Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Fired before I'm FIRE ...
Old 02-09-2020, 08:29 PM   #1
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 90
Fired before I'm FIRE ...

Just fishing for whatever tips you all might have, especially from those who have been laid off unexpectedly.

Company is under new ownership and I'm VERY worried that I'll be targeted for a layoff and I'm maybe 3 years short of FI. Middle management type. Mid-50s, no kids at home. I expect a protracted job search and a large reduction in salary if/when I find something.

It looks like they are offering a severance that would result in maybe 25,000 before taxes. I hope.

We can pay our bills (but not maintain our current standard of living) on DW's reliable safe job. Hopefully won't need to withdraw from my modest 401k but won't be making any travel plans.

I'm looking for any general tips; I've already decided to sell off one newer car and buy a 10-year old beater. Looking at trimming any other expenses as well.

Any tips on what to do with a 25,000, which will be the largest single chunk of money I'll ever see. I don't even know what other questions to ask. Appreciate any help.
__________________

AboutThere is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 02-09-2020, 08:51 PM   #2
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
davebarnes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Berkeley, Denver, CO, USA
Posts: 1,011
Don’t sell the car.
Remember: “Don’t Panic.”
Give a lot more data.
So many people are willing to help here.
__________________

__________________
Dave Barnes
Old (71.3) Fart Nerd
AA 73/25/2, WR=3.8% (living on the edge), 97.2% retired, still working 1/4ish hrs/day
davebarnes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2020, 09:05 PM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: California
Posts: 1,001
You say you are worried that you will be targeted, then you note 25k severance. Were you notified of actual layoff?

Use up as much healthcare, dental, vision, FSA benefits as possible. You could use up the full year of FSA and get reimbursed and not make any more payments once laid off. If still on the job, see your Dr for stress and anxiety, and may get short term disability for a few months. If possible, increase 401k to get more match if possible and within your budget.

If notified of layoff, regardless of what they offer you, you can ask for more. They might decline, but so what.

Hold onto the car as you might still need it, also if 2 - 3 years old, it probably took a hit on value already.
Aiming_4_55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2020, 09:23 PM   #4
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 90
No notification of layoff but that's what another person received who worked on a similarly dead-end program. Basically, I'm in expert in a thing that isn't relevant any more.

Hmmm, I thought ditching the car would be a no-brainer I will think that one over
AboutThere is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2020, 09:26 PM   #5
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by davebarnes View Post
Donít sell the car.
Remember: ďDonít Panic.Ē
Give a lot more data.
So many people are willing to help here.
"Don't panic" is a very good tip - Thanks!

(Not sure what other data to give )

I did just find out that I can access my 401k without penalty as I'm over 55, so that's helpful. Thought I had to wait until 59.5
AboutThere is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2020, 09:27 PM   #6
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 755
I hope it won't happen, but if it does, I'd keep the severance in liquid, safe investments since it sounds like you may need it for some living expenses while you look for a new job. Also, it sounds like you have time before any job loss. You may want to use this time to see if there are any skills you should update or connect with some people who could be useful in a job search.



Good luck!
Katiek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2020, 03:11 AM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 1,297
If you see what is coming, then don't sit around waiting for it, make your move now.

Update your LinkedIn profile. You're an expert in your thing, so start looking for another employer who needs your expertise. You may be surprised. If there are none, and the thing is totally obsolete where nobody will pay for your expertise, then start training for the new thing to enhance your background and become more valuable. Unemployment is at record lows, there are more positions available than qualified people to fill them. If you don't fit exact job requirements, apply anyhow - middle management is still needed at megacorps.

Maybe you get the $25k severance or not. Start your search now and get offers. If you get an offer, consider leaving on your own without the severance. Will $25k compensate for your down time if you first start looking/training when let go? Don't start thinking about accessing the 401k - find another job.

As far as cutting expenses - there's always room for that. Drop/reduce your cable, landline and cellphone plans. Get a basic internet only plan for home, pick up a Roku, and go OTA for local stations. For cellphone, get a cheap/decent Android and get a $30-$40/month plan. The T-Mobile $55/month plan for two lines is still available for folks 55+ ( https://www.t-mobile.com/cell-phone-...discount-plans ). Review your home/auto insurance policies with your insurer and see if there's any place to reduce premiums or qualify for additional discounts. I called my carrier a few weeks ago for something and out of the blue the rep said if I switched to online statements instead of mailing they'd give me $40/year discount. No brainer. Basically, go through your monthly expenses, sort them from most expensive to least expensive and just go down the list seeing where you can reduce. Don't worry about the cheap stuff - concentrate on reducing the expensive stuff.
njhowie is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2020, 04:13 AM   #8
Full time employment: Posting here.
Bryan Barnfellow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 608
Can you consult to former customers and to new ones in your declining field of expertise? Might be a lot easier than finding a new salaried job. Can your spouse work a bit longer to tide over the finances and let the 401(k) grow more? I would forget for now about maintaining your lifestyle level and instead pare down to a quasi-survival budget that focuses on the endgame: retirement. It's easier at your age now to endure these cuts than in the more uncertain later decades.

Best of luck. Let us know what happens so that we can offer more tailored advice.

-BB
__________________
FIREd, April 1, 2015. My Retirement Benefits Package includes: 6 months vacation, twice a year.
Bryan Barnfellow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2020, 06:24 AM   #9
Confused about dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Lebanon
Posts: 7
You're in a better position than many single income families might be...with DW's reliable safe job in addition to yours. So you're not in a desperate situation, and as others have said; I would save the $25K severance if it materializes, in something liquid. This buys you more time to consider your options.

If you seek additional feedback that is specific, perhaps you could provide more detail re monthly expenses (fixed/discretionary), monthly income situation now vs. if you are laid off, etc.

Good luck!
Golfquest20 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2020, 06:48 AM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Historic Florida
Posts: 3,980
I would have thought that a total asset, future income and expenses evaluation would be in order. Here are some questions I would ask myself, not in any particular order.

1) Is your home paid for?
2) What is your HC situation, does DW's employment cover that?
3) Other than the car what other major assets do you have, rental property etc?
4) Are you in a LCOL, MCOL or HCOL area of the country
5) Are you job skills marketable, do you intend to ER or job search?
6) What are your current expenses?

Good luck and we will try to help as best we can. We do need a little more info though.

Here is a source of some addition questions: https://www.early-retirement.org/for...ire-69999.html
__________________
"Never Argue With a Fool, Onlookers May Not Be Able To Tell the Difference." - Mark Twain
ShokWaveRider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2020, 07:10 AM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Tampa
Posts: 5,164
I believe the more data comment relates to if you are willing to supp,y us with more financial data on income/investment $ including AA allocation/spending.
Perhaps you are in better shape than you think.
__________________
TGIM
Dtail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2020, 07:11 AM   #12
Recycles dryer sheets
atmsmshr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: An island off the coast of Florida. (Ok - if you really need to know it's Vero Beach)
Posts: 348
If you get the $25k, keep it in a stable account like savings, checking or MM. You can't afford to gamble in stocks.

Consider signing up for a HELOC now while your income can still be counted.

Try to leave the 401k alone. Any loan against the plan will have to be paid in full upon severance from the company.

You are in luck right now, the economy is booming and job openings are going unfilled. You might wind up working in a much lower paying job to start, and climb up the salary ladder from that position.
__________________
DW and I are 58. FIRE August 2019 (previous goals were 2021 and 2020). Non-cola pension available but will remain untouched until mid sixties to grow, max SS for DH at FRA. Mega retiree health available. 401k is AA 35% stocks, 6% cash and 59% split between MM & Short Bond fund.
atmsmshr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2020, 07:40 AM   #13
Full time employment: Posting here.
Markola's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 930
Itís happened to me, too, TWICE! My biggest tip is, look for opportunities in this challenge:

- Stay completely positive, understanding and PROFESSIONAL at work about this whole matter. It is not easy on whomever is tasked with making these cuts. If you help them out by not making them feel even more horrible, it will help YOU, so thatís why you adopt that mindset vs. the people who will go negative. It will help you stand out. Maybe you offer to do contracts if it assists their transition. Tell them your goal is a very reference in your next search and so how can you help through this time and wrap up smoothly. If you walk into a lay-off meeting prepared with that understanding mindset and you will win hearts, minds and help that could be valuable.

- If you are only three years from FI, you have options. Get your 401K Rule of 55 lined up. Maybe you can transfer into it some or all of an IRA so that it isnít modest any longer. Learn the rules.

- Car: Iím in the camp of ďsell itĒ if it increases cash flow. This is also a time of focusing and valuing what is real in your life and what are fake status symbols. Sorting out wants vs. needs can be cathartic and helpful to your mindset and cash flow.

- Let your spouse know you appreciate her being in this with you. Wake up every day when she does. Get right back on the horse and look for a job every day. Make her supper every night. Do all the shopping, looking for bargains, and housekeeping.

There is a good chance you will come out of this in fine shape in a fresh new situation that youíll be happy about after you look back in a few years, so, given the choice, why not choose positivity?

Good luck!
Markola is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2020, 07:54 AM   #14
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
DrRoy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Michigan
Posts: 2,944
Quote:
If you get the $25k, keep it in a stable account like savings, checking or MM. You can't afford to gamble in stocks.

Try to leave the 401k alone. Any loan against the plan will have to be paid in full upon severance from the company.
+1
__________________
"The mountains are calling, and I must go." John Muir
DrRoy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2020, 08:01 AM   #15
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Red Badger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Hog Mountian
Posts: 1,923
Quote:
Originally Posted by njhowie View Post
If you see what is coming, then don't sit around waiting for it, make your move now.

Update your LinkedIn profile. You're an expert in your thing, so start looking for another employer who needs your expertise. You may be surprised. If there are none, and the thing is totally obsolete where nobody will pay for your expertise, then start training for the new thing to enhance your background and become more valuable. Unemployment is at record lows, there are more positions available than qualified people to fill them. If you don't fit exact job requirements, apply anyhow - middle management is still needed at megacorps.

Maybe you get the $25k severance or not. Start your search now and get offers. If you get an offer, consider leaving on your own without the severance. Will $25k compensate for your down time if you first start looking/training when let go? Don't start thinking about accessing the 401k - find another job.

As far as cutting expenses - there's always room for that. Drop/reduce your cable, landline and cellphone plans. Get a basic internet only plan for home, pick up a Roku, and go OTA for local stations. For cellphone, get a cheap/decent Android and get a $30-$40/month plan. The T-Mobile $55/month plan for two lines is still available for folks 55+ ( https://www.t-mobile.com/cell-phone-...discount-plans ). Review your home/auto insurance policies with your insurer and see if there's any place to reduce premiums or qualify for additional discounts. I called my carrier a few weeks ago for something and out of the blue the rep said if I switched to online statements instead of mailing they'd give me $40/year discount. No brainer. Basically, go through your monthly expenses, sort them from most expensive to least expensive and just go down the list seeing where you can reduce. Don't worry about the cheap stuff - concentrate on reducing the expensive stuff.

This. +1+1+1+1
__________________
Never let yesterday use up too much of today.
W. Rogers
Red Badger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2020, 08:29 AM   #16
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Fair Lawn
Posts: 1,790
1. Update your resume now.
2) Then begin your new job search By the time you've interviewed, and perhaps offered a job, you could have a better grasp of your job security at your current job. I
3) Most importantly, if you're only 3 years from FI, cutting expenses right now can quite quickly shorten that time frame. If you keep your current job, then you only need a couple of years to reach FI. If you are laid off and have to take a pay cut in a new job, you're already used to your lower-expense lifestyle and will still meet your goal if FI.

FWIW I t was laid off at 58, got another job after a few months with a pay cut, and it did not affect my long term ER plans. You can do this.
mystang52 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2020, 09:07 AM   #17
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 1,251
Found myself in a similar spot back in 2008 when health care mega-corp was acquired by a bigger fish. I was not relishing the thought of making a career change at 51 years of age. Especially considering that we had a great team that I was privileged to w*rk with and only a 5 mile daily commute by bicycle! Prior to the take over, I reached out and learned that my particular role/title in middle management would not be a part of the future state of affairs. Taking a proactive approach is best as others on this thread have pointed out. I also updated my resume, Linked in profile and began to make under the radar inquiries about opportunities elsewhere. One other step that I took was to re-write my current j*b description that included a title change and change in scope of responsibilities. It actually worked! I took a relatively minor haircut in salary but was able to remain in a bit of a lesser role at the same facility, with the same team of individuals and ride it out until E.R. in 2016.

Obviously, your circumstances may be entirely different than were mine.
__________________
ďPeace is not something you wish for; Itís something you make, something you do, something you are, and something you give away." - John Lennon
candrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2020, 09:25 AM   #18
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Washington State
Posts: 1,134
Quote:
Originally Posted by AboutThere View Post
Company is under new ownership and I'm VERY worried that I'll be targeted for a layoff and I'm maybe 3 years short of FI. Middle management type. Mid-50s, no kids at home. I expect a protracted job search and a large reduction in salary if/when I find something.
I'm sorry to hear about your situation.

Hope for the best, but plan for the worst. Unless you receive a real indication that your job is ending, don't assume it is all over.

We went through something similar last year. There was a blowup at my wife's work and in the haste to fix things her boss targeted my wife and put her on a PIP threatening termination in writing. With over 30 years at the organization and only 3-4 years till we retire we decided to ride it out. It would be easier to find a job while still working, but we hoped it wouldn't come to that. In our situation, the PIP expired successfully and the boss ended up retiring. We were lucky, and unless something else comes up we are expecting smooth sailing till retirement. Good outcomes ARE possible!

Quote:
Originally Posted by AboutThere View Post
We can pay our bills (but not maintain our current standard of living) on DW's reliable safe job.
Could you start a side hustle to earn a little extra money on the side until you retire? This could be helpful even if you don't get laid off.

If you do get fired, you don't necessarily need to stay in middle management. Find something you enjoy for the 3 years or so until you are ready to retire. This may mean pushing back retirement a year or two, but I would rather do something I enjoy for 5 years than something I hate for 3 years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AboutThere View Post
I'm looking for any general tips; I've already decided to sell off one newer car and buy a 10-year old beater. Looking at trimming any other expenses as well.
Don't be afraid to lower your standard of living. You might be surprised to learn bigger and newer isn't always better. The less you spend, the less you will need for retirement, which may mean retiring earlier. Rather than spend thousands on international travel, maybe spend a few hundred traveling locally. Make meals at home and eat out less. Drive older vehicles you pay cash for. Pay off any debt you have and don't add more. If you have a large house, maybe sell it and move to something smaller and more affordable. Learn to do things yourself (DIY) so you don't have to pay others for simple tasks. Cancel any subscriptions you are not using, and seek out less expensive plans for the services you do use.

Live a life you enjoy, not one that will impress the Jones'. The Jone's don't care anyway... Remember, it's all just stuff and you can't take it with you...
mountainsoft is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2020, 10:08 AM   #19
Dryer sheet aficionado
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 36
Same happened to me. Planned to retire at 60 when I was Ready. Got downsized at 57.5.
It turned out I was more than prepared than I thought.
Ultimately, I wish I had retired earlier.
After retirement you donít contend with the same level of taxation as you do when drawing a paycheck.
You may be more prepared than you think...like I was.
Gallaher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2020, 10:40 AM   #20
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Diablo Valley (SF Bay Area)
Posts: 1,631
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiek View Post
I hope it won't happen, but if it does, I'd keep the severance in liquid, safe investments since it sounds like you may need it for some living expenses while you look for a new job. Also, it sounds like you have time before any job loss. You may want to use this time to see if there are any skills you should update or connect with some people who could be useful in a job search.



Good luck!
Apply for UIB the day you're laid off. IF you need to keep working, join their job searching 'club' whatever it's called (it's EXPERIENCE UNLIMITED here)
__________________

gayl is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
laid off


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Intro and Fired up for Fire ghh101 Hi, I am... 32 08-05-2017 05:09 AM
Fired. And maybe FIREd? FUEGO FIRE and Money 49 09-04-2013 06:16 AM
FIRE-worthy? Seeking pearls of wisdom from the FIREd coltsfan53 FIRE and Money 24 07-27-2013 02:57 PM
25 y/o fired up for eventual FIRE enderland Hi, I am... 4 07-01-2013 06:25 AM
check the "best before" date before using... simple girl Other topics 1 08-24-2008 07:38 PM

» Quick Links

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:32 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×