felser

Laid off today - now what?

40 posts in this topic

So I got laid off from my job as a System Architect today after 40 years between the three companies (two buyouts).  I'm 66 (my wife is also Medicare/Social Security eligible) and got a very good severance package, so we're OK.  But not sure what's next (probably still want to work for awhile, but not necessarily in an IT pressure cooker), and it will be strange to not "go to work" after 45 years of full-time work since college.    Any advice on how to best approach this new world?

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It's a good question, John.  I've been retired for a few years, but my situation is not entirely analogous to yours because my wife is still working and my son's still in high school.  But the question remains: what to do with one's self in a meaningful way?  I actually love being retired.  I get to listen to a lot of music, do things around the house, do genealogy research, and volunteer at my synagogue.  I could probably do "more," but as the saying goes, luck is preparation waiting for an opportunity.  Also, you could hang out a consulting shingle.

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Find some way to leverage your skill/contacts and become a "consultant". I see people doing that and laugh at how easy it is for them to pull that off. A big selling point is, apparently, that you work as a contractor, so they don't ahve to pay benefits.

Also, I think?, sorry that your decision to retire was not voluntary. I'm 65.5 and wanting to go until I'm 67, but a severance package, under current company policies, would not hurt my feelings one bit, and would almost get me there anyway. Knock on wood...I'm looking very much forward to having my time back to myself, but am totally paranoid about running out of moeny, becuase I'm the type of guy that should probably be dead in about 5-6 years but will probably live for 20 year past that. And my wife's got the constitution of a Clydesdale.

Just my luck...

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John, I'm glad that while it's involuntary, it's not something that is scrambling your financial picture. I think the consultant thing isn't a bad idea but I would frankly think about going into it as, "if I adjust and like having free time, I'm just gonna call it a career".  If you really find out that you want to work, make it something that won't be stressful.

It might not have been planned or expected but this could be a good change in the end.

 

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Where there's a need is in QC work for closed-captioning services, especially with older movies and shows where the captioners only use their ears and what they think they hear with no context about time and vocabulary to realize that, hey, mostly old people are watching your work, and they will all know how full of shit and ludicrous what you put up there is.

That's where there's a need, but I doubt there's a market...but, just sayin'...

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Sorry to hear that John. I say. . . give "retirement" a shot. I'm on my second decade, and I've enjoyed every year, each has been a "project" that I get to conclude mostly at my pace and with whatever energy I want to spare. And I realized I was so exhausted at the start, it caught up with me and made me pay the price. 

I think you'll have fun.

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John

Sorry to hear this. I have not been laid off, but have changed jobs frequently over last 10 years after having had my "dream job". I am 62 and realize that I would be a target during any corporate downsizing.

Personally, I feel as ambitious as ever, and would want to "retire" only by my own choice. Retire in quotes is deliberate, because I have been a consultant a couple of times over the last 10 years and enjoyed it very much. The money was equivalent/ better to what I was making as a corporate employee and I did not have the sense of connection with the company which I found to be very liberating and allow me to focus on end product without any concern for politics.

Start to network, call vendors, suppliers, customers that you supported and think highly of you. You will be surprised at their understanding.

Let me know if you want to talk. I am here.

Best Regards,

LWayne

 

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I will be retired for six years at the end of this month and I have had no problems being bored, I will be 67 in a few months. There is always stuff to do around the house, music that hasn't been heard, books that haven't been read, movies and concerts that haven't been seen. I don't care if i don't leave home all day, though I typically make at least one trip out for lunch. 

Glad that you got a decent severance package and hope you find plenty to do in retirement or set yourself up as a paid consultant.

 

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Thanks all, brief summaryof thoughts at this point (though please keep them coming!)

1 - consulting is a good idea.  I've actually had a half dozen contacts about consulting just today.   And that might allow me to pick my work schedule better.  I'd love to be able to continue from home if possible.

2 - I don't get bored either.  I have so much I want to do, music, books, movies, service projects, etc.  Also have a 3-year-old grandson in the house, which clearly changes the chemistry.  I love him dearly, but he's very three, if you know what I mean.  Looking forward to his fourth birthday.

3 - Relaxing sounds wonderful. but I seriously don't very well know how.  Would be nice to learn.

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just to give both sides of the consulting thing...it's also a fact that a senior being hired as a consultant will be hired as a contractor, therefore the company pays no benefits, therfore the company saves money. Already established.

The other side, though, is that as Boomers continue to age and many are not fully prepared (in any number of ways, pick one), they're going to want to continue to keep working. So...cheaper labor pool, and growing. The incentive to depress investment in younger employees, many of who ar3e struggling to "do well" already is decreased. And they too can and will be shown the door at the first viable opportunity, especially as automation continues. The country continues to run on cheap(er) labor. Especially now that the "illegal immigrants" are all but gone...who do you think is going to do all those crappy jobs for bullshit wages, Boomers? C'mon man, seriously? Our grandkid's first job may well be at McDonalds, but it may get to the point where it'll be there ONLY job. EVER!!!! Sorry Poo-Paw, I can't make your funeral, I gotta work a double on the counter today, but don't worry, Dad's gonna be there if he can get a sub at the call center.

I exaggerate of course. At least I hope I do.

Ultimately, though, Boomers again in the way, refuse to get out of the way. There's a reason why everybody hates us except us.

Just throwing this out there for balance. If it was me (and sooner or later it will be), I'd like to find a job that doesn't yet exist, or one that is being done so piss-poorly that if it does exist, nobody will admit that it is a job (like the CC QC gig, OMFG!!!!!!) and then get some young blood in there to do it right so I can REALLY quit working!

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I retired in 2017 but although it wasn’t involuntary it wasn’t completely voluntary either. I had been with the same company for 37 years and it wasn’t advantageous financially to keep working. In fact, it would have detrimental to not retire. It was a rush rush decision so I didn’t have time to accustom myself to it. One day I was working, the next day I wasn’t so I probably have an idea what you’re feeling. I suggest consulting. I did that for about two years until the company I was working with had a disagreement about costs and expenses so that was it. I opted for retirement and am now on inactive status as an attorney. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss the action.  However, I’ve gotten a bit lazy so I don’t think I’d want to seriously work again. Somehow time goes fast and you’ll find yourself wondering where the day went. I try to set myself a regular schedule: get up at a decent time and go to the gym a few times a week. I think getting into some sort of schedule is important. Even during the pandemic, the first thing I’d do is go walking in the morning (even when it was cold outside). 

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John

Feeling for you but there is much light at the end of the tunnel

I've been in a similar situation but cessation of work was my decision (a couple of years ago - I'm 64 now). I was a veterinary surgeon for 35 years (mainly emergency work) but had to cease due to a complex health issue (my second heart valve had become infected soon after surgery but still functioning well & not being replaced so on suppressant antibiotics daily) - too risky to continue work as a vet (bites/scratches etc) but I am healthy (swim 1km a day plus walk 3kms) plus I also do the books & general maintenance/IT for my partner's business (Speech Pathologist working primarily with autistic children).

I have maintained interests (so i'm never bored) ie music, reading, photography (also collect old Leica cameras), lots of quality time with my partner plus it's amazing what suddenly pops up & can be life changing. Over the past 2 years I've made contact with 10 of my DC (donor conceived - was a donor in the 80s) children (plus 13 grandchildren), all living reasonably close by. That is now taking up quite a bit of time plus my ageing mother (90yo) who is still living independantly but recently began deteoriating.

There is always something to achieve/create - you'll be fine

ps. Aren't you Lithuanian (you told me that once in the past)? Are you active in the Litho community where you live?

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John, from a practical point of view, did your company go over benefits with you such as pension or 401K and medical. Have you registered for Medicare Part B? That’s the first thing I had to do upon retirement. I assume you have a financial advisor. 

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3 hours ago, jazzbo said:

Sorry to hear that John. I say. . . give "retirement" a shot. I'm on my second decade, and I've enjoyed every year, each has been a "project" that I get to conclude mostly at my pace and with whatever energy I want to spare. And I realized I was so exhausted at the start, it caught up with me and made me pay the price. 

I think you'll have fun.

I agree with Lon. Retired "early" & never regret it.

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47 minutes ago, romualdo said:

ps. Aren't you Lithuanian (you told me that once in the past)? Are you active in the Litho community where you live?

I am, fully on my father's side, but don't really feel much kinship with the community (we were several hundred miles away from where I am now, and my father basically abandoned me following my parent's divorce - my stepfather is the one who has filled the father void for me).

15 minutes ago, Brad said:

John, from a practical point of view, did your company go over benefits with you such as pension or 401K and medical. Have you registered for Medicare Part B? That’s the first thing I had to do upon retirement. I assume you have a financial advisor. 

Thanks Brad, do have a financial advisor, seeing him next week, also seeing medicare specialist next week.  Medicare B and supplemental plans coming up.  I have a lot to learn about all of that, and need to learn it very quickly.  Company went over nothing with me, just sent me a bunch of papers (well, .pdf files).  I have a lot of questions.

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10 minutes ago, felser said:

Company went over nothing with me, just sent me a bunch of papers (well, .pdf files).  I have a lot of questions.

Oh, see, that's not at all cool. They need to talk that shit through with you on at least a basic level and let you ask questions. The deal's already happened, but they need to give you at least a veneer of transparency on it.

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Sorry to hear this news, John. Hang in there.

I've never been in your exact circumstances, but I have been laid off before. What initially felt like a sucker punch turned out to be a blessing in disguise. ... I hope your experience is the same.

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John, it sounds to me that you were given good news in a very negative manner.

If your finances are not a worry, then I recommend you relax and take a six-month staycation.  If you are going nuts after six months, you will have the energy to become a consultant.  If not, then just do what you want when you feel like it!

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I think of my retirement as a never ending vacation.  Think of the things you like to do when on vacation and do them.  

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32 minutes ago, JSngry said:

Oh, see, that's not at all cool. They need to talk that shit through with you on at least a basic level and let you ask questions. The deal's already happened, but they need to give you at least a veneer of transparency on it.

That’s definitely not cool and quite surprising. I hope they start talking to you.  I’d contact the head of HR and complain. I don’t know if you have a pension but if you do, you might want to consider a lump sum distribution. 

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Sorry to hear how you were dealt with John.

It happened to me out if the blue three years ago but I was a bit too young to be able to turn redundancy into retirement.

Do give yourself some time to absorb the shock whilst sorting out the practicalities. Given how you describe your situation there seems no rush to find your next path. 

Here's wishing you a long and fruitful 'retirement', whatever that looks like.

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