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Layoff
Old 05-10-2008, 09:01 PM   #1
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Layoff

We know someone who was just laid off--similar age and family status. It makes me think of the differences to us. He is very concerned, will have to find something else sooner rather than later, etc.

Were I am to be laid off, it could be the best thing that ever happened to me. Not yet willing to RE, but likely FI by most measurements, I think it might take something happening to me from the outside (change at work, layoff, crisis within the family), to get me to make the jump.

While not gloating, it is certainly a great feeling to know that because we LBYM, we can be in our 40's and not have to worry about the paycheck and what might happen to it, while so many Americans even in their 60's cannot say the same. I know we, and many of us here, may not be living the American Dream (spend until it truly hurts), but it is so nice not be be caught in a financial squeeze.
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Old 05-10-2008, 09:11 PM   #2
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Were I am to be laid off, it could be the best thing that ever happened to me. Not yet willing to RE, but likely FI by most measurements, I think it might take something happening to me from the outside (change at work, layoff, crisis within the family), to get me to make the jump.
You do not have to wait for any of these events to arrive; you can make the jump now.
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Old 05-10-2008, 09:19 PM   #3
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I know, I know...

It is not an easy thing to do, especially something that is very unusual.

There always are worries about finances, health insurance and what will I do with myself all day.

Psychologically, I think as I get closer to 50, and get alittle older, it will make it easier.

I would also like one more big runup in the stock market.

But really, if we pass some sort of health insurance reform, that would be a big load off my mind.

RE is hard to do when all your have is a nest egg, no pension and will have to rely on private insurance, and are (hopefully) looking at many decades in retirement.

That is why if you look at my earlier posts I am aiming for a 2% SWR.
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Old 05-10-2008, 09:37 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by firewhen View Post
That is why if you look at my earlier posts I am aiming for a 2% SWR.
You have as much of a problem as your laid off friend, only in the opposite direction. LBYM as an end in itself is OK for some I guess but I hope you're not giving up any significant life experiences you'll regret missing out on later.

You need to jump in a blender with your friend and both come out RE'ing on a conservative 3% WR!

Edited to add: Try not to spend a lot of time judging how you're doing only in terms relative to others. Are you yourself, without considering what others are doing, happy with how you're living your life? Is today only acceptable because you vision it will bring a better tomorrow? Are you doing what you want to do? If you don't like working, are you inappropriately continuing to be hitched to the plow by fears, insecurities, unwillingness to stand on your own without your employer despite having accumulated adequate resources?
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Old 05-11-2008, 06:06 AM   #5
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youbet,

Thanks for your thoughts. I go with the 2% because:

it is doable for us (around 2.5% now were we to RE)
it is equal to dividend rate on the portfolio so we could live off that stream without touching the principal

We live a nice middle class lifestyle (house in nice neighborhood, 2 cars, vacations, kids go to summer camp) just without the frills. We really are the millionaire next door. I am not comparing us to anyone else, just glad not to be anyone else.

Given that there is no special retirement age for us (no pension nor employer health care kick in date), the hard part will be figuring when to make the move. That is why I think that it will take some external event to get me going.

I think in a perfect world I would do something else--I just am not there yet.
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Old 05-11-2008, 03:51 PM   #6
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About 4-5 years before I actually pull the ripcord, my company had been doing occasional small layoffs at various divisions all around the country for some time. We checked our finances carefully and decided that we could survive okay if I got laid off.

When I was ready, I went into my boss's office and said to him, "If there happens to be another layoff coming and it hits our division, then count me in. I'll volunteer to be laid off and save somebody else's job that would prefer to not get laid off."

Couple of days later the head HR guy called me and said, "I'm not quite sure how we handle a volunteer, since we don't accept volunteers to be laid off. But we'll manage to figure it out."

Getting laid off is a GREAT way to retire early!!!

You get to retire with all the normal retiree benefits, plus you get the severance package, PLUS you can collect unemployment.
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Old 05-12-2008, 09:54 AM   #7
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I got pushed out a little more than a year early (43 vs 45) ... it really can be a begining rather than an end.

Was hard to watch the 50 and 60 something year olds scramble into any available position (regardless of the commute and work). Unable to take advantge of a severence package and unemployment insurance (43K for me!).

Still golf with a few of them. Most are SEVERLY under employed ... ticking of the weeks to SS and a better pension.
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