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Old 02-23-2018, 10:23 AM   #21
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I don't have an answer specifically for the OP, but I'll share that at MegaMotors they offered a generous package in year one and in year two, they just fired people. I left in year one. My boss, who agreed to be the hatchet man at the beginning of year two, was axed himself once his services were no longer needed.
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Old 02-23-2018, 10:36 AM   #22
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I don't dispute that it's a real possibility, but only the OP can gauge his situation.

There were over 37,000 people killed in the US in auto accidents in a recent year, doesn't mean we're all going to sell our cars and stop driving. Saying I know a guy who passed on a package and was then layed off is analogous to saying I know a guy who got killed in an auto accident... Neither here nor there?
No, it's not the same thing at all. The OP said later that it's a real possibility and a concern. It hadn't been pointed out at the time. Seems pertinent to me. I think the OP can gauge whether advice and experience apply to his situation.
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Old 02-23-2018, 10:39 AM   #23
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I don't dispute that it's a real possibility, but only the OP can gauge his situation.

There were over 37,000 people killed in the US in auto accidents in a recent year, doesn't mean we're all going to sell our cars and stop driving. Saying I know a guy who passed on a package and was then layed off is analogous to saying I know a guy who got killed in an auto accident... Neither here nor there?

Now that we've seen more info from the OP, looks like he/they might be able. Health insurance at 50 would be a serious concern/unknown for me...but that's just me.
Unfortunately, the scenario of someone who is offered a package, opting to pass, then being let go prior to the end of the package window is becoming more common. DW and I know several people, all early 50's, offered packages who declined. Only to be squeezed in a subsequent round of layoffs. Some of these individuals did not have enough savings to leave the workforce and didn't feel their skill sets were marketable either, so they rolled the dice. I suppose in their cases, it was an easy decision. OPs may be different.

There is a reason the package is offered in the first place, and most times it isn't due to corporate benevolence.

Its a tough call worth boarding out, but there could be a silver lining in there. Maybe...
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Old 02-23-2018, 10:45 AM   #24
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Are you saying that a guy who was offered a package and passed on it is not more likely to be let go in a layoff type situation?

There has to be a reason he was offered that package in the first place. Something is going on whether it's him personally or the company trying to lower. costs..
+1 IME you don't offer packages to people who you want to keep... so naturally those who are offered a package and pass on it would be towards the front of the line if layoffs are needed because there are not enough takers. A package is an employer saying "we'll pay you to leave".
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Old 02-23-2018, 10:49 AM   #25
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With $2.5M portfolio and two paid off homes, OP isn't going to starve, thought some lifestyle downshifting may be necessary.
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Old 02-23-2018, 10:57 AM   #26
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I had a similar opportunity a few months back. I had been planning to retire in 2-4 years, but was offered a nice separation package. After running the numbers and bouncing them off a few advisors, I was pleasantly surprised that it looked like the financial plan had a high likelihood of success, so I made the last day of 2017 the last day of my 33 yr career at my company.

On your question about RSU/Options, since they initiated the offer, I would think your company should let you keep them on the current schedule; mine did. Also if you would be eligible for more in the coming year, they should ask them to pro-rate the amount you are granted based on the % of the qualifying period you have worked. A few other things to discuss would include paying you for your unused vacation days (over and above the 1 yr separation package), you have earned these and the company should pay you for them. Also if the company has been contributing to a 401K or retirement plan, you should also ask them to make the contribution for a pro-rated amount for the next contribution as well. Health Care is probably the biggest issue, for me since I was already “regular retirement eligible” my company provided regular health benefits for an additional year after leaving as part of the separation package and participation in the regular company retirement program after that. Not sure what your company’s retirement health care policies are, but ask for as much as reasonable!

In addition to the suggestions by others about confirming your expenses, also take a close look at your debt and the plan to pay down/leverage it going forward. Is revolving debt paid down? What’s the mortgage situation? Should you refinance while still working to reduce your monthly payment? Or should you open a Home Equity Line of Credit which could be tapped to avoid selling investments in a down market? Also do you have enough cash/equivalents to live off for a few years to ride out a bear market?

As also suggested, you can always do some consulting work on your own terms if you like for motivation or financial reasons. Perhaps it makes sense to set up an LLC to manage the opportunities if/when they come up?

Lot’s to think about! Also lot’s of emotions to deal with I am sure. Good luck, whichever decision you make will be right for you, don’t look back and second guess, just look forward to make your plan a success!
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Old 02-23-2018, 11:05 AM   #27
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I don't have an answer specifically for the OP, but I'll share that at MegaMotors they offered a generous package in year one and in year two, they just fired people. I left in year one. My boss, who agree to be the hatchet man at the beginning of year two, was axed himself once his services were no longer needed.
Warren, Dearborn or Auburn Hills
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Old 02-23-2018, 11:14 AM   #28
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Buh bye!
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Old 02-23-2018, 11:38 AM   #29
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Are you saying that a guy who was offered a package and passed on it is not more likely to be let go in a layoff type situation?

There has to be a reason he was offered that package in the first place. Something is going on whether it's him personally or the company trying to lower. costs..


I agree with this. I think turning down such a package is very high risk. I’d try to negotiate the best deal I could from Megacorp, including healthcare (maybe they’ll cover COBRA for the full 18 months for example, maybe they’ll bump up the lump sum to help with healthcare costs), and take the package. Maybe Megacorp will also provide assistance with outplacement/looking for another job.

Separately, I’d assess my financial situation and if I felt ok with it, I’d RE. If I felt I needed more money, I’d look for alternative employment or part-time employment.

What I would NOT do is count on Megacorp to continue to employ me after offering me a package. My experience is that companies do not offer these kinds of packages to people they intend to keep for several more years.
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Old 02-23-2018, 11:40 AM   #30
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I had a similar opportunity a few months back. I had been planning to retire in 2-4 years, but was offered a nice separation package. After running the numbers and bouncing them off a few advisors, I was pleasantly surprised that it looked like the financial plan had a high likelihood of success, so I made the last day of 2017 the last day of my 33 yr career at my company.

On your question about RSU/Options, since they initiated the offer, I would think your company should let you keep them on the current schedule; mine did. Also if you would be eligible for more in the coming year, they should ask them to pro-rate the amount you are granted based on the % of the qualifying period you have worked. A few other things to discuss would include paying you for your unused vacation days (over and above the 1 yr separation package), you have earned these and the company should pay you for them. Also if the company has been contributing to a 401K or retirement plan, you should also ask them to make the contribution for a pro-rated amount for the next contribution as well. Health Care is probably the biggest issue, for me since I was already “regular retirement eligible” my company provided regular health benefits for an additional year after leaving as part of the separation package and participation in the regular company retirement program after that. Not sure what your company’s retirement health care policies are, but ask for as much as reasonable!

In addition to the suggestions by others about confirming your expenses, also take a close look at your debt and the plan to pay down/leverage it going forward. Is revolving debt paid down? What’s the mortgage situation? Should you refinance while still working to reduce your monthly payment? Or should you open a Home Equity Line of Credit which could be tapped to avoid selling investments in a down market? Also do you have enough cash/equivalents to live off for a few years to ride out a bear market?

As also suggested, you can always do some consulting work on your own terms if you like for motivation or financial reasons. Perhaps it makes sense to set up an LLC to manage the opportunities if/when they come up?

Lot’s to think about! Also lot’s of emotions to deal with I am sure. Good luck, whichever decision you make will be right for you, don’t look back and second guess, just look forward to make your plan a success!


Great advice re the debt. Refi of mortgage and taking out a HELOC could be some great options depending on the OP’s situation.
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Old 02-23-2018, 12:07 PM   #31
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OP. You mentioned semi-retirement. I wonder if you are planning on cleaning windows at Mickey D's or will try to find meaningful PT employment in the same field. If the latter, then check to see if there are any non-compete clauses in your offered package.
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Old 02-23-2018, 12:39 PM   #32
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Old 02-23-2018, 12:46 PM   #33
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I’ll share an anecdote. A coworker was offered a package that amounted to a year’s worth of salary. He declined. Ten months later his job was eliminated and he was sent packing with three months of salary.

He worked ten months for one month of salary.
That's a bummer. Hindsight is 20/20, but one should recognize the motivation behind such a package. That is, they want you out soon. If you do not take it, you may have to settle for a significantly lesser package.
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Old 02-23-2018, 03:06 PM   #34
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As someone who has worked in Corporate HR in some large organizations I would think twice before turning that offer down. In my experiences those that declined the buyout/severance package rarely ended up better off that they stayed. There is a reason why you and everyone else is being offered the package, and I am sure it was fully vetted by HR and Management before any package was delivered.

Just my two cents.
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Old 02-24-2018, 04:27 AM   #35
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OP. You mentioned semi-retirement. I wonder if you are planning on cleaning windows at Mickey D's or will try to find meaningful PT employment in the same field. If the latter, then check to see if there are any non-compete clauses in your offered package.


There wouldn’t be a non-compete, but I’m not really planning to explore anything in my current field yet. The nature of my field would allow me to go with other companies but probably not on a part-time basis. I’m hoping to use this opportunity to jump out of the 50 hour week. My most likely path would be self employment in a separate field where I have some experience and can do things at my pace and discretion.
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Old 02-24-2018, 08:47 AM   #36
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Unfortunately, the scenario of someone who is offered a package, opting to pass, then being let go prior to the end of the package window is becoming more common. DW and I know several people, all early 50's, offered packages who declined. Only to be squeezed in a subsequent round of layoffs. Some of these individuals did not have enough savings to leave the workforce and didn't feel their skill sets were marketable either, so they rolled the dice. I suppose in their cases, it was an easy decision. OPs may be different.

There is a reason the package is offered in the first place, and most times it isn't due to corporate benevolence.

Its a tough call worth boarding out, but there could be a silver lining in there. Maybe...
For those who may be out of the w*rking force for a while, please be aware that the "The Package" is changing. Not just at my Megac*rp, but at many.

CFOs are getting very hard nosed about workforce reductions, and are finding ways to get to the edge on age discrimination issues.

My Megac*rp used to offer packages every now and then. No more. They just quietly dismiss people in small chunks, continuously, to make their reduction numbers. A "shut up" package is usually given at that time, but it is no where near the generous 1 yr severance. Usually just a few months.

The last package (1 yr severance) given at my Mega didn't reach the numbers they needed to reduce. Over the next few years, most (but not all) of those eligible were dismissed under the newer, less lucrative package.

I'm not sure what OP should do, but they should surely consider this strongly.
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Old 02-24-2018, 09:12 AM   #37
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I don't have an answer specifically for the OP, but I'll share that at MegaMotors they offered a generous package in year one and in year two, they just fired people. I left in year one. My boss, who agreed to be the hatchet man at the beginning of year two, was axed himself once his services were no longer needed.
That is so Machiavellian!

I wonder how he felt about that. Ouch!
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Old 03-04-2018, 09:22 AM   #38
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One word of advice regarding RSU’s and/vested options. Sell all at the first moment possible. Consider it “found” money. Myself included, have handed our asses handed to us trying to create esoteric withdrawal strategies to avoid taxes etc.. only to watch a correction or recession take us out. Look and plan with the net amount and not the gross amt. just my .02.
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Old 03-04-2018, 09:44 AM   #39
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one word of advice regarding rsu’s and/vested options. Sell all at the first moment possible. Consider it “found” money. Myself included, have handed our asses handed to us trying to create esoteric withdrawal strategies to avoid taxes etc.. Only to watch a correction or recession take us out. Look and plan with the net amount and not the gross amt. Just my .02.
+1 btdt
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Old 03-04-2018, 10:03 AM   #40
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One word of advice regarding RSU’s and/vested options. Sell all at the first moment possible. Consider it “found” money. Myself included, have handed our asses handed to us trying to create esoteric withdrawal strategies to avoid taxes etc.. only to watch a correction or recession take us out. Look and plan with the net amount and not the gross amt. just my .02.
I probably would have ER'd 5 years ago had I taken this advice in 1999.
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