felser

Laid off today - now what?

44 posts in this topic

I put in 36 years.  New leader and the desired demographic of the organization changed, younger among other things.  Watching the axe fall around me, I pulled the plug.  Preëmptive.  No severance. 

Real point of the story is that I turned life to a mix of volunteering and "consulting" and have never been busier or happier.  Instead of taking out a business license, liability insurance,  a limited liability company, a taxpayer ID and all the other stuff that "real consultants" do, I opened up an account and a "looking for short term gigs" profile on LinkedIn - my only social network - and harvested weekly offers...selectively.   I know there is (or was) a better site for IT people, but you'd probably know better.   More tech-y friend of mine used Indeed.  

Just be sure to pay quarterly estimated income taxes.

My biggest hurdle was accepting that the world has changed.   People coming up these days don't think about 36 or 40 year careers.  

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Would consult with your financial advisor before considering any “lump sum distribution” from work. Particularly if it is a pension.

LWayne

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8 minutes ago, LWayne said:

Would consult with your financial advisor before considering any “lump sum distribution” from work. Particularly if it is a pension.

LWayne

Yeah. 

Sorry this happened, John, but you seem like the type of person that can turn lemons into lemonade. Good luck. Seems like many here have been in similar shoes and will have good advice.

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Thanks everyone.  Consulting looks like a possible winner, I'm sorting it out.  I get transition counseling as part of the severance package, and plan to take them up on that.  I have a 401K with them (no pension), and will have it rolled over into my IRA to avoid taxation, or may just leave it with them (Fidelity managed) if that is an option.  I meet with our financial advisor next Thursday.   Yes, very uncool that no one talked through it with me, but I am just callingHR hotline with questions, and will get it sorted out.  I have a lot to be thankful for in the situation, luxuries (such as the severance package, etc.) so many lack.

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4 hours ago, BeBop said:

I put in 36 years.  New leader and the desired demographic of the organization changed, younger among other things.  Watching the axe fall around me, I pulled the plug.  Preëmptive.  No severance. 

Real point of the story is that I turned life to a mix of volunteering and "consulting" and have never been busier or happier.  Instead of taking out a business license, liability insurance,  a limited liability company, a taxpayer ID and all the other stuff that "real consultants" do, I opened up an account and a "looking for short term gigs" profile on LinkedIn - my only social network - and harvested weekly offers...selectively.   I know there is (or was) a better site for IT people, but you'd probably know better.   More tech-y friend of mine used Indeed.  

Just be sure to pay quarterly estimated income taxes.

My biggest hurdle was accepting that the world has changed.   People coming up these days don't think about 36 or 40 year careers.  

WOH! You're not traveling around the world anymore? Had no idea. Where did you settle or was there always a home base you just never stopped over at? Glad you adopted so well.

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17 hours ago, felser said:

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

"I can't seem to face up to the facts
I'm tense and nervous and I can't relax
I can't sleep 'cause my bed's on fire
Don't touch me I'm a real live wire..."

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6 minutes ago, rostasi said:

"I can't seem to face up to the facts
I'm tense and nervous and I can't relax
I can't sleep 'cause my bed's on fire
Don't touch me I'm a real live wire..."

You start a conversation you can't even finish it
You're talking a lot, but you're not saying anything
When I have nothing to say, my lips are sealed
Say something once, why say it again?

Psycho Killer
Qu'est-ce que c'est
Fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-far better
Run, run, run, run, run, run, run away oh, oh, oh

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5 hours ago, Dan Gould said:

WOH! You're not traveling around the world anymore? Had no idea. Where did you settle or was there always a home base you just never stopped over at? Glad you adopted so well.

Don't want to derail thread, but thanks,  Dan.   Still travelling 365 days, subject to pandemic constraints.   It's volunteering and consulting.  Settle down?  Not within me to do that. 

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I've always wondered what "consulting" means, when you have no particular skill sets or special interests. You can't just say you're a consultant.

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7 hours ago, felser said:

Thanks everyone.  Consulting looks like a possible winner, I'm sorting it out.  I get transition counseling as part of the severance package, and plan to take them up on that.  I have a 401K with them (no pension), and will have it rolled over into my IRA to avoid taxation, or may just leave it with them (Fidelity managed) if that is an option.  I meet with our financial advisor next Thursday.   Yes, very uncool that no one talked through it with me, but I am just callingHR hotline with questions, and will get it sorted out.  I have a lot to be thankful for in the situation, luxuries (such as the severance package, etc.) so many lack.

Sorry to hear the news.  It's an increasingly familiar story these days.

My advice is to:

1.  File for unemployment.

2.  Register for social security.  You may or may not want to begin collecting it, but it's important to at least register with social security if you haven't done so already.  

3.  File for medicare if you haven't done so already.  It's most likely a better deal than switching to COBRA for health insurance.  Losing your job is a "qualifying event" and you can sign up for Medicare if you haven't done so already without incurring a penalty for filing too late after you reach the qualifying age.

4.  Enjoy the time off.  Listen to music.  Read things you want to read instead of things you need to read for work.  Pursue your hobbies.  Consider volunteering for worthwhile activities.

5.  If you like what you were doing, consider consulting.  If you do this, you might want to form an LLC to protect yourself.  There may be some tax benefits for doing this as well.

It may not seem like it at the moment, but it may really be a blessing in disguise.

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Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, jlhoots said:

I've always wondered what "consulting" means, when you have no particular skill sets or special interests. You can't just say you're a consultant.

For me, it would be limited-duration contract work in IT (I have 40+ years solid experience), through an agency which does those placements.  A few have contacted me already.  

2 hours ago, jazztrain said:

Sorry to hear the news.  It's an increasingly familiar story these days.

My advice is to:

1.  File for unemployment.

2.  Register for social security.  You may or may not want to begin collecting it, but it's important to at least register with social security if you haven't done so already.  

3.  File for medicare if you haven't done so already.  It's most likely a better deal than switching to COBRA for health insurance.  Losing your job is a "qualifying event" and you can sign up for Medicare if you haven't done so already without incurring a penalty for filing too late after you reach the qualifying age.

4.  Enjoy the time off.  Listen to music.  Read things you want to read instead of things you need to read for work.  Pursue your hobbies.  Consider volunteering for worthwhile activities.

5.  If you like what you were doing, consider consulting.  If you do this, you might want to form an LLC to protect yourself.  There may be some tax benefits for doing this as well.

It may not seem like it at the moment, but it may really be a blessing in disguise.

Good thoughts, thanks.  Will look into unemployment and file as soon as I am officially off the books..  I registered for Medicare A at 65, had not registered for Social Security since I was not going to draw on it (and still won't for a good while).  A well-qualified fellow board member has volunteered to give me a crash course on Medicare B and the other Medicares, which I need.  Have always done a good bit of volunteering, which I will continue and even increase, and I am also helping raise my 3-year-old grandson, who lives with us, which takes a huge chunk of time/energy already.  I do have a lot of books/music I'd love to get to, and a lot of work around the house which has gone neglected for years.  And a wife who I love and look forward to spending more time with.  Keeping myself occupied has never been an issue for me, I never get bored.  I expect that not many of us in the Organissimo community do - there's always an old pleasure or a new discovery right around the corner.

Edited by felser

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2 hours ago, jazztrain said:

My advice is to:

... 

5.  If you like what you were doing, consider consulting.  If you do this, you might want to form an LLC to protect yourself.  There may be some tax benefits for doing this as well.

That’s what I did and also got malpractice insurance, which I recommend obtaining. It wasn’t that easy to obtain. 

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apply for russian citizenship

 

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6 hours ago, Serioza said:

apply for russian citizenship

 

Nyet.

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Hey John,

From our occasional interactions,  I suspect you will be fine whatever path forward you choose.  Being at retirement age and getting the severance package is a nice little windfall that 99% of the folks in your situation wouldn't get.  Plus at 6 months of unemployment down the road is nice.    I retired (voluntarily)  six years ago at 59 and never looked back. Since then, I probably work harder, but have more fun, than I did when 'gainfully employed'. 

Weekday early mornings usually find me on a 45 minute walk with my dog,  and a neighbor and her dog.  After that, a friend stops by and we do 30 minutes on the rowers then 20 minutes in the sauna.     

I stay plenty busy mowing the lawns weekly at my moms, my aunts and my house, as well as tending our garden. (Just turned on the sprinkler!)

To keep me away from the ATM, I have been buying and re-selling vinyl, audio gear, and exercise equipment I find at the occasional estate sale.   And, as many here know all too well, I have been helping former member Freejazz ( Scott)  liquidate his massive CD collection.   

Still trying to find time to read a few of the classics.  About 100 pages in with 'The Brothers Karamazov".    With Proust on deck......

There is always something.  

Steady as she goes and stay fit.  You need to keep up with the grandson!!!!

 

Mike

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You made it to 66. Why not try retirement? If you have ever given any thoughts at enjoying your retirement, now is your chance. You're still young. You're healthy and financially OK. At least try taking a nice long vacation. Start a hobby? Volunteer?

My dad died at 70 of a sudden heart attack, so I saw someone make all the best retirement plans and "poof", it was all gone in an instant. Even though I am not even 60, I have already had one health scare. On top of that, I have had quite a few high school classmates die of various causes so I've really started to think about this. You only get one shot at the rest of your life. You don't know when your number is up.

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Posted (edited)

Good advice. I too have had work colleagues who never made it even to retirement and others who maybe had just a few years after retirement. Certainly has given me pause for thought, the systems/software/IT area can be brutal.

At the pre-retirement training I took, one of the recommendations was to put together an action plan linked to your new goals/aspirations and to regularly review it. They recommended maybe 3-4 diverse goals and linking these with your interests/hobbies/talents, maybe perhaps putting the consultancy in as part of a portfolio.

Edited by sidewinder

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.

1 hour ago, bresna said:

You only get one shot at the rest of your life. 

You get one every time you wake up.

Hell, you get one every time you breathe again.

Angsty dramathought is not a facilitator to rational decision making. That's some  rock-and-roll bullshit trap thought.

Make the best possible Plan A, Plan B, Plan C, etc. Then go ahead and live until you die, and always be ready to pivot as needed.

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