Make sure your retirement investment plan includes being fired from your job in your 50s

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CobraKai
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Re: Make sure your retirement investment plan includes being fired from your job in your 50s

Post by CobraKai » Wed Apr 03, 2019 9:49 am

Of those who are pushed out in their 40s or 50s.....

Are they the ones that jump from job to job to maximize their incomes and eventually price themselves out of the market? Or are the ones who tend to work for below market wages (in exchange for more "security", more work-life balance, etc) just as vulnerable?

blackholescion
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Re: Make sure your retirement investment plan includes being fired from your job in your 50s

Post by blackholescion » Wed Apr 03, 2019 9:55 am

mariezzz wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 10:08 pm
blackholescion wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 9:37 pm
mariezzz wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 9:09 pm
blackholescion wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 1:57 pm
mariezzz wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 1:36 pm


If you program, it's not at all difficult to shift to another language.
Not to be harsh or call you out or assume your occupation. I find the people who say this aren't programmers. Sure, it's easy to go from C# to Java but when you have to go learn something completely different, it takes time and is difficult. If you were an object oriented programmer your entire career, you're now 40, and the industry is calling for statistical programming (SAS, R, Stata, even Python). That's not necessarily going to be picked up in a week or two like everyone makes it out to be. Some of the concepts may be the same but every language has their own quirks and features.

Generally, people are expected to do their job well from day 1. That often means you're working outside of hours on pet projects/learning language xyz which goes back to your whole bit about 80 hours. It's not really 80 hours but 40 of it are learning/training/keeping up.
I didn't intend to say you could pick it up in a week (or even 2). But if you can program, and you make a concerted effort to learn another language, chances are, you will succeed. Yes, every language has quirks and features, but learning a new one can be done. And a smart worker will do this on their own time, if they see their employer or the industry is starting to favor another language. If another language is starting to be used at one's employer, the smart thing to do is get involved early one, if that's at all possible. You learn a new language and prove your flexibility and value. Plus you may have a skill that's in demand on the job market.
I agree with your point. There was further discussion on this in the thread. The issue isn't learning how to program in the language, it's learning how to program effectively in that language and be able to actually solve real problems without your code looking like cobbled together straight trash (maintenance nightmare). Some things are easier to learn than others and some take more time than others. It's easy to say "you can learn it if you understand programming concepts". It's another to actually be able to make a career out of that knowledge. But again, I agree with your overall point.

However, the notion of working on it on your own time is debatable. Now, you're not learning it just to learn and do something you want to do (if you're into that sort of thing...you love programming and you love doing it outside of work too), but you're learning it specifically for work. You're all of a sudden not working 40 hours a week but 40+xx and we are back at square 1. There's only so much time between life and work to do this kind of thing unless you make it your hobby. I'd argue those people are few in the population of professional programmers. I for one would rather get pushed out at 50 than be working 60 hour weeks at that age to stay current just to extend my working years another 5-10 years. I do it now and I enjoy my work and learning and the compensation increases that go along with it, but not that much. That's why I want my retirement funded in my 40s and hope I can stay employed long enough to do it.
I'm at a stage now where I could walk away if my job stopped being fulfilling (I'm certain I have far less in my retirement portfolio than the majority here, but I have ENOUGH, and am willing to adjust my spending). At this point, I really only need enough to pay my expenses ... I'd be ok if nothing else went into the retirement portfolio, because I don't value being able to spend a lot of money on consumer goods. That's a conscious choice, that gives me a lot of freedom, financially and mentally.
I like this. This is what I'm trying to achieve before I get to that point of worrying about making retirement all I want it to be. Once I can get to that financial independence point, I will most likely continue working but I can choose when to go or, if I got let go, it wouldn't matter really. There's a guy who did that last year in my office. He is in his mid 50s, decided enough was enough, and retired after 29 years. 6 months later, he decided he wanted to do some part time stuff so came back as a contractor. It's purely because he wants to stay sharp and enjoys hanging out with some of his friends at lunch and not because he needs the money. He wants to be able to take a couple months off between projects. He probably gets paid better too, but obviously doesn't have things like healthcare.

We know what our expenses, wants, and withdrawal rate (3%) are going to be in retirement based on what our expenses are today plus a bit extra for healthcare, and so we are trying to work toward that number. If we don't quite make it, it will be ok because we will have more than enough to just cover expenses. We save 35% of our income, not including employer match (6%) or any bonuses (immediately go into taxable accounts). Our calculations don't include social security so we are tending to overestimate a bit. I think we will be alright in the long run provided we stay employed for at least the next 15 years.

As for the what ifs, eh. We are preparing the best we can and whatever happens, happens and we will adjust accordingly.
CobraKai wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 9:49 am
Of those who are pushed out in their 40s or 50s.....

Are they the ones that jump from job to job to maximize their incomes and eventually price themselves out of the market? Or are the ones who tend to work for below market wages (in exchange for more "security", more work-life balance, etc) just as vulnerable?
It doesn't matter. As soon as your employer can find someone cheaper to replace you, you're done. If you work below market for your level, and your employer thinks they can get 80% of your work for 50% of the cost from a fresh face out of college, you're not going to stick around. It's purely a dollar perspective. You may be spared versus a person in your same title who makes 2 times what you do as long as the work quality is comparable but you won't be spared if your cheaper replacement is found.
Last edited by blackholescion on Wed Apr 03, 2019 9:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

X528
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Re: Make sure your retirement investment plan includes being fired from your job in your 50s

Post by X528 » Wed Apr 03, 2019 9:58 am

CobraKai wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 9:49 am
Of those who are pushed out in their 40s or 50s.....

Are they the ones that jump from job to job to maximize their incomes and eventually price themselves out of the market? Or are the ones who tend to work for below market wages (in exchange for more "security", more work-life balance, etc) just as vulnerable?

Are there other countries (or markets) that don't have such age discrimination in employment? Germany or Japan and healthcare?
Last edited by X528 on Wed Apr 03, 2019 10:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

stoptothink
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Re: Make sure your retirement investment plan includes being fired from your job in your 50s

Post by stoptothink » Wed Apr 03, 2019 10:01 am

X528 wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 9:58 am
CobraKai wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 9:49 am
Of those who are pushed out in their 40s or 50s.....

Are they the ones that jump from job to job to maximize their incomes and eventually price themselves out of the market? Or are the ones who tend to work for below market wages (in exchange for more "security", more work-life balance, etc) just as vulnerable?

Are there other countries that don't have such age discrimination in employment? Germany or Japan?
It seems like the majority of people commenting in this thread are in tech; would appear that this is very industry-dependent. Working in public health and now in a large health products company, I've never seen or even heard of a hint of age discrimination.

CobraKai
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Re: Make sure your retirement investment plan includes being fired from your job in your 50s

Post by CobraKai » Wed Apr 03, 2019 10:02 am

blackholescion wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 9:55 am
It doesn't matter. As soon as your employer can find someone cheaper to replace you, you're done. If you work below market for your level, and your employer thinks they can get 80% of your work for 50% of the cost from a fresh face out of college, you're not going to stick around. It's purely a dollar perspective. You may be spared versus a person in your same title who makes 2 times what you do as long as the work quality is comparable but you won't be spared if your cheaper replacement is found.
Would it be easier for this person to find a new job though than someone who has priced themselves out of the market as they expect to continue the same standard of living?

CobraKai
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Re: Make sure your retirement investment plan includes being fired from your job in your 50s

Post by CobraKai » Wed Apr 03, 2019 10:03 am

stoptothink wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 10:01 am
X528 wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 9:58 am
CobraKai wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 9:49 am
Of those who are pushed out in their 40s or 50s.....

Are they the ones that jump from job to job to maximize their incomes and eventually price themselves out of the market? Or are the ones who tend to work for below market wages (in exchange for more "security", more work-life balance, etc) just as vulnerable?

Are there other countries that don't have such age discrimination in employment? Germany or Japan?
It seems like the majority of people commenting in this thread are in tech; would appear that this is very industry-dependent. Working in public health and now in a large health products company, I've never seen or even heard of a hint of age discrimination.
Ironically, some techies here have started threads here suggesting a career change and the vast majority of people that respond suggest staying in tech.

blackholescion
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Re: Make sure your retirement investment plan includes being fired from your job in your 50s

Post by blackholescion » Wed Apr 03, 2019 10:34 am

CobraKai wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 10:02 am
blackholescion wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 9:55 am
It doesn't matter. As soon as your employer can find someone cheaper to replace you, you're done. If you work below market for your level, and your employer thinks they can get 80% of your work for 50% of the cost from a fresh face out of college, you're not going to stick around. It's purely a dollar perspective. You may be spared versus a person in your same title who makes 2 times what you do as long as the work quality is comparable but you won't be spared if your cheaper replacement is found.
Would it be easier for this person to find a new job though than someone who has priced themselves out of the market as they expect to continue the same standard of living?
Not really. New employer generally doesn't know your new salary unless you divulge it. If you are willing to take a pay cut, they wouldn't know the difference between you and someone who works below market. The problem becomes when the person who has priced themselves out is unwilling to take a pay cut because they haven't planned for their standard of living without their large salary (living at or above their means instead of below).

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dogagility
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Re: Make sure your retirement investment plan includes being fired from your job in your 50s

Post by dogagility » Wed Apr 03, 2019 10:53 am

barnaclebob wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 7:43 am
Thanks to Bogleheads i have difficulty with the concept of any job in my 50s.
:D Me too... at least mid-50s. Rule of 55... here I come!
Taking "risk" since 1995.

LiterallyIronic
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Re: Make sure your retirement investment plan includes being fired from your job in your 50s

Post by LiterallyIronic » Wed Apr 03, 2019 10:59 am

stoptothink wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 10:01 am
X528 wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 9:58 am
CobraKai wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 9:49 am
Of those who are pushed out in their 40s or 50s.....

Are they the ones that jump from job to job to maximize their incomes and eventually price themselves out of the market? Or are the ones who tend to work for below market wages (in exchange for more "security", more work-life balance, etc) just as vulnerable?

Are there other countries that don't have such age discrimination in employment? Germany or Japan?
It seems like the majority of people commenting in this thread are in tech; would appear that this is very industry-dependent. Working in public health and now in a large health products company, I've never seen or even heard of a hint of age discrimination.
I'm a software developer and I intend to retire at 50. From what I've seen, like 2% of software developers are 50+.

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SevenBridgesRoad
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Re: Make sure your retirement investment plan includes being fired from your job in your 50s

Post by SevenBridgesRoad » Wed Apr 03, 2019 11:04 am

stoptothink wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 10:01 am
X528 wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 9:58 am
CobraKai wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 9:49 am
Of those who are pushed out in their 40s or 50s.....

Are they the ones that jump from job to job to maximize their incomes and eventually price themselves out of the market? Or are the ones who tend to work for below market wages (in exchange for more "security", more work-life balance, etc) just as vulnerable?

Are there other countries that don't have such age discrimination in employment? Germany or Japan?
It seems like the majority of people commenting in this thread are in tech; would appear that this is very industry-dependent. Working in public health and now in a large health products company, I've never seen or even heard of a hint of age discrimination.
Agree. I've been in health care all my working life (recently retired) and the culture must be really different in tech companies. In hospitals and clinics, the senior docs, nurses, assistants, receptionists, lab staff, coding staff, etc. etc. are all extremely valuable because of their years of experience. It's these folks who train and mentor the newer workers. It's experienced staff that help a doc get through the day. It's the experienced nurses who know when a patient is going bad. It's the experienced coder who gets the billing right. Good experienced health care workers are a necessary part of the ecosystem. I read with dismay how the tech industry is portrayed here, and if even half true, I'm glad I worked in a different industry. Health care has plenty (plenty!) of problems, but ageism isn't one of them.
Retired 2018 | Every day I choose how I spend my energy | One Vanguard TDF except for bunch of individual stocks...still recovering from my Fidelity AUM days years ago | Now sleeping well at night

CobraKai
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Re: Make sure your retirement investment plan includes being fired from your job in your 50s

Post by CobraKai » Wed Apr 03, 2019 11:09 am

SevenBridgesRoad wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 11:04 am
stoptothink wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 10:01 am
X528 wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 9:58 am
CobraKai wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 9:49 am
Of those who are pushed out in their 40s or 50s.....

Are they the ones that jump from job to job to maximize their incomes and eventually price themselves out of the market? Or are the ones who tend to work for below market wages (in exchange for more "security", more work-life balance, etc) just as vulnerable?

Are there other countries that don't have such age discrimination in employment? Germany or Japan?
It seems like the majority of people commenting in this thread are in tech; would appear that this is very industry-dependent. Working in public health and now in a large health products company, I've never seen or even heard of a hint of age discrimination.
Agree. I've been in health care all my working life (recently retired) and the culture must be really different in tech companies. In hospitals and clinics, the senior docs, nurses, assistants, receptionists, lab staff, coding staff, etc. etc. are all extremely valuable because of their years of experience. It's these folks who train and mentor the newer workers. It's experienced staff that help a doc get through the day. It's the experienced nurses who know when a patient is going bad. It's the experienced coder who gets the billing right. Good experienced health care workers are a necessary part of the ecosystem. I read with dismay how the tech industry is portrayed here, and if even half true, I'm glad I worked in a different industry. Health care has plenty (plenty!) of problems, but ageism isn't one of them.
Perhaps the techies should transition to healthcare. :)

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fortfun
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Re: Make sure your retirement investment plan includes being fired from your job in your 50s

Post by fortfun » Wed Apr 03, 2019 11:27 am

CULater wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 9:04 am
Most people's retirement savings plan probably doesn't include this but it probably should. This affects things like savings rate, portfolio allocation, planned retirement date, etc.
A recent study by the Urban Institute and Propublica found that over half of workers over the age of 50 will at some point be jettisoned from their jobs (fired outright) or forced to resign (jumping before they’re pushed). Only 10% will ever again be compensated at the level of the jobs they left.
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/youre ... o_homepage
Yikes! Glad I'll be able to collect my pension at 50! Teaching doesn't pay a lot but I'm grateful for the pension.

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Re: Make sure your retirement investment plan includes being fired from your job in your 50s

Post by azanon » Wed Apr 03, 2019 11:34 am

printer86 wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 8:59 am
azanon wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 7:46 am
barnaclebob wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 7:43 am
Thanks to Bogleheads i have difficulty with the concept of any job in my 50s.
Nah, speak for yourself. At 48, I'm more valuable than I've ever been, and I can run circles around most 20 somethings. Half of my office thinks the world's against them, and none of them realize their worst enemy is in the mirror. I'm not a therapist, but I think you have to believe the world is your oyster, or you're going to have a rough time, .... at any age.
Your confident post so very well illustrates the point I stated earlier in this thread. So many people enter their 50's on top of their profession only to be severely marginalized by the end of the decade. While I don't agree with the title of this thread being to expect to be fired in your 50's, people need to be prepared for something other than their grand expectations.
While anecdotal evidence, one of the things I do for entertainment is watch several of the shows and interviews on CNBC (various shows including hosts and guests). The most common age group seen on CNBC is 50+ (no top end) (hosts, analysis, you name it....), exception being the occasional cutie in her 20s (don't blame me, just reporting what I'm seeing!). CEOs are usually 50 at least (except in tech). When retirement comes up on the shows, they usually mock the idea or thought of anyone doing it prior to 65.

Truth be told, even if I'm 100% wrong, I still think the best defense is to believe in yourself. I'm virtually certain someone won't overcome the scenario if they believe upfront they're already defeated. But we agree, definitely be prepared if something goes wrong - but I don't put any age requirement on that!
Last edited by azanon on Wed Apr 03, 2019 11:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

Dottie57
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Re: Make sure your retirement investment plan includes being fired from your job in your 50s

Post by Dottie57 » Wed Apr 03, 2019 11:34 am

blackholescion wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 1:57 pm
mariezzz wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 1:36 pm
azanon wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 1:08 pm

Is there an * here, such as because some in IT were trained on programming languages that are no longer used, and they didn't do any continuing education to keep up with the changes? Just a silly example, sure if you say you're an expert with Lotus 1-2-3 that might be a problem.

Just want some clarification, is it REALLY the age that's the issue, or your expertise in an obsolete programming language, for example. I totally get the latter issue.
If you program, it's not at all difficult to shift to another language.
Not to be harsh or call you out or assume your occupation. I find the people who say this aren't programmers. Sure, it's easy to go from C# to Java but when you have to go learn something completely different, it takes time and is difficult. If you were an object oriented programmer your entire career, you're now 40, and the industry is calling for statistical programming (SAS, R, Stata, even Python). That's not necessarily going to be picked up in a week or two like everyone makes it out to be. Some of the concepts may be the same but every language has their own quirks and features.

Generally, people are expected to do their job well from day 1. That often means you're working outside of hours on pet projects/learning language xyz which goes back to your whole bit about 80 hours. It's not really 80 hours but 40 of it are learning/training/keeping up.
Not all programming is similar. Java/C++ as object oriented programming was much diiferent in thought process than C/COBOL/Fortran - syntax was the least of the changes. My last job used a proprietary ETL (extract/translate/load) processing 10’s of millions of records a day. The thought process turned how I thought upside down. But that is why development can be fun - learning new technologies, businesses and ways to solve a problem. But it takes overtime and effort to get work done on time.

yosh99
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Re: Make sure your retirement investment plan includes being fired from your job in your 50s

Post by yosh99 » Wed Apr 03, 2019 11:53 am

azanon wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 7:46 am
barnaclebob wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 7:43 am
Thanks to Bogleheads i have difficulty with the concept of any job in my 50s.
Nah, speak for yourself. At 48, I'm more valuable than I've ever been, and I can run circles around most 20 somethings. Half of my office thinks the world's against them, and none of them realize their worst enemy is in the mirror. I'm not a therapist, but I think you have to believe the world is your oyster, or you're going to have a rough time, .... at any age.
I think you may be missing the point that your value to the company can have little to do with your longevity when you get into your 50's. I've known many outstanding 54 year old professionals who were walked out the door simply because they were almost 55 (when their retirement benefits began to get locked in). If management is thinking of what is of value to their personal income in the short term, they will not care about the harm they do to the company in the long term by getting rid of experienced and valuable people.

CobraKai
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Re: Make sure your retirement investment plan includes being fired from your job in your 50s

Post by CobraKai » Wed Apr 03, 2019 11:55 am

Dottie57 wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 11:34 am
But it takes overtime and effort to get work done on time.
It doesn't have to be if things are properly planned and organized by management. Long hours are often (but not always) the result of bad management.

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SevenBridgesRoad
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Re: Make sure your retirement investment plan includes being fired from your job in your 50s

Post by SevenBridgesRoad » Wed Apr 03, 2019 11:59 am

CobraKai wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 11:09 am
SevenBridgesRoad wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 11:04 am
stoptothink wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 10:01 am
X528 wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 9:58 am
CobraKai wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 9:49 am
Of those who are pushed out in their 40s or 50s.....

Are they the ones that jump from job to job to maximize their incomes and eventually price themselves out of the market? Or are the ones who tend to work for below market wages (in exchange for more "security", more work-life balance, etc) just as vulnerable?

Are there other countries that don't have such age discrimination in employment? Germany or Japan?
It seems like the majority of people commenting in this thread are in tech; would appear that this is very industry-dependent. Working in public health and now in a large health products company, I've never seen or even heard of a hint of age discrimination.
Agree. I've been in health care all my working life (recently retired) and the culture must be really different in tech companies. In hospitals and clinics, the senior docs, nurses, assistants, receptionists, lab staff, coding staff, etc. etc. are all extremely valuable because of their years of experience. It's these folks who train and mentor the newer workers. It's experienced staff that help a doc get through the day. It's the experienced nurses who know when a patient is going bad. It's the experienced coder who gets the billing right. Good experienced health care workers are a necessary part of the ecosystem. I read with dismay how the tech industry is portrayed here, and if even half true, I'm glad I worked in a different industry. Health care has plenty (plenty!) of problems, but ageism isn't one of them.
Perhaps the techies should transition to healthcare. :)
Lots of information tech jobs in health care. Some of the most valuable people are nurses with an info tech background or the other way around. But even a complete career switch from IT to a health care profession is not unreasonable. There will be plenty of clinical and support jobs in health care for the foreseeable future. One way to avoid ageism. I still strongly advocate FI no matter what.

I'm not so sure about the cultures at companies developing and selling the giant medical record and billing systems, such as Epic. I see a lot of young people there. Extremely bright and energetic, but where are the older folks? Might be the same culture as non-healthcare IT. Don't know.
Retired 2018 | Every day I choose how I spend my energy | One Vanguard TDF except for bunch of individual stocks...still recovering from my Fidelity AUM days years ago | Now sleeping well at night

80125
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Re: Make sure your retirement investment plan includes being fired from your job in your 50s

Post by 80125 » Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:01 pm

"...Rule of 55..."
+1 and that was 1/1/19 for me (I managed to that, and other key milestones over the past few years because I'm in the demographic in question).

Now, 12/8/19 is my earliest formal retirement date. Not wishin' my life away but...c'mon December! FI, retirement option with affordable heath care...the decades of hammering will pay off. Current plan is to roll up to ~4/1/20 - 7/15/20, financially prudent (1 more year 401K, RSU vesting, etc.), then walk. Will do some sporadic consulting gigs 2021 - 2025 for the obvious benefits but...life on my terms.

Mid 50's, Caucasian and male...damn right I've included professional risk in my planning for the past 8-10 years.
--cbu

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celia
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Re: Make sure your retirement investment plan includes being fired from your job in your 50s

Post by celia » Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:18 pm

SevenBridgesRoad wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 9:14 am
I'd be skeptical of the report of the study, and maybe even the study itself. Here's the definition the study authors used:

"Employer-related involuntary separations include
layoffs and business closings (such as those caused by lack of work, ownership changes, and labor strikes); quits driven by job dissatisfaction (such as problems with a supervisor or coworkers; poor or dangerous working conditions; lack of pay, benefits, work hours, or promotion opportunities; and pension rule changes); and unexpected retirements."
I didn’t read much of this thread since I suspected, and SevenBridgesRoad was able to confirm at the start of this thread, that their definition of ‘fired’ is certainly not mine. To me, fired means being let go since you did something wrong, such as not showing up for work or stealing. It certainly doesn’t include those who voluntarily quit or retire.

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Re: Make sure your retirement investment plan includes being fired from your job in your 50s

Post by KlangFool » Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:23 pm

blackholescion wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 10:34 am

Not really. New employer generally doesn't know your new salary unless you divulge it. If you are willing to take a pay cut, they wouldn't know the difference between you and someone who works below market. The problem becomes when the person who has priced themselves out is unwilling to take a pay cut because they haven't planned for their standard of living without their large salary (living at or above their means instead of below).
blackholescion,

1) Except that they assume you would not take a pay cut or you will take a higher paying job as soon as you found one. You do not price yourself out. The employer prices you out. You do not get a job interview in the first place.

2) At a certain level, the salary plateau anyhow. Everyone gets paid about the same level beyond X years of experience. So, it has nothing to do with salary or compensation anyhow. It is a simple case of age discrimination.

KlangFool

Longruninvestor
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Re: Make sure your retirement investment plan includes being fired from your job in your 50s

Post by Longruninvestor » Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:37 pm

I graduated from college many years ago and found employment in a nearby mega-corporation. One year I found myself with a couple of big projects with tight deadlines and my boss gave me the green light to hire a temporary contractor to bear some of the load. I put the word out at a few temp agencies and soon had a big pile of resumes to sift through. I was stunned at the number of accomplished people, many with graduate degrees that applied for this 6 month $15/hour position. I ended up bringing on a guy in his 50s with an MBA that had had been out of work for a year after getting laid off from another mega-corp --and he gladly took work direction from a guy in his 20s (me). I know he had hopes of staying on after the 6 months had ended but it didn't work out for him. My employer favored smarts and ambition and hustle in those days, and it's often easier to see potential in the face of a young woman or man.

I put my first financial plan together that year and it included saving 20% percent of my annual pay with the goal to amass enough money by 50 to mitigate the risk of getting laid off. I still have that simple one page plan and it's part of my annual review of finances.

blackholescion
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Re: Make sure your retirement investment plan includes being fired from your job in your 50s

Post by blackholescion » Wed Apr 03, 2019 1:37 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:23 pm
blackholescion wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 10:34 am

Not really. New employer generally doesn't know your new salary unless you divulge it. If you are willing to take a pay cut, they wouldn't know the difference between you and someone who works below market. The problem becomes when the person who has priced themselves out is unwilling to take a pay cut because they haven't planned for their standard of living without their large salary (living at or above their means instead of below).
blackholescion,

1) Except that they assume you would not take a pay cut or you will take a higher paying job as soon as you found one. You do not price yourself out. The employer prices you out. You do not get a job interview in the first place.

KlangFool
For #1, How would they know? How would they know you'd jump ship as soon as something better came along? You are a senior developer with 20 years experience making 160k. Your colleague is a senior developer with 20 years experience making 110k. You both apply to the same job posting. If the employer is looking for a senior developer and you apply with senior development experience, I struggle to see how they wouldn't give you an interview unless they truly feel you wouldn't take the salary they would give; I don't think any companies would do this, especially if in the job posting it's written as senior dev with 10+ years experience. A 60 minute minute initial interview followed up by 30 minutes of HR isn't a huge drag on resources. They wouldn't have any knowledge that one makes 110k (in their range) and the other makes 160k (well out of their range).

If they are looking at a senior dev with 10 years experience versus one with 20 and automatically assuming the 10 year dev is cheaper, that's not a very good hiring team. I'd argue most companies wouldn't consider this and want the best talent they can get and hope that talent accepts the money they are offering. They would offer the job to candidate 20 year first because they have more experience. If they reject, then candidate 10 year gets the call.

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Re: Make sure your retirement investment plan includes being fired from your job in your 50s

Post by KlangFool » Wed Apr 03, 2019 1:42 pm

blackholescion wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 1:37 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:23 pm
blackholescion wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 10:34 am

Not really. New employer generally doesn't know your new salary unless you divulge it. If you are willing to take a pay cut, they wouldn't know the difference between you and someone who works below market. The problem becomes when the person who has priced themselves out is unwilling to take a pay cut because they haven't planned for their standard of living without their large salary (living at or above their means instead of below).
blackholescion,

1) Except that they assume you would not take a pay cut or you will take a higher paying job as soon as you found one. You do not price yourself out. The employer prices you out. You do not get a job interview in the first place.

KlangFool
For #1, How would they know?
blackholescion,

They don't. They assume. Hence, it is age discrimination.

<< You both apply to the same job posting. If the employer is looking for a senior developer and you apply with senior development experience, I struggle to see how they wouldn't give you an interview >>

It happened. The employer writes you off as soon as they know your age. The euphemism for this is you are overqualified.

KlangFool

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Re: Make sure your retirement investment plan includes being fired from your job in your 50s

Post by Portfolio7 » Wed Apr 03, 2019 2:34 pm

Chris42163 wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 4:16 am
Portfolio7 wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 1:24 pm
Good advice I've already passed on to my son. Aim for FI by 40.
That is SO tough. I graduated from West Point; so, I had no student loans. I've made a good salary by most standards. I started clearing 6 figures by around 30 y/o (2012). Even prior to that, during two deployments where expenses were minimal, I invested $50k/year for two years. I've also done amazingly well in the market, as opposed to the returns that people should plan by thanks to the post-recession recovery. I've always split housing costs with roommates and invested the extra. I had no kids or financial set backs. I've been a 50+% investor for 12 years, and now I'm making ~125k/year, though this is subject to reduction when I move back to LCOL areas. With a total of ~660k invested, I think I'm doing very well for a 37 y/o. Maybe top 10% net worth by age group? Some online calculators seem to think so, at any rate. I *might* be able to make FI by 44, *if* I retire with full pension, & health insurance from military retirement. I suspect, barring a steep market decline, that I might have 800-900k invested by then. Without military retirement, I think very few people would consider that enough for FI, especially considering that most of it is in retirement accounts.

The only comforting thought about my current status is that if market returns over the next 20-30 years are not outside of the norm, and I don't touch that money, then I will reach FI, even without military retirement or further investment. So, if I don't make the terminal rank necessary to retire, and don't land a great job afterwards, I'll still be ok, eventually.

Anyways, my rambling point is just to say that Aiming for FI by 40 is only realistic for those who skate through early-life expenses (parents/scholarships), those with amazingly lucrative jobs, and/or those who have confidence they can live extremely frugally in retirement for the decades to come. The same calculators say that even to have $1.5M in net worth by age 40 is the top 1.17% of households aged 40.

I guess it's never wrong to aim for the stars, but man... your really telling people to aim for the stars. lol
I understand, and you're right. I used to think it was extreme to think this way. That was before my pension was stripped, real life issues hit, etc, etc. I'm still in decent shape, but the job is literally killing me right now; and I'm about 3 years from the point where I feel I can walk away, but I'll have to fund daily living expenses for a few years after that with some kind of income. The point is not necessarily to hit the goal at 40, but to structure life so that it may be possible. Like Eisenhower (? I think ?) said about battleplans, the plan itself is useless, but the process of planning is priceless.

BTW, I suspect you're likely well into the top 5% or so relative to your age and income brackets. The important thing is, I suspect you don't ever have to contribute another dime to savings to hit FI well before age 55. The benefit is not early retirement, it's the freedom you get with respect to family and job. Anyways, congratulations on your achievements so far,
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Re: Make sure your retirement investment plan includes being fired from your job in your 50s

Post by JackoC » Wed Apr 03, 2019 2:37 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 10:01 am

It seems like the majority of people commenting in this thread are in tech; would appear that this is very industry-dependent. Working in public health and now in a large health products company, I've never seen or even heard of a hint of age discrimination.
It certainly depends on the job. Some people are protected by union contracts, civil service rules or formal tenure from getting fired for any reason unless it's something pretty extreme.

But also, if engaging any given person who lost their job in their 50's, of course one takes their position that it was unfair and possibly even illegally discriminatory, if that's how the person feels. But in reality some jobs are more of a younger person's game and older workers really don't produce as much per $ cost. And employment laws only really say you can't (stupidly, anyway) blindly judge employees based on their age (race, gender, national origin etc) rather than what the person produces per $ cost. They don't say you can't get rid of employees who produce less for $ just because they are more likely to be older ones. The latter is just the kind of fact pattern wrongful termination lawyers might take advantage of, and companies might therefore pay something to avoid. If the person's age wasn't really the reason, but rather that somebody else can do the job as well for less, and given the difficulty of lowering a less productive workers' wages without making them even less productive (few people respond well to pay cuts in-situ), that's not discrimination legally in theory.

Also there's potential room for irony IMO on a forum rather weighted toward favoring stocks and US stocks particularly to critique hard nosed cost cutting by US companies. Ferocious cost cutting has worked in $ terms for US companies' shareholders, generally, being at least part of the reason US stock market cap has increased as a % of world stock market cap while US GDP has declined as a % of world GDP. The view of worker and shareholder isn't necessarily the same, and most of us are or have been both.

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Re: Make sure your retirement investment plan includes being fired from your job in your 50s

Post by stoptothink » Wed Apr 03, 2019 2:46 pm

JackoC wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 2:37 pm
stoptothink wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 10:01 am

It seems like the majority of people commenting in this thread are in tech; would appear that this is very industry-dependent. Working in public health and now in a large health products company, I've never seen or even heard of a hint of age discrimination.
It certainly depends on the job. Some people are protected by union contracts, civil service rules or formal tenure from getting fired for any reason unless it's something pretty extreme.

But also, if engaging any given person who lost their job in their 50's, of course one takes their position that it was unfair and possibly even illegally discriminatory, if that's how the person feels. But in reality some jobs are more of a younger person's game and older workers really don't produce as much per $ cost. And employment laws only really say you can't (stupidly, anyway) blindly judge employees based on their age (race, gender, national origin etc) rather than what the person produces per $ cost. They don't say you can't get rid of employees who produce less for $ just because they are more likely to be older ones. The latter is just the kind of fact pattern wrongful termination lawyers might take advantage of, and companies might therefore pay something to avoid. If the person's age wasn't really the reason, but rather that somebody else can do the job as well for less, and given the difficulty of lowering a less productive workers' wages without making them even less productive (few people respond well to pay cuts in-situ), that's not discrimination legally in theory.
I agree 100%. If you are let go because you do not produce as much as younger employees per $ cost; sorry, I do not consider that age discrimination. It's something I keep in mind every day: I make 2x-4x as much as most of my employees and more than most of my colleagues, I have to provide more value to the company. Period.

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Re: Make sure your retirement investment plan includes being fired from your job in your 50s

Post by sailaway » Wed Apr 03, 2019 2:50 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 2:46 pm
JackoC wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 2:37 pm
stoptothink wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 10:01 am

It seems like the majority of people commenting in this thread are in tech; would appear that this is very industry-dependent. Working in public health and now in a large health products company, I've never seen or even heard of a hint of age discrimination.
It certainly depends on the job. Some people are protected by union contracts, civil service rules or formal tenure from getting fired for any reason unless it's something pretty extreme.

But also, if engaging any given person who lost their job in their 50's, of course one takes their position that it was unfair and possibly even illegally discriminatory, if that's how the person feels. But in reality some jobs are more of a younger person's game and older workers really don't produce as much per $ cost. And employment laws only really say you can't (stupidly, anyway) blindly judge employees based on their age (race, gender, national origin etc) rather than what the person produces per $ cost. They don't say you can't get rid of employees who produce less for $ just because they are more likely to be older ones. The latter is just the kind of fact pattern wrongful termination lawyers might take advantage of, and companies might therefore pay something to avoid. If the person's age wasn't really the reason, but rather that somebody else can do the job as well for less, and given the difficulty of lowering a less productive workers' wages without making them even less productive (few people respond well to pay cuts in-situ), that's not discrimination legally in theory.
I agree 100%. If you are let go because you do not produce as much as younger employees per $ cost; sorry, I do not consider that age discrimination. It's something I keep in mind every day: I make 2x-4x as much as most of my employees and more than most of my colleagues, I have to provide more value to the company. Period.
My husband's team will probably only exist for another 3 years, so we have had this discussion. One of this issues that as he and his team members seek alternatives, it is unlikely that it will even be offered to take a pay cut to move laterally, but where you have less expertise than than someone who has only been out of college for five years, but all five have been in this new to you specialty.

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Re: Make sure your retirement investment plan includes being fired from your job in your 50s

Post by blackholescion » Wed Apr 03, 2019 3:10 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 1:42 pm
blackholescion wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 1:37 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:23 pm
blackholescion wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 10:34 am

Not really. New employer generally doesn't know your new salary unless you divulge it. If you are willing to take a pay cut, they wouldn't know the difference between you and someone who works below market. The problem becomes when the person who has priced themselves out is unwilling to take a pay cut because they haven't planned for their standard of living without their large salary (living at or above their means instead of below).
blackholescion,

1) Except that they assume you would not take a pay cut or you will take a higher paying job as soon as you found one. You do not price yourself out. The employer prices you out. You do not get a job interview in the first place.

KlangFool
For #1, How would they know?
blackholescion,

They don't. They assume. Hence, it is age discrimination.

<< You both apply to the same job posting. If the employer is looking for a senior developer and you apply with senior development experience, I struggle to see how they wouldn't give you an interview >>

It happened. The employer writes you off as soon as they know your age. The euphemism for this is you are overqualified.

KlangFool
My point is, if you and someone else are both the same age with different pay, the other company wouldn't know. Of course, they can easily hire a 20something instead of either of you, but then they probably aren't hiring a senior resource like their posting. I definitely agree that the ageism is a major issue and it can contribute to being written off because it's assumed that you are a larger drag simply based on your age (set in your ways, will want a higher salary, etc).
JackoC wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 2:37 pm
Also there's potential room for irony IMO on a forum rather weighted toward favoring stocks and US stocks particularly to critique hard nosed cost cutting by US companies. Ferocious cost cutting has worked in $ terms for US companies' shareholders, generally, being at least part of the reason US stock market cap has increased as a % of world stock market cap while US GDP has declined as a % of world GDP. The view of worker and shareholder isn't necessarily the same, and most of us are or have been both.
The irony is pretty good. There's definitely ways to grow revenue and be profitable without getting rid of people. There's often millions in just money thrown away for day to day expenses much less longer term stuff.

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Re: Make sure your retirement investment plan includes being fired from your job in your 50s

Post by madbrain » Wed Apr 03, 2019 3:15 pm

CobraKai wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 9:49 am
Of those who are pushed out in their 40s or 50s.....

Are they the ones that jump from job to job to maximize their incomes and eventually price themselves out of the market? Or are the ones who tend to work for below market wages (in exchange for more "security", more work-life balance, etc) just as vulnerable?


I was laid off last year at 41 after 7 years in a Megacorp. Was definitely working below market wages, and working fewer hours than average. Just an anecdote. Working at a FAANG now. Higher wages, longer hours.

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Re: Make sure your retirement investment plan includes being fired from your job in your 50s

Post by davidsorensen32 » Wed Apr 03, 2019 3:18 pm

Those of you pontificating on whether “upgrading skills” , “pay cuts”, “hair dyeing”, “top performer”, will save you - I can assure you they won’t. Megacorp will find one or the other excuse to purge you. So unless you have a time machine get ready for doom

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Re: Make sure your retirement investment plan includes being fired from your job in your 50s

Post by madbrain » Wed Apr 03, 2019 3:19 pm

LiterallyIronic wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 10:59 am
stoptothink wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 10:01 am
X528 wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 9:58 am
CobraKai wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 9:49 am
Of those who are pushed out in their 40s or 50s.....

Are they the ones that jump from job to job to maximize their incomes and eventually price themselves out of the market? Or are the ones who tend to work for below market wages (in exchange for more "security", more work-life balance, etc) just as vulnerable?

Are there other countries that don't have such age discrimination in employment? Germany or Japan?
It seems like the majority of people commenting in this thread are in tech; would appear that this is very industry-dependent. Working in public health and now in a large health products company, I've never seen or even heard of a hint of age discrimination.
I'm a software developer and I intend to retire at 50. From what I've seen, like 2% of software developers are 50+.
I started as a software developer at 19. Made the same observation about age discrimination then. Maybe not quite 2%, but it is definitely single digits. I set a goal to retire at 50 back then. I will most likely miss that goal. Lifestyle inflation and healthcare costs just prevent it.

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Re: Make sure your retirement investment plan includes being fired from your job in your 50s

Post by JediMisty » Wed Apr 03, 2019 3:26 pm

dm200 wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 4:34 pm
dogagility wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 4:20 pm
I hope I'm fired in my 50s... the severance package would fit nicely into my plans!
Don't count on a severance package!
One year ago my megacorp announced that there would be no more severance paid beginning April 1st. Thought it was an April. Fool's joke. Joke's on me. And since our work is on a Federal contract, by definition, layoffs are common when the contract is awarded every few years. Rumor is, the next contract will be even smaller, requiring fewer workers. Under the old policy I would receive 23 weeks severance if laid off. Now, zero.

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Re: Make sure your retirement investment plan includes being fired from your job in your 50s

Post by KlangFool » Wed Apr 03, 2019 3:35 pm

JackoC wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 2:37 pm

Also there's potential room for irony IMO on a forum rather weighted toward favoring stocks and US stocks particularly to critique hard nosed cost cutting by US companies. Ferocious cost cutting has worked in $ terms for US companies' shareholders, generally, being at least part of the reason US stock market cap has increased as a % of world stock market cap while US GDP has declined as a % of world GDP. The view of worker and shareholder isn't necessarily the same, and most of us are or have been both.
JackoC,

There is another part of this: customers. How long can the US companies reduce employment until it has no customers or fewer customers to sell its products and service to?

Besides workers and shareholders, we are customers too.

The problem will solve itself. One way or another.

KlangFool

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Re: Make sure your retirement investment plan includes being fired from your job in your 50s

Post by marcopolo » Wed Apr 03, 2019 3:54 pm

davidsorensen32 wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 3:18 pm
Those of you pontificating on whether “upgrading skills” , “pay cuts”, “hair dyeing”, “top performer”, will save you - I can assure you they won’t. Megacorp will find one or the other excuse to purge you. So unless you have a time machine get ready for doom
Did you intentionally leave out "continue to provide value"?
Or do you believe it is simplly based on age?
A lot of people here seem to think so.

I just can't figure out what the incentive would be be to drive that behavior. Are corporations and their leaders evil, and sit around figuring out how to fire older workers even if it costs them money? What would be the point of that?

My impression is that it more driven by business decisions.
Older, experienced, workers are typically paid a lot more than younger workers. They might be better due to experience, but is the difference enough to justify the added expense to the business?

If someone is doing essentially the same job for the last 30 years, and getting paid a lot more than someone younger that can do the same job, then of course the company will look at saving money by replacing the more expensive worker.

As investors in those companies, isn't that how we expect them to behave?

If on the other hand, the older worker is taking on more responsibility, doing things younger workers are not capable of doing, or doing them better, faster enough to justify their higher pay, i.e. still adding value to the business, it would be counter productive for a company to get rid of such workers in a systematic way.

If you believe in efficient markets, such behavior should be punished by investors, where are the signs of that?
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

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Re: Make sure your retirement investment plan includes being fired from your job in your 50s

Post by marcopolo » Wed Apr 03, 2019 4:07 pm

Just wanted to check on the premise of this thread.
The linked article in the original post post was an opinion piece devoid of almost any information.

According to this, over 45 seems to have the lowest unemployment rate of various age groups.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/217 ... te-by-age/

I guess there are a lot of anecdotes, so let me add mine.
I don't know a single person between the ages of 50 and 60 that are currently involuntarily out of work. Many have gone through layoffs, but that happened at all sorts of various ages.
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

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Re: Make sure your retirement investment plan includes being fired from your job in your 50s

Post by KlangFool » Wed Apr 03, 2019 4:18 pm

Folks,

My standard advice to everyone:

1) Save 1 year of expense every year. You will be FI in 20+ years. Then, you have the choice of continuing working or not.

2) Do not over-save either. Balance your spending with saving.

3) For folks with 6 figures annual household, it usually comes down to the house. Buy a cheaper house and buy it later than your income peers. Then, you could save a lot of money and spend a lot of money elsewhere.

4) For many folks, saving for retirement is an unrealistic goal. Many folks will not be fully-employed continuously until the retirement age.

KlangFool

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Re: Make sure your retirement investment plan includes being fired from your job in your 50s

Post by schwank » Wed Apr 03, 2019 4:23 pm

My employer (FAANG) has thousands of open jobs and as someone intimately involved in the process, I will attest that ageism is not a factor. in fact we are looking for highly experienced candidates. The majority of my immediate Org is in their 40s and 50s.

Ultimately it depends on skill set. Tech roles are in high demand and there are more openings than qualified candidates.

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Re: Make sure your retirement investment plan includes being fired from your job in your 50s

Post by stoptothink » Wed Apr 03, 2019 4:28 pm

marcopolo wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 3:54 pm
davidsorensen32 wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 3:18 pm
Those of you pontificating on whether “upgrading skills” , “pay cuts”, “hair dyeing”, “top performer”, will save you - I can assure you they won’t. Megacorp will find one or the other excuse to purge you. So unless you have a time machine get ready for doom
Did you intentionally leave out "continue to provide value"?
Or do you believe it is simplly based on age?
A lot of people here seem to think so.

I just can't figure out what the incentive would be be to drive that behavior. Are corporations and their leaders evil, and sit around figuring out how to fire older workers even if it costs them money? What would be the point of that?

My impression is that it more driven by business decisions.
Older, experienced, workers are typically paid a lot more than younger workers. They might be better due to experience, but is the difference enough to justify the added expense to the business?

If someone is doing essentially the same job for the last 30 years, and getting paid a lot more than someone younger that can do the same job, then of course the company will look at saving money by replacing the more expensive worker.

As investors in those companies, isn't that how we expect them to behave?

If on the other hand, the older worker is taking on more responsibility, doing things younger workers are not capable of doing, or doing them better, faster enough to justify their higher pay, i.e. still adding value to the business, it would be counter productive for a company to get rid of such workers in a systematic way.

If you believe in efficient markets, such behavior should be punished by investors, where are the signs of that?
Would love to see a cogent argument against this. It is really really difficult to believe businesses are prejudiced against older individuals, just because.

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Re: Make sure your retirement investment plan includes being fired from your job in your 50s

Post by TravelGeek » Wed Apr 03, 2019 5:44 pm

marcopolo wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 3:54 pm
I just can't figure out what the incentive would be be to drive that behavior. Are corporations and their leaders evil, and sit around figuring out how to fire older workers even if it costs them money? What would be the point of that?

My impression is that it more driven by business decisions.
Older, experienced, workers are typically paid a lot more than younger workers. They might be better due to experience, but is the difference enough to justify the added expense to the business?
They absolutely are business decisions. Not every business decision is a good one, though - you can probably think of as many bad ones as I can. I worked long enough for a megacorp to have seen my fair share close-up (and probably made some, too).

It is easy to calculate the cost savings when replacing older workers with younger workers. Or US based workers with lower-cost-country based workers. Or employees with outsourced staff. It’s a spreadsheet anyone can make. It’s usually made by someone who has no day to day oversight of the impacted employees... they are just job codes.

It is much more difficult to assess the impact. Is it really going to save money? Salary costs may go down, but what about revenue and profit? Difficult to calculate because there are often many factors at play. And the results may only show years later.

Dell brought back support to the US in 2014 because of customer dissatisfaction.

Boeing is likely never going to make any profit on its Dreamliner program, and one reason often cited is its outsourcing of design tasks to 3rd parties, resulting in delays and need for rework.

Business decisions that didn’t work out so well. Cost savings that weren’t really realized.

ProPublica’s report of IBM’s apparent discrimination of older workers has been cited in this thread before. Fortunately not every company is IBM (on a complete segway, I recently watched the Apollo 11 documentary in the theater, and there were lots of workers with IBM lab coats in mission control... it reminded me of what this company once stood for).

All that said... I do agree with you the “continuing to provide value” is a vital strategy for survival in corporate America. It’s no guarantee. But it improves your chances of survival. Like eating veggies :)

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Re: Make sure your retirement investment plan includes being fired from your job in your 50s

Post by davidsorensen32 » Wed Apr 03, 2019 6:42 pm

You're making a fundamental mistake in assuming that "business decisions" are "rational decisions". In 99.99% of the cases regarding age related layoffs they are NOT. As as for "incentives" - Here is why - bonuses depend on short term profits over 5-7 years. There 2 kinds of Megacorp CEOs - those who have been fired, and those who are about to be fired. Hence megacorp CEOs have every incentive to gut the company to the core, inflate short term profits enormously, stop investing in R&D and simply milk away the existing customer base while collecting millions and billions in bonuses - before they get fired. This is the modus operandi of every megacorp and it works handsomely for upper management !! Ask yourself - how many bank CEOs went to jail for 2008/2009 ? Zilch. Nada. None.

Only in free internet message boards do folks cost compare replacing young versus old workers - in real life that decision is taken in a nanosecond. In every corner of corporate USA, "young" equates to "innovative, cheap, hungry and aggressive" and "old" equals "radioactive waste" . There is no point trying to argue against it. That battle has been lost for the last 30 years. I'm basing my statements based on my 20+ years tenure in big tech and I can substantiate it with layoffs I've seen at every single megacorp I've worked at. So rationalize away all you want regarding "providing value for corporate america", very soon you will realize your value is not wanted. 2 things one of the best bosses I worked for taught me - you can't fight bias, and you can't fight stupid. You are no fighting reason, you are fighting deep rooted bias in corporate america. So keep up that saving rate till you hit 35x of annual expenses by 50. Because life happens when you're making other plans. Peace :sharebeer. Over and out.
TravelGeek wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 5:44 pm
marcopolo wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 3:54 pm
I just can't figure out what the incentive would be be to drive that behavior. Are corporations and their leaders evil, and sit around figuring out how to fire older workers even if it costs them money? What would be the point of that?

My impression is that it more driven by business decisions.
Older, experienced, workers are typically paid a lot more than younger workers. They might be better due to experience, but is the difference enough to justify the added expense to the business?
They absolutely are business decisions. Not every business decision is a good one, though - you can probably think of as many bad ones as I can. I worked long enough for a megacorp to have seen my fair share close-up (and probably made some, too).

It is easy to calculate the cost savings when replacing older workers with younger workers. Or US based workers with lower-cost-country based workers. Or employees with outsourced staff. It’s a spreadsheet anyone can make. It’s usually made by someone who has no day to day oversight of the impacted employees... they are just job codes.

It is much more difficult to assess the impact. Is it really going to save money? Salary costs may go down, but what about revenue and profit? Difficult to calculate because there are often many factors at play. And the results may only show years later.

Dell brought back support to the US in 2014 because of customer dissatisfaction.

Boeing is likely never going to make any profit on its Dreamliner program, and one reason often cited is its outsourcing of design tasks to 3rd parties, resulting in delays and need for rework.

Business decisions that didn’t work out so well. Cost savings that weren’t really realized.

ProPublica’s report of IBM’s apparent discrimination of older workers has been cited in this thread before. Fortunately not every company is IBM (on a complete segway, I recently watched the Apollo 11 documentary in the theater, and there were lots of workers with IBM lab coats in mission control... it reminded me of what this company once stood for).

All that said... I do agree with you the “continuing to provide value” is a vital strategy for survival in corporate America. It’s no guarantee. But it improves your chances of survival. Like eating veggies :)

marcopolo
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Re: Make sure your retirement investment plan includes being fired from your job in your 50s

Post by marcopolo » Wed Apr 03, 2019 7:05 pm

It's amazing there are any corporations left in the world. :shock:

I have had the unfortunate experience of being involved in planning layoffs on several occasions, actually putting people's names on lists to be let go. Not once was someone's age ever taken into consideration. Rarely did salary even come into the picture. The relative difference in salary is small compared to losing good, productive people.
In my experience, it was always based on the value provided by the employee relative to the needs of the business going forward.

I am sorry you have been so scarred by your experience, and I have no doubt that exists to some degree, but it is certainly not universal.

By the way, your last piece of advice is good planning, it is exactly what I did, at age 51, but close enough.

Good luck to you.
davidsorensen32 wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 6:42 pm
You're making a fundamental mistake in assuming that "business decisions" are "rational decisions". In 99.99% of the cases regarding age related layoffs they are NOT. As as for "incentives" - Here is why - bonuses depend on short term profits over 5-7 years. There 2 kinds of Megacorp CEOs - those who have been fired, and those who are about to be fired. Hence megacorp CEOs have every incentive to gut the company to the core, inflate short term profits enormously, stop investing in R&D and simply milk away the existing customer base while collecting millions and billions in bonuses - before they get fired. This is the modus operandi of every megacorp and it works handsomely for upper management !! Ask yourself - how many bank CEOs went to jail for 2008/2009 ? Zilch. Nada. None.

Only in free internet message boards do folks cost compare replacing young versus old workers - in real life that decision is taken in a nanosecond. In every corner of corporate USA, "young" equates to "innovative, cheap, hungry and aggressive" and "old" equals "radioactive waste" . There is no point trying to argue against it. That battle has been lost for the last 30 years. I'm basing my statements based on my 20+ years tenure in big tech and I can substantiate it with layoffs I've seen at every single megacorp I've worked at. So rationalize away all you want regarding "providing value for corporate america", very soon you will realize your value is not wanted. 2 things one of the best bosses I worked for taught me - you can't fight bias, and you can't fight stupid. You are no fighting reason, you are fighting deep rooted bias in corporate america. So keep up that saving rate till you hit 35x of annual expenses by 50. Because life happens when you're making other plans. Peace :sharebeer. Over and out.
TravelGeek wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 5:44 pm
marcopolo wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 3:54 pm
I just can't figure out what the incentive would be be to drive that behavior. Are corporations and their leaders evil, and sit around figuring out how to fire older workers even if it costs them money? What would be the point of that?

My impression is that it more driven by business decisions.
Older, experienced, workers are typically paid a lot more than younger workers. They might be better due to experience, but is the difference enough to justify the added expense to the business?
They absolutely are business decisions. Not every business decision is a good one, though - you can probably think of as many bad ones as I can. I worked long enough for a megacorp to have seen my fair share close-up (and probably made some, too).

It is easy to calculate the cost savings when replacing older workers with younger workers. Or US based workers with lower-cost-country based workers. Or employees with outsourced staff. It’s a spreadsheet anyone can make. It’s usually made by someone who has no day to day oversight of the impacted employees... they are just job codes.

It is much more difficult to assess the impact. Is it really going to save money? Salary costs may go down, but what about revenue and profit? Difficult to calculate because there are often many factors at play. And the results may only show years later.

Dell brought back support to the US in 2014 because of customer dissatisfaction.

Boeing is likely never going to make any profit on its Dreamliner program, and one reason often cited is its outsourcing of design tasks to 3rd parties, resulting in delays and need for rework.

Business decisions that didn’t work out so well. Cost savings that weren’t really realized.

ProPublica’s report of IBM’s apparent discrimination of older workers has been cited in this thread before. Fortunately not every company is IBM (on a complete segway, I recently watched the Apollo 11 documentary in the theater, and there were lots of workers with IBM lab coats in mission control... it reminded me of what this company once stood for).

All that said... I do agree with you the “continuing to provide value” is a vital strategy for survival in corporate America. It’s no guarantee. But it improves your chances of survival. Like eating veggies :)
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

gtwhitegold
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Re: Make sure your retirement investment plan includes being fired from your job in your 50s

Post by gtwhitegold » Wed Apr 03, 2019 7:35 pm

For any Americans working in the tech sector who is concerned about job security, I would seriously recommend that they consider Federal employment. Your current still set may not directly translate, but there are accession options. If you are younger than 42, you can also consider the Military. Admittedly, you would likely take a pay cut with either, but you would be less likely to have employment issues. Below is one scholarship option, but there are several others.

https://www.sfs.opm.gov

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snackdog
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Re: Make sure your retirement investment plan includes being fired from your job in your 50s

Post by snackdog » Wed Apr 03, 2019 8:30 pm

I have never seen anyone with a half-decent job laid off in their 50s who really went into financial hardship (lost house, marriage, etc). Those who had kids to put through college and whatnot just knuckled down and did what it took to get jobs in the same field. I even knew a few who were pretty hopeless cases (in terms of both technical and personal skills) but they just kept after it and ended up finding work at medium or small firms or as consultants. They kept working and earning a living. Seems like IT/computer can contract and telecommute from home forever. I knew a guy who literally worked from his bed for 15 years. I know another who telecommutes now and when he feels like it does some work in the middle east to boost the savings.

It is sad to see the days of great packages fading away. My company merged with another one a decade ago and nearly everyone over 50 wanted the package. It was around 4 weeks of gross compensation (including salary, bonus and all benefits) per year of service with a max of two years total remuneration. People couldn't sign up for it fast enough. Those who needed to or wanted got new jobs, the rest just retired. I also knew of great packages from small companies with much shorter years of service required. One lady got the package from three companies and retired before 40.

Cheer up. The sky is not falling. You are all aging. The youngsters will gradually wear you down and convince you that you are worthless, but don't give up. Colonel Sanders was flat broke at age 65. All he knew how to do was fry chicken. Things worked out once he applied himself.

TravelGeek
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Re: Make sure your retirement investment plan includes being fired from your job in your 50s

Post by TravelGeek » Wed Apr 03, 2019 9:16 pm

davidsorensen32 wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 6:42 pm
You're making a fundamental mistake in assuming that "business decisions" are "rational decisions".
I don’t think I assumed that. :beer

JD2775
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Re: Make sure your retirement investment plan includes being fired from your job in your 50s

Post by JD2775 » Wed Apr 03, 2019 9:20 pm

a lot of you guys are talking like you can just magically shift gears and plan to retire at 50-55 instead of 65. It's not always that easy. I am 44, working in Tech, and saving about 45% of my income and I still won't be comfortable until 60-65. Late starter unfortunately.

KlangFool
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Re: Make sure your retirement investment plan includes being fired from your job in your 50s

Post by KlangFool » Wed Apr 03, 2019 9:27 pm

JD2775 wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 9:20 pm
a lot of you guys are talking like you can just magically shift gears and plan to retire at 50-55 instead of 65. It's not always that easy. I am 44, working in Tech, and saving about 45% of my income and I still won't be comfortable until 60-65. Late starter unfortunately.
JD2775,

I didn't. I save 1 year of expense every year. If I did not gamble on the Telecom stock, I would have hit my number before 50 years old. It is simple math. If you save 1 year of expense every year, you only need about 20+ years to reach your number.

No, it is not easy. But, it is easier for me because I come from a culture/community where normal people save 30+% of their gross income by default. Both my older brother and older sister early retired at 49 years old.

KlangFool

Dottie57
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Re: Make sure your retirement investment plan includes being fired from your job in your 50s

Post by Dottie57 » Wed Apr 03, 2019 10:25 pm

CobraKai wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 11:55 am
Dottie57 wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 11:34 am
But it takes overtime and effort to get work done on time.
It doesn't have to be if things are properly planned and organized by management. Long hours are often (but not always) the result of bad management.
That is a big IF. We would layout a plan and upper mgmt cuts it to q/3 or 1/2 of what is required. Of course project is now delivered late to the shortened timeline.

indexonlyplease
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Re: Make sure your retirement investment plan includes being fired from your job in your 50s

Post by indexonlyplease » Thu Apr 04, 2019 9:10 am

cherijoh wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 2:12 pm
indexonlyplease wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 9:44 am
That's why I think you need to:

Live debt Free and live below you income
invest as much as possible
Save as much as possible with a large emergency fund
change your AA a long the way to more conservative
Work 2 jobs while you are long to fast track the above.
Most important keep educating yourself to the new work trends. Most people dont' stay in the same job 30-40 years.

If you have the above and are fired or laid off you will be able to find another job but maybe at less pay. But you will have the above to keep you goinging until retirement.
I did all of the above with the exception of working two jobs. I was able to save 25+% of my salary from just one job. My job loss in mid-40's resulted from a site closure. I took a generous separation package and went back to school for a Masters. But it wasn't easy to find F/T employment in a new field and then the Great Recession hit.
TheTimeLord wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 9:22 am
This is very different than the experience of people I know in this age group. The majority of those who have skills and were job ready (didn't require training) landed new jobs at equal or greater compensation, but I realized this is antidotal with a very small sample size. Also, I have known a small minority in consolidating or disrupted industries with industry specific skills that have had real difficulties.
Timing may also have been critical. I was under-employed right before and during the Great Recession and networked extensively during that time period through several job search groups. Many of the people I met ended up as LinkedIn contacts. While most of them eventually landed a job in their profession, many of them are now on their second or third job since that period of unemployment. Obviously, I can't judge if they landed on their feet financially (i.e., equal or greater compensation), but I suspect that is not the case for those who continued to move in and out of employment.

Several of the ones who were 55- 60+ just gave up after while and retired or took a job at Lowe's or a grocery store for the benefits. I still run into some of them at their workplace. Had they not lost their professional job I'm sure they would be retired by now.
My neighbor across the street lost his job at 53 yrs old. Decided to go back to school to be aanesthesiologists assistant. It was a 27 month full time program. Lucky he already has a master degree. Now he just landed a job starting at 150k a year. He stated it was the hardest thing he has ever done but paid off. HIs wife supported them while he went to school. Not easy but can be done. Sometimes picking a different career may help.

LiterallyIronic
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Re: Make sure your retirement investment plan includes being fired from your job in your 50s

Post by LiterallyIronic » Thu Apr 04, 2019 9:35 am

madbrain wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 3:19 pm
I started as a software developer at 19. Made the same observation about age discrimination then. Maybe not quite 2%, but it is definitely single digits. I set a goal to retire at 50 back then. I will most likely miss that goal. Lifestyle inflation and healthcare costs just prevent it.
I didn't start until 32, when I finished university. I've got to get in and get out quick. I only have 18 years to complete my software development career. If I can't quite make it, then hopefully I'm close enough that at that point that a simple part-time job can top me off.
KlangFool wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 4:18 pm
1) Save 1 year of expense every year. You will be FI in 20+ years. Then, you have the choice of continuing working or not.
I don't think I even have that much time. My 18 years are on the clock - 3 years down and 15 to go. I do save one year of expenses every year (at least), and my calculations have me getting there at age 50, as long as I can get 4% annual returns.

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corn18
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Re: Make sure your retirement investment plan includes being fired from your job in your 50s

Post by corn18 » Thu Apr 04, 2019 9:41 am

Do people not have a professional network? If you maintain your network and keep up with a contact plan, you should always have options. You have to do this as a side gig, not as a accident. I have a broad network that extends well beyond my current field. I maintain a contact plan with my network just to stay in the loop and stay fresh. I also have a network of headhunters that keep me on their list. I get 2-3 offers a month. None of this happens because I am better at my current job than anyone else, it happens because I spend the time and effort to maintain a robust professional network. The skillset required is the same as sales / business development, so if you are not comfortable with that, then get some training and build your network.
Don't do something, just stand there!

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