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Old 02-09-2018, 07:52 AM   #261
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I'm headed back to the salt mine on Monday and I'm pretty sure I see some of those - I want to quit today - days in my future. But, I have found dealing with the craziness has been easier in recent months. I just gaze off with a look of deep concentration, while also zoning out whomever is droning on - usually in a meeting, and I think about how these dopes will be left here doing the same soul crushing work when I'm long gone in not too much more time. And I just smile softly. And think:"Smucks." And: "This is not what life is about." "Ahh."
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Old 02-09-2018, 08:06 AM   #262
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A few months ago I moved my date up from Oct 31st to May 31st as my last day of w*rk. I can't begin the paperwork until 90 days before retirement date, but that means I am less than a month away from requesting the package. It is getting real, as the kids say.

Meanwhile a very interesting project I have been designated to lead languishes because of political wrangling over organizational control and money but really organizational control. Purchase of the software, and thus any real progress, has stretched out from an initial target of Summer 2017 to perhaps Summer 2018 accompanied with remarkable shifts in scope and roadmaps for initial operating capabilities. At this point I hope to get the software tool procured and in house before I hand the keys to my closest colleague. I have made him well aware of my plans, though he does suggest things that might entice me to hang on another year or so. At this point I don't have it in me to hang on until Q1 2019.

But in reference to the last few responses, now that I am less than 4 months from the 1st day of ER, it feels like it's coming on a but faster than even a month ago. I think knowing that I can begin the retirement process officially in about 3 weeks has brought on the change in how this feels to me now.

Now, I would feel just a little better if my crystal ball would clear up enough so I can gauge the duration and severity of this correction. With 3 years living expense in stable value I will be Ok, but "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride" can get your attention this close to ER.
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Old 02-14-2018, 04:56 AM   #263
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Good news following a "review call" with my financial adviser - I did take a hit with this January downturn, but I am on track, and she has "zero concerns" about my situation. As Poppydog advised above, I didn't let the market give me jitters - I am in my OMY so I WON'T have jitters - and I am just looking forward to emerging, butterfly-like, from my cocoon in a few months (did I mention I am relying on a rich store of metaphors?).

I am amused by the variety of countdowns the class is employing. Mine is "days I need to go into work" and the number is 75 minus any sick days. Meantime, my vacation days numbers are at 43. But I can't seem to find space to take them right now, not until Big Project is over in early March. And today and tomorrow, warm days here in the northeast, would be delightful to be off. Oh well, a steady course.
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Old 02-14-2018, 07:07 AM   #264
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I am amused by the variety of countdowns the class is employing. Mine is "days I need to go into work" and the number is 75 minus any sick days. Meantime, my vacation days numbers are at 43. But I can't seem to find space to take them right now, not until Big Project is over in early March. And today and tomorrow, warm days here in the northeast, would be delightful to be off. Oh well, a steady course.
Regarding ‘countdowns’, I have an app on my iPad set to countdown the number of remaining Monday mornings!

I’m down to 10 now, and one of them is a holiday (Easter Monday.) Amazing!

Congratulations Pellice, not long to go now!
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Old 02-14-2018, 11:30 AM   #265
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I'm down to 29 weeks now. The stock market correction gave me pause - but I'm still on schedule. Upper management let a great manager go yesterday with no good reason. It's better to retire on my terms.
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Old 02-14-2018, 12:18 PM   #266
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I am amused by the variety of countdowns the class is employing. Mine is "days I need to go into work" and the number is 75 minus any sick days.
I have several countdowns in an Excel table, displaying both calendar days and w*rk days. "Freedom Day" is the day I could stop showing up and let accumulated vacation take me to 59.5. "401k Day", which is the day I hit 59.5, at which time I could cash out any unspent vacation.

"Over/under Day" is my target exit. Depending on upcoming Megacorp announcements I estimate there's about 50% probability I'll go out earlier, and about 50% probability I'll go out later.

I wonder whether I'll be able to concentrate at all the closer I get to Over/under Day. The combination of eagerness and terror might be too distracting.
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Old 02-15-2018, 12:20 PM   #267
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I have a day counter too. I'm set for August 3rd as the date. The actual date is linked to a final project completion. It has to be done by July 9th but I'm hoping for a little sooner, but I'm not optimistic. After that just paperwork clean up and I'm gone. I haven't notified them yet but I plan for that to happen week after next. I'm very curious what the reaction will be.

I find it increasingly hard to stay focused and motivated. I debated about leaving at the and of 17 but decided to do this project first. There have been many days since the start of the year I have regretted that. 169 days, 121 working days, and counting.
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Old 02-15-2018, 12:40 PM   #268
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95 1/2 days and counting, net of holidays and vacation days! Woohoo!

That assumes I can pull the trigger.


I already had a 'I want to quit' day two days after getting back from vacation at my country home. Growl growl.... So, that puts things in perspective. Gotta go, gotta go soon.
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Old 02-15-2018, 01:14 PM   #269
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55 days, net. April 13 will be zero-day. Had my annual performance review and bonus announcement today; performance up from last year, but no raise and reduced bonus. Almost dropped the bomb right then and there. Boss said he understood my frustration with the mixed messages (stock way up, local office doing very well, but no compensation) and he could see how that might drive people to walk. Said he hoped I wasn’t going to, that they need me.

Am going to let it all percolate for a couple weeks, and announce retirement when he gets back from his vacation. If he meant what he said I’m hoping I might be able to negotiate a year of vesting service in return for staying a few extra months. If not...I RE on Friday the 13th!
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Old 02-15-2018, 07:37 PM   #270
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The strangest thought occurred to me the other day...

After spending so much time and effort not only initially getting this j*b but also year after year in keeping this j*b, I will soon be voluntarily giving it up. It sounds both counterintuitive and liberating at the same time.

316 days and counting...
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Old 02-16-2018, 07:20 AM   #271
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I gave my written notice . Six weeks left, only 20 days at work.

A very good feeling after 33 years at the same company.
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Old 02-16-2018, 07:25 AM   #272
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I gave my written notice . Six weeks left, only 20 days at work.

A very good feeling after 33 years at the same company.
Congrats!!!!!
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Old 02-16-2018, 04:20 PM   #273
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I gave my written notice . Six weeks left, only 20 days at work.

A very good feeling after 33 years at the same company.
Congrats!! Wow, 6 weeks notice. I plan to give a month/4 weeks. It's going to have to be enough. I want my exit to be super quiet, like a puff of smoke. I will be there and then not, before anyone notices too much. I don't want anyone asking me any questions about "what are you doing after". It's clear my colleagues aren't planning an early exit from our profession. If they find out my plan they'll just gossip about me. And who needs that.

Nice job!
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Old 02-16-2018, 04:34 PM   #274
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Congrats!! Wow, 6 weeks notice. I plan to give a month/4 weeks. It's going to have to be enough. I want my exit to be super quiet, like a puff of smoke. I will be there and then not, before anyone notices too much. I don't want anyone asking me any questions about "what are you doing after". It's clear my colleagues aren't planning an early exit from our profession. If they find out my plan they'll just gossip about me. And who needs that.

Nice job!


Actually I told VP over a year ago for succession planning purposes.
I was incentivized to stay.

Completed my final milestone last Saturday, gave written notice Monday so first pension check will deposit April 1.

Kinda cool getting final paycheck and a pension check the same week.
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Old 02-16-2018, 07:42 PM   #275
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Congrats!! Wow, 6 weeks notice. I plan to give a month/4 weeks. It's going to have to be enough. I want my exit to be super quiet, like a puff of smoke. I will be there and then not, before anyone notices too much. I don't want anyone asking me any questions about "what are you doing after". It's clear my colleagues aren't planning an early exit from our profession. If they find out my plan they'll just gossip about me. And who needs that.

Nice job!


I’m planning on giving 3 months notice. At my level it’s kind of expected and it will take that long to walk whomever through what I do. I’ve begun documenting processes but documentation only goes so far.

If anyone has ever tried to learn a software application by using the manual you know what I mean. Great for reference useless for learning, IMHO.

My retirement announcement date is also one of the dates I have in my countdown app. That announcement is in 227 days...
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Old 02-16-2018, 10:14 PM   #276
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I had been expecting to reach FI last year and the RE at start of 18. DW and I had not gotten on the same page about tighter money and I gave up last fall and decided to keep at it until behavior mods started working. Slow progress but progress nonetheless. At the same time, I had told my boss last year that I thought the big project I have been running running so brilliantly since 2014 would be far enough along that I could hand it off to routine operations by mid 18. Late last year boss asks if I still wanted to roll off the project or would I consider taking over the routine ops because he had decided the guy there couldn’t handle it. I said ok as long as I get some leeway to dabble in some good stuff like AI, IoT, and Robotics/automation. He said “I will post a new job for routine stuff, Warranty on your project, and some R&D as well.”
Time goes on and I said are we gonna do that thing, he says yes, just had to punch some more buttons. Silly me. I forgot it’s give two, get one. Last Friday I walk in to his office and the HR lady slides the package over and I’m like “Dayum! Did I fall asleep or what?”The letter from the CTO says”Tech Dev requires org change and your job is impacted. You have 30 days to find a new job in the company, otherwise we will provide a years salary severance lump sum and subsidize the full term of your Cobra”. Boss says” the new job will be posted Monday.” Wink, wink. So, I was gonna stay and slug it out at least another year but they drop a stack of cash on me that will easily cover DW’s spending addiction rehab. So, now it’s down to gut feelings. Hang around as the company cost contains its way to mediocrity and fails to grasp why it’s getting killed. Or play in the sunshine and occasionally work on the tech that bankers drool over if I need a new toy? I mean fair, my bluff has been called. But what if I sign the release or push back on the new job offer? That other dude cost at least$350k/ yr, how about some of that? Or top off my pension with a little retiree medical? Clearly, boss has a better poker face than me. Time to fold ‘em and go trolling the VC’s?
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Old 02-17-2018, 01:48 AM   #277
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I had been expecting to reach FI last year and the RE at start of 18. DW and I had not gotten on the same page about tighter money and I gave up last fall and decided to keep at it until behavior mods started working. Slow progress but progress nonetheless. At the same time, I had told my boss last year that I thought the big project I have been running running so brilliantly since 2014 would be far enough along that I could hand it off to routine operations by mid 18. Late last year boss asks if I still wanted to roll off the project or would I consider taking over the routine ops because he had decided the guy there couldn’t handle it. I said ok as long as I get some leeway to dabble in some good stuff like AI, IoT, and Robotics/automation. He said “I will post a new job for routine stuff, Warranty on your project, and some R&D as well.”
Time goes on and I said are we gonna do that thing, he says yes, just had to punch some more buttons. Silly me. I forgot it’s give two, get one. Last Friday I walk in to his office and the HR lady slides the package over and I’m like “Dayum! Did I fall asleep or what?”The letter from the CTO says”Tech Dev requires org change and your job is impacted. You have 30 days to find a new job in the company, otherwise we will provide a years salary severance lump sum and subsidize the full term of your Cobra”. Boss says” the new job will be posted Monday.” Wink, wink. So, I was gonna stay and slug it out at least another year but they drop a stack of cash on me that will easily cover DW’s spending addiction rehab. So, now it’s down to gut feelings. Hang around as the company cost contains its way to mediocrity and fails to grasp why it’s getting killed. Or play in the sunshine and occasionally work on the tech that bankers drool over if I need a new toy? I mean fair, my bluff has been called. But what if I sign the release or push back on the new job offer? That other dude cost at least$350k/ yr, how about some of that? Or top off my pension with a little retiree medical? Clearly, boss has a better poker face than me. Time to fold ‘em and go trolling the VC’s?
I'm confused by your post. I don't see why your situation is hard at all - it sounds like a no-brainer to take the severance package.

> "I had been expecting to reach FI last year and the RE at start of 18."
> "... they drop a stack of cash on me that will easily cover DW’s spending addiction rehab."

Okay, now you have enough extra money to do what you say you wanted to do originally. So, the problem is what exactly?

> "So, now it’s down to gut feelings. hang around as the company cost contains its way to mediocrity and fails to grasp why it’s getting killed[?]"

Why would you even list this as an option, given everything else you said in your post until that point?

> "I mean fair, my bluff has been called. "

What "bluff"? Your post doesn't say that you told your boss you were planning to ER, but only that you wanted to roll off to a different project. I don't see where there was a "bluff" on your part. Hypothetically, even if you had told your boss you wanted to ER, that would only a bluff if you knew all along that your original ER plan was never realistic (even apart from the extra cash needed due to your wife's spending, which you now seemingly have enough to cover). Is that the case?

> "That other dude cost at least$350k/ yr, how about some of that? Or top off my pension with a little retiree medical?"

It sounds to me like they are already offering you a generous severance package. Some people on this forum are afraid of being walked out the door the same day they give notice. You are being offered a year of salary + medical. Many people on the verge of ER, including me, would love to be offered a package like that. I also don't see why you are worrying about the "other dude". If you think you are significantly underpaid compared to someone else, you should have discussed that with your boss long before now. Trying to negotiate for a higher salary as part of a severance package probably isn't going to happen!

> "Clearly, boss has a better poker face than me. Time to fold ‘em and go trolling the VC’s?"

"Fold 'em" is a term for losing. It sounds to me like you just won. Unless, like I said before, your original plan of ER end of last year was so unrealistic that you need salary not just one extra year, but several more years to achieve your number.

Finally, if you do need to work longer and don't want the severance, your boss says,
> "the new job will be posted Monday.”

This new job is what you had been expecting anyway. The only bitter pill for you is having to turn down the severance package to get the new job, which is essentially admitting to yourself that you aren't really ready to retire after all, even after an extra year of salary. That's too bad - but if it gives you a better perspective on your real financial situation, maybe that's a good thing.

Whether you take the severance or the new job, I don't see where you lost anything. You do have a choice to make - go to the new job which is what you expected to do anyway, or take the severance which may be a much better choice if your original ER plan was remotely in the realm of realism. Am I missing something?
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Old 02-17-2018, 02:11 PM   #278
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Thanks Ilikestartrek!

Thanks for commenting Ilikestartrek! I like Star Trek a lot also but not at Trekkie level. I seem to rank DS9 higher than most do but I really enjoyed the mix and abilities of the characters species.
About my post, I suppose I’m working through a form of grief maybe? I get that I am saying confusing things. It was a bit of thinking out loud with the notion that the post would help me unload some stress and declutter my mind. Also, by opening up my thoughts to feedback like yours, help me sort out head from heart and see more objectively and dispassionately as this situation plays out. The more I gameplan this, the more confidence I have that I will make good choices.
I’m still considering the severance offer/RE versus staying on. I applied for the job to keep the option on the table. Had I not applied by last night, 5 day posting, I would have defaulted to accepting separation.
WRT to ability to RE, we seem to be in the middle range of nest egg/income sources of forum members. Admittedly, my assessment is not rigorous, only based on cursory skimming of other’s postings.
I’m 58-1/2, DW is 57-1/2. She RE’d at 49. It brought much goodness to us and allowed her to provide end of life care for both parents. It was difficult and painful but now she carries no guilt or regrets. She got closure as she was able to reconcile deep bitterness that an only child end survives but is damaged by a family broken by the betrayal and selfish, spiteful behavior of a narcissistic mother and a hard edged father. He was a good man but her mother couldn’t resist pushing his buttons to enjoy his suffering.
Our investable asset NW is roughly $1.6m, $850k in qualified accounts,$400k in deferred comp, $350k cash deposits. Insured fixed assets(house, collector cars, coins, etc.)worth about another $400k. I also am pension vested, and my benefit, if I start immediately, will be $4250/mo for 50% survivor, $4590 single life. We are still weighing benefits payout start date, annuity type, e.g., survivor benefit vs carrying term life insurance after RE. Deferred comp must pay out in equal yearly installments from date of separation. My plan uses that $80k only in yr 1-5. Years 5+ use the pension and retirement funds. SSI benefits at some point after yr 5. The SRP portion of pension also commences immediately and is $4k/yr.
I can augment from dividends, some rents if we keep this property but reside elsewhere. I’m invested in a couple of profitable small businesses that generating proceeds, $3-4K/yr. As long as they don’t lose money or turn into jobs that I have to do, I’ll keep them.
I started calculating my RE target date 6-7 years ago and was projecting somewhere around 2020. The company was growing fast when I joined in ‘02. I climbed the ladder quickly and by ‘08 was in upper executive ranks, just below company officer. For many reasons, I have stayed at that career level rung. Our lifestyle is relatively modest and auto saving allowed us to stockpile the egg without rigorous penny pinching. I recognize that frivolous spending could derail any plans so that is a real readiness issue.
A change in LTI vesting plans/schedules led to big payouts the last 2 yrs and 4 yrs ago. Fortunately they landed after I quit with blowing big chunks of dough.
I admit that 10 years AG I did some binging with a boat, RV, guitar collection, toys, showering relatives, etc. Hard work and success deserves shiny stuff type rewards, right? We were arriving from a start where we counted pennies at the checkout counter to pay for diapers and chicken leg quarters.
I got most of that acquisitive behavior out of my system about 5 years ago. I woke up to my stuffitis and proceeded to debt free in ‘13 and my RE countdown started in earnest. Still need to seriously unload the stuff though. Maybe I’ll donate it to the Jones’s.
Our expenses run $75k annually and will shave off corporate-drone convenience fees and club taxes, at least 10%. I include storage rentals as convenience fee here!!! Cash flow models project my retirement annual income w COLAs in the $100-110k range without depleting the egg. Short of force majeure tragedy, our biggest RE hurdle will be health care cost from age 60-65 beginning 2020. It won’t be so big that it’s RE blocking, however, staying 3 more years would qualify me for retiree medical from 2021 to 2025 and Medicare supplemental afterward.
So back to the conversation between boss and I. Since I would be accepting a new offer, the terms are negotiable. I expect the offer will be directly comparable to current comp but some modifications. I currently receive auto allowance. That perk for new hires at my level was eliminated 2 years ago and likely will be absent from the new offer. Good offer- redress the perk loss with base comp or IC to boost pension FAC. Neutral offer- tie to a new bonus or convert it to LTIP multiplier points/raised target. Bad offer- perk gone w no offset. About the job- R&D is like being paid to play, Delivery is cool but doesn’t get you in the C-suite under ordinary conditions. Ops is brutal and takes years off your life but is where tech careers are made and engineers can become CTO & CEO. I’m too long in the tooth to climb more than another level here. This job will be twice as hard as what I do today. If I do it I’m gonna get paid.
I’ve been very windy here so try to wrap. Subjectively, I need to know how much I matter to the team and mission. I need to know if Im appreciated and needed outside the context of job ability, or if I’m simply a means to an end. Is my presence and influence seen as an intrinsically good thing or grudgingly accepted that to get the best person for the job, they have to put up with my
The offer and negotiation will reveal those things. If I am going to stay and do some work that is unpleasant, such as RIF a lot of people, it will need to be for something more meaningful than a percentage swing in retirement security.
This is the denouement of my professional life story. When my great grand children ask what I was like, will they hear about a cold hearted businessman that took a payoff to “do what needed to be done”? Or will it be “if he hadn’t been a selfish lazy wimp that wanted to sloth in a hammock on the beach, you would be able to afford to go to college.”? Granted, in the great scheme of things, it doesn’t matter but my choice will bias toward where my legacy is more likely to be one of virtue and betterment as opposed to one of self-aggrandizement and egotism.
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Old 02-17-2018, 06:01 PM   #279
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About my post, I suppose I’m working through a form of grief maybe?
ClayMore, best of luck in whatever you do.

I'm having a bit of a time digesting your very thick posts, but I wanted to say, hang in there. I think you are in tech, and you and DW are over 55. That pretty much say to me, "take that year of severance and run."

Maybe it simplifies things a bit, but man, I'm in tech, and if I got that, I'd be gone so fast. Tech doesn't give a flip about anyone over 50. Just leave. I dream about that kind of offer. My megacorp gave those 10 years ago, but stopped. Now, they just try to get you to leave, or if push comes to shove, they give 3 months.

I'm going to leave. In May.

But, yeah, I totally understand your "grief" comment. I do! I'm grieving my career. I know I could do more. For less even. But geez, Megacorp just doesn't make it easy.

When HR shoves the package across the table, and it is a good package, you really need to consider it.

I say this mostly for our young ERers who read this. BE PREPARED people. Age 40+? THINK about this. This is reality.

Anyway, best of luck. Meanwhile, I sit here employed, and riding on a train in a tunnel with this light at the end. The light is getting bright, and it is getting scary! 3 months away. WOAH! Can I do this?
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Old 02-17-2018, 09:59 PM   #280
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Thanks for commenting Ilikestartrek!

<etc>

Also, by opening up my thoughts to feedback like yours, help me sort out head from heart and see more objectively and dispassionately as this situation plays out. The more I gameplan this, the more confidence I have that I will make good choices.
I’m still considering the severance offer/RE versus staying on.

<etc>
ClayMore, I'm glad you found my comments helpful. Best wishes in whatever you decide. Here's my feedback on your latest post.

It sounds like you believe you have enough on the income side to RE. But there may still be a nagging doubt on your level of spending. I think you need to sit down with your wife and have a frank discussion about your retirement. Talk through the level of retirement you think you can have on your budget, including the "toys" you have to forego if you retire now vs after the 3 more years. If she is resentful about having to cut spending in order for you to retire, you will have continued problems. For the sake of your marriage, you may need to keep working. But if the quality time you two can spend together is worth it to the both of you and she is fully on board with the RE plan, that's great. The result of that conversation will likely make your work decision for you.

If you're still on the fence, you will need to decide on the work stress vs financial reward of working longer.

It does sound like an awful lot of work stress - "Ops is brutal and takes years off your life... This job will be twice as hard as what I do today." You are in your 50s, so likely you will never be healthier than you are now. You don't know if your current level of health will last another year or another 30 years. If you really think the new job will "take years off your life", and you already have the means for a comfortable retirement, the job is probably not worth it no matter how good the salary will be.

About this:
> "Subjectively, I need to know how much I matter to the team and mission. I need to know if Im appreciated and needed outside the context of job ability, or if I’m simply a means to an end. Is my presence and influence seen as an intrinsically good thing or grudgingly accepted that to get the best person for the job, they have to put up with my " -

I think you are making things too personal. If management has decided from past history that Job X is worth Salary (including benefits) Y, it could be that they just won't go beyond Salary Y even if you are Superman. Management has to take the view that no one is indespensable. Is anyone so indespensable that if they drop dead from a heart attack, the company will go out of business? Not likely! (If you owned your own business, then maybe you really would be indespensable. But not in Megacorp.) So Megacorp is only going to negotiate to a certain point. If you can get extra benefits that's great, but don't take it too personally if they don't meet your expectations.

JoeWras put it frankly, "Tech doesn't give a flip about anyone over 50." I think there could be exceptions but I mostly agree with that comment. I pretty much agree with all JoeWras' points. If I had that severance offer, I would jump at it just like he would. You probably should, too - but making sure that you and your wife agree on the plan is the main thing.
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