[UPDATED 1/26/2018 ] 55+ Early retirement offer.

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Dottie57
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[UPDATED 1/26/2018 ] 55+ Early retirement offer.

Post by Dottie57 » Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:47 pm

************ OFFER CAME THROUGH on 12/14/2017 - See later post for more information. *****************

Rumors are swirling at my employer that an early retirement package will be offered to those 55 and older with 10 years of service. Said semi imaginary package will be up to 1 year return of salary with cobra paid by company. If this does materialize, It sounds very good to me. I think when a company wants to cut, employees the first offer of this kind is usually the best. Is this usually true?

My employer is a fortune 500 company and not in any financial straights. They want to cut 10% of employees without a lot of fuss.

***********************
YAY! I have been granted the early retirement package! Last day is 3/2/2018
***********************
Last edited by Dottie57 on Fri Jan 26, 2018 3:55 pm, edited 3 times in total.

WhiteMaxima
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Re: 55+ Early retirement offer.

Post by WhiteMaxima » Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:49 pm

Is it GE ?

KlangFool
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Re: 55+ Early retirement offer.

Post by KlangFool » Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:52 pm

Dottie57 wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:47 pm
Rumors are swirling at my employer that an early retirement package will be offered to those 55 and older with 10 years of service. Said semi imaginary package will be up to 1 year return of salary with cobra paid by company. If this does materialize, It sounds very good to me. I think when a company wants to cut, employees the first offer of this kind is usually the best. Is this usually true?

My employer is a fortune 500 company and not in any financial straights. They want to cut 10% of employees without a lot of fuss.
Dottie57,

<< I think when a company wants to cut, employees the first offer of this kind is usually the best. Is this usually true?>>

Yes, it is true.

<<Said semi imaginary package will be up to 1 year return of salary with cobra paid by company. >>

Do you get retiree health plan coverage from the ex-employer? That will be very important if you are 50+ and not eligible for Medicare coverage yet.

KlangFool

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jimmyq
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Re: 55+ Early retirement offer.

Post by jimmyq » Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:55 pm

Sounds like a great deal if you're ready to get out. My company offered a 1 year salary + 1 year healthcare buyout a few years ago. The second buyout option last year was 6 months salary + 1 year healthcare. I have no doubt that the next one will be 3 months salary and less healthcare coverage. I believe that this is the best deal you're going to see. Next one won't be nearly as generous.

Dottie57
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Re: 55+ Early retirement offer.

Post by Dottie57 » Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:59 pm

WhiteMaxima wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:49 pm
Is it GE ?

No.

btenny
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Re: 55+ Early retirement offer.

Post by btenny » Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:00 pm

Yes the first round of cuts and offers are usually the best. But unless you get some sort of health insurance from your employer to cover you from 55 to 65 you may have big issues. One year of Cobra is not a good offer. One year of Cobra that they pay for and then the ability to buy insurance on their plan at their price until you are 65 is a good deal.

Good Luck.

Dottie57
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Re: 55+ Early retirement offer.

Post by Dottie57 » Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:08 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:52 pm
Dottie57 wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:47 pm
Rumors are swirling at my employer that an early retirement package will be offered to those 55 and older with 10 years of service. Said semi imaginary package will be up to 1 year return of salary with cobra paid by company. If this does materialize, It sounds very good to me. I think when a company wants to cut, employees the first offer of this kind is usually the best. Is this usually true?

My employer is a fortune 500 company and not in any financial straights. They want to cut 10% of employees without a lot of fuss.
Dottie57,

<< I think when a company wants to cut, employees the first offer of this kind is usually the best. Is this usually true?>>

Yes, it is true.

<<Said semi imaginary package will be up to 1 year return of salary with cobra paid by company. >>

Do you get retiree health plan coverage from the ex-employer? That will be very important if you are 50+ and not eligible for Medicare coverage yet.

KlangFool
Don't have the offer yet. Rumor says it will be presented after thanksgiving and effective by january 1st. But it is just rumor at this point. The person I heard the rumor from has about 75% accuracy.

I do not have retirement health insurance benefits through employer. I am 60 yo plus 8 months. Cobra would take me to over age 62. So I would need insurance for 2-3 years until medicare. I know it is a risk. But given how often I think of walking out the door and never going back, this might be a very good thing for me.

After a year off I would be willing to look for a different job which has health insurance.

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badbreath
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Re: 55+ Early retirement offer.

Post by badbreath » Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:19 pm

I am hearing the buyout rummer at my megacorp also. What i hear its age + time at work = 80 you get a buyout.

Buy out would be 1 year pay and access to the company heath care (you have to pay for it) till 65. I probably will take it if offered.
“While money can’t buy happiness, it certainly lets you choose your own form of misery.” Groucho Marx

Lynette
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Re: 55+ Early retirement offer.

Post by Lynette » Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:28 pm

btenny wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:00 pm
Yes the first round of cuts and offers are usually the best. But unless you get some sort of health insurance from your employer to cover you from 55 to 65 you may have big issues. One year of Cobra is not a good offer. One year of Cobra that they pay for and then the ability to buy insurance on their plan at their price until you are 65 is a good deal.

Good Luck.
+1000

My former employers offered healthcare till 65 in their packages. Of course it depends how far you are from 65.

btenny
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Re: 55+ Early retirement offer.

Post by btenny » Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:41 pm

I doubt that any ER package by a Fortune 500 company is going to get done by the end of this year. It is too late. These things take time to explain to the employees and then more time for the eligible people to make decisions and then more time to do all the exit interviews and paperwork. Think 3-4 months from announcement to the exit of people. So I suspect the rumors are wrong on schedule as a minimum. But maybe right for early next year. This is really a much better deal for the employees if that is the plan. That way they get the bonus money in low earnings year of 2018 before they make a lot of salary.

But I am just guessing so not really sure. Good Luck.

cherijoh
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Re: 55+ Early retirement offer.

Post by cherijoh » Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:53 pm

Dottie57 wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:08 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:52 pm
Dottie57 wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:47 pm
Rumors are swirling at my employer that an early retirement package will be offered to those 55 and older with 10 years of service. Said semi imaginary package will be up to 1 year return of salary with cobra paid by company. If this does materialize, It sounds very good to me. I think when a company wants to cut, employees the first offer of this kind is usually the best. Is this usually true?

My employer is a fortune 500 company and not in any financial straights. They want to cut 10% of employees without a lot of fuss.
Dottie57,

<< I think when a company wants to cut, employees the first offer of this kind is usually the best. Is this usually true?>>

Yes, it is true.

<<Said semi imaginary package will be up to 1 year return of salary with cobra paid by company. >>

Do you get retiree health plan coverage from the ex-employer? That will be very important if you are 50+ and not eligible for Medicare coverage yet.

KlangFool
Don't have the offer yet. Rumor says it will be presented after thanksgiving and effective by january 1st. But it is just rumor at this point. The person I heard the rumor from has about 75% accuracy.

I do not have retirement health insurance benefits through employer. I am 60 yo plus 8 months. Cobra would take me to over age 62. So I would need insurance for 2-3 years until medicare. I know it is a risk. But given how often I think of walking out the door and never going back, this might be a very good thing for me.

After a year off I would be willing to look for a different job which has health insurance.
A friend got a package that included a year of salary (paid out bimonthly). Healthcare was deducted at the employee rate and after severance ended she was able to go on COBRA for the full 18-months. So pay attention to how the healthcare piece is offered. It might end up not counting as the first year of COBRA.

If you take the package, make sure that you can get by with or without another job. At your age (and I'm not far behind you :wink:) getting another job with benefits is not guaranteed.

Dottie57
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Re: 55+ Early retirement offer.

Post by Dottie57 » Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:00 pm

cherijoh wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:53 pm
Dottie57 wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:08 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:52 pm
Dottie57 wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:47 pm
Rumors are swirling at my employer that an early retirement package will be offered to those 55 and older with 10 years of service. Said semi imaginary package will be up to 1 year return of salary with cobra paid by company. If this does materialize, It sounds very good to me. I think when a company wants to cut, employees the first offer of this kind is usually the best. Is this usually true?

My employer is a fortune 500 company and not in any financial straights. They want to cut 10% of employees without a lot of fuss.
Dottie57,

<< I think when a company wants to cut, employees the first offer of this kind is usually the best. Is this usually true?>>

Yes, it is true.

<<Said semi imaginary package will be up to 1 year return of salary with cobra paid by company. >>

Do you get retiree health plan coverage from the ex-employer? That will be very important if you are 50+ and not eligible for Medicare coverage yet.

KlangFool
Don't have the offer yet. Rumor says it will be presented after thanksgiving and effective by january 1st. But it is just rumor at this point. The person I heard the rumor from has about 75% accuracy.

I do not have retirement health insurance benefits through employer. I am 60 yo plus 8 months. Cobra would take me to over age 62. So I would need insurance for 2-3 years until medicare. I know it is a risk. But given how often I think of walking out the door and never going back, this might be a very good thing for me.

After a year off I would be willing to look for a different job which has health insurance.
A friend got a package that included a year of salary (paid out bimonthly). Healthcare was deducted at the employee rate and after severance ended she was able to go on COBRA for the full 18-months. So pay attention to how the healthcare piece is offered. It might end up not counting as the first year of COBRA.

If you take the package, make sure that you can get by with or without another job. At your age (and I'm not far behind you :wink:) getting another job with benefits is not guaranteed.
I know another job may not be possible. Monetarily I will be fine. Healthcare is my main concern.

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Watty
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Re: 55+ Early retirement offer.

Post by Watty » Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:04 pm

Dottie57 wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:47 pm
I think when a company wants to cut, employees the first offer of this kind is usually the best. Is this usually true?
If you have a traditional pension be sure to know how that will be impacted. Sometimes offers like this are because the company wants to reduce the pension costs even when the company is not in trouble.

It varies but the when the company is in trouble I have seen situations that were basically;
1) Great voluntary buyout.
2) Not so great but still good(ish) involuntary layoff. (Maybe a couple of times)
3) Two weeks pay in lieu of notice and you are escorted to the door. Any personal stuff in your desk will be mailed to you.

As each round of layoffs happens the people left behind may have a wage freeze, or meager raises, and they get stuck doing the work of the people who left. Not taking the buyout could mean that you are left in a worse job environment. The flip side is that your manager might take the buyout and you might get a promotion.

One thing to watch out for is it might not be a blanket buyout offer and some positions may not be eligible. If you put in the request to take the buyout and it is declined then things will be awkward since you may feel like you are having to work the next year for free, and your manager may treat you differently since they know that you tried to quit. Before you apply for it discreetly try to find out if it will be accepted.

If there are two people that do the same job and both of them ask for the buyout then they may only accept one of the buyout requests so they at least have one person who knows how to do that job. If you do want the buyout then apply for quickly to try to beat the other person. They may only accept a set number company wide too.

FraggleRock
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Re: 55+ Early retirement offer.

Post by FraggleRock » Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:09 pm

You should expect to pay $800/mo for a HD/HSA bronze plan.
Do the math.

Dottie57
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Re: 55+ Early retirement offer.

Post by Dottie57 » Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:12 pm

FraggleRock wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:09 pm
You should expect to pay $800/mo for a HD/HSA bronze plan.
Do the math.
I have. I've planned on 1k per month in premium.

Dottie57
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Re: 55+ Early retirement offer.

Post by Dottie57 » Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:23 pm

Watty wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:04 pm
Dottie57 wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:47 pm
I think when a company wants to cut, employees the first offer of this kind is usually the best. Is this usually true?
If you have a traditional pension be sure to know how that will be impacted. Sometimes offers like this are because the company wants to reduce the pension costs even when the company is not in trouble.

It varies but the when the company is in trouble I have seen situations that were basically;
1) Great voluntary buyout.
2) Not so great but still good(ish) involuntary layoff. (Maybe a couple of times)
3) Two weeks pay in lieu of notice and you are escorted to the door. Any personal stuff in your desk will be mailed to you.

As each round of layoffs happens the people left behind may have a wage freeze, or meager raises, and they get stuck doing the work of the people who left. Not taking the buyout could mean that you are left in a worse job environment. The flip side is that your manager might take the buyout and you might get a promotion.

One thing to watch out for is it might not be a blanket buyout offer and some positions may not be eligible. If you put in the request to take the buyout and it is declined then things will be awkward since you may feel like you are having to work the next year for free, and your manager may treat you differently since they know that you tried to quit. Before you apply for it discreetly try to find out if it will be accepted.

If there are two people that do the same job and both of them ask for the buyout then they may only accept one of the buyout requests so they at least have one person who knows how to do that job. If you do want the buyout then apply for quickly to try to beat the other person. They may only accept a set number company wide too.
The company I work for is not in financial trouble. High earnings and high revenue. I' pay attention to quarterly results.

I am a software developer. It is clear from various changes that the company sees older tech workers as a hinderance and roadblocks to working in a more agile manner. Only 2 of us in my group would be eligible for a buyout. We fulfill different roles. The rest are too young.

I am looking forward to seeing if the rumor is true. Only time will tell.

rgs92
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Re: 55+ Early retirement offer.

Post by rgs92 » Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:49 pm

I would hang on to your job if it doesn't drive you crazy unless you really want to retire right now for personal reasons.
It will probably take them years to let you go if you stay, so look at it from that perspective.

If you leave, any other job you get would probably be some sort of contracting job in sweatshop mode (fixing buggy code left behind from people who left, taking blame for things you didn't cause, etc.; you probably see how the contractors are treated in your current shop; envision yourself in that position).

But if you really want to call it a career, then take the money and run. Just think it over and make sure it's what you want to do.

Good luck and all the best to you.
Last edited by rgs92 on Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Watty
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Re: 55+ Early retirement offer.

Post by Watty » Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:50 pm

Dottie57 wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:00 pm
I know another job may not be possible. Monetarily I will be fine. Healthcare is my main concern.
In some states COBRA is more than 18 months and it might be called something else so be sure to check on that in your state.

I am about your age and I was also a corporate software developer. I was really hoping to laid off with a nice severance package when the system I was working on was replaced but that but it never happened so I retired just before I turned 59. I have the same concerns about healthcare. We can't discuss politics or future laws here but I figure that it is likely that something will be available in my state even if it is expensive and has a high deductible. I might have to cut back on things like international travel but I can afford that for a few years until I get to Medicare.

I figure that in the very worst case there will likely be health insurance available in some state that I could technically move to for a couple of years. The residency requirements would need to be researched carefully but spending six months and a day each year for three year until I am 65 in someplace like Hawaii, California, or Massachusetts(Romneycare) is one possible fallback plan of mine.

JBTX
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Re: 55+ Early retirement offer.

Post by JBTX » Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:02 pm

One year of pay is a pretty darn good deal. I'm not sure how often you find that. It is a lot better than I ever received.

I'd be inclined to take it.

beardsworth
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Re: 55+ Early retirement offer.

Post by beardsworth » Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:21 pm

I don't have advice for the OP beyond the excellent perspectives already offered. But as I was reading the thread, I thought that it's interesting, in a very lamentable way, how medical care so often seems to be the tail that wags the financial and aspirational dog.

2comma
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Re: 55+ Early retirement offer.

Post by 2comma » Thu Nov 16, 2017 12:56 am

Sounds close to what happened to me 4 years ago at 58 with a voluntary buy-out offer and a profitable company.

I had 25 years in and that got me 2 weeks shy of 2 years of pay - don't forget you'll pay high taxes on that. Company's retirement plan started at 60 with early retirement at 55 which I know is generous and we get a pension (that was frozen a few years back but I got most of it). They offered $25K tax free towards health care, we have a retiree healthcare plan that was frozen (the amount they would contribute to the pool in 1988). I expected it would pay for almost 5 years but it went from $400 something a month to over $800 a month before the money was spent on premiums, so it only lasted 2.5 years or so. Some of the increase was because it was a "Cadillac plan" but I kind of felt like they knew prices were going to increase. Anyway, my DW is still working there so I was able to sign up as a dependent for about $350 so healthcare until 65 was not a big challenge. My wife will probably retire at 55. I doubt the employee plan will still be cost effective so we will be looking at 10 years of healthcare cost worry for her but honestly we can afford it.

I was extremely ready to retire, sounds like you are at least ready. There have been many rumors about another offer, a lot of people say they will take the next offer but something tells me this is wishful thinking. I'm not so sure there will be another offer or that they are really ready. I'm glad I got out while the getting was good but I know I was in an extremely lucky situation. I know it's a tough decision to make but once I retired and decompressed I realized I'll get a modest pension, my wife will get a slightly less motest pension, we have good savings and we both will get SS. I'm very happy I took the offer and each year I am more convinced that it was the right decision and we will both be fine in retirement. I hope it works out that way for you!
If I am stupid I will pay.

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archbish99
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Re: 55+ Early retirement offer.

Post by archbish99 » Thu Nov 16, 2017 3:49 am

It seems likely that you would qualify for a plan through the ACA, if nothing else. You might even qualify for a tax credit and/or cost-sharing reduction, depending on how your year of salary lands versus the time you'd need to start getting private insurance. However, weigh carefully the current political climate before you stake your future healthcare on that being an option for you a year or so from now.
I'm not a financial advisor, I just play one on the Internet.

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stickman731
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Re: 55+ Early retirement offer.

Post by stickman731 » Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:42 am

I was in a similar situation ~3 years ago.

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=133050

After weighing all the options, I took the package. It came down to a simple point I really did not like the people from the acquiring company.

Now I would say it was the best decision because since my departure they had three re-organizations and "selective" layoffs. My old friends are not happy with a greater work load and are just enduring and hoping for a package.

For myself, I consult 1-3 days per month for extra cash. I initially had COBRA for 18 months and ACA afterward. With ACA, I qualified for the subsidies. I have a Silver plan in NJ and my benefits are actually better then my former employers at a lower cost; however my premium will increase in 2018 by 22%.

How will the severance be paid out, lump-sum versus salary continuation? You should check to see if you immediately qualify for unemployment benefits - each state varies on how they treat severance.

I would also factor in 2-3% increase in property, state and local taxes and utility costs in your analyses.

Good luck!!!

book lover
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Re: 55+ Early retirement offer.

Post by book lover » Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:08 am

You may also want to familiarize yourself with the Affordable Care Act. There are some excellent posts here on the Bogleheads.

Rattlesnake
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Re: 55+ Early retirement offer.

Post by Rattlesnake » Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:37 am

Like others that have posted, I was offered an Early Retirement Offer (ERO) when I was 50 with $$$ and 6 months health care.... I took it... There was no 2nd or 3rd offers and about 6 months later there was a Reduction In Force (RIF) and those that did not take the ERO were laid off.... I heard that some that did not take the ERO were PO'd, maybe at the ERO offer or their decision; not sure....

Did a contract gig for 6 months after a couple months of reflection, paying my own health care and then got a job at megacorp that provided health care until I retired at 66.... I believe I had some skills they needed... Got the pension from the employer who ERO'd me when I retired at 66....

Your situation might be completely different but, if your horizon is to retire at 66 you might be at the right time to split....

Just my $0.02.... Peace....
9th Infantry Division LRRP (Ranger) | 1968-69

Dottie57
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Re: 55+ Early retirement offer.

Post by Dottie57 » Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:49 am

Dottie57 wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:47 pm
Rumors are swirling at my employer that an early retirement package will be offered to those 55 and older with 10 years of service. Said semi imaginary package will be up to 1 year return of salary with cobra paid by company. If this does materialize, It sounds very good to me. I think when a company wants to cut, employees the first offer of this kind is usually the best. Is this usually true?

My employer is a fortune 500 company and not in any financial straights. They want to cut 10% of employees without a lot of fuss.
**************. Thanks to all who responded. ****************
I will be waiting to see if the offer materializes. I have looked into ACA and will continue doing so.
Last edited by Dottie57 on Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

MidwestMike
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Re: 55+ Early retirement offer.

Post by MidwestMike » Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:49 am

Let me give you another real example of what could happen. I too retired several years ago after being offered a package. I haven’t looked back and am worth more now than I was then. One of the best decisions I ever made. Another worker from different plant whom I knew as I transferred from that facility years before was also offered a package which he declined. It was a short few weeks later and he was let go sans any package.

Dottie57
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Re: 55+ Early retirement offer.

Post by Dottie57 » Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:53 am

MidwestMike wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:49 am
Let me give you another real example of what could happen. I too retired several years ago after being offered a package. I haven’t looked back and am worth more now than I was then. One of the best decisions I ever made. Another worker from different plant whom I knew as I transferred from that facility years before was also offered a package which he declined. It was a short few weeks later and he was let go sans any package.

If offer materializes. I am inclined to accept. I really believe layoffs will follow.

Monster99
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Re: 55+ Early retirement offer.

Post by Monster99 » Thu Nov 16, 2017 12:16 pm

The MegaCorp I worked at offered a package Feb of this year - 2 weeks salary for every year + retiree health coverage. I had 31 years in, so it was a no-brainer (I retired with 95% pension). Later in the year around Sept. they offered another package that was actually a little bit better, but I have no regrets about going early.

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Re: 55+ Early retirement offer.

Post by hushpuppy » Thu Nov 16, 2017 12:21 pm

delete
Two dogs are better than one. One dog needs to have at least one companion that can consistently measure up to standards. Humans need not apply.

Dottie57
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Re: 55+ Early retirement offer.

Post by Dottie57 » Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:08 pm

Thank you to all who replied!

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Watty
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Re: 55+ Early retirement offer.

Post by Watty » Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:45 pm

Dottie57 wrote:
Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:08 pm
Thank you to all who replied!
Be sure to give an update with what happens.

Bacchus01
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Re: 55+ Early retirement offer.

Post by Bacchus01 » Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:51 pm

As others have said, first offer is usually the best. About to do one of these now. Round two, if needed, will be straight layoffs.

snowman
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Re: 55+ Early retirement offer.

Post by snowman » Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:59 am

Yes, the first round is almost always the best! I would strongly consider taking the offer if I were you.

If the rumors materialize, the exit date will be probably around the end of first quarter. These things take time, it's too late to complete everything by December 31st. The company will shoot for completion before they release 1st quarter earnings report. It could even drag into second quarter.

I have been buying healthcare insurance for my family on open market for about 15 years, so I am more immune to healthcare "scare" compared to corporate employees like yourself who were always covered by their employer policy. My personal opinion is that ACA is here to stay, in some shape or form. I would look up plans available in your state and get familiar with major players and their offerings. Yes, things change from year to year, but it's not that scary if you live in major metro area.

If package materializes, you will get huge payout in 2018, plus you will more than likely qualify for unemployment benefits (check the rules in your state). COBRA will take you to mid-2019. So you are not buying ACA policy until Q2-Q3 2019, at which point you want to have your finances arranged in such a way that you qualify for subsidies. You would want to do all that in 2018, so that 2019 till Medicare will be your low income years. At that point, you may very well end up with lower premiums (and possibly deductibles) compared to COBRA.

Good luck to you!

Dottie57
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Re: 55+ Early retirement offer.

Post by Dottie57 » Sat Nov 18, 2017 12:55 pm

snowman wrote:
Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:59 am
Yes, the first round is almost always the best! I would strongly consider taking the offer if I were you.

If the rumors materialize, the exit date will be probably around the end of first quarter. These things take time, it's too late to complete everything by December 31st. The company will shoot for completion before they release 1st quarter earnings report. It could even drag into second quarter.

I have been buying healthcare insurance for my family on open market for about 15 years, so I am more immune to healthcare "scare" compared to corporate employees like yourself who were always covered by their employer policy. My personal opinion is that ACA is here to stay, in some shape or form. I would look up plans available in your state and get familiar with major players and their offerings. Yes, things change from year to year, but it's not that scary if you live in major metro area.

If package materializes, you will get huge payout in 2018, plus you will more than likely qualify for unemployment benefits (check the rules in your state). COBRA will take you to mid-2019. So you are not buying ACA policy until Q2-Q3 2019, at which point you want to have your finances arranged in such a way that you qualify for subsidies. You would want to do all that in 2018, so that 2019 till Medicare will be your low income years. At that point, you may very well end up with lower premiums (and possibly deductibles) compared to COBRA.

Good luck to you!
Thank you for advice. I have been going out to ACA site for my state. I actually work for one of the players. I have also been out to look at the income limits. So am working at figuring out how all works. 2018 may still be a big income year due to severance.

Dottie57
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Re: 55+ Early retirement offer.

Post by Dottie57 » Sat Nov 18, 2017 12:56 pm

Watty wrote:
Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:45 pm
Dottie57 wrote:
Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:08 pm
Thank you to all who replied!
Be sure to give an update with what happens.

I certainly will. I just hope the offer actually happens.

snowman
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Re: 55+ Early retirement offer.

Post by snowman » Sat Nov 18, 2017 1:07 pm

Dottie57 wrote:
Sat Nov 18, 2017 12:55 pm
2018 may still be a big income year due to severance.
Correct, but that will work to your advantage in 2019 and beyond. ACA does not look at your assets at all, just your estimated income for the upcoming year. So if you keep the severance in cash, plus if you have any taxable accounts with potentially low capital gains taxes, you manage IRA/401k/Roth/HSA withdrawals in such a way that your MAGI remains below subsidy cutoff until you hit Medicare. You can also utilize HELOC short-term if necessary.

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dm200
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Re: 55+ Early retirement offer.

Post by dm200 » Sat Nov 18, 2017 1:11 pm

As others have posted, a big risk is health insurance after the company paid COBRA ends - depending on years to medicare (inclusing dependent).

In most states, now, the age factor for ACA plans cap at 3 x younger insured -- but who knows if that will return to much, much higher age factors - as wwas the case before the ACA.

My wife (especially my wife who is 5 years younger) faced much higher premiums because of age factors before the ACA cut hers to 3 x younger insureds. Now, we are ok - with Medicare.

Many issues, but n factor is whether if no ER buyout you would wait to 65 to "retire"??

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Re: 55+ Early retirement offer.

Post by Dottie57 » Sat Nov 18, 2017 2:44 pm

snowman wrote:
Sat Nov 18, 2017 1:07 pm
Dottie57 wrote:
Sat Nov 18, 2017 12:55 pm
2018 may still be a big income year due to severance.
Correct, but that will work to your advantage in 2019 and beyond. ACA does not look at your assets at all, just your estimated income for the upcoming year. So if you keep the severance in cash, plus if you have any taxable accounts with potentially low capital gains taxes, you manage IRA/401k/Roth/HSA withdrawals in such a way that your MAGI remains below subsidy cutoff until you hit Medicare. You can also utilize HELOC short-term if necessary.
I would try to wait until 63.5 to retire. But it would be hard.

I recently had a heart to heart with my manager and expressed my desire for a sabbatical or retirement. He was horrified at the retirement idea. He told me I should wait until March (bonus time). And then said after march if I really wanted to retire, he could understand. I thought he meant our group would be getting bonus$, but now think he might know about the incentive to retire. We will see.

This year, every week I have had a day where I really thought I would not return the next day. So I have been thinking of hanging it up. Fear keeps me from doing so. Mostly fear of not having guaranteed health insurance. Income wise I will be fine

mac808
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Re: 55+ Early retirement offer.

Post by mac808 » Sat Nov 18, 2017 4:48 pm

Dottie57 wrote:
Sat Nov 18, 2017 2:44 pm
snowman wrote:
Sat Nov 18, 2017 1:07 pm
Dottie57 wrote:
Sat Nov 18, 2017 12:55 pm
2018 may still be a big income year due to severance.
Correct, but that will work to your advantage in 2019 and beyond. ACA does not look at your assets at all, just your estimated income for the upcoming year. So if you keep the severance in cash, plus if you have any taxable accounts with potentially low capital gains taxes, you manage IRA/401k/Roth/HSA withdrawals in such a way that your MAGI remains below subsidy cutoff until you hit Medicare. You can also utilize HELOC short-term if necessary.
I would try to wait until 63.5 to retire. But it would be hard.

I recently had a heart to heart with my manager and expressed my desire for a sabbatical or retirement. He was horrified at the retirement idea. He told me I should wait until March (bonus time). And then said after march if I really wanted to retire, he could understand. I thought he meant our group would be getting bonus$, but now think he might know about the incentive to retire. We will see.

This year, every week I have had a day where I really thought I would not return the next day. So I have been thinking of hanging it up. Fear keeps me from doing so. Mostly fear of not having guaranteed health insurance. Income wise I will be fine
Hi Dottie, it sounds like you've been there a long time, I'm curious what changed this year to make you dislike it so much?

Dottie57
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Re: 55+ Early retirement offer.

Post by Dottie57 » Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:13 pm

mac808 wrote:
Sat Nov 18, 2017 4:48 pm
Dottie57 wrote:
Sat Nov 18, 2017 2:44 pm
snowman wrote:
Sat Nov 18, 2017 1:07 pm
Dottie57 wrote:
Sat Nov 18, 2017 12:55 pm
2018 may still be a big income year due to severance.
Correct, but that will work to your advantage in 2019 and beyond. ACA does not look at your assets at all, just your estimated income for the upcoming year. So if you keep the severance in cash, plus if you have any taxable accounts with potentially low capital gains taxes, you manage IRA/401k/Roth/HSA withdrawals in such a way that your MAGI remains below subsidy cutoff until you hit Medicare. You can also utilize HELOC short-term if necessary.
I would try to wait until 63.5 to retire. But it would be hard.

I recently had a heart to heart with my manager and expressed my desire for a sabbatical or retirement. He was horrified at the retirement idea. He told me I should wait until March (bonus time). And then said after march if I really wanted to retire, he could understand. I thought he meant our group would be getting bonus$, but now think he might know about the incentive to retire. We will see.

This year, every week I have had a day where I really thought I would not return the next day. So I have been thinking of hanging it up. Fear keeps me from doing so. Mostly fear of not having guaranteed health insurance. Income wise I will be fine
Hi Dottie, it sounds like you've been there a long time, I'm curious what changed this year to make you dislike it so much?
It's been a slow burn. I am a software developer for mega corp. Serious outsourcing started 9-10 years ago. I tried to do the best I could for my Indian co-workers. Giving information, training etc. I've worked on large projects with incredible stress levels. Each time recuperating a little bit less.

We have now moved to agile development. Instead of a normal 8-9 hour day with crunch time at the end. Now I start at 6a.m. With scrum and collaboration meeting. Leave at 5 pm. An occasional 11 pm meeting with thisevin India intrudes. Release of code is in middle of night. I am tired all of the time.

I have the ability to work at home but mgmt is forcing us to come in to "collaborate" even when all my collaboration is with people at other sites.

In my opinion agile development methods don't work on mamoth ETL projects. Agile says you develop for two weeks and have deployable code at the end. ETL for my group means large amounts of data and money being processed with lots of dependency on data from other groups. We would never be able release code every 2 weeks which is the goal. We have too much coonectivity to other groups -we cannot drive our own destiny.

Too much at work doesn't make sense. And I am too weary to want to figure it out.

P.S. i have been assigned to a java project. I haven't worked on java for 10-11 years. But since I am a widget, the move from ETL to Java web sevices should not be hard. Eyes crossed at the end of the day.

Bone weary, walking slow, nosense of joy or accomplishment..

TTBG
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Re: 55+ Early retirement offer.

Post by TTBG » Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:29 am

Dottie, your post could have been written by me 3 years ago except I was a few years farther away from retirement and my Megacorp wasn't contemplating any early retirement offers. Many days by 10am I would need a walk around the parking lot to decide whether that was the day I was quitting. What worked for me eventually was I found a software job that is not in development, it's more sort of an internal support position. So I'm still writing software, but it's not production software. No agile :-). The pay is less but so is the stress. My current plan is to continue working here until I'm within COBRA distance to Medicare. But if they gave me a buyout offer now, I might just take it. Like you, I would need to cover 2-3 years of insurance after COBRA but I would figure something out. (I switched to Kaiser when I changed jobs because I decided that would be most affordable if I have to convert to individual coverage.)

Anyways, I just want to wish you luck!

Dottie57
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Re: 55+ Early retirement offer.

Post by Dottie57 » Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:38 am

TTBG wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:29 am
Dottie, your post could have been written by me 3 years ago except I was a few years farther away from retirement and my Megacorp wasn't contemplating any early retirement offers. Many days by 10am I would need a walk around the parking lot to decide whether that was the day I was quitting. What worked for me eventually was I found a software job that is not in development, it's more sort of an internal support position. So I'm still writing software, but it's not production software. No agile :-). The pay is less but so is the stress. My current plan is to continue working here until I'm within COBRA distance to Medicare. But if they gave me a buyout offer now, I might just take it. Like you, I would need to cover 2-3 years of insurance after COBRA but I would figure something out. (I switched to Kaiser when I changed jobs because I decided that would be most affordable if I have to convert to individual coverage.)

Anyways, I just want to wish you luck!
I am not ruling out working after a year off. I would easily work in a different aspect of software. If the offer doesn't materialize your move might become my move.

flyingaway
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Re: 55+ Early retirement offer.

Post by flyingaway » Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:45 am

Dottie57 wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:47 pm
Rumors are swirling at my employer that an early retirement package will be offered to those 55 and older with 10 years of service. Said semi imaginary package will be up to 1 year return of salary with cobra paid by company. If this does materialize, It sounds very good to me. I think when a company wants to cut, employees the first offer of this kind is usually the best. Is this usually true?

My employer is a fortune 500 company and not in any financial straights. They want to cut 10% of employees without a lot of fuss.
If I am 55 and plans to retire at 56 or 57, I will accept the offer. If my original plan is to retire after 57, the offer does not change anything, provided I am confident that my job is secure.

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Re: 55+ Early retirement offer.

Post by btenny » Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:33 am

I wish you luck. What you are going through is very hard. I watched our software and systems people and their managers go nuts and do all kinds of things to deal with a situation like yours in the late 1990s. The high up managers thought they could just plug in cheaper labor and everything would be great. Plus they wanted to do all the stuff in parallel for faster schedules. So we went to global software development and crazy delivery cycles. We had four groups working on the same big software system at 4 different locations and time zones around the globe. Specs flew around by email. Spec meetings and design reviews happened around the clock by conference calls. It was a mess. Managers went sleepless for days. So did lots of US developers who were told to fix the messes. Everyone went nuts trying to get other culture people to do stuff like we do it here. Meetings with the big bosses were yelling matches and so were many staff meetings. Tons of modules were completely coded and tested off shore and then thrown away when delivered. The interpretation of specs was all over the road map. Lot of things did not work right or even come close. In our case we had 10 plus nationalities (Australia and Ireland were multi culture) mixed together trying to write software with no previous working together experience.

Many times huge pieces of software were just rewritten here in the US and the schedule was lengthened. Other times the foreign groups rewrote the code. Budgets were trashed. Lots of product features were left out of the early releases so something could ship. Whole subsystem were turned off. The technical vs management fights were brutal. Lots of people quit or threatened to quit and some did but most calmed down and stayed. It was really stressful. Eventually they learned to work better but it took years and lots of new procedures according to my friends. Some money and schedule was saved but not near the desired amounts.

I retired part way through this mess and the company world reorg so I am telling it from afar. I was gone by then and glad to be out of it.

Good Luck.

Dottie57
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Re: 55+ Early retirement offer.

Post by Dottie57 » Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:56 am

btenny wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:33 am
I wish you luck. What you are going through is very hard. I watched our software and systems people and their managers go nuts and do all kinds of things to deal with a situation like yours in the late 1990s. The high up managers thought they could just plug in cheaper labor and everything would be great. Plus they wanted to do all the stuff in parallel for faster schedules. So we went to global software development and crazy delivery cycles. We had four groups working on the same big software system at 4 different locations and time zones around the globe. Specs flew around by email. Spec meetings and design reviews happened around the clock by conference calls. It was a mess. Managers went sleepless for days. So did lots of US developers who were told to fix the messes. Everyone went nuts trying to get other culture people to do stuff like we do it here. Meetings with the big bosses were yelling matches and so were many staff meetings. Tons of modules were completely coded and tested off shore and then thrown away when delivered. The interpretation of specs was all over the road map. Lot of things did not work right or even come close. In our case we had 10 plus nationalities (Australia and Ireland were multi culture) mixed together trying to write software with no previous working together experience.

Many times huge pieces of software were just rewritten here in the US and the schedule was lengthened. Other times the foreign groups rewrote the code. Budgets were trashed. Lots of product features were left out of the early releases so something could ship. Whole subsystem were turned off. The technical vs management fights were brutal. Lots of people quit or threatened to quit and some did but most calmed down and stayed. It was really stressful. Eventually they learned to work better but it took years and lots of new procedures according to my friends. Some money and schedule was saved but not near the desired amounts.

I retired part way through this mess and the company world reorg so I am telling it from afar. I was gone by then and glad to be out of it.

Good Luck.

Thank you. The last 10 years have been hard. Your last years were too. Hope retirement has been good to you.

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Watty
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Re: 55+ Early retirement offer.

Post by Watty » Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:05 pm

Dottie57 wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:13 pm
P.S. i have been assigned to a java project. I haven't worked on java for 10-11 years. But since I am a widget, the move from ETL to Java web sevices should not be hard. Eyes crossed at the end of the day.
That would be a red flag to me to take the buyout if you can.

Before I retired out of Corporate IT I worked on a big in-house legacy software package. Several times I worked on projects with different and newer technologies. I could learn and use the different technologies just fine but the problem was that people with just a few years experience could too and they were a lot cheaper than me which made me real expendable.

If you don't take the buyout then you would likely be in a prime position for an involuntary layoff later on.

I always drifted back to working on the legacy system where I still had a lot of value to the company since I had so much company specific knowledge that was important while that system lasted so I was never laid off during several rounds of layoffs.

Dottie57
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Re: 55+ Early retirement offer.

Post by Dottie57 » Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:32 pm

Watty wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:05 pm
Dottie57 wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:13 pm
P.S. i have been assigned to a java project. I haven't worked on java for 10-11 years. But since I am a widget, the move from ETL to Java web sevices should not be hard. Eyes crossed at the end of the day.
That would be a red flag to me to take the buyout if you can.

Before I retired out of Corporate IT I worked on a big in-house legacy software package. Several times I worked on projects with different and newer technologies. I could learn and use the different technologies just fine but the problem was that people with just a few years experience could too and they were a lot cheaper than me which made me real expendable.

If you don't take the buyout then you would likely be in a prime position for an involuntary layoff later on.

I always drifted back to working on the legacy system where I still had a lot of value to the company since I had so much company specific knowledge that was important while that system lasted so I was never laid off during several rounds of layoffs.
Exactly what I believe. The company has created new develpment centers in the U.S. i believe that my location will be dramatically downsized as new college graduates are hired and trained. There hasn't been any mention of this at work, but why else open big new facilities?

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Brian 2016
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Re: 55+ Early retirement offer.

Post by Brian 2016 » Tue Nov 21, 2017 5:57 pm

I was a Project Manager in High Tech for a long time and can relate to the responses about work related pressure and stress. I passed on an early retirement package in 2012 but later took a phased retirement package in 2014 with at May 2016 exit date. I wasn't ready to retire in 2012 but definitely was in 2014.

I took the next year off to "decompress" and focused on getting more exercise (e.g. bike riding) and sleep. Looking back, I didn't realize the toll the stress was taking on me in the last 5 years of working. I'm now back working part time at 20 hours/week as a contractor for a different, smaller high tech company. I'm developing Visual Basic code for Excel with a "heads down" focus....no meetings, a lot less pressure....loving it!

Sounds like you are ready to take the early retirement package if it is offered. I would definitely wait for a package because the payout is hard to resist and something you have earned after a long career. :D

Brian
Early Retirement May 2016

quantAndHold
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Re: 55+ Early retirement offer.

Post by quantAndHold » Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:14 pm

If you’re in California, you should look at Cal-COBRA and see if it will help your insurance situation.

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