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Old 05-17-2009, 05:41 PM   #21
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This is stuff of my nightmares. If I ever get to retire, I pray I'll never need to go back to work. Hopefully DangerMouse, this won't be as bad as it sounds.
I should clarify, strictly speaking I don't have to go back to work, but am thinking about it to feather the nest with a few extra dollars. We found with the recent market declines plus the fall in interest rates on savings and dividend being cut, we weren't as comfortable with our projections as we thought we were. DH has just started a new job and is enjoying it, so we may not FIRE for 2-4 years. I am thinking about looking for something to make my own financial contribution to the household.

Growing_older, one thing you have not taken into consideration, is even you will even be successful in getting one of the positions you have seen advertised. I have only submitted 2 resumes for positions that have been 100% aligned with my skill set and a perfect match for my last position and I did not even receive a call for interview. So don't be assuming that you can apply and get a job. I am finding maybe one job a day that matches my skill set on Craigslist. I know of talented people who have been looking for 6+ months and can't get a sniff of a job. So if I was you, anything that looks as if it would be a good match, I would apply. If it gets to the stage where they offer you the job you could make your decision at that time. However, in the meantime I would be structuring my budget and living as if you were never going to return to the workforce.
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Old 05-17-2009, 06:42 PM   #22
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...I just checked the unemployment benefits website and it looks like I'm entitled to a benefit very nearly as big as my monthly expenses. If that's true - maybe I can afford to be extra particular for six months or so and only entertain work if the situation is really really good. Otherwise I can take my sabbatical and see how ER suits me with less of a nest egg than my planning had me shooting for.

I don't want to be gaming the system, but I'm gradually talking myself into believing that this is a legitimate use of unemployment benefits. Am I fooling myself?
A lot of hard-w*rking folks seem to have a dilemma in their heads about unemployment. I collected unemployment when I was laid off from my very first post-college j*b during the screaming recession of the early 1980s.
I had only been there 1 year, but I had zero guilt about applying for benefits. I didn't choose not to w*rk, the small company did that for me.
I luckily found a j*b within 6 months of the layoff, in my field, sort of.

Please consider this as a contrast... I live in one of the biggest "welfare states" in the union. If you want to see how the system is gamed, come here for some training. W*rk a little, collect a lot, rinse and repeat.
We are talking about multi-generational, multi-seasonal pros all milking the UI system to the max.

You obviously don't fit that pattern.
I vote to apply and collect the benefts while you regroup and see what looks best for continued w*rking or early FIRE.
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Old 05-17-2009, 07:09 PM   #23
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I can't resist. One of my best friends is milking unemployment. Due to various extensions on the benefits, she is roughly at 18 months of unemployment benefits and is actively avoiding looking for work. This is just wrong and I struggle to keep my mouth shut about it. But, for 6 months or whatever, I think it's your due since you did not choose to be out of work.
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Old 05-17-2009, 09:27 PM   #24
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Wow--reads like my story. I am 50, plan on retiring at 55.

I opted for #3.
I have worked as an Architect for 29 years, with 14 of them at my last office and right now--banks aren't lending money, which means developers aren't developing, which means I am not designing for them So things are slow to say the least.

So my firm offered me a 'temporary layoff' until August. At that time they will either lay me off permanently and give me a severance, or I will be back at work. They are paying my medical while I am off and I can also collect unemployment. I should add that I am also 'looking' for work, but there really isn't any work in my field right now. My best option is to get back to my old firm.

I am using the time though to get an idea of what my retirement might be like and also am taking full advantage of the time to get back in shape. So each morning I drop my lovely wife off at the ferry and then head to the gym for about 1 to 2 hours of gym work. I am in the best shape of my life and by the time August rolls around I will be in great shape!

So enjoy the summer would be my advice.
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Old 05-17-2009, 09:40 PM   #25
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Thanks everyone for the helpful suggestions and perspective. Not sure I'm fully ready to commit, but taking time off to decide seems like a good choice... mostly. I did get a call today from a friend who is out of work and has only found 2 short temporary jobs in the last two years of looking. He's desperate for leads and has consumed all his savings. Next stop is giving up his apartment to move in with a friend or move back home to his Mom. While I know I am in much better shape than this, I still have a tendency to take it as a cautionary tale and it makes an immediate job search seem much more prudent. Okay, holding that thought for now.

I'm trying to put together my list of what to do asap, assuming for the time being I am going to try option #3 (take a short break from employment and see what develops). So far, I think I need to:

Shop for medial coverage so I'll know if I want to accept COBRA or not
(what do I do when COBRA runs out is also an issue I'll need to consider)
vision checkup
colonoscopy (recommended for my age, even though I've been putting it off)
get all my stock option papers ready to decide if I need to exercise or abandon
get severance agreement in writing
update resume (if I am going to look for work)
decide on plan #1, #2 or #3
get word out to friends and network what my plan is
make my "what to do around the house list"
start my exercise and healthy eating program
tell family what's going on - reassure kids we are fine financially
smile and smell the fresh spring air
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Old 05-18-2009, 11:18 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by growing_older View Post
Thanks everyone for the helpful suggestions and perspective. Not sure I'm fully ready to commit, but taking time off to decide seems like a good choice... mostly. I did get a call today from a friend who is out of work and has only found 2 short temporary jobs in the last two years of looking. He's desperate for leads and has consumed all his savings. Next stop is giving up his apartment to move in with a friend or move back home to his Mom. While I know I am in much better shape than this, I still have a tendency to take it as a cautionary tale and it makes an immediate job search seem much more prudent. Okay, holding that thought for now.

I'm trying to put together my list of what to do asap, assuming for the time being I am going to try option #3 (take a short break from employment and see what develops). So far, I think I need to:

Shop for medial coverage so I'll know if I want to accept COBRA or not
(what do I do when COBRA runs out is also an issue I'll need to consider)
vision checkup
colonoscopy (recommended for my age, even though I've been putting it off)
get all my stock option papers ready to decide if I need to exercise or abandon
get severance agreement in writing
update resume (if I am going to look for work)
decide on plan #1, #2 or #3
get word out to friends and network what my plan is
make my "what to do around the house list"
start my exercise and healthy eating program
tell family what's going on - reassure kids we are fine financially
smile and smell the fresh spring air
if I may add a couple...
- Revisit current budget and redo numbers from head-to-toe for option 3.
- Research unemployment application process. There is always a several week lead time involved between application and receipt of benefits. You can hit the ground running if option 3 is your path.
- Go on a nice picnic. Fried chicken, potato salad, watermelon, checked tablecloth, kites, Frisbees, ants, the w*rks.
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Old 06-02-2009, 08:39 PM   #27
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Ah, interestingly there turns out to be more to this story...

I have recently discovered that while I am being laid off, the company is advertising for a new person to fill my old job. Huh? There could be any number of reasons for this including illegal age discrimination, or just new management looking to put their people in place. But what's interesting is that I'm friends with the HR folks who tell me they have received 438 applications so far.

Meanwhile I've applied to about a dozen jobs which seem like good fits and have received only one response (a form letter wishing me luck as they are interested in other candidates). Makes me think that actually finding a job could be very very tough.

And then a surprise... a friend heard of an opening that is a great fit and when I talked to the owner, I got hired on the spot.

So here I was thinking I would casually drift into option #3 (semi early retirement) and decide later to go back to work if necessary. But the number of people applying to my job and my own experience with sending out applications for other jobs are all making me think a job search could be miserably difficult. Based on this I'm wondering if I better grab this job quickly and make sure I'm really FI before I think about ER again. It seems like an excellent opportunity in what likely is an otherwise very difficult employment environment. Would I be foolish to let this job go? Or would I be foolish to get pulled back into the work world when I was (almost) ready to try ER.
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Old 06-02-2009, 08:49 PM   #28
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growing older, that is wonderful!! Congratulations. Whatever you decide to do, taking this job gives you the option to consider, decide, and do it on your own timetable rather than having ER forced upon you before you are quite ready. Or, if you decide that you are ready at this very moment then so be it.
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Old 06-02-2009, 09:24 PM   #29
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If you think you would like to take the opportunity to build your nest egg I would jump on the offer now. It is a tough market out there so why put yourself thru a lot of stress 6 months down the track if you decide you do want to work again.

Have to say it does sound sus. that they are advertising your position. Are they legally obliged to tell you why you are being made redundant and they are replacing you?
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Old 06-02-2009, 09:53 PM   #30
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... Based on this I'm wondering if I better grab this job quickly and make sure I'm really FI before I think about ER again.
...
This sentence answers your question. FIRE is not equal to ER. If you don't have the FI or are unsure, then you would want to take the job. Then take your time researching what defines FI for you, but don't forget to do this in your enthusiam for the new job. Case solved! Good luck in your new position!
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Old 06-02-2009, 10:01 PM   #31
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I have recently discovered that while I am being laid off, the company is advertising for a new person to fill my old job. Huh?
No advise here, but I often wonder about a situation like what you mention. Is that considered legal? I'm sure that happens all the time with the new management with a slightly new slant on the job requirement, etc.

At my friend's company (computer hardware), one product manager got laid off, but the next week, a new position - project manager popped up in the same group. Evidently it's the same position with a new job title. That makes it legal I guess..
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Old 06-02-2009, 10:13 PM   #32
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And then a surprise... a friend heard of an opening that is a great fit and when I talked to the owner, I got hired on the spot.
congrats! I'd take the new job, because

1) you seem unsure about permanent ER at the moment. This job will give you options while you decide. Would it be so bad if you tried it for 3 months and decided you hated it? At that point you're in the same position as now, but have 3 months more savings. (though I guess then you couldn't apply for unemployment benefits if you quit voluntarily)

2) You might love the new job.
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Old 06-02-2009, 10:25 PM   #33
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Ah, interestingly there turns out to be more to this story...

I have recently discovered that while I am being laid off, the company is advertising for a new person to fill my old job. Huh? There could be any number of reasons for this including illegal age discrimination, or just new management looking to put their people in place. But what's interesting is that I'm friends with the HR folks who tell me they have received 438 applications so far.
If they fill your former position with a younger person you should have a case for age discrimination provided no other circumstances. This would apply even if they change the position title as long as the responsibilities are the same. Consult with a good employment lawyer. Usually there's no charge if they don't take your case.
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Old 06-02-2009, 10:30 PM   #34
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+1

It seems you would like a little more security. If I were in your shoes and a decent job was offered to me (on the spot no less) after being laid off, in this marketplace, it would seem that at least the hiring manager thinks you are perfect fit. As Figner said, the worst that can happen is that three months or six months or a year down the road you figure out either you don't like the job as much as you thought, or you are more FI thanyou thought and therefore you can RE. The first year is usually the honeymoon anyway, so I can't imagine it being all that bad.

FWIW,

R
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Old 06-03-2009, 05:03 AM   #35
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Congrats to your new job.
Will you get a severance package from the old job?
If not, I would consider to try to get one with the age discrimination argument and a little help from a specialist lawyer.
Then you would feel even better starting the new job.
All the best!
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