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Life after the buyout
Old 08-07-2008, 10:24 AM   #1
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Life after the buyout

Hi Forum members,

Im posting with the permission of the Forums staff, who gave me the green light to post a query and include my contact information.

Im a reporter working on a story for a financial publication about the challenges of life after the buyout. I know lots of folks daydream about what theyd do with a nice buyout offer, but from what financial and career advisers tell me, I understand the transition can actually be pretty stressful. Ive heard a lot about boredom, anxiety, and the unforeseen difficulties of starting your second chapter.

Im interested in speaking with folks who took a nice buyout or sold their business at a relatively young age. What's it really like to suddenly shift gears and try your hand at consulting, starting a business, launching a second career or living a life of leisure? Im particularly interested in what the buyout experience is like for people who arent sure exactly what it is theyre supposed to be doing.

Id be happy to provide more information about the article and the publication with anyone who contacts me, of course.

Thanks for your consideration,

Anne
akadet@hearst.com
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Old 08-07-2008, 01:05 PM   #2
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Hi Forum members,
Id be happy to provide more information about the article and the publication with anyone who contacts me, of course.

akadet@hearst.com
What's the big secret? Why not post the "more" information here?

Also, could you post a link to some of your other articles?
Thanks
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Old 08-07-2008, 01:31 PM   #3
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Hi all

Yes, she ran this past us before she posted her request. We saw this as a chance for some of you to share your experiences with the broader market. You can be inspiration for those who might be getting a buyout.

I regularly read her column in SmartMoney. You can see more at Anne K's columns. I liked the one on how amusement parks are designed to get your money.

And you don't want her to give out too much information since we know her competitors come here too.
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Old 08-07-2008, 03:40 PM   #4
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Tomorrow marks three years since I accepted a buyout. Started at the family run business 28 yrs earlier, stayed thru sales to major corps, benefits/pension improvement, 98 conversion to cash balance, and finally my division sold to hedge fund that didn't want to continue pension. That cost me close to 150K in my pension. I have been discussing pension with IRS, DOL, etc and previous owner for 10 years and gotten no where. I am still waiting for other court cases etc.

I finally negotiated my severance offer when they wanted to lower costs and I had caught my boss lying.

The first years I felt guilty as my wife still works, but not anymore. I kept busy with volunteer work and now taking care of parent. I am very happy today and will be even more when wife joins me in 2010. I do apply for jobs occasionnaly with the old Corp, as the $150K they cheated me out of would be gained back with just one more hour of work before Oct 23, 2008.

Ha! They know that and certainly keep me on the DONOTHIRELIST.
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Old 08-08-2008, 08:27 AM   #5
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Is "buyout" the same as being "kicked out"?
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Old 08-08-2008, 08:40 AM   #6
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Is "buyout" the same as being "kicked out"?
I think it doesn't count if security stands over you while you're cleaning out your desk.
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Old 08-08-2008, 09:30 AM   #7
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At least they paid me to go away...
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Old 08-08-2008, 09:38 AM   #8
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HFWR, I once got an "exit bonus" for leaving peacefully. heh heh heh
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Old 08-08-2008, 10:04 AM   #9
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HFWR, I once got an "exit bonus" for leaving peacefully. heh heh heh
We have got to get together and shares stories over a few cocktails some day. You must be my distant cousin or something.
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Old 08-08-2008, 04:26 PM   #10
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It was like the sky opened up and God smiled down upon me. I have not missed it for a second. I have not had a bit of a problem adjusting to doing whatever I want, am busier than ever just enjoying life and dread the thought of ever having to go back to a mega corp. I was tempted by money this spring, but I stayed strong.
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Old 08-08-2008, 08:58 PM   #11
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I have been involved in three buyouts. Unfortunately not as a principal owner in any of them. In all three cases the old owners left with a pile of cash and a much larger pile of new company stock. The new owners immediately moved to trim expenses to help cover the cost of that buyout. In two cases my entire division was let go and our products put into heavy marketing to get maximum sales, knowing there were no new features in the pipeline. In the third case, we had 7 layoffs over the next 12 months as they whittled down every function they thought they could combine between the companies. I moved on to a new job before they got around to laying my group off.
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Old 08-12-2008, 05:15 PM   #12
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Even after reading the thread, I'm not sure if 'buyout' is one mega/maxi/mini corp bought by another or if it means 'here is some money, go away'.

One of my friends got the latter. I liked his attitude: "if they are going to give me that much money to quit going to a job I hate...."
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Old 08-12-2008, 05:56 PM   #13
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MegaCorp A offered a buyout last year. After checking around, I was able to get an offer for a similar position in MegaCorp B before I had to decide on whether to accept the buyout. So accepting the buyout was very easy. Deciding what to do next was harder.

According to FIRECalc, I could have retired at that point and led a life of leisure, but I decided to take the other job in case it was a job I would really enjoy. As it turned out I'm glad I took the other job, not because I enjoy the Megacorp B so much but because of the extra financial safety margin I'm getting. I think the market downturn would have made me nervous.

So I'm still undecided about when to hang up my slide rule. I'm adjusting to the new job, and it's okay. If taxes go up next year, that might be a good time to go. Or maybe I'll cut back to part time. Or maybe something better will come along. We'll see.

Good luck with your article!
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Old 08-13-2008, 12:36 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by kumquat View Post
Even after reading the thread, I'm not sure if 'buyout' is one mega/maxi/mini corp bought by another or if it means 'here is some money, go away'.

One of my friends got the latter. I liked his attitude: "if they are going to give me that much money to quit going to a job I hate...."
I was offered a 'buyout' by the municipality I worked for.....they called it an Early Retirement Incentive (ERI). I called it 'here is some money, go away', and I agree with your friend, if they're going to pay me to never show up for work again, who the heck am I to argue?!

They wanted to get rid of us 'old timers' who were costing them more money than they wanted to dish out. The 7 of us who took the payoff buyout were the highest paid, and longest tenured 'non-management' employees in each of our respective departments......and I was #1 on that list time and money wise. But my pension is paying me more than the wage that the guy who replaced me is making........and he has to show up for work every day to get his! He got a 2% raise this year.....while I got a measly 7.6% increase in my pension this year.
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Old 08-13-2008, 11:01 AM   #15
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Hi,

To clarify, I'm interested in hearing from people who either got a substantial employee buyout (year's salary or more) or people who sold their own company for a nice chunk of change. People who were still relatively young and active, but suddenly had nothing in particular they HAD to do with their time.

Please send me an email or PM if you're available to share your story.

Thanks,

Anne
akadet@hearst.com
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Old 08-13-2008, 01:50 PM   #16
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Sorry, Anne, but topics often veer off into anything that might be of general interest to any of 6000+ members and untold numbers of unregistered lurkers; sometimes it's a stretch. Feel free to ignore this post.

[Off topic]: My new landlord has been aggressively trying to buy out all the tenants in my rent-controlled apt. bldg. for two years now. His MO is to have his sub-contractors call with B.S. that they can expedite tenant concerns and serve as a liaison to management. We all know they are the buyout people. I listened to their disingenuous routine twice and then put in a formal do not call letter.

According to our local Apartment Owner's Magazine, the best way to do a buyout is for the tenant to initiate it. One tenant in my bldg. did that and got what seems to be a reasonably good deal; hey, he was moving anyway. He apparently got about 1-1/2 times his annual rent amount. This is what I plan to do if I ever decide to move. It would add a small amount to my SWR.

My question is: can this method ever work for an employee; say, if you get wind that the company may make buyout offers, can you, or have you, started the negotiation process? Of course, in Anne's example of selling your business, that might be a frequent scenario.
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Old 08-13-2008, 02:14 PM   #17
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Cuppa Joe, I had a friend who wanted to leave high tech and concentrate on music, and he asked his manager to put him in for the next buyout. In some cases, every manager may need to submit a name or two, and it seems to me that this is a good way for a manager not to have to lay someone off who wants to stay.

I'm not expecting buyouts in my company but I told my manager that I'd be willing to take the bullet if one came, if it was at all attractive.
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Old 08-13-2008, 04:10 PM   #18
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My next to the last company was in the middle of a layoff of 2000+ employees in one division and since I was close to 50 and had enough years to take an early retirement but wanted to keep my salary coming in while I looked for another place to live and a new j*b, I asked my manager to put me on the list.

I was officially laid off but got my full salary for 6 months and they helped me find another j*b with another company. I did find another j*b and the new company moved us to where we wanted to be at that time. I retired from company B but then started w*rking for company C for 4 more years. I quit company C last year and have not looked back.

Looking back I don't regret it a bit. If I has stayed I would have had a much better retirement package but the price was too high.
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Old 08-13-2008, 05:15 PM   #19
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I would tell my story but, I haven't heard how much Anne is paying.

I was on the finance side of things so I know how companies account and justify the "buy outs".
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Old 08-13-2008, 06:22 PM   #20
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My guess is zip!
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