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Did I say Class of 2016? Make it 2013... sort of
Old 04-02-2013, 05:24 PM   #1
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Did I say Class of 2016? Make it 2013... sort of

So much for the best laid plans. I got whacked by a big RIF today.

My emotions have run the full I'm strangely relieved, though there are pangs of angst. We're going to be fine financially, at least for a while. Some of you know that my wife is a recent entry to ministry and we just found her a new congregation that pays better than her last gig, and provides a house and utilities. The difference is that we'll have to pay a lot more for health insurance now, either through COBRA or through the health plan she's eligible for now.

Not wanting to get all spiritual here, but the timing of this doesn't feel like an accident. It happened almost right after DW found a firm foot in a door that will keep us secure, even as I've spent years staring at the exit of the corporate rat race, wondering how many times I'd say "next year I'll cross this door". It feels like I did need to be pushed in order to actually do it, to get that kick in the butt to start anew.

I don't think this is full "retirement" and I don't think we're securely FI yet (though we're not that far off). Worst case, between her pay and SEPP we'll easily be fine -- though I'm holding off on SEPP unless it looks like we'll really need it. At the minimum I don't feel any pressure to take anything I know I Probably won't like. We've at least progressed that far.
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

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Old 04-02-2013, 05:28 PM   #2
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Congratulations, Zig. Or should it be 'you have my deepest sympathy'?

Whichever is appropriate - and I suspect both may be - all the best to you and the ministress.
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Old 04-02-2013, 05:33 PM   #3
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Congratulations, Zig. Or should it be 'you have my deepest sympathy'?

Whichever is appropriate - and I suspect both may be - all the best to you and the ministress.
Definitely both. Right now it feels like about 80% "congratulations" -- but ask again in a few weeks. I suppose a few weeks of living a decent but ratched down lifestyle and observing our cash flow will give us better insight as to where we stand.
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
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Old 04-02-2013, 05:51 PM   #4
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I believe it's congratulations. I agree with you that the timing may somehow have worked out right.

DH and I sure weren't expecting the RIF he got nearly 5 years ago. It pretty much stunned us.

You know what? I look back on the time we've had off and we've been fine, and I would not trade that time off for anything.

I don't think DH would, either, although I know the RIF was pretty tough on his ego for quite some time. I wish we hadn't wasted any time worrying. We learned to adjust.

Now, reread your signature quotation and get out there and enjoy your bluebonnets.
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Old 04-02-2013, 05:52 PM   #5
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Wow, I wondered what you meant in another thread. Congrats, and I hope it works out better than you can imagine, however this chapter unfolds for you and your DW. All the best...
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Old 04-02-2013, 06:23 PM   #6
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80% Congratulations, 20% sorry you couldn't do it on your terms.
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Old 04-02-2013, 06:37 PM   #7
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Recite. Repeat. You will be fine.

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Old 04-02-2013, 07:01 PM   #8
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God and Rev Mrs Ziggy will provide!
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:10 PM   #9
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I think this is good but difficult news. I was also laid off. I had been saving for ER. I originally planned to quit once I had 17X my yearly expenses. I was 45 at that point, so I wasn't really planning to ER, just to quit without the pressure to find a new job right away. I reached that amount in 2009, but by that time, the economy tanked and I knew it would be harder to find another job. I continued to save. In Sep 2011, I was laid off. By then, I had enough so that FireCalc gives me a 100% success rate, but that depends upon continuing to be frugal.

At the time, I had lots of emotions. I alternated from feeling giddy at the freedom and then the worry would set in. I am glad I was pushed into retirement because I don't think I would have had the courage to make the leap on my own. (I'm a little in awe of everyone on this board who did have that courage.)

I think this was meant to happen. it will be harder for you because you didn't 100% plan for this, but I think it will work out better for you in the end.
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:33 PM   #10
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I suspect you are probably better prepared that many who were "RIF'd" at the time. You had an exit strategy (moved up!), resources and a desire to retire though not this quickly. I wish you all the best in your new adventure!

By the way, want to know how to make God laugh? Tell him your plans.
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:40 PM   #11
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I hope you look back in 12 months and realize the RIF was the best thing that could have happened to you and the Rev., Ziggy. So I am going to offer my congratulations to both of you for another milestone in your lives.
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:54 PM   #12
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I suspect that you will vacillate between giddiness and worry for a little while but that you will soon look back and see the blessing in disguise. Hang tight and remember its all part of the Master plan. All the best to you.
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:18 PM   #13
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Just take it one day at a time and you'll be fine.

"Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." (Matthew 6:34)
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:45 PM   #14
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Zig,
As you noted, you're well positioned emotionally because you've been staring at that exit door a long time. And financially--well, sounds like you've got it covered, at least in the short term. Hopefully any "parting gifts" from the company will buy you some months of "coasting" time to decide about the SEPP options, etc.
And, I think, congratulations. It sounds like you are in a good spot to take the next deliberate, well-planned step. That's miles ahead of being panicked and grabbing onto the first piece of flotsam.
Best wishes to you and the Mrs.
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Old 04-02-2013, 10:10 PM   #15
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And, I think, congratulations. It sounds like you are in a good spot to take the next deliberate, well-planned step. That's miles ahead of being panicked and grabbing onto the first piece of flotsam.
Best wishes to you and the Mrs.
Thanks. Yeah, that's one blessing: we're not in a position of desperation; I don't have to jump at the first crummy opportunity that comes around. I'm not sure this is "it" for me, but it's it for me in the corporate world, I feel pretty confident in saying. I have no desire to ever be "corporate" again. A few months ago, even just 2-3 months ago, it would have been a lot more stressful and worrisome before DW landed this position.

Truth be told, my biggest "worry" at the moment is bring branded a slacking ne'er-do-well in my new community for being "supported by his wife."
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
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Old 04-02-2013, 10:25 PM   #16
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When DH wanted to leave full time work earlier than we had originally planned, one thing we found is that with more time off we were able to cut expenses quite a bit and manage our investments a bit better. Add in no more commute costs, no more work lunches or work clothes, less to pay in taxes, some self employment income and early pensions, and he was sorry he had not pulled the plug much sooner.

I would not worry about being branded a ne'er-do-well. Many families choose to live on one income. If it bothers you you can resell items on eBay or create a blog and call yourself self employed. Your wife's church members will most likely be grateful to see her have a supportive spouse to free up more of her time to spend on her ministry.
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Old 04-02-2013, 10:34 PM   #17
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I hope you look back in 12 months and realize the RIF was the best thing that could have happened to you and the Rev., Ziggy. So I am going to offer my congratulations to both of you for another milestone in your lives.
+1

Congratulations! Hoping for the best of all possible futures for both you and Rev. Mrs. Ziggy29 as you explore the next stage in life. It just goes to show that we never know what's around the corner, and sometimes life hands us a pleasant surprise.
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Old 04-03-2013, 08:58 AM   #18
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Truth be told, my biggest "worry" at the moment is bring branded a slacking ne'er-do-well in my new community for being "supported by his wife."
That wouldn't bother me a bit. DW already knows I could just as well do laundry, have dinner on the table at 5, and greet her at the door with a glass of wine and a "How was your day, dear?"
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Old 04-03-2013, 09:02 AM   #19
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Congrats and good luck, Ziggy. You'll be fine. So glad to hear Ms. Zig found a new call.

We had a RIF here last week and it missed me. Is it a problem when I kind of wish they chose me? Very strange feeling.
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Old 04-03-2013, 09:30 AM   #20
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Starting to look at the health insurance morass. It looks like COBRA for both of us would cost about $960 per month. This is for an HDHP with a $3,000 deductible and no dental or vision. They break it down as "employee only" $360, employee plus spouse $960. (Seems odd that she would cost $600 alone while I cost only $360 in an unsubsidized environment, but that's what it gives as an estimate. I'd know the hard numbers when I receive the separation packet.)

It looks like for the rest of 2013 we may need to see if she can get her own health insurance through the church-sponsored group plan while I stay on COBRA. The church plan would also include dental and vision in the premium. Their total employee plus spouse coverage is about $930 and the medical deductible is $500 (compared to $3K now), so if we can't separate our coverage we'd be better off moving to her plan.

COBRA dental coverage is $114 a month. What a ripoff, given the benefit maximums per year. We'll self-insure that one if we're not on DW's plan. (We rarely have $1300 a year in dental expenses anyway, insured or not, and we might be able to negotiate discounts for cash up front.) Vision is $17 per month and we'd probably take that given our combined vision situation as we usually wind up racking up several hundred dollars a year in covered expenses.

This is the main thing we don't want to screw up. Our health insurance is paid through April 30 (confirmed that yesterday, guess it's a good thing they didn't whack me on March 30 as I get almost a month of coverage while unemployed) and we need to either get on COBRA or on her sponsoring plan by June 4. And if we have a massive medical expense while "uninsured" before June 4, we can retroactively take COBRA and be covered on it.

Once 2014 hits, the cost of her sponsored plan would exceed 9.5% of our expected 2014 AGI by a wide margin, so we'd be eligible to participate on the exchange. Between my wife's new job situation and the coming of PPACA, it looks like the timing of my whacking is extremely fortunate.
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
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