Got my 'pre lay -off' notice yesterday

scarlett2001March 7, 2008

Well, I may be taking early retirement far sooner than I had planned to! Yesterday I got an official notice that the funds from which my job is paid are in danger of drying up and if so...the position will be abolished. Of course my boss gave me every assurance that she will do her best to keep me, etc. etc.

My husband was "retired" early several years ago because he had been with his company more than 20 years and had, over time, achieved a high salary. Then some bean counter realized that they could hire somebody right out of college to replace him at half his salary. I know several people who are experiencing that right now- they are just out in the street, too young to collect real retirement, too "old" to be competitive in the hiring market.

So what do you think I should do if and when the old ax falls?

Try to find a new job and defer retirement until I'm older? Open an e-business? I didn't sleep much last night. Finally got up and turned on TV - saw all these folks who say they are earning $30K a minute on EBay...little disclaimer down at the bottom of the screen saying "This is not typical"...Kind of like the diet ads.

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joyfulguy

Yeah - those "diet" ads.

You could "die - at" that!

Or, probably die before you achieved much.

Trouble is, when the food intake reduces, the body gets upset, goes into partial emergency mode, starts using food more efficiently.

Then, when the "diet" is over, you've acieved your desired weight loss, you return to more relaxed eating patterns ...
... but - nobody told your body, which goes on using food more efficiently!

Which means storing pounds even faster than before the diet program.

Seems to me there's a major fly in this ointment!

If you plan to retire, don't forget to allow for the chewing that inflation will do to your asset base, over the years.

There are some folks over on the Kitchen Table that have done selling on eBay, so they can offer some advice, no doubt.

I haven't.

Good wishes as you make your decisions as to what to do. A number of persons on these forums have been there, and I'm sure will be glad to offer their experiences.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 10:31PM
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duluthinbloomz4

It's always the bean counters with the ink hardly dry on their MBA's who seem to have one's career in their hands and the only people really making money on the insomnia hours infomercials are the ones selling you their books and tapes.

How much earlier is this for you than you planned? Do you have your years in and are you eligible for pension and retirement benefits? Are you a long way away from Social Security; are you comfortable with your savings plan to date? Is your lifestyle going to be turned upside down if you didn't find other employment? Did your husband seek another job after being retired early? These questions are largely rhetorical and certainly don't need to be answered on a public forum. It's just part of the nitty gritty to consider once the shock and disappointment of having one's plans disrupted wears off a little.

I really don't have any words of wisdom since comfort zones are such a personal thing. But I hope your funding comes through and you get to finish out your working career in the way you planned.

I dodged the downsizing bullet in the mid 90's; managed to keep being classified as essential until December 2000 when I reached 55 with 30 plus years of service. I jumped on first opportunity retirement, grabbed my pension (though I could have deferred taking that letting it sit and grow) and health benefits and never looked back. The timing was perfect in my case as it was becoming necessary that I sell my home and move back to the family home in Minnesota to look after aging parents. All of that ended late in 2007. I find I like not working; I can do something, I can do nothing - and it's kind of nice.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2008 at 3:05AM
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haus_proud

At least they were nice enough to give you early warning. It doesn't always happen that way. I can understand your losing sleep and watching TV in the wee hours.

I do not know what kind of work you do and what kinds of skills you have, but I will make some general suggestions based on what worked for me. I took early retirement at age 59 in 1995, when my pharmaceutical company reorganized and offered me a package that enhanced the benefits to which I was entitled. It was not enough to live on, and it felt like stepping off a cliff.

I "re-engineered" myself and started working at home. It was very hard at first because I am not very good at promoting my services. Assignments offered to me by strangers were small and not very gratifying from either the financial or the work satisfaction perspectives. But eventually just 3 or 4 old colleagues came forward and have over the years offered me good assignments.

Although working on your own is different and has its ups and downs, as I look back on my experience now that I am 72, I would say that working at home has been the most gratifying chapter in my career.

Of course, my situation may not be "typical." Everyone's is different. I had a skill set that easily transferred to the new situation. What you need to do, I think, is try very hard not to let your negative emotions dominate the situation. Think through, even fantasize, the kinds of things you like to do and how your work experiences and skills can be put to use in new settings. Try to figure out how you might offer your services as an independent self-employed person. It is much easier to do this now because of the computer and the Internet.

It would not be inappropriate to talk to people about your tentative plans, people you can trust to keep your confidence. Since you will be in unchartered waters, the rules are different and there are a lot of impromptu activities and connections that can blossom into something very good for you.

Change is always frightening and challenging, especially if you have been in a good job for a long time. But change can also be refreshing.

Best wishes for a bright future.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2008 at 7:53PM
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minnie_tx

If you qualify for early retirement I'd say take it and let tht money pad your savings account. You can still do an ebay business at home as long as you have quality items to sell perhaps some stuff stored from Granma or grandpa is worth something / start off slow and see how it goes meanwhile look at any job openings available and I agree keep your plans and consternation to yourself and don't offer any info to those you work with.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2008 at 8:37PM
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duluthinbloomz4

I think the OP's mention of EBay was done tongue in cheek. No?

    Bookmark   March 8, 2008 at 9:35PM
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scarlett2001

No, I wasn't kidding. I don't see why I couldn't make a few hundred a month on Ebay-lots of people are doing it. My husband's golf partner (who thinks Mt.Rushmore is a natural feature) sells some kind of juice and is making quite a lot of money. One of my friends is doing travel arrangements and is also doing nicely. I don't expect to make gazillions, but it could supplement a meagre retirement income. I'm just not sure how to get started and I don't want to get rooked. Has anybody here made any extra $ selling online or doing any kind of e-business?

    Bookmark   March 13, 2008 at 11:24AM
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mariend

Unless you have done this before, I would suggest NO NO. There are too many other ways to make a safe supplement income opportunities. Many cities have courses, colleges, workshops to help seniors out. Check your local newspaper, talk to your local business people first. Ebay is not the way to go unless you really trully know what you are doing, and even then it is up/down.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2008 at 4:44PM
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minnie_tx

I don't know why you don't give EBay a try. Both DS's do it and sell a lot. I think you have to go at it like a job and devote a certain amount of time to it everyday just like going to work. Make the area you work in dedicated to your little "business" qnd keep good records. There are a lot of free Ebay forms on the internet to help in that way.

I'm too lazy to do it. If I have something to sell one of my DS's will do it for me. I sold all of my Kitty Cucumber collection (figurines) that way for unbelievable prices.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2008 at 11:03PM
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lucy

If you do go the eBay route, make sure you have lots of insurance - people will sue you at the drop of a hat no matter what you do!

    Bookmark   March 20, 2008 at 6:14PM
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Wings2W

I have decided to take an early retirement. One more week and I'm done!

I've done eBay in the past and will again. Not my only venue as I'm working on a website and also getting a booth in an antique mall.

You CAN do it. Please feel free to email me. Remember too...everyone started somewhere.

Lisa

    Bookmark   March 22, 2008 at 4:11AM
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joyfulguy

Hello scarlett2001,

It's been a couple of months since you came to share your bad news.

Do you have some more info as to what's been going on with you, since then?

Many of the people here have had multiple experiences and are generous about sharing.

Two heads are better than one ... and a hundred are even better (even if they are cabbage).

Maybe we could turn it into some long green lettuce for/with you!

ole joyful

    Bookmark   May 7, 2008 at 10:38PM
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joyfulguy

Hello again, red-letter girl of 2001 (and participant here since then),

Well ... here it is, three months and counting, since you came to share your bad/upsetting news. Thank you for taking courage in hand to share your concerns, viewpoints and opinions with us.

How are things going?

Has the cut-back been cancelled, and are you feeling reasonably secure (for a while, at least).

Has the axe fallen, and you are either out, or soon to be?

Feel free to come and talk, if and when you choose - there's a great variety of people here, and many different kinds of experience, plus some worthwhile perceptivity and understanding.

I hope that no news is good news.

On the other hand ... even though your termination may have been cancelled, for now ... it might be a good idea to make some use of it, by giving some thought to, and making some investigations which might be helpful, in case the cessation of employment that was considered this time may become reality a couple of years down the road.

Like the Scouts say, "Be prepared!".

A useful idea in many conditions of life, it seems to me.

I hope that you're having a really satisfying, late spring week.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 10:56PM
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