimination would stand. I know when we were doing our layoffs at the last company I worked for, you can be sure that it was all run by employment lawyers before any decisions were made to ensure that age discrimination charges could not be laid.

Demoting people from Managers to Team Leaders is quite common, my last company also did that when times got tough. You say they did not receive any reduction in salary, how do you know that?

Personally if I was you I would take the severance and run. How do you know that any of the people retained had worse performance reviews than you? You may be shocked to find out that even though yours was good, others were better.

You sound so bitter why do you want to continue working there? Maybe you should see this as an opportunity to move on and get a better life. Everything is not about money. Also you have to realise that the company is planning who will have a greater future 10 years down the track and for that reason someone in there 20s can offer more than you can at 55.

I would be very certain about what you are doing before you start down that path as you would be forgoing a significant severance package and you would be sure that your opportunities would be limited at your current company.
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