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Old 12-07-2017, 06:43 PM   #1
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Reactions to your retirement announcement

Hi I haven't seen a topic quite like this one but I'd be very interested. I'm not RE yet but nominally FI. What I'd love to hear is a little bit about how you made the announcement at work and what the reactions were. Also, did you have to be secretive about your planning beforehand? In my case I need to be defensively positioned in case of a hostile reaction. In fact I cannot really ask the benefits department for specific info due to the risk of a leak. I assume but don't know that benefits people have no confidentiality obligation that prevents them from whispering that you might be thinking about retirement. Ugh I don't like this part. Thanks for any insight or info!
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Old 12-07-2017, 06:50 PM   #2
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I don't know your time of service or eventual timeline. Why do you need to be defensively positioned? After 36 years when I was done it was over. Simple. I gave them 4 months notice when two weeks would have worked.
As far as the benefit dept goes they had no contact with my actual operating dept. Since I was a PIA employee I was the guy who made all the inquiries regarding benefits for my coworkers. Not always easy for preretirees
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Old 12-07-2017, 06:53 PM   #3
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I worked for a micro corp and I made it known 2 years in advance when I planned to retire. But I left a little early, only a year and a half after.

Like most nobody believed me I guess, who retires at 59 anyway.
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Old 12-07-2017, 06:56 PM   #4
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Nothing secretive regarding the planning - I just went on Megacorp's internal HR website and looked up retirement policies/benefits. Management wasn't particularly happy, only because they wanted me to take a crappy job in a crappy location with inadequate compensation. I was already FI so that was the tripwire.
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Old 12-07-2017, 07:00 PM   #5
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If you're young enough, you can get away with telling them you're thinking long-term. Let's say you're mid-fifties and you let them think that you're planning on working till age 65. Should raise no alarms at all. Be sure to go through whatever benefit info is on-line, too. You may not even need to talk to a human and you may get more thorough and accurate information.

My experience was atypical; I just up and quit when I got sick of the politics at age 61. I'd been there less than 2 years so there were no retiree benefits I could get other than my 401(k) and my HSA, both of which I rolled over immediately, and COBRA, which I replaced with a private policy after a month.
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Old 12-07-2017, 07:09 PM   #6
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I would think the most important thing is what are you expecting from the company after you retire. Pension? Health care? A lot of these things are not available anymore in many (most?) companies. So retiring is really just quitting. If you expect benefits, then I agree with athena53, just tell them you are thinking long term. If they won't be doing anything for you, just wait until you are ready, and give them whatever notice you think is fair.
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Old 12-07-2017, 07:23 PM   #7
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Many thanks all. I'm not so much looking for advice as experience. Out of curiosity. And what I'm about to say actually has nothing to do with my question. But in case you are interested and since some early responses appear to ask: I have a 6-month notice requirement. There is no corresponding obligation to continue my employment. The financial consequences of a "retaliatory" discharge would be severe. It is not certain that it would happen but it could. And it is unlikely that it would be actionable. My benefits are partly DBP (that's the easy part) and partly subject to an obscure formula that nobody but the administrator or benefits pros could figure out. Over and out.
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Old 12-07-2017, 07:45 PM   #8
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benefits people have no confidentiality obligation
This is true at most employers. HR and benefits people are under no obligation of confidentiality and you should generally assume they are there to protect the company's interests, not yours.

What kind of contract obligates you to give six months notice, but doesn't obligate your employer to allow you to work those six months? This seems lopsided and almost designed to give a big advantage to an employer who will act badly with retaliatory firing when employees try to meet their notice obligation. I think there could be a lot of fear in such an employment situation.
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Old 12-07-2017, 07:54 PM   #9
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Hehe, at micro corp there are no benefits. No pension, no healthcare, no gold watch.

I got a free lunch and a $200 gift cert at bass pro shops.
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Old 12-07-2017, 08:03 PM   #10
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This is true at most employers. HR and benefits people are under no obligation of confidentiality and you should generally assume they are there to protect the company's interests, not yours.

What kind of contract obligates you to give six months notice, but doesn't obligate your employer to allow you to work those six months? This seems lopsided and almost designed to give a big advantage to an employer who will act badly with retaliatory firing when employees try to meet their notice obligation. I think there could be a lot of fear in such an employment situation.


Thanks I have zero fear. Just like cleaning gutters. But the higher up the ladder you climb the harder the fall.
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Old 12-07-2017, 08:06 PM   #11
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Hehe, at micro corp there are no benefits. No pension, no healthcare, no gold watch.

I got a free lunch and a $200 gift cert at bass pro shops.
Robbie, You are a high roller. I only got 150 at bass pro. True fact. But since I only spend about 20 per year on fishing that will work. I bait my own hook,
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Old 12-07-2017, 08:23 PM   #12
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Many thanks all. I'm not so much looking for advice as experience. Out of curiosity. And what I'm about to say actually has nothing to do with my question. But in case you are interested and since some early responses appear to ask: I have a 6-month notice requirement. There is no corresponding obligation to continue my employment. The financial consequences of a "retaliatory" discharge would be severe. It is not certain that it would happen but it could. And it is unlikely that it would be actionable. My benefits are partly DBP (that's the easy part) and partly subject to an obscure formula that nobody but the administrator or benefits pros could figure out. Over and out.
You said earlier that you are already FI so who cares if they fire you when you give notice? What do you mean by ""retaliatory" discharge would be severe"? What can they do to you other than fire you? No bonus? Are you vested? I don't think they can take that away (401K vesting).
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Reactions to your retirement announcement
Old 12-07-2017, 08:29 PM   #13
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Reactions to your retirement announcement

I gave 6 month notice that I was RE at 55. I had HR formally provide numbers and gave a written date.
Word got to the top.

I was then incentivized financially to extend to finish a business critical project I am responsible for.
I also required an elimination of all on-call and weekend duties to improve my life quality.

It has been well worth it to work another year, for the first time in 25 years I've enjoyed working only 40 hours with weekends free.
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Old 12-07-2017, 08:36 PM   #14
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I wasn't secretive at all... anythng that I needed to know I was able to find on the firm's intranet site... however since I was relying on taxable funds from 56 on there wasn't much that I needed to know.

It was fairly well know around the firm that I was "retirement minded"... I just told my boss that I planned to resign within the next few months but that I wanted to work out a plan that was mutually agreeable and was a smooth transition of my responsibilities. IIRC I had one call with one of the practice leaders about the transition, worked out an end date with HR and that was about it.

I do find your 6-month provision odd.... I thought involuntary servitude was prohibited.... though I guess you could always give notice be sick a lot and not do much when you are at work and they would get the message.
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Old 12-07-2017, 08:43 PM   #15
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You said earlier that you are already FI so who cares if they fire you when you give notice? What do you mean by ""retaliatory" discharge would be severe"? What can they do to you other than fire you? No bonus? Are you vested? I don't think they can take that away (401K vesting).
I was wondering the same thing. If a retaliatory discharge would be severe, then it doesn't seem like you're FI. While you may be in good shape, I wouldn't call myself FI if it meant that retiring required me to do one more thing for my employer. When I turned 55 two years ago, I earned my retiree healthcare. There's nothing left that I can earn and there's nothing they can take away from me (though I realize, they can always chose to modify or cancel the healthcare benefit - for everyone).

Bottom line - if I didn't feel comfortable asking or talking about retirement, I would keep my mouth shut. It's not worth the risk. I think the idea of asking questions in a "what if, in 10 years, I retire . . ." way has some merit, but retaliatory discharge and severe don't sound at all good to me and I would keep quiet.

Personally, everyone in my company is talking about retirement. We're all at that age where it's just common conversation. When the time comes, you put in your notice and go. Right now, however, I've asked my boss about volunteering for getting let go. They have cut backs coming for next year and just said that if someone has to go, why shouldn't it be me over someone who wants/needs to keep working. For me, they would treat me as any other lay-off and I would get a severance package. Then I would move into official retirement. Good deal for me. However, it creates an interesting dynamic. I can't tell anyone this is happening and I'll just be called to HR one day and "walked out". Sure, I'll have a smile on my face, but there is some sadness of not being able to say a proper good-bye and thank you to those in my work life for over 20 years.
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Old 12-07-2017, 08:44 PM   #16
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Just because you are FI doesn't mean that the Co. can't screw you.
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Old 12-07-2017, 09:14 PM   #17
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Just because you are FI doesn't mean that the Co. can't screw you.
True, but if screwing you would make you not FI, then you're not really FI. It may hurt, even a lot, but if you're FI, you'd be able to withstand this. Of course, FI isn't much better defined than RE, but in general terms, I think what I'm saying makes sense. I was in the same boat. I was pretty well off and probably could have retired earlier than planned and forgone the retiree health care. So I guess I was FI, but without retiree healthcare but it didn't feel like it. Now, I'm comfortable even if they pull it in retirement, I'll be in good shape. Two years of income and DW getting closer to Medicare all come into play.
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Old 12-07-2017, 09:28 PM   #18
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I was rather secretive in the months leading up to my ER announcement 1 month before I ERed. Only a trusted coworker knew about my plans. It didn't come as a big shock to my bosses or to most others around me because I had reduced my weekly hours worked from 20 to 12 the year before, making me even more scarce at the office than I had been before.
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Old 12-07-2017, 11:31 PM   #19
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I was waiting to announce my planned retirement until I received a bonus equivalent to about a year's pay. The bonus was contingent on being an active employee as of a certain date. After consulting friends and an attorney, I realized there was no upside for me in announcing early and there was a lot of downside. We could have still ER'd either way, but I certainly didn't want to leave the bonus I had earned on the table just because I spilled the beans a bit early. Maybe earlier notice would have been appreciated, but the downside risk was just too high.

My employment contract required a 30-day notice period. I would have felt a bit better giving 90 days instead, but wasn't willing to jeopardize my bonus by announcing earlier and also did not want to work beyond 30 days after I got my bonus for various reasons.

My recommendation is not to announce anything until it's in your best interests. If you need info from HR before then, just tell them your FA has questions about your long-term benefits. That shouldn't raise any suspicion.
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Old 12-08-2017, 04:47 AM   #20
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Particularly at a Mega Corp, like Scuba states most times there's no upside in announcing early, and always exposure to downside. If you're retiring around a specific date driven eligibility event you should wait until after that date. This comes into play if you're in bonus eligible positions and/or have an accelerated age based vesting of stock grants (as I was). It probably also is relevant for those of you that had date driven criteria for pensions or retiree health. While not the biggest impact it comes into play with annual salary reviews too - announcing early exposes you to being the one to absorb the lesser (or no) increase when a manager is figuring out how to divvy up his budget among his staff. No matter your plans it still feels shxxxy to get a lousy raise at your very last evaluation, especially if you're seeing it for multiple months thereafter.

Once I decided on retirement I did my best to prepare my staff (who I cared for) by giving them more responsibilities and freer reign on decision making. I sent them to more meetings on my behalf and generally did my best to dis-involve myself as much as possible. I wanted to do my best where my departure would not disrupt their day to day or hold their careers back in any way, and hopefully moved them forward. As to my bosses, I saw to many other instances where long term peers were walked out the door with no or little advance warning. I saw too how no matter how valuable the person may have been the company did just fine the day after without them. After all of my date driven "benefits" were achieved I gave exactly one weeks notice of my departure. I had pre-scheduled an otherwise regular communication lunch with my staff for the day I announced so I could tell them all together at once - I told my boss that morning right before lunch. If I was moving on to another company I probably would have given 2 weeks notice, but since I no longer cared about that one-sided professionalism there was absolutely no upside in giving another week of my life up that's better enjoyed away from w@rk. I'll add once I announced I was quickly dropped from decision-making/planning meetings - which was a primary component of my responsibilities. Ultimately I felt that last week was like being in high school detention - having to show up but not fully participating in the organization. Some people might revel in that "not working" but for me if it was any longer it would have been pure hell. As to saying goodbyes you don't need to say goodbye to your true work friends as they and you will make the effort to stay in contact with each other - the fake friends will quickly disappear from your life with no consequence to either of you.
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