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Old 02-12-2016, 10:15 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by razztazz View Post
I picked April Fools Day. It was whimsical. The Establishment was convinced I wouldn't really leave and I wanted to be a bit of a pr1ck on my way out.
And it reduced my work life to that "Dream Season" from the old TV show "Dallas" where none of the story lines or events mattered because it was all just a dream one of the characters had.
Did you wake up in bed with Suzanne Pleshette?
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Old 02-12-2016, 10:18 AM   #22
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After I became eligible for a (reduced and frozen) pension at age 50 I volunteered for 3 different rounds of layoffs with the hope of getting a severance package. To no avail, since the big boss really wanted to keep the group together even though people were being let go in droves in the rest of the company.

Roughly coincident with my 3rd attempt, I reached the combination of age+service where my pension would no longer be reduced. There were a lot of changes going on at the company, so I told myself that I would be out of there the next time a change occurred that I didn't like. A few weeks later, they announced a major reorg that would have landed me in a dysfunctional project, and my boss announced his retirement. I gave one month notice and the rest is history.
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Old 02-12-2016, 10:23 AM   #23
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I realized in 2013 that we were getting very close to the point where one of us could stop making the daily commute. Then as 2014 started it became clear that the non-profit for whom I was working was not going to continue offering the services that I had been hired to perform for them. They offered to keep me on in the new model, but I had no interest in being part of yet another Washington think tank. Also, I had serious doubts about the organization's chances for success. (Aside - They are currently down to 4 employees from 9 and one of the board members who founded the organization 20+ years ago has since formed a competing non-profit with similar goals.)

So, in short, when the three contracts that I was managing all wrapped up on 9/30/2014, I was out the door. Fortunately, DW was very supportive and she enjoys her current employment situation.
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Old 02-12-2016, 10:42 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post

My last day of work was just before Christmas and since I was on vacation after that I was available to answer questions until I turned in my laptop on February 1.
This was the same logic I used to pick February 1. At first I was just trying to get into January to get a $1200 HSA deposit, and then realized I had enough vacation to get into February, since I had already changed to working 3 days a week. It also vested me in the bonus plan for the year, but that turned out to be a big zero, as Megacorp "under-performed" its target.
If your not living on the edge, you're taking up too much space.
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Old 02-12-2016, 10:45 AM   #25
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My date was driven by tax, bonus/stock, and housing considerations.

Basically we picked a rough date that would occur
* after the end of year bonus paid
* after quarterly stock vested
* after we maxed out 401k for the year (company matched 50% immediately)
* early enough in the year so that our marginal tax rates were low
* late enough in the year so that we had enough income to take advantage of low marginal rates

This all pointed to a march-june time frame. However we also needed to coordinate with the sale of our house (in the bay area). However our house sold much faster than expected -- once escrow closed I gave my 2 week notice. This resulted in a last day for me of 3/4. My wife stuck around longer and worked until 6/9.
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Old 02-12-2016, 10:56 AM   #26
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I decided in mid-summer 2010 that we were enough past FI and major expenses (buying and remodeling retirement house/selling previous house, buying new car, college funds set aside, etc.) that I could RE. Logically, I would have waited until May, 2011 - I had 6-figures of deferred compensation that I had to take in cash (fully taxable) within 30 days of leaving, also some stock options with same terms, and I gave up the mid-5 figure bonus I would have received in May (although it was earned by March 31, you had to be on payroll on the payout date to get it).

But my job was being moved across the country, and although I was assured by my VP that I'd be placed in another role, I was fed up with senior management and wave after wave of layoffs. So I noted that the under-62 surcharge on my retiree health insurance would reduce by 5% if I stayed past my birthday, and I'd get health insurance for the month if I left on the 1st, so October 1, 2010 (conveniently a Friday) was my last day. It felt so good to be out of there that I didn't even mind (much) writing the big check to pay the taxes.
"One of the funny things about the stock market is that every time one person buys, another sells, and both think they are astute." William Feather
ER'd Oct. 2010 at 53. Life is good.
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Old 02-12-2016, 11:03 AM   #27
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As a teacher I ended up with my last working day in June (albeit a few extra days over the contracted end to clean up the classroom and hand-off materials to my replacement)

But, the big question was should I end the contract early (June 30) and start my pension on July 1, or let the contract run through its natural end (August 31) before starting my pension.

By starting the pension July 1, I get a cost of living adjustment the next year. Otherwise I have to wait almost two years for the first COLA. But, I also give up two months of paid medical insurance, and my service years used to calculate the pension end up being 1/6 of year less so I end up with a slightly smaller pension to start with.

It's kind of like when to start SS. In the short run as soon as possible, but if one lives long enough then delay the start.

I ended up keeping my contract intact until its natural end on August 31, and started the pension on September 1. At about 72 I should break even. After that it's all gravy!! I figured the gravy will buy me a pizza and a descent craft brew every month to start with. Maybe a nice dinner in another 10 years.

So, I officially retired as of September 1. When I hit 72 you can join me for a brew and slice of the pizza.
The worst decisions are usually made in times of anger and impatience.
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Old 02-12-2016, 11:13 AM   #28
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My decision as to the final date was actually a tactical decision rather than a strategic one.

I had already reached the financial goal I had set for myself upon age 55, so waiting until my 55th birthday was optional.

I decided that calculation of my final date was the next time leadership danced around one of the chronic issues facing the company plus two month's notice. I didn't have to wait very long for an example to manifest itself one afternoon.

Composed my resignation letter, emailed my wife, and presented it to the CEO.
ER'd 6/1/2014 @ age 53.
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Old 02-12-2016, 11:17 AM   #29
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I'm finding these stories very interesting. Everyone has had so many different things to consider.

For me, as a govvie, it was always sort of cut-and-dried. Our Agency likes to ensure we are educated about retirement options. When I'd been there 15 years, I got to attend a 2-day seminar for "mid-career" employees, where one of the themes was that we needed to invest, and not merely depend on our pensions.

Toward the end of my career, I went to seminars to learn more about health benefits, Medicare, taxes, and other things. I read everything I could find on Federal retirement and contrived various spreadsheets to try to account for it all.

And yet, there were still things to consider about the "final day." I knew I wanted to retire at the end of the year following a particular birthday. HR provided a calculator and I had a retirement adviser, so I knew exactly how much my pension and annual leave payout would be.

But, would I be better off retiring on December 31st, or Jan 4th? The earlier date would mean earlier freedom, and a full first month of pension benefits. The later date would reduce my first month's pension a bit, but give me 4 days of holiday premium pay for Jan 1st, because I was retiring from a shiftwork job. Plus...and this was important...I could contribute those 4 days of pay, and premium pay, to the Thrift Savings Plan; the last TSP contribution I would ever make. And, since the 4th was the end of a pay period, I could contribute the last week of December's pay to TSP as well. It was a substantial amount of money to shelter. Ding ding ding! I had my day.
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Old 02-12-2016, 01:56 PM   #30
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I qualified for full, cola'd pension 6 years ago, however, working to a certain age gives me the benefit of significantly reduced retiree health insurance cost , hence November 2016 is my date.
You are no longer in a savings mode.
You are now in a slow spend down mode.
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Old 02-12-2016, 02:07 PM   #31
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I'm gone April 29th. One day before I turn 60. At least I'll be able to say I retired in my 50's.
Took SS at 62 and hope I live long enough to regret the decision.
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Old 02-12-2016, 02:15 PM   #32
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One of the motivations for me was the realization that the new contract the union had negotiated was much, much, better than in previous years. Bear in mind that when I started there was no union. We didn't want or need one, but the employer was penny wise and pound foolish regarding raises during the inflation years of the '70's and '80's. That led to the formation of the union which in the long run cost them far more than decent raises would have.

Anyway, I realized that if I retired I could sell T shirts out of the back of a van and still make more money than if I kept working. In reality when I retired my net pay went up slightly although the gross was lower. I had been maxed out on the 457, after retirement not paying into the retirement system and SS, and a few other items.

And I wouldn't have to deal with the bureaucracy getting training, software and equipment, and the DC traffic after we moved. That was very attractive too. Last day was June 30 2002 and we moved into the the WV house Sept. 12, 2002.
I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
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Old 02-12-2016, 02:31 PM   #33
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I was debating between 12/31/14 and 7/1/15. I liked the thought of NOT w*rking another tax season (34 was enough for me), but 7/1 was a vesting date doe a deferred comp plan. I also wanted to give the company time to find a replacement so I gave notice early for the July 1 date. As it turned out, they didn't really get serious about hiring a replacement until May ("you're going to change your mind aren't you?") so I probably should have waited until April 1 to give notice.
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Old 02-12-2016, 02:40 PM   #34
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I got called into the office and was told that the company was downsizing and I was part of that. At least they gave me a good parting package.
Wild Bill shoulda taken more out of his IRA when he could have. . . .
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Old 02-12-2016, 02:51 PM   #35
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The minute I'm qualify for a pension, which is five years, plus my badge was expiring in Dec and I was too lazy to renew it, the last workday before I went on 2 weeks vacation in Hawaii.

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Old 02-12-2016, 03:12 PM   #36
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My final date will be the end of the pay period after I turn 62 in Fall of 2017. Fall is chile season and the best season of the year - I'll need the extra time to peel and freeze my green chile. Waiting until 62 will bump up my pension another 3% of high three year salary. I also got a big raise in 2015 so want that reflected in my high three. And performance appraisal self assessments are due at the end of the month so I'm hoping to get out of writing one but it will mean missing out on that big $600 bonus in November.
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Old 02-12-2016, 03:18 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Taxman59 View Post
I probably should have waited until April 1 to give notice.
April Fools?

Alas, my target date is still far, far away. I've had a number of co-workers retiring though so I've learned some tricks from them.

I'll be eligible for full pension Q4 2039 but I'm aiming tentatively for Q1-Q2 2040. Banked sick and vacation time can't be used to increase service credit/pension. We just get paid cash for those and if I retire in Q4, most of it will just go to taxes not to mention push me into a higher tax bracket. By delaying, I get another year's worth of retirement contributions and can have the banked sick and vacation pay directed towards the 457. Also, quite a number of paid holidays in Q4.
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Old 02-12-2016, 03:25 PM   #38
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Well, I was more or less FI when I was laid off from my IT career in April 2013. So Megacorp picked it for me, and I intended to remain almost completely retired. That said, I'm working again, maybe 20-25 hours a week, in an accidental second career which started out as just 3 hours a week on Saturday mornings. Still it provides retirement benefits and full FEHB medical coverage in a part-time job, so it's a nice transition between full-stop permanent FIRE and the full-time working world.
"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 02-12-2016, 06:05 PM   #39
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My original retirement date was May 1, 2014 about 2 years before. We get to count 2014 as one of our high years for our pension if we stay that long. A short time later, my boss retired and I decided to apply for the position, which would have delayed my timeframe another 3 years (2017). While I really didn't want the job, I didn't want some idiot getting it. Well, they gave the job to some idiot, so I was back to May 1, 2014. After 6 months under the idiot, I changed the last day of work to December 31, 2013, but also contemplated retiring as early as July 1, 2013 if the BS bucket overflowed, figuring I'd be on a month-to-month basis until December. The real kicker was they were giving me the idiot's duties, so I'd get the workload but not the position. For the most part, I was able to wade through it all and the last day of 2013 was my last day of work.

During my exit interview, I stated that the idiot wouldn't last a year after I left, as there was no way he could handle the year-end audit. He was true to form and was asked to resign the following December.
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Old 02-12-2016, 06:15 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Walt34 View Post
One of the motivations for me was the realization that the new contract the union had negotiated was much, much, better than in previous years. Bear in mind that when I started there was no union. We didn't want or need one, but the employer was penny wise and pound foolish regarding raises during the inflation years of the '70's and '80's. That led to the formation of the union which in the long run cost them far more than decent raises would have. .....
One of my first clients in the late 70s had a good sized workforce but treated their employees quite fairly... so much so that union organizers could not get any traction.
If something cannot endure laughter.... it cannot endure.
Patience is the art of concealing your impatience.
Slow and steady wins the race.

Retired Jan 2012 at age 56
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