Losing a job in your 50's...

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beyou
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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by beyou » Fri Jun 28, 2019 11:17 am

fru-gal wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 3:33 pm
thx1138 wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 9:51 am
fru-gal wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 6:54 pm
ClevrChico wrote:
Sun Feb 17, 2019 9:21 pm
Technical staff can work for a long time if they have the passion for it.
Dream on. How many 50 or even 40 year olds do you think make it into interviews by a twentysomething let alone survive the interview.
You are conflating two things that aren’t actually linked.

Indeed if in your 50s you are doing work that can be done by a twenty something then you are doomed.

Not all technical work can be done by twenty somethings though...
One of the problems is twentysomethings think they can do work as good as the 50somethings who have much more experience. That's why some companies that have gotten rid of their older, experienced employees now produce crap, with bugs and interface problems than an older employee would never have let see the light of day. Sometimes they get away with selling this stuff, sometimes they don't.
My company is relocating and I think the main strategy is to force turnover and replace with less experienced people (really less expensive).
Yes real estate costs will be lower, and taxes, but moving to a location where one cannot expect to find qualified experienced persons in same industry (none of competitors in that city). They know most of the older staff have kids in high school, spouses with jobs and wont want to relocate, so it's a legal sounding form of age discrimination. Young single people with rental apartments and no spouse can easily pick up and move...but they have no idea what they are doing :happy

thx1138
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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by thx1138 » Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:29 pm

fru-gal wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 3:33 pm
thx1138 wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 9:51 am
fru-gal wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 6:54 pm
ClevrChico wrote:
Sun Feb 17, 2019 9:21 pm
Technical staff can work for a long time if they have the passion for it.
Dream on. How many 50 or even 40 year olds do you think make it into interviews by a twentysomething let alone survive the interview.
You are conflating two things that aren’t actually linked.

Indeed if in your 50s you are doing work that can be done by a twenty something then you are doomed.

Not all technical work can be done by twenty somethings though...
One of the problems is twentysomethings think they can do work as good as the 50somethings who have much more experience. That's why some companies that have gotten rid of their older, experienced employees now produce crap, with bugs and interface problems than an older employee would never have let see the light of day. Sometimes they get away with selling this stuff, sometimes they don't.
Yep. And that's bad for the twentysomethings too because they will never develop any real expertise. If you work at such a company at any age then the smart move is to get ready to leave. If you are experienced it is no good for you because likely you'll start to look expensive because management isn't able to recognize the value. If you aren't experienced it is no good for you because you'll never gain the knowledge to efficiently become a senior technical producer because management isn't able to recognize they need to develop junior talent into senior talent. If indeed the company is trying to have inexperienced staff make hiring decisions on experienced candidates well then the wise move would be to not take the offer even if it is given...

And certainly there are some businesses that can get away with no senior technical staff. The pain for an experience worker is when a company decides to transition from requiring senior technical staff to not requiring them. Sometimes that call is "right" and sometimes it is "wrong" from a business perspective. In my experience more often it is "wrong" as you point out.

It really isn't all that different from deciding to leave a company that makes any of a variety of bad management decisions. I think perhaps the key difference for a more experienced employee is that often experienced positions have longer turn around in the market (true for senior management staff as well). So if things don't smell right at your employer anymore all the more reason to start looking for the next position earlier than the junior staff.

rj342
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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by rj342 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:25 pm

One thing to watch out for -- in many states if you are fired for cause then you are NOT eligible for any unemployment.

In my case we had C-Suite musical chairs, middle managers and VPs afraid to rock the boat, some new morale-sucking "improvements" brought into our s/w development by a pet consultant of the *CFO*, and a new hire parachuted in carving out a spot for herself at my expense. We even learned she had a track record of serious scheming and backstabbing at previous employer, and our boss did nothing (her mgr at prev employer even broke every HR rule in the book to warn my boss about her). I paid the price. One of those things where with work suffering due to stressful changes (that made a lot of top performers quit - I tried to stick it out unable to move), there was just enough ammo for her to twist and use to sink me. New CTO knew none of the real history so I was screwed.

Fortunately I already landed a new job by the time I learned application for state unemployment was denied, just 3 weeks later. Dirty pool on multiple levels - usually if they cut someone not working out they did not screw them out of unemployment.

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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by deikel » Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:30 pm

CyclingDuo wrote:
Sat Feb 16, 2019 10:34 am

• Found out when my final paycheck was and had HR immediately switch my 403b contributions so I could hit the max plus catch ups for the over age 50 crowd for the year before the final check. I knew it could be, and most likely was my last chance to do this, so wanted to take advantage of it with the remaining paychecks I had to work with in my final months.

• Made sure to also max out an additional 457b plan in my spouse's employer plan with over age 50 catch up contributions to help cut the household taxable income down enough to avoid paying taxes on the dividends from our taxable account. This coupled well with our reduction in non-essential expense cuts.
These two things do not make sense to me. If your job gets cut, you are bleeding money, so stashing away money in tax advantage space just not to loose the tax advantaged space seems not so relevant at such an emergency time.

In the OPs specific case, it worked out OK because OP found other work right away and ultimately had the same income level then before. It was also helpful to reduce income to stay at 0% gain tax for the taxable account they intended to tap into if needed - but that is the best case scenario.

More likely, it will take a while to find a new job, your income for that year will drop anyway due to the loss of the job and the potential loss in tax space (for hopefully only that year) is somewhat irrelevant compared to the problem at hand (the title of the post said 50+ crowd, so compounding is limited), I would rather get maximum dollar on my last paycheck so I have room to maneuver ...
Everything you read in this post is my personal opinion. If you disagree with this disclaimer, please un-read the text immediately and destroy any copy or remembrance of it.

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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by CyclingDuo » Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:16 pm

deikel wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:30 pm
CyclingDuo wrote:
Sat Feb 16, 2019 10:34 am

• Found out when my final paycheck was and had HR immediately switch my 403b contributions so I could hit the max plus catch ups for the over age 50 crowd for the year before the final check. I knew it could be, and most likely was my last chance to do this, so wanted to take advantage of it with the remaining paychecks I had to work with in my final months.

• Made sure to also max out an additional 457b plan in my spouse's employer plan with over age 50 catch up contributions to help cut the household taxable income down enough to avoid paying taxes on the dividends from our taxable account. This coupled well with our reduction in non-essential expense cuts.
These two things do not make sense to me. If your job gets cut, you are bleeding money, so stashing away money in tax advantage space just not to loose the tax advantaged space seems not so relevant at such an emergency time.

In the OPs specific case, it worked out OK because OP found other work right away and ultimately had the same income level then before. It was also helpful to reduce income to stay at 0% gain tax for the taxable account they intended to tap into if needed - but that is the best case scenario.

More likely, it will take a while to find a new job, your income for that year will drop anyway due to the loss of the job and the potential loss in tax space (for hopefully only that year) is somewhat irrelevant compared to the problem at hand (the title of the post said 50+ crowd, so compounding is limited), I would rather get maximum dollar on my last paycheck so I have room to maneuver ...
Keep in mind, not all of the things I did were directly from Pete the Planner's two part Blog post. I simply mentioned - one year later - the steps I personally took at the time based on our household income, investments, and taxes. Again, they were absolutely based on my own situation and details and felt it was important to list them in the context of this thread.

Our dual income household fortunately was not bleeding money, and we had a well stocked emergency fund. In spite of that, there was no way I was going to sit on the couch and take it on the chin for the longer term as I began looking for new work the week I was done with the Spring semester, and really ramped it up as the Summer progressed. We still had one in graduate school, plans for the future - and I was not going down financially without a huge fight. Outside of two to three weeks in June when I was able to unwind after the semester was over and digest where I had been, and what I needed to do going forward - there was very little time to wallow in the phase of feeling like the victim. My most severe wallowing was confined to those few weeks in June.

To recap what I did and why...

I found out at the end of February 2018 of my termination, but as a professor still had to work to the end of the semester in May of that year. I knew that my final paycheck from HR for that institution was to be at the end of August for the 2017-2018 academic year (professor paychecks are spread out over 12 months for the 9 months of the academic calendar teaching we do). Knowing that it was probably, or could be, the very last time I would be able to max out my 403b, I wanted to take advantage of doing that one last time. Especially since my investments were in the the low cost Vanguard three fund portfolio and there were no annual fees on my part. So I had HR adjust my pre-tax deductions to get the full $25K deduction with the remaining months by upping the usual deduction amounts from my paycheck (which were set up for using all 12 months of the year to get my $25K contributions to the 403b) to be boosted to a higher amount for March/April/May/June/July/August so I could get the full $25K deducted in 8 months. Even if I didn't get new work, this was potentially my "last chance" ever to max out my age 50+ pre-tax plan. Yes, I could have gone the other way and husbanded my final paychecks as part of hunkering down. However, I did my research and made my choice based on the upcoming decades and my willingness to get replacement income wherever I could.

Fortunately, I did land new work by the end of August that included a 401k which I would contribute to for the final 4 months of 2018, so I was able to tweak and cut back considerably on the final August deduction from the old job with HR to allow me to get the full match at the new job 401k from my employer for the rest of the year (September - December). By doing that, I was able to engineer the full $25K pre-tax deduction between the two jobs (403b and 401k combined).

Knowing at the time of termination (age 56) that I had the potential to live an additional 30+ years, I took the side of the bet that I would get some nice compounding from maxing out the 403b for those future decades in the Vanguard Three Fund Portfolio that I had been investing in at TIAA. On top of that, and as you point out, we also have a structured portfolio that includes maxing out on an annual basis 2 to 3 plans between my spouse and myself to help absorb the dividends in our taxable account with enough remaining from our paychecks to make our annual household expenses. Hence, maxing out my 403b and her 457b on top of her 403b for the triple max of 50+ catch up contributions totaling $75K annually which notched the MAGI down low enough to mean we paid $0 on the dividends for 2018. I also didn't worry about my decision with the reality that unemployment checks (where taxes are not taken out) would be flowing in from the end of May and until new work began for up to 26 weeks (actually could have been 52 weeks). Keeping with our strategy, maxing out the 403b turned out to be what I think was a wise choice for our 2018 taxes. In addition, we were not bleeding money as a dual income household and could survive on my spouse's income.

Obviously, that is a different strategy from somebody being laid off who is bleeding money and in different circumstances than we found ourselves. 2018 turned out to be our highest income earning year yet as I ended up having no gap in income due to my final academia check from the old job being at the end of August, and new work that began at the same time - so there was no "down time" of paychecks flowing in for my contribution to utilizing my human capital for income. The addition of unemployment checks for three months for the summer while I was job hunting/interviewing and still receiving paychecks for the previous academic year employer is what helped raise our household income to the highest level to date.

Hopefully, that helps clarify why I wrote what I did in my OP which was one year after losing my job for my own situation. For one who is terminated in their 50's and has no job prospects, or other household income - as well as what you suggest of "bleeding money" - then it stands to reason why you aptly point out that it doesn't make sense. In those instances, husbanding down on the final paychecks to build up the emergency fund makes sense. I would agree with you in those cases. For me, it made sense at age 56 as I knew that it might be - or might have been - the last time I ever would be able to max out the full $25K in a pre-tax retirement plan. I had no plans of not working in some capacity. Not knowing in what capacity or if I would even have a 403b, 401k, etc... going forward led to my decision along with all of the surrounding circumstances to our household finances. In my new realm of employment, I am not able to max out a pre-tax $25K plan from my contribution point of view due to my income being spread between multiple sources (no single source paying enough to max out $25K). So it could well be that 2018 was indeed my final chance to do that. I am contributing to the 401k as well as taxable investments this year, while my wife remains focused on her pre-tax contributions to get the max in both of her plans.

Time will tell if the compounding of the decision I made in 2018 pays off over the upcoming decades...
"Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time." ~ Steven Wright

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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by CyclingDuo » Fri Oct 04, 2019 1:31 pm

CyclingDuo wrote:
Sat Feb 16, 2019 10:34 am
• Combed over our budget in the months after the layoff news and before the final paycheck to see what non-essentials could be cut. In other words, used the opportunity to do a reset on cash flow as if our household was moving from a dual income household to a single income household, or at the very least - a lower income than before. Was able to cut several hundred per month from our non-essentials with the potential to easily cut nearly $150-250 more per month if need be. Adjusted our lifestyle in terms of vacations, travel and eating out to reflect a drop in income as well (hunkered down a bit, but not totally).
Many have pointed out in this thread that their lifestyle is or already was dialed back expense management wise before any potential or actual job loss scenario in their 50's cropped up. In other words, their high rate of savings and living a lifestyle that avoided creep was already well in place. In retrospect, we were not as dialed back expense wise as we could have been going into the job loss.

This post is a bit about what we did as a couple over the past 20 months to uncover and tackle the expense management side of the cash flow equation in our household. We have reread this thread multiple times, had family budget meetings, taken the experiences and suggestions of others to help us continue to make improvements.

We thank all of you for that!!

If I had to make an update to my original post, I think it would be that the process of losing what one thought was a secure job, moving on and going through the transition - and all of the associated adjustments - is a process that unfolds over time. At least it has been that way for our household even though I am already in month number 20 after having first received the news that I was being laid off from my old job due to retrenchment, "right sizing", etc... as a result of declining enrollment as colleges and universities no longer have any more millennials to rely on for enrollment.

As mentioned in my original post, the initial steps taken included most of what Pete the Planner suggested. Those steps were, in aggregate, step number one.

Finding replacement income and adapting to the new work routine from more than one job to produce an income stream became step number two.

After 13 months of work in one of the new replacement income jobs (the one outside of my teaching profession) that I was able to find, I received an annual bonus plus a 5% pay raise. I received a 7.6% pay raise for another replacement income job that I found within my teaching niche. I felt somewhat skeptical, or at least had a healthy level of trepidation during the prior 13 months about those positions with regard to me being able to hang on and maintain a job in my mid to latter 50's after reading all of the data that said those laid off once in their 50's are more susceptible to it happening again. Feedback from my managers and supervisors have been positive in the current jobs I have, so I am feeling less skeptical and have somewhat less trepidation now in my second year of replacement income. That's no guarantee it will all continue for the future, but it at least leaves me feeling less stressed about it all in the adjustment process than I have felt over the past 20 months. Let's call that step number three in terms of sequence for the process.

I continue on in year two of hanging on by my fingernails in terms of having found replacement income for my base pay, and our overall household income between the two of us has fortunately held on as well due to pay raises all around. What I lost in income annually via always having taught an overload in my prior position ($8-10K per academic year), my spouse picked up via a $10K raise in her salary. We both have side hustle income as well to keep us at our prior household income levels. As part of the hunkering down process, trimming of lifestyle creep, new budget focus, and some expense management - we have learned to easily live on one salary while we continue to sock away the other salary into savings/investments. To do all of that in a comfortable manner, it took looking through a lens to pull all of the correct levers to make it work. We will call that step number four.

Step number four...

Through the past 20 months, our household has not stopped discussing our cash flow, budgeting, retirement and work options, plans for the future, etc... as we continued to track and tweak our monthly cash flow. Beyond the initial cuts we made in some non-essentials as part of the hunkering down process suggestion from Pete the Planner https://petetheplanner.com/ep-299-losin ... -your-50s/, the process of taking the time as a couple to continue to study our budget month in and month out to see what we were spending money on did result in more reductions. We will call that, in aggregate, step number four.

Step number four has been eye opening and very beneficial for a variety of reasons. It coincides with being empty nesters and dialing in the actual dollar amount we need to live on as a couple in our current home and lifestyle. This seemed to be difficult, if not outright illusive for us to do while the kids were living at home or still in college in terms of having an exact number for a household of two compared to a household of four. Now that the days of four in the house are past, and the final graduate school tuition bill was paid in January of this year along with the final student rent & board being paid in June of this year - the children are well on their own and our budget has been able to transition to reflect what we will be spending on an annual basis going forward. The process the job loss set into motion has helped us not only examine our budget during our final working years, but also has helped us to gauge what we will need in the beginning retirement years to cover our expenses. This confluence of events created a clearer picture than it was just a few years ago.

In spite of our rate of savings having already jumped up to 50% before the job loss news hit 20 months ago, we were guilty as a two income household of having settled into a routine that included lifestyle creep that did not delineate as well as it should have between wants and needs. We were caught up in enjoying contentment with our daily lives which was funded by our steady regular cash flow from our dual incomes to the point of not spending as much time or attention to the budgetary detail as we should have been spending to include a wider variety of scenarios (such as including a job loss). We may or may not be alone in that regard, but suffice it to say that whether or not the layoff was the full impetus to do a closer examination or not - the process and adjustment has led to decisions we have jointly made after looking closer at the details.

My original post said we were able to cut back on some of our non-essential expenses to begin the hunkering down process following a job loss. That process has continued over the past 20 months as we adapted, adjusted and discussed financial matters as a couple. Spending the past 20 months reading many articles, forum threads, books, listening to podcasts, etc... provided plenty of suggestions, ideas, thoughts and steps to take to examine everything a bit more in detail. Not a bad thing to examine for anybody no matter what the job situation is as they spend their final working years before retirement.

Okay, so it's time to hang some of the dirty laundry on the line for examination to show things on the expense side of the balance sheet that we were able to trim.

The dirty laundry was sobering, to say the least! :shock:

Note why I use the word sobering when it comes to booze alone...

$1000 per year ($83 per month) was cut from wine club memberships.
$6100 per year ($511 per month) was cut from our grocery bill (a chunk of that came from our love of wine).
$5600 per year ($466 per month) was cut from our restaurant and eating lunch out at work bill.
$1200 per year ($100 per month) was cut from our phone bill.
$1100 per year ($91 per month) was cut from bicycle racing expenses.
$1200 per year ($100 per month) was reduced from our vacation fund as we reexamined our vacation wants.

We are big foodies and knew our grocery bill was high. We have learned we can still be big foodies without spending so much on expensive protein, wine and ingredients like we were before. That cut and the simple act of brown bag lunching it for both of us firmly helped us hone in on what was in the wants category and was in the needs category. After some consternation, discussion, and decisions - we got out of our boat floating down the River DeNial when it comes to eating and drinking. :twisted:

Hopping out of that boat resulted in an additional $16,200 cut per year run rate in expense management that we initiated after our close examination and discussions as a couple. Those are the major cuts listed above, but we have room for some smaller cuts, improvements and tweaks as the process continues.

Some of the above savings is offset by an increase in commute miles on one vehicle due to the job changes. Triple AAA calculates my true cost for my commute vehicle at $7296 per year (gas, maintenance, insurance, depreciation). Gas, maintenance, insurance, and depreciation costs for that car were already included in our regular budget, so the actual addition of my new commute adds $2122 per year ($176 per month) to our expenses.

Going with the additional commuting expense of $2122 per year and subtracting that cost from the major savings via our expense management cuts, we have a net of an additional $14,100 more per year ($1175 per month) to use for additional monthly savings/investments/additional mortgage principal payments, travel, giving, etc... than we had 20 months ago before the job loss hit to factor into our current budget.
CyclingDuo wrote:
Sat Feb 16, 2019 10:34 am
Actionable items wise, will continue to keep a lid on non-essential expenses, and sock away a higher percentage of savings than we originally were doing say two or three years ago when we thought both of our jobs were secure until a retirement date of our choosing. New eyes. New experience. New thoughts. New plans.

One has to take actionable steps on the financial side of the equation both in preparation for a possible layoff, as well as dealing with an actual layoff. And one has to take actionable steps as well when facing a job market in your 50's if continued employment is a goal.
We are feeling like we have addressed most of that in our current situation. Not sure things would have had the same outcome if they had taken place during a different economic environment, but looking ahead to the future - our planning is on task to consider softening conditions that could impact my ability to continue to bring in replacement income during the next few years.

Cheers! :beer (Although there is no beverage in the house....)
"Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time." ~ Steven Wright

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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by KlangFool » Fri Oct 04, 2019 2:02 pm

Thanks for the update.

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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by willthrill81 » Fri Oct 04, 2019 3:45 pm

CyclingDuo wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 1:31 pm
If I had to make an update to my original post, I think it would be that the process of losing what one thought was a secure job, moving on and going through the transition - and all of the associated adjustments - is a process that unfolds over time. At least it has been that way for our household even though I am already in month number 20 after having first received the news that I was being laid off from my old job due to retrenchment, "right sizing", etc... as a result of declining enrollment as colleges and universities no longer have any more millennials to rely on for enrollment.
Thanks for the update! I'm very glad to hear that the new jobs are working out and that you've been able to get your finances back on track. You and your spouse must have some expensive taste in wine! My wife and I thought that our $30 budget for it was a lot. :wink:

My own university has seen enrollments decline somewhat over the last couple of years, and we're in the early stages of a reorganization of the colleges, including the elimination of one entirely. After that, program cuts will certainly be next. I'm not at all concerned about my own position since ours has one of the highest enrollments of any major, but those in programs that have had weak enrollments for years are in a very tenuous position right now. Based on the demographics we're seeing, enrollments will probably bottom out by around 2025 or so and then remain flat. We're working hard in my college to bring in more international students to fill in any 'gaps' that might arise and maybe even squeak out some growth.

This has doubly reinforced our goal of financial independence by the time I'm 55, and we're actually trying hard to do make that happen even earlier, maybe by the time I'm 50. This year, our after-tax spending will only be about 40% of my gross pay, with under 10% going to taxes and the rest to savings.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by student » Fri Oct 04, 2019 4:11 pm

Thank you very much for the update.

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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by abuss368 » Fri Oct 04, 2019 4:53 pm

Appreciate the thread and that everything is working. Our University has seen enrollment drop substantially over the past decade. That is concerning and unfortunate.
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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by sergeant » Fri Oct 04, 2019 9:23 pm

Good update. Glad you two are able to work together to be successful.
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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by Bdouvs » Sat Oct 05, 2019 12:47 am

39/dual income home/HCOL/$200k+ combined salary/no kids yet/20 years remaining on a 3.5% mortgage

We have 1 years emergency fund, a rental unit that has positive cash flow and 69% of our investable assets in tax sheltered accounts, 31% in taxable.

I understand it's best to save (max out) in tax sheltered accounts but would it be wise to divert some of that savings to a taxable account for accessibility in the event of a future job loss?

I've been considering only investing up to my company match and saving the rest in a taxable account to one day, hopefully before 50, pay off my mortgage or at least access my money easily in case of a lay off at some point in the future. I wouldn't be able to do that in tax sheltered accounts.

I was recently laid off, found a job fairly quickly but going thru this process scared the heck out of me and is making me rethink investment strategy.

Looking forward to any advice, thank you

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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by HomeStretch » Sat Oct 05, 2019 6:22 am

Bdouvs wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 12:47 am
I understand it's best to save (max out) in tax sheltered accounts but would it be wise to divert some of that savings to a taxable account for accessibility in the event of a future job loss?
An alternative might be to slowly build up your emergency fund > 1 year if it helps you to sleep at night better.

Can you live on one salary now? If not, develop a plan to cut expenses and stop savings in order to live on one salary in the event of lay-off.

If your tax sheltered savings include investments like Roth IRA or I-Bonds, funds can be accessed earlier than retirement in an emergency.

For best advice, suggest you request a moderator to break this post into a new thread. Modify your post to include more information in the suggested format here:
https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Asking_ ... _questions

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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by student » Sat Oct 05, 2019 6:22 am

Bdouvs wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 12:47 am
39/dual income home/HCOL/$200k+ combined salary/no kids yet/20 years remaining on a 3.5% mortgage

We have 1 years emergency fund, a rental unit that has positive cash flow and 69% of our investable assets in tax sheltered accounts, 31% in taxable.

I understand it's best to save (max out) in tax sheltered accounts but would it be wise to divert some of that savings to a taxable account for accessibility in the event of a future job loss?

I've been considering only investing up to my company match and saving the rest in a taxable account to one day, hopefully before 50, pay off my mortgage or at least access my money easily in case of a lay off at some point in the future. I wouldn't be able to do that in tax sheltered accounts.

I was recently laid off, found a job fairly quickly but going thru this process scared the heck out of me and is making me rethink investment strategy.

Looking forward to any advice, thank you
You may get more replies but starting its own thread. (Your plan seems reasonable and you can always change when your job is more stable.)

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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by CyclingDuo » Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:05 am

willthrill81 wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 3:45 pm
Thanks for the update! I'm very glad to hear that the new jobs are working out and that you've been able to get your finances back on track. You and your spouse must have some expensive taste in wine! My wife and I thought that our $30 budget for it was a lot. :wink:
Yes, a bottle a month is a lot less expensive than a bottle a week, or a bottle a day. 8-)
willthrill81 wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 3:45 pm
My own university has seen enrollments decline somewhat over the last couple of years, and we're in the early stages of a reorganization of the colleges, including the elimination of one entirely. After that, program cuts will certainly be next. I'm not at all concerned about my own position since ours has one of the highest enrollments of any major, but those in programs that have had weak enrollments for years are in a very tenuous position right now. Based on the demographics we're seeing, enrollments will probably bottom out by around 2025 or so and then remain flat. We're working hard in my college to bring in more international students to fill in any 'gaps' that might arise and maybe even squeak out some growth.
You are being wise to pay close attention to the demographics as it will dictate your staffing, funding, etc... as the numbers rise and fall throughout the cycles. I was certainly aware of it, but most in our department thought we were immune to faculty cuts due to the high demand for our national renowned program. Two years later, one third of the faculty in our department are now gone.

Needless to say, the slim and trim years have begun of which you are well aware and seeing in your institution. Relying on international students for some growth was one of the short term gimmicks used at the end of the Boomer generation as well, but it doesn't solve all of the gap issues for the bread and butter US student population for their tuition dollars. Mix in the battle cries of student loan crisis, many schools already engaging in lowering tuition in hopes of luring in students as they compete for the same pool of students with each other, and other luring gimmicks/tactics of disguising and packaging the discount rate as some sort of "free tuition" - I imagine schools that have solid endowments, little to no debt, and are adept at quickly getting slim and trim with their staff and faculty during these lean years will survive.

Both with the Baby Boomer generation (currently age 55-73) and the Echo Boomers or Millennial generation (currently age 23-38), in terms of demographics, created a rather large cyclical aspect to colleges and universities. Lots of new hires in staff, faculty, administration during the enrollment booms to handle the demand - and lots of layoffs during the enrollment swoons. I was hired for my first college teaching job just as the oldest millennials were seniors in college and the demand was in my favor, and was terminated just as the youngest millennials graduated. Although I have written about it in this thread and other threads as well, Larry Swedroe's co-authored book,
https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Guide-S ... 0278784949 , had a good premise that I had not been able to put into words before to think of your income as "bond like" or "equity like" when it comes to asset allocation. Even though Larry and his fellow author Kevin Grogan considered college professors as having "bond like" income - I would challenge that in times such as we are experiencing with the demographic wave going out creating cuts even among tenured professors.

Demand was still high when I was given news of my termination during the Spring semester in 2018. As I mentioned in my update, I was always asked to teach an overload - including two additional classes beyond my full load during my final semester as the demand still outstripped the number of faculty we had (I had been teaching overloads for about 12 years). That may have colored my thoughts on being immune to being cut at the time as well simply based on demand and teaching load. Now that so many faculty within my former department have been cut, some of the classes required for the major have also been removed by the current faculty as part of the major as there is not enough faculty to teach them. Whether it is odd or not that the solution to such a problem is to alter the degree requirements by watering down the majors from what they have been for decades, it is what it is.

I was a college student at the tail end of the Baby Boomer generation and saw the same sort of cuts, class requirement changes, and a host of gimmicks employed to combat the declining enrollment at the time. That was during the time that Japan was booming and thousands and thousands of students from Japan were entering US colleges and universities in an attempt to fill the "gap" from the loss of the flow the bread and butter US student tuition money had been providing.

The next large wave for colleges and universities will be the children of millennials.
willthrill81 wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 3:45 pm
This has doubly reinforced our goal of financial independence by the time I'm 55, and we're actually trying hard to do make that happen even earlier, maybe by the time I'm 50. This year, our after-tax spending will only be about 40% of my gross pay, with under 10% going to taxes and the rest to savings.
You are on the right track with your thinking no matter how it all turns out. Hopefully, you also pursue other avenues of income streams for diversity of household income via authoring books/textbooks, research grants, career enhancing sabbaticals, etc... . I can't remember all of your household details, but after your child(ren) are old enough is your wife able to work and provide an additional income?

For our part, I have learned a lot of tactical strategy from those of you who are forward thinking and have an eye on the FIRE movement. In our case, we are well set thanks to our three legged stool: savings to date, a pension, dual SS. However, we are utilizing the tactics of the FIRE movement to sock away as much as we can, while we can in our latter years of working. We started that process in 2015 and 2016, and have ramped it up the past three years. As mentioned above, a lot of that is due to the confluence of events that our household has experienced: job loss snapping me into action to reclaim an income stream and examine our budget in more detail, end of college tuition/rent/board funding for our children, empty nest, peak earning years, adjusting to developing a budget for a household of two rather than four, etc... .

Cutting back on our expenses and lifestyle the past 20 months allows us to see that most of us really don't need that much to live on and be comfortable. We did not need a glass or two of wine with every evening meal. We did not need to eat out for lunch while at work every day. I did not need to race my bike throughout the entire Midwest at my age (been there, done that for way too many years). We did not need a tomahawk steak, smoked brisket, fresh water salmon, insert any high priced portion of protein here:_____________ and you name it organic fruit and vegetable nearly every night for dinner. A lot of the money from our income in recent years since becoming empty nesters was directed at pure wants and had simply become too routine as well as a lean towards lifestyle creep for lack of a better terminology. Even though we were super savers through all of that, cutting back simply makes sense as we dialed in a budget that we can sustain through thick and thin on one or more household incomes as well as the projected household income streams come retirement.

Hopefully for those reading this thread, it doesn't take a job loss to snap you into action for a closer, and more detailed look into your budget to delineate your wants from your needs. We were clearly using excess income on more wants than we needed to for certain items, and redirecting that money into more strategic placements such as additional mortgage principal payments, emergency fund stoking, and additional investments have been the result and should prove to have been prudent choices down the road.
"Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time." ~ Steven Wright

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CyclingDuo
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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by CyclingDuo » Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:10 am

KlangFool wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 2:02 pm
Thanks for the update.

KlangFool
You have been a larger influence on this household than you know. This is our third consecutive year of saving at least our annual expenses (actually saving more than that now) without even considering what pension and SS will contribute.

CyclingDuo
"Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time." ~ Steven Wright

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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by stoptothink » Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:17 am

My 62yr old father in law just got laid off (fired, I don't know) for the 3rd time in the last 4yrs. After sitting down with MIL and discussing their mindblowingly bad financial situation (net worth in the negative 6-figures) and whether or not they will be moving in with us (again) my wife and I had a heart-to-heart last night about being even more prudent with out spending. We already save 50%+ of our gross HHI, but I'd like to be FIRE ready before I reach 45 (her 40) and then reevaluate from there. I will never put my own kids in the situation that my in-laws (and likely my own parents) have put us in.

I wish my FIL had the humbleness to read a thread like this.

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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by KlangFool » Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:22 am

CyclingDuo wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:10 am
KlangFool wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 2:02 pm
Thanks for the update.

KlangFool
You have been a larger influence on this household than you know. This is our third consecutive year of saving at least our annual expenses (actually saving more than that now) without even considering what pension and SS will contribute.

CyclingDuo
Glad to hear that.

KlangFool

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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by willthrill81 » Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:59 am

CyclingDuo wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:05 am
You are being wise to pay close attention to the demographics as it will dictate your staffing, funding, etc... as the numbers rise and fall throughout the cycles. I was certainly aware of it, but most in our department thought we were immune to faculty cuts due to the high demand for our national renowned program. Two years later, one third of the faculty in our department are now gone.

Needless to say, the slim and trim years have begun of which you are well aware and seeing in your institution. Relying on international students for some growth was one of the short term gimmicks used at the end of the Boomer generation as well, but it doesn't solve all of the gap issues for the bread and butter US student population for their tuition dollars. Mix in the battle cries of student loan crisis, many schools already engaging in lowering tuition in hopes of luring in students as they compete for the same pool of students with each other, and other luring gimmicks/tactics of disguising and packaging the discount rate as some sort of "free tuition" - I imagine schools that have solid endowments, little to no debt, and are adept at quickly getting slim and trim with their staff and faculty during these lean years will survive.

Both with the Baby Boomer generation (currently age 55-73) and the Echo Boomers or Millennial generation (currently age 23-38), in terms of demographics, created a rather large cyclical aspect to colleges and universities. Lots of new hires in staff, faculty, administration during the enrollment booms to handle the demand - and lots of layoffs during the enrollment swoons. I was hired for my first college teaching job just as the oldest millennials were seniors in college and the demand was in my favor, and was terminated just as the youngest millennials graduated. Although I have written about it in this thread and other threads as well, Larry Swedroe's co-authored book,
https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Guide-S ... 0278784949 , had a good premise that I had not been able to put into words before to think of your income as "bond like" or "equity like" when it comes to asset allocation. Even though Larry and his fellow author Kevin Grogan considered college professors as having "bond like" income - I would challenge that in times such as we are experiencing with the demographic wave going out creating cuts even among tenured professors.

Demand was still high when I was given news of my termination during the Spring semester in 2018. As I mentioned in my update, I was always asked to teach an overload - including two additional classes beyond my full load during my final semester as the demand still outstripped the number of faculty we had (I had been teaching overloads for about 12 years). That may have colored my thoughts on being immune to being cut at the time as well simply based on demand and teaching load. Now that so many faculty within my former department have been cut, some of the classes required for the major have also been removed by the current faculty as part of the major as there is not enough faculty to teach them. Whether it is odd or not that the solution to such a problem is to alter the degree requirements by watering down the majors from what they have been for decades, it is what it is.

I was a college student at the tail end of the Baby Boomer generation and saw the same sort of cuts, class requirement changes, and a host of gimmicks employed to combat the declining enrollment at the time. That was during the time that Japan was booming and thousands and thousands of students from Japan were entering US colleges and universities in an attempt to fill the "gap" from the loss of the flow the bread and butter US student tuition money had been providing.

The next large wave for colleges and universities will be the children of millennials.
Was there still strong demand for your program when you and others were cut? If so, it's hard for me to wrap my brain around administration doing that unless yours and others' salaries were quite high, but university administrators have a reputation for frequently illogical behavior. Honestly, I attribute much of it to their backgrounds; their disciplines have not trained them to deal with running multi-million dollar organizations with hundreds or thousands of employees.

Mine is one of the top ten majors in terms of enrollments (out of well over 100 at the institution), and we are certainly not overstaffed. Most of our courses are actually beyond 'capacity' this fall. But I'm taking your advice to heart and not betting on remaining in higher ed for the next 12-15 years.
CyclingDuo wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:05 am
You are on the right track with your thinking no matter how it all turns out. Hopefully, you also pursue other avenues of income streams for diversity of household income via authoring books/textbooks, research grants, career enhancing sabbaticals, etc... . I can't remember all of your household details, but after your child(ren) are old enough is your wife able to work and provide an additional income?
My DW has a bachelor's in elementary ed and was practically offered a job at a private school this spring, but she wants to stay home, and I'm totally fine with that. If push came to shove, she certainly could do that though, especially if we knew that it would only be for a few years.

With regard to increasing my own income, it's frankly hard for me to see it being worth my time right now. There's a LOT of front-end work with authoring a textbook, for instance, and it's a very competitive market. Research grants aren't much of an option in my area. Consulting is a definite possibility, but unless I spent more time doing that than I do with my current position, I probably couldn't increase my income by more than 10%. So the cost-benefit seems poor at the moment. But I'm definitely keeping my eyes open, and my area is such that if I lost my current job, I could enter the private sector and probably replace at least 70% of my income almost immediately, which would be fine since we're only spending 40% of my current income. Many of my skills lend themselves very well for remote work as well, which would definitely be my preference. Our immediate goal of paying off our mortgage should be reached in five months, and then we should have enough retirement savings within the next 3-5 years that would still enable me to retire in my early 60s even if we didn't make any future contributions.

If mine was a program like 16th century Italian poetry (you know what I'm talking about), a program that could easily be cut with virtually no ramifications to the institution and which is not very marketable in the private sector, combined with minimal savings, I would be on pins and needles right now. This is sadly the case for many thousands of academics across the country.

The only 'saving grace' that I see in at least some sectors of higher ed right now, especially mine, is that there are a lot of faculty who are right on the edge of retirement, voluntary or otherwise. At least 25% of those in my college are over 65, and several are well into their 70s, and many of them are one buyout option or health issue away from calling it quits.
CyclingDuo wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:05 am
For our part, I have learned a lot of tactical strategy from those of you who are forward thinking and have an eye on the FIRE movement. In our case, we are well set thanks to our three legged stool: savings to date, a pension, dual SS. However, we are utilizing the tactics of the FIRE movement to sock away as much as we can, while we can in our latter years of working. We started that process in 2015 and 2016, and have ramped it up the past three years. As mentioned above, a lot of that is due to the confluence of events that our household has experienced: job loss snapping me into action to reclaim an income stream and examine our budget in more detail, end of college tuition/rent/board funding for our children, empty nest, peak earning years, adjusting to developing a budget for a household of two rather than four, etc... .

Cutting back on our expenses and lifestyle the past 20 months allows us to see that most of us really don't need that much to live on and be comfortable. We did not need a glass or two of wine with every evening meal. We did not need to eat out for lunch while at work every day. I did not need to race my bike throughout the entire Midwest at my age (been there, done that for way too many years). We did not need a tomahawk steak, smoked brisket, fresh water salmon, insert any high priced portion of protein here:_____________ and you name it organic fruit and vegetable nearly every night for dinner. A lot of the money from our income in recent years since becoming empty nesters was directed at pure wants and had simply become too routine as well as a lean towards lifestyle creep for lack of a better terminology. Even though we were super savers through all of that, cutting back simply makes sense as we dialed in a budget that we can sustain through thick and thin on one or more household incomes as well as the projected household income streams come retirement.

Hopefully for those reading this thread, it doesn't take a job loss to snap you into action for a closer, and more detailed look into your budget to delineate your wants from your needs. We were clearly using excess income on more wants than we needed to for certain items, and redirecting that money into more strategic placements such as additional mortgage principal payments, emergency fund stoking, and additional investments have been the result and should prove to have been prudent choices down the road.
It's so refreshing to see someone realize that one's quality of life is not dependent on consuming large quantities of the 'finer things'. We've always been frugal, but we too have become significantly more so in the last several years as our vision of our desired financial future has come into sharper focus and the future of my preferred profession has become less certain. We try to be purposeful with every dollar that we spend. For instance, we rarely go out for coffee anymore, but when I went out with a friend this week for some, I spent $2.50 on a drink that I would enjoy almost as much as one that cost $5. Our biggest splurge is travel, but even then, we put a lot of effort into finding ways to decrease costs and/or increase the value we get from it. Earlier this year, we took a week long trip to Disney World with family, stayed in one of the priciest hotels on property and ate very well but spent 'only' about $5k on the entire trip, including flights, whereas we could easily have spent $7k-$8k and gotten less value. My DW loves doing research for travel, and that has saved us a small fortune over the years. Next year, we're planning on renting a motor home to go to a couple of national parks, and a 10 day trip will probably cost us $3,500, whereas if we stayed in hotels, paying for them alone would cost that much.

And I entirely agree with you that it's a very fruitful endeavor to really question which of one's expenses are essential (i.e. needs) and which are discretionary (i.e. wants). When I hear people here talk about spending multiples of the national median income, apart from taxes, on what they term as 'essentials', I can't help but shake my head.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

scubadiver
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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by scubadiver » Sat Oct 05, 2019 11:12 am

scubadiver
Last edited by scubadiver on Sun Jul 12, 2020 12:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by 13.1Runner » Sat Oct 05, 2019 12:43 pm

Kenkat wrote:
Sat Feb 16, 2019 11:44 am
This article really resonated with me. I just turned 55 myself and have been at my current company for what I can’t believe is 21 years. I’ve been through the post-911 bust, a merger, and the 2009 financial crisis. So, in other words, battle scarred but still employed. But I do get a sense that the winds of change are in the air as there are a lot of new people with new ideas, some good and some bad. My cheese has been moved recently as the area I work in is changing focus. I don’t feel like a good fit to the new focus. Anxiety and worry ensues. What if I end up being moved aside? I have seen it happen enough already to others. And the thing is, I still see the old cheese - it’s in the next room and it’s beginning to rot as the new people struggle to understand all the history behind the cheese and why it is the way it is. The company still relies on that cheese to operate...............
Kenkat....Thank you soooooo very much for the post. Similar thing is happening to me at 58 and your words are very helpful.
Thank you!!!

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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by getthatmarshmallow » Sat Oct 05, 2019 4:19 pm

willthrill81 wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:59 am
CyclingDuo wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:05 am
You are being wise to pay close attention to the demographics as it will dictate your staffing, funding, etc... as the numbers rise and fall throughout the cycles. I was certainly aware of it, but most in our department thought we were immune to faculty cuts due to the high demand for our national renowned program. Two years later, one third of the faculty in our department are now gone.

Needless to say, the slim and trim years have begun of which you are well aware and seeing in your institution. Relying on international students for some growth was one of the short term gimmicks used at the end of the Boomer generation as well, but it doesn't solve all of the gap issues for the bread and butter US student population for their tuition dollars. Mix in the battle cries of student loan crisis, many schools already engaging in lowering tuition in hopes of luring in students as they compete for the same pool of students with each other, and other luring gimmicks/tactics of disguising and packaging the discount rate as some sort of "free tuition" - I imagine schools that have solid endowments, little to no debt, and are adept at quickly getting slim and trim with their staff and faculty during these lean years will survive.

Both with the Baby Boomer generation (currently age 55-73) and the Echo Boomers or Millennial generation (currently age 23-38), in terms of demographics, created a rather large cyclical aspect to colleges and universities. Lots of new hires in staff, faculty, administration during the enrollment booms to handle the demand - and lots of layoffs during the enrollment swoons. I was hired for my first college teaching job just as the oldest millennials were seniors in college and the demand was in my favor, and was terminated just as the youngest millennials graduated. Although I have written about it in this thread and other threads as well, Larry Swedroe's co-authored book,
https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Guide-S ... 0278784949 , had a good premise that I had not been able to put into words before to think of your income as "bond like" or "equity like" when it comes to asset allocation. Even though Larry and his fellow author Kevin Grogan considered college professors as having "bond like" income - I would challenge that in times such as we are experiencing with the demographic wave going out creating cuts even among tenured professors.

Demand was still high when I was given news of my termination during the Spring semester in 2018. As I mentioned in my update, I was always asked to teach an overload - including two additional classes beyond my full load during my final semester as the demand still outstripped the number of faculty we had (I had been teaching overloads for about 12 years). That may have colored my thoughts on being immune to being cut at the time as well simply based on demand and teaching load. Now that so many faculty within my former department have been cut, some of the classes required for the major have also been removed by the current faculty as part of the major as there is not enough faculty to teach them. Whether it is odd or not that the solution to such a problem is to alter the degree requirements by watering down the majors from what they have been for decades, it is what it is.

I was a college student at the tail end of the Baby Boomer generation and saw the same sort of cuts, class requirement changes, and a host of gimmicks employed to combat the declining enrollment at the time. That was during the time that Japan was booming and thousands and thousands of students from Japan were entering US colleges and universities in an attempt to fill the "gap" from the loss of the flow the bread and butter US student tuition money had been providing.

The next large wave for colleges and universities will be the children of millennials.
Was there still strong demand for your program when you and others were cut? If so, it's hard for me to wrap my brain around administration doing that unless yours and others' salaries were quite high, but university administrators have a reputation for frequently illogical behavior. Honestly, I attribute much of it to their backgrounds; their disciplines have not trained them to deal with running multi-million dollar organizations with hundreds or thousands of employees.

Mine is one of the top ten majors in terms of enrollments (out of well over 100 at the institution), and we are certainly not overstaffed. Most of our courses are actually beyond 'capacity' this fall. But I'm taking your advice to heart and not betting on remaining in higher ed for the next 12-15 years.
CyclingDuo wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:05 am
You are on the right track with your thinking no matter how it all turns out. Hopefully, you also pursue other avenues of income streams for diversity of household income via authoring books/textbooks, research grants, career enhancing sabbaticals, etc... . I can't remember all of your household details, but after your child(ren) are old enough is your wife able to work and provide an additional income?
My DW has a bachelor's in elementary ed and was practically offered a job at a private school this spring, but she wants to stay home, and I'm totally fine with that. If push came to shove, she certainly could do that though, especially if we knew that it would only be for a few years.

With regard to increasing my own income, it's frankly hard for me to see it being worth my time right now. There's a LOT of front-end work with authoring a textbook, for instance, and it's a very competitive market. Research grants aren't much of an option in my area. Consulting is a definite possibility, but unless I spent more time doing that than I do with my current position, I probably couldn't increase my income by more than 10%. So the cost-benefit seems poor at the moment. But I'm definitely keeping my eyes open, and my area is such that if I lost my current job, I could enter the private sector and probably replace at least 70% of my income almost immediately, which would be fine since we're only spending 40% of my current income. Many of my skills lend themselves very well for remote work as well, which would definitely be my preference. Our immediate goal of paying off our mortgage should be reached in five months, and then we should have enough retirement savings within the next 3-5 years that would still enable me to retire in my early 60s even if we didn't make any future contributions.

If mine was a program like 16th century Italian poetry (you know what I'm talking about), a program that could easily be cut with virtually no ramifications to the institution and which is not very marketable in the private sector, combined with minimal savings, I would be on pins and needles right now. This is sadly the case for many thousands of academics across the country.

The only 'saving grace' that I see in at least some sectors of higher ed right now, especially mine, is that there are a lot of faculty who are right on the edge of retirement, voluntary or otherwise. At least 25% of those in my college are over 65, and several are well into their 70s, and many of them are one buyout option or health issue away from calling it quits.
CyclingDuo wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:05 am
For our part, I have learned a lot of tactical strategy from those of you who are forward thinking and have an eye on the FIRE movement. In our case, we are well set thanks to our three legged stool: savings to date, a pension, dual SS. However, we are utilizing the tactics of the FIRE movement to sock away as much as we can, while we can in our latter years of working. We started that process in 2015 and 2016, and have ramped it up the past three years. As mentioned above, a lot of that is due to the confluence of events that our household has experienced: job loss snapping me into action to reclaim an income stream and examine our budget in more detail, end of college tuition/rent/board funding for our children, empty nest, peak earning years, adjusting to developing a budget for a household of two rather than four, etc... .

Cutting back on our expenses and lifestyle the past 20 months allows us to see that most of us really don't need that much to live on and be comfortable. We did not need a glass or two of wine with every evening meal. We did not need to eat out for lunch while at work every day. I did not need to race my bike throughout the entire Midwest at my age (been there, done that for way too many years). We did not need a tomahawk steak, smoked brisket, fresh water salmon, insert any high priced portion of protein here:_____________ and you name it organic fruit and vegetable nearly every night for dinner. A lot of the money from our income in recent years since becoming empty nesters was directed at pure wants and had simply become too routine as well as a lean towards lifestyle creep for lack of a better terminology. Even though we were super savers through all of that, cutting back simply makes sense as we dialed in a budget that we can sustain through thick and thin on one or more household incomes as well as the projected household income streams come retirement.

Hopefully for those reading this thread, it doesn't take a job loss to snap you into action for a closer, and more detailed look into your budget to delineate your wants from your needs. We were clearly using excess income on more wants than we needed to for certain items, and redirecting that money into more strategic placements such as additional mortgage principal payments, emergency fund stoking, and additional investments have been the result and should prove to have been prudent choices down the road.
It's so refreshing to see someone realize that one's quality of life is not dependent on consuming large quantities of the 'finer things'. We've always been frugal, but we too have become significantly more so in the last several years as our vision of our desired financial future has come into sharper focus and the future of my preferred profession has become less certain. We try to be purposeful with every dollar that we spend. For instance, we rarely go out for coffee anymore, but when I went out with a friend this week for some, I spent $2.50 on a drink that I would enjoy almost as much as one that cost $5. Our biggest splurge is travel, but even then, we put a lot of effort into finding ways to decrease costs and/or increase the value we get from it. Earlier this year, we took a week long trip to Disney World with family, stayed in one of the priciest hotels on property and ate very well but spent 'only' about $5k on the entire trip, including flights, whereas we could easily have spent $7k-$8k and gotten less value. My DW loves doing research for travel, and that has saved us a small fortune over the years. Next year, we're planning on renting a motor home to go to a couple of national parks, and a 10 day trip will probably cost us $3,500, whereas if we stayed in hotels, paying for them alone would cost that much.

And I entirely agree with you that it's a very fruitful endeavor to really question which of one's expenses are essential (i.e. needs) and which are discretionary (i.e. wants). When I hear people here talk about spending multiples of the national median income, apart from taxes, on what they term as 'essentials', I can't help but shake my head.
Definitely. I'm not in "16th Century Italian poetry", but close enough that if my position were cut I'd likely be leaving the profession entirely. Our program is small, cheap, and our enrollments are high and growing ever year, but one never knows. There's a book to be written on that problem, but for us personally, it's just been more motivation for our saving practices (and for me to think more about moving laterally into administration.) I wouldn't say we're frugal, but our savings rate is high and our fixed expenses are low. But we could, at any time, run the house on one income, and we have in the past, so I'd have time to reinvent myself if it came to it.

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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by CyclingDuo » Mon Oct 07, 2019 10:02 am

willthrill81 wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:59 am
Was there still strong demand for your program when you and others were cut? If so, it's hard for me to wrap my brain around administration doing that unless yours and others' salaries were quite high, but university administrators have a reputation for frequently illogical behavior. Honestly, I attribute much of it to their backgrounds; their disciplines have not trained them to deal with running multi-million dollar organizations with hundreds or thousands of employees.
Demand was still there at a very similar run rate in terms of the number of majors that matched the preceding 5 or so years at the time of the cuts within our department. Considering there are some on the BH forums that live in my community and read these forums, I would not want to misrepresent the situation. I probably have at least somewhat of a clearer view 20 months hence than the immediate emotional response at the time of receiving my termination news.

A bit of right sizing had already taken place in our department prior to the past two years of cuts with some retirements, early retirement buyouts and those positions not getting filled. The arts got hit hard across the board due to the higher level of one on one teaching involved in those disciplines as well as quite a few smaller select class sizes for specific disciplines which means that the faculty to student ratio revenue model simply did not score well. As an example, I taught classes with as few as 5 or 6 students in them (required specialty classes for their major), classes with 20-40+ in them, and 18 - 24 hourly one on one required applied music lessons per week. I imagine this is more the norm in any college or university that offers a music, theater, or art degree. The solution in such department business models has always included having a lot of part-time adjunct teachers to cover all of the one on one lessons and smaller speciality classes. Trimming some of the full time professors who did a combination of all of that, and replacing them with several part-time adjuncts to cover the loads (ensembles, classes, one on one applied lessons) seems to be the cost effective solution for the colleges and universities to the problem with the intent of still serving the degree requirements for the majors. Striking a balance between quality full time professors and quality part-time adjuncts that still provide a good product for the students' tuition dollars seems to be the fine line schools will be walking to stay afloat in the competitive environment for attracting and retaining students.

Working as a part-time adjunct, I am now on that latter side of the equation. Now at age 58 and having done plenty of thought over the past 20 months, I am starting to view it in a different light as there have been plenty in such part-time positions in their late 50's, 60's and even 70's who have come before me at many colleges and universities. It could be a transition into retirement type of job that provides some income and less stress in terms of the duties that typically accompany full time faculty positions (serving on faculty committees, student advising, recruiting, research, etc...).

My department was music and our most common major (the bulk of majors) within the music degrees offered was Music Education. The other two majors offered included a performance degree in one's specific instrument (for those pursuing being a professional performer) and the fewer credits required Bachelor of Arts Music degree (often coupled with a double major in another discipline, and or a pair of minors). In terms of the bread and butter Music Education degree for our majors, the track record in terms of placement rate out in the field of public school teaching for our music education majors has always been 100% upon graduation. The careers we were preparing them for included excellent benefits (health/dental/life insurance, state pension, 403b/457b options, etc...). The success rate for the other two degrees in terms of entrance into graduate schools was also always very high. I would hesitate to call the bread and butter music education degree for the majority of the majors we taught as being left handed puppetry or less important than other majors. However, that's my view from within the industry and having been a professional musician the past 34 years.

Regardless, the full time staff that taught it at our college got trimmed in spite of the demand at the time of the cuts due to the overall college experiencing declining enrollment as cuts were made across the board in faculty and staff. More so in the arts in terms of faculty/staff cuts. The entire Art, German, and French majors were also cut. I believe if my numbers are somewhat correct that two full time positions were cut in my specific discipline (mine being one of them), two other full time positions in my department resigned for a variety of reasons, one took an early retirement buyout the year before all of the cuts were announced and was not replaced, one part-time adjunct resigned, and another was not invited back. The transition over the years meant that the department where I taught full time went from 15 full time faculty at the peak of the millennials down to the current 8 full time faculty. My specific discipline within the department had 4 full time, one 3/4 time, one full time who also devoted 1/2 of their load to my discipline, and one adjunct at the peak to serve all of the majors. Today it stands at 1 full time, one who also devotes part of their load to my discipline, and 4 adjuncts to serve the now lowered numbers.

What about demand now after the cuts? The negative news about the cuts became somewhat of a self fulfilling prophecy which resulted in the incoming classes for the department where I taught being smaller the past two years. That's an obvious result due to cutting the faculty (as well as those that resigned) and their recruiting efforts that went along with their positions (I used to spend hours on the phone, sending emails, cards, meeting with prospective students and their parents, giving sample lessons, etc... with regard to recruiting). It also impacted a bit of student retention in the department I was teaching, as a few students chose to transfer to other colleges due to the teachers that they came to study with being cut. Whether one looks at it as the cuts were justified now that the number of majors coming in has slowed, or the cuts created the scenario to slow the demand as key positions were terminated and the loss of their recruiting efforts and draw has resulted in lower numbers - it is what it is. The decisions and choices were made, and numbers both in terms of faculty and students reflect those decisions.

Fortunately, I still get to teach part-time in my discipline and do what I love to do in the field of music now as an adjunct professor for at least 15-20 hours per week. Last year was a bit of dip in my zeal for it which most likely was a normal reaction to being terminated and the process I had to go through personally. For whatever reason, my zeal has returned this year and it shows in my teaching. The scramble for the rest of my replacement income in a totally different and challenging (for me) field is starting to show improvement and has helped keep my end of the household income afloat. As mentioned above with the part-time adjunct teaching being a possible transition into retirement job by itself, the other job outside of my field that I have also has the potential to be a stand alone transition job into retirement. Who wouldn't want options to go either way provided the FI- part of the FIRE equation is set and a few years of transition work/income was welcomed? At least that's the way I am starting to begin viewing it all with regard to potential options simply based on where I have ended up at this point.

That being said, I wouldn't wish the process of a layoff or termination on any other. I would, as this thread has aptly pointed out, wish the preparation for a potential job loss on others to be ready at the time - no matter what their field. We were prepared in a lot of ways financially as well as diversity of household income. However, I was not, and still am not, ready to toss in the towel in terms of working and bringing in an income. I have a much more difficult work schedule in terms of hours and days worked now due to piecing together three jobs than when I was teaching full time at one job, so it wouldn't be surprising if I find I am unable to sustain my current level for years on end.
willthrill81 wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:59 am
Mine is one of the top ten majors in terms of enrollments (out of well over 100 at the institution), and we are certainly not overstaffed. Most of our courses are actually beyond 'capacity' this fall. But I'm taking your advice to heart and not betting on remaining in higher ed for the next 12-15 years.
I'm sure your department would score rather well on any program prioritization rubric if you are in the top ten for majors. That being said, keeping on top of your faculty contributions to your discipline and students, presentations, articles, books, research, program development, etc... would be well worth the effort for longevity.
CyclingDuo wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:05 am
You are on the right track with your thinking no matter how it all turns out. Hopefully, you also pursue other avenues of income streams for diversity of household income via authoring books/textbooks, research grants, career enhancing sabbaticals, etc... . I can't remember all of your household details, but after your child(ren) are old enough is your wife able to work and provide an additional income?
willthrill81 wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:59 am
My DW has a bachelor's in elementary ed and was practically offered a job at a private school this spring, but she wants to stay home, and I'm totally fine with that. If push came to shove, she certainly could do that though, especially if we knew that it would only be for a few years.
Oh, now there's a nice potential leg to add to or boost one of the legs in the traditional three legged stool if she could get vested in a pension by teaching for enough years (could be as few as 5 - 8 years depending on the district/state). I would go for a job with a public pension over a private. Even if we skip over the pension, bringing in more income to add to the risk portfolio leg could be well worth it. Every additional $250K saved can potentially provide $10K a year in retirement income via 4% SWR. Hence our cuts in expenses listed above to stay on target with our savings.
willthrill81 wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:59 am
With regard to increasing my own income, it's frankly hard for me to see it being worth my time right now. There's a LOT of front-end work with authoring a textbook, for instance, and it's a very competitive market. Research grants aren't much of an option in my area. Consulting is a definite possibility, but unless I spent more time doing that than I do with my current position, I probably couldn't increase my income by more than 10%. So the cost-benefit seems poor at the moment. But I'm definitely keeping my eyes open, and my area is such that if I lost my current job, I could enter the private sector and probably replace at least 70% of my income almost immediately, which would be fine since we're only spending 40% of my current income. Many of my skills lend themselves very well for remote work as well, which would definitely be my preference. Our immediate goal of paying off our mortgage should be reached in five months, and then we should have enough retirement savings within the next 3-5 years that would still enable me to retire in my early 60s even if we didn't make any future contributions.
That's where the earning power of DW comes into play... :beer
willthrill81 wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:59 am
If mine was a program like 16th century Italian poetry (you know what I'm talking about), a program that could easily be cut with virtually no ramifications to the institution and which is not very marketable in the private sector, combined with minimal savings, I would be on pins and needles right now. This is sadly the case for many thousands of academics across the country.
Yup, got the reference to left handed puppetry. I'm sure there are plenty on pins and needles at the moment. Italian was cut years ago at our college, but had it still been taught - it would've been cut as well. :D
willthrill81 wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:59 am
The only 'saving grace' that I see in at least some sectors of higher ed right now, especially mine, is that there are a lot of faculty who are right on the edge of retirement, voluntary or otherwise. At least 25% of those in my college are over 65, and several are well into their 70s, and many of them are one buyout option or health issue away from calling it quits.
Yes, based on what I saw where I worked those retirements and early buyouts - be it voluntary or otherwise - are the first signs that cuts are underway and either the positions will not be filled or will be filled with junior faculty at much lower, entry level salaries. You are also young enough that if you work another decade, you will catch the early years of the next large wave of demographics.
willthrill81 wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:59 am
It's so refreshing to see someone realize that one's quality of life is not dependent on consuming large quantities of the 'finer things'. We've always been frugal, but we too have become significantly more so in the last several years as our vision of our desired financial future has come into sharper focus and the future of my preferred profession has become less certain. We try to be purposeful with every dollar that we spend. For instance, we rarely go out for coffee anymore, but when I went out with a friend this week for some, I spent $2.50 on a drink that I would enjoy almost as much as one that cost $5. Our biggest splurge is travel, but even then, we put a lot of effort into finding ways to decrease costs and/or increase the value we get from it. Earlier this year, we took a week long trip to Disney World with family, stayed in one of the priciest hotels on property and ate very well but spent 'only' about $5k on the entire trip, including flights, whereas we could easily have spent $7k-$8k and gotten less value. My DW loves doing research for travel, and that has saved us a small fortune over the years. Next year, we're planning on renting a motor home to go to a couple of national parks, and a 10 day trip will probably cost us $3,500, whereas if we stayed in hotels, paying for them alone would cost that much.
Well done. You guys are doing it right!
willthrill81 wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:59 am
And I entirely agree with you that it's a very fruitful endeavor to really question which of one's expenses are essential (i.e. needs) and which are discretionary (i.e. wants). When I hear people here talk about spending multiples of the national median income, apart from taxes, on what they term as 'essentials', I can't help but shake my head.
I'll shake my head with you. The low unemployment rate and the impacts of consumerism with the blurred lines of wants vs. needs is quite eye opening.

We both grew up in homes of parents that lived through the depression, and our grandparents had plenty of stories and lifestyles to impart plenty of lessons upon us. We lived very frugally in our childhoods, college years, and certainly during the first two decades of our working careers. Even the years we spent living and working overseas, we lived well within our budget, but absolutely took advantage of the opportunity to travel cheaply while living there. I say cheaply because we had a mini-van and also used trains to get around on the cheap. Hopping in the mini-van in Vienna, we could be in Paris in 10.5 hours the speed I drive. So we traveled all over during my summer months off while we lived there with the kids, but it was all within our budget. It didn't hurt that I was paid an extra month's salary for summer vacation and an extra month's salary for the Christmas Holidays (who says working in a socialized country being paid by their government is a bad thing? :mrgreen: ).

In our discussions the past 20 months, I would say it has really been the past decade where we increased our spend on wants and some lines between wants and needs got a bit blurred or lumped together. Wine being the most obvious. Good grief!!! I won't even get into bicycling and the age old formula of N+1 being the number of bikes one needs who is addicted to the sport. :shock:

As I mentioned, it took a combination of awakening to evaluate our cash flow which was inspired by the FIRE movement, posts on these boards, the loss of a job, and now working with a slew of millennials in the technology world for my other job. The latter has led to my observations and discussions with many of them who have very good habits of saving, being frugal, bringing their lunch to work, wanting to FIRE.

So far, we are glad it was not too late to get things on track in a much more efficient manner and have managed to navigate through a job loss that hit at age 56. I remain humbled that it could have been a lot worse. Preparing for the future is clearly in focus now.

CyclingDuo
"Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time." ~ Steven Wright

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willthrill81
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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by willthrill81 » Mon Oct 07, 2019 10:39 am

CyclingDuo wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 10:02 am
willthrill81 wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:59 am
Was there still strong demand for your program when you and others were cut? If so, it's hard for me to wrap my brain around administration doing that unless yours and others' salaries were quite high, but university administrators have a reputation for frequently illogical behavior. Honestly, I attribute much of it to their backgrounds; their disciplines have not trained them to deal with running multi-million dollar organizations with hundreds or thousands of employees.
Demand was still there at a very similar run rate in terms of the number of majors that matched the preceding 5 or so years at the time of the cuts within our department. Considering there are some on the BH forums that live in my community and read these forums, I would not want to misrepresent the situation. I probably have at least somewhat of a clearer view 20 months hence than the immediate emotional response at the time of receiving my termination news.

...
Thanks for the details regarding what happened at your institution. It confirms many of my suspicions. My biggest concern right now is not being laid off but our college being forced into a structure whereby we cannot maintain our current accreditation, one very similar to what you refer to, with the ratio of full-time faculty to part-time adjuncts being shifted considerably from what it is now. Our university is accredited, but our college has its own, far more rigorous and prestigious accreditation, and losing it would negatively impact our enrollments and particularly our ability to retain and recruit faculty. If that happened, I would likely choose to remain, even though it would mean that working conditions would certainly decline. I could almost certainly get a job elsewhere, but that would necessitate a big move, and we really love our current area and now have my parents nearby. At any rate, there seems to be no point in 'borrowing trouble from tomorrow', and we're just keeping our eyes open, heads down, and making lots of hay while the sun shines.

My DW really doesn't want to return to the workforce, so that would likely only happen in a 'worst case' scenario. But working at the same school where our daughter is likely to attend would be a big plus. But I really doubt that that would be necessary since I can likely work in the private sector and still keep us on track for FI by my early to mid 50s.

I'm really glad that you were able to turn around a situation that could have been much, much worse. It sounds like there is a high likelihood that you'll reach FI before too many years pass.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

smitcat
Posts: 6110
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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by smitcat » Mon Oct 07, 2019 10:53 am

CyclingDuo wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 10:02 am
willthrill81 wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:59 am
Was there still strong demand for your program when you and others were cut? If so, it's hard for me to wrap my brain around administration doing that unless yours and others' salaries were quite high, but university administrators have a reputation for frequently illogical behavior. Honestly, I attribute much of it to their backgrounds; their disciplines have not trained them to deal with running multi-million dollar organizations with hundreds or thousands of employees.
Demand was still there at a very similar run rate in terms of the number of majors that matched the preceding 5 or so years at the time of the cuts within our department. Considering there are some on the BH forums that live in my community and read these forums, I would not want to misrepresent the situation. I probably have at least somewhat of a clearer view 20 months hence than the immediate emotional response at the time of receiving my termination news.

A bit of right sizing had already taken place in our department prior to the past two years of cuts with some retirements, early retirement buyouts and those positions not getting filled. The arts got hit hard across the board due to the higher level of one on one teaching involved in those disciplines as well as quite a few smaller select class sizes for specific disciplines which means that the faculty to student ratio revenue model simply did not score well. As an example, I taught classes with as few as 5 or 6 students in them (required specialty classes for their major), classes with 20-40+ in them, and 18 - 24 hourly one on one required applied music lessons per week. I imagine this is more the norm in any college or university that offers a music, theater, or art degree. The solution in such department business models has always included having a lot of part-time adjunct teachers to cover all of the one on one lessons and smaller speciality classes. Trimming some of the full time professors who did a combination of all of that, and replacing them with several part-time adjuncts to cover the loads (ensembles, classes, one on one applied lessons) seems to be the cost effective solution for the colleges and universities to the problem with the intent of still serving the degree requirements for the majors. Striking a balance between quality full time professors and quality part-time adjuncts that still provide a good product for the students' tuition dollars seems to be the fine line schools will be walking to stay afloat in the competitive environment for attracting and retaining students.

Working as a part-time adjunct, I am now on that latter side of the equation. Now at age 58 and having done plenty of thought over the past 20 months, I am starting to view it in a different light as there have been plenty in such part-time positions in their late 50's, 60's and even 70's who have come before me at many colleges and universities. It could be a transition into retirement type of job that provides some income and less stress in terms of the duties that typically accompany full time faculty positions (serving on faculty committees, student advising, recruiting, research, etc...).

My department was music and our most common major (the bulk of majors) within the music degrees offered was Music Education. The other two majors offered included a performance degree in one's specific instrument (for those pursuing being a professional performer) and the fewer credits required Bachelor of Arts Music degree (often coupled with a double major in another discipline, and or a pair of minors). In terms of the bread and butter Music Education degree for our majors, the track record in terms of placement rate out in the field of public school teaching for our music education majors has always been 100% upon graduation. The careers we were preparing them for included excellent benefits (health/dental/life insurance, state pension, 403b/457b options, etc...). The success rate for the other two degrees in terms of entrance into graduate schools was also always very high. I would hesitate to call the bread and butter music education degree for the majority of the majors we taught as being left handed puppetry or less important than other majors. However, that's my view from within the industry and having been a professional musician the past 34 years.

Regardless, the full time staff that taught it at our college got trimmed in spite of the demand at the time of the cuts due to the overall college experiencing declining enrollment as cuts were made across the board in faculty and staff. More so in the arts in terms of faculty/staff cuts. The entire Art, German, and French majors were also cut. I believe if my numbers are somewhat correct that two full time positions were cut in my specific discipline (mine being one of them), two other full time positions in my department resigned for a variety of reasons, one took an early retirement buyout the year before all of the cuts were announced and was not replaced, one part-time adjunct resigned, and another was not invited back. The transition over the years meant that the department where I taught full time went from 15 full time faculty at the peak of the millennials down to the current 8 full time faculty. My specific discipline within the department had 4 full time, one 3/4 time, one full time who also devoted 1/2 of their load to my discipline, and one adjunct at the peak to serve all of the majors. Today it stands at 1 full time, one who also devotes part of their load to my discipline, and 4 adjuncts to serve the now lowered numbers.

What about demand now after the cuts? The negative news about the cuts became somewhat of a self fulfilling prophecy which resulted in the incoming classes for the department where I taught being smaller the past two years. That's an obvious result due to cutting the faculty (as well as those that resigned) and their recruiting efforts that went along with their positions (I used to spend hours on the phone, sending emails, cards, meeting with prospective students and their parents, giving sample lessons, etc... with regard to recruiting). It also impacted a bit of student retention in the department I was teaching, as a few students chose to transfer to other colleges due to the teachers that they came to study with being cut. Whether one looks at it as the cuts were justified now that the number of majors coming in has slowed, or the cuts created the scenario to slow the demand as key positions were terminated and the loss of their recruiting efforts and draw has resulted in lower numbers - it is what it is. The decisions and choices were made, and numbers both in terms of faculty and students reflect those decisions.

Fortunately, I still get to teach part-time in my discipline and do what I love to do in the field of music now as an adjunct professor for at least 15-20 hours per week. Last year was a bit of dip in my zeal for it which most likely was a normal reaction to being terminated and the process I had to go through personally. For whatever reason, my zeal has returned this year and it shows in my teaching. The scramble for the rest of my replacement income in a totally different and challenging (for me) field is starting to show improvement and has helped keep my end of the household income afloat. As mentioned above with the part-time adjunct teaching being a possible transition into retirement job by itself, the other job outside of my field that I have also has the potential to be a stand alone transition job into retirement. Who wouldn't want options to go either way provided the FI- part of the FIRE equation is set and a few years of transition work/income was welcomed? At least that's the way I am starting to begin viewing it all with regard to potential options simply based on where I have ended up at this point.

That being said, I wouldn't wish the process of a layoff or termination on any other. I would, as this thread has aptly pointed out, wish the preparation for a potential job loss on others to be ready at the time - no matter what their field. We were prepared in a lot of ways financially as well as diversity of household income. However, I was not, and still am not, ready to toss in the towel in terms of working and bringing in an income. I have a much more difficult work schedule in terms of hours and days worked now due to piecing together three jobs than when I was teaching full time at one job, so it wouldn't be surprising if I find I am unable to sustain my current level for years on end.
willthrill81 wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:59 am
Mine is one of the top ten majors in terms of enrollments (out of well over 100 at the institution), and we are certainly not overstaffed. Most of our courses are actually beyond 'capacity' this fall. But I'm taking your advice to heart and not betting on remaining in higher ed for the next 12-15 years.
I'm sure your department would score rather well on any program prioritization rubric if you are in the top ten for majors. That being said, keeping on top of your faculty contributions to your discipline and students, presentations, articles, books, research, program development, etc... would be well worth the effort for longevity.
CyclingDuo wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:05 am
You are on the right track with your thinking no matter how it all turns out. Hopefully, you also pursue other avenues of income streams for diversity of household income via authoring books/textbooks, research grants, career enhancing sabbaticals, etc... . I can't remember all of your household details, but after your child(ren) are old enough is your wife able to work and provide an additional income?
willthrill81 wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:59 am
My DW has a bachelor's in elementary ed and was practically offered a job at a private school this spring, but she wants to stay home, and I'm totally fine with that. If push came to shove, she certainly could do that though, especially if we knew that it would only be for a few years.
Oh, now there's a nice potential leg to add to or boost one of the legs in the traditional three legged stool if she could get vested in a pension by teaching for enough years (could be as few as 5 - 8 years depending on the district/state). I would go for a job with a public pension over a private. Even if we skip over the pension, bringing in more income to add to the risk portfolio leg could be well worth it. Every additional $250K saved can potentially provide $10K a year in retirement income via 4% SWR. Hence our cuts in expenses listed above to stay on target with our savings.
willthrill81 wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:59 am
With regard to increasing my own income, it's frankly hard for me to see it being worth my time right now. There's a LOT of front-end work with authoring a textbook, for instance, and it's a very competitive market. Research grants aren't much of an option in my area. Consulting is a definite possibility, but unless I spent more time doing that than I do with my current position, I probably couldn't increase my income by more than 10%. So the cost-benefit seems poor at the moment. But I'm definitely keeping my eyes open, and my area is such that if I lost my current job, I could enter the private sector and probably replace at least 70% of my income almost immediately, which would be fine since we're only spending 40% of my current income. Many of my skills lend themselves very well for remote work as well, which would definitely be my preference. Our immediate goal of paying off our mortgage should be reached in five months, and then we should have enough retirement savings within the next 3-5 years that would still enable me to retire in my early 60s even if we didn't make any future contributions.
That's where the earning power of DW comes into play... :beer
willthrill81 wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:59 am
If mine was a program like 16th century Italian poetry (you know what I'm talking about), a program that could easily be cut with virtually no ramifications to the institution and which is not very marketable in the private sector, combined with minimal savings, I would be on pins and needles right now. This is sadly the case for many thousands of academics across the country.
Yup, got the reference to left handed puppetry. I'm sure there are plenty on pins and needles at the moment. Italian was cut years ago at our college, but had it still been taught - it would've been cut as well. :D
willthrill81 wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:59 am
The only 'saving grace' that I see in at least some sectors of higher ed right now, especially mine, is that there are a lot of faculty who are right on the edge of retirement, voluntary or otherwise. At least 25% of those in my college are over 65, and several are well into their 70s, and many of them are one buyout option or health issue away from calling it quits.
Yes, based on what I saw where I worked those retirements and early buyouts - be it voluntary or otherwise - are the first signs that cuts are underway and either the positions will not be filled or will be filled with junior faculty at much lower, entry level salaries. You are also young enough that if you work another decade, you will catch the early years of the next large wave of demographics.
willthrill81 wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:59 am
It's so refreshing to see someone realize that one's quality of life is not dependent on consuming large quantities of the 'finer things'. We've always been frugal, but we too have become significantly more so in the last several years as our vision of our desired financial future has come into sharper focus and the future of my preferred profession has become less certain. We try to be purposeful with every dollar that we spend. For instance, we rarely go out for coffee anymore, but when I went out with a friend this week for some, I spent $2.50 on a drink that I would enjoy almost as much as one that cost $5. Our biggest splurge is travel, but even then, we put a lot of effort into finding ways to decrease costs and/or increase the value we get from it. Earlier this year, we took a week long trip to Disney World with family, stayed in one of the priciest hotels on property and ate very well but spent 'only' about $5k on the entire trip, including flights, whereas we could easily have spent $7k-$8k and gotten less value. My DW loves doing research for travel, and that has saved us a small fortune over the years. Next year, we're planning on renting a motor home to go to a couple of national parks, and a 10 day trip will probably cost us $3,500, whereas if we stayed in hotels, paying for them alone would cost that much.
Well done. You guys are doing it right!
willthrill81 wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:59 am
And I entirely agree with you that it's a very fruitful endeavor to really question which of one's expenses are essential (i.e. needs) and which are discretionary (i.e. wants). When I hear people here talk about spending multiples of the national median income, apart from taxes, on what they term as 'essentials', I can't help but shake my head.
I'll shake my head with you. The low unemployment rate and the impacts of consumerism with the blurred lines of wants vs. needs is quite eye opening.

We both grew up in homes of parents that lived through the depression, and our grandparents had plenty of stories and lifestyles to impart plenty of lessons upon us. We lived very frugally in our childhoods, college years, and certainly during the first two decades of our working careers. Even the years we spent living and working overseas, we lived well within our budget, but absolutely took advantage of the opportunity to travel cheaply while living there. I say cheaply because we had a mini-van and also used trains to get around on the cheap. Hopping in the mini-van in Vienna, we could be in Paris in 10.5 hours the speed I drive. So we traveled all over during my summer months off while we lived there with the kids, but it was all within our budget. It didn't hurt that I was paid an extra month's salary for summer vacation and an extra month's salary for the Christmas Holidays (who says working in a socialized country being paid by their government is a bad thing? :mrgreen: ).

In our discussions the past 20 months, I would say it has really been the past decade where we increased our spend on wants and some lines between wants and needs got a bit blurred or lumped together. Wine being the most obvious. Good grief!!! I won't even get into bicycling and the age old formula of N+1 being the number of bikes one needs who is addicted to the sport. :shock:

As I mentioned, it took a combination of awakening to evaluate our cash flow which was inspired by the FIRE movement, posts on these boards, the loss of a job, and now working with a slew of millennials in the technology world for my other job. The latter has led to my observations and discussions with many of them who have very good habits of saving, being frugal, bringing their lunch to work, wanting to FIRE.

So far, we are glad it was not too late to get things on track in a much more efficient manner and have managed to navigate through a job loss that hit at age 56. I remain humbled that it could have been a lot worse. Preparing for the future is clearly in focus now.

CyclingDuo
When we faced the first cycle of layoffs we began researching other areas where we could gain income and that we really liked to do. Over time we formed a fairly large chart that outlined the best and worst traits of many different methods to do this as a guide.
As a result we started a number of business's over time some small and some larger that were in place prior to the next cycle of layoffs.
For us this has been a very productive way to get on front of these cycles and the problems they generate in later years.
Always though the best way to attend a problem with income and expenses is to work on both sides of the equation as a best solution.

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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by YogurtRunner » Mon Oct 07, 2019 12:34 pm

JackoC wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 2:59 pm

Again I have no comment on individual cases except out of politeness I accept that however a person describes what happens to them, then that's what happened in that individual case.

But, looking at the forest not the trees, if US companies consistently fired more productive per $ employees because they were older, why would large US companies be generally significantly more profitable than large companies globally on average, and why would the US stock market's cap have expanded so much in % of total world stock market while the US economy was shrinking as % of world GDP?

This is not conclusive proof of course, but the other side of the argument never provides any rationale *why* companies would choose to fire equally productive per $ employees just because they were older. Which would imply a disregard for shareholder value, which is generally not the case with US companies by world standards, as stock values show.

Occam's Razor says companies generally fire who they fire and hire who they here because it allows the companies to produce more for a given labor cost. And that is not *discrimination* just because there might be *disparate impact*.
I'm looking around the open office layout right now and a few things jump out:
1) This dept. is ~70% foreign workers ages 25-35 imported for cost reasons, but also simply because there is a labor shortage.
2) This is very high tech, so we're talking about a part of the business where it is difficult to find those with enough intelligence to do the work, which is why I'm here at all at my ripe old age of 46. I've been here 15 months, they hired me as an FTE because finding and hiring FTEs here is actually difficult because of the company's generally poor reputation in the local tech scene. They burned a lot of bridges and colleagues told me not to come work here, but I didn't listen. Anyhow, it's not as bad as they said, it's the same job wherever I go pretty much.
3) Everyone on my team is younger than me including my Sr. Director (was Director when I started) and new Director are younger than me. I was not considered for management even though I could do a better job than most I have seen here. I do currently manage 4 non-FTE contractors, yay me, got off the bottom rung! The only other guy close to me in age i someone who has been here for almost his entire career, like 20 some years and he's a "sole survivor" mainly because his wife is a corporate attorney here, also with a long term history.
4) Turnover has been low other than some do-nothing contractors that we allowed to stay here way longer than I was comfortable with, we have been steady state or hiring for all of 2019 so far. We are also working on a high profile project, which helps the turnover.
5) The pace of the work was initially very high but as the team became established, my work hours have fallen off considerably.
6) We have people called "architects" whose job mostly consists of attending conferences, promoting diversity, and generally marketing this company for recruiting purposes.

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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by rj342 » Mon Oct 07, 2019 1:59 pm

YogurtRunner wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 12:34 pm
<sniped>
6) We have people called "architects" whose job mostly consists of attending conferences, promoting diversity, and generally marketing this company for recruiting purposes.
Ugh. I knew software "architect" as a title had acquired a bit of a taint in certain quarters due to too many white board prima donnas, but I didn't know it was getting as bad as you describe. Shame since architecture is vitally important for complex and//or long lived systems, and "architect" captures the essence of what they [should] do better than "principal engineer" which I tend to associate with inventor/hardcore expert/hands-dirty innovator types.

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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by Beefriendly » Mon Oct 07, 2019 3:24 pm

I would add a couple of "right away" things to do after getting a notice.
1. Politely ask in person for reference letters. Follow up with a email requesting them with a "would kindly appreciate receiving by xx date."
2. Polish up your linked in profile and expand your network. Every day set a goal of inviting 5 more people. This may not land you a job directly, but future employers look at your profile, and seeing that you are engaged.
3. Use your local unemployment office / workforce center resources for free resume reviews, classes, and really nice professional empathetic staff.

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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by CyclingDuo » Mon Oct 07, 2019 9:01 pm

Beefriendly wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 3:24 pm
I would add a couple of "right away" things to do after getting a notice.
1. Politely ask in person for reference letters. Follow up with a email requesting them with a "would kindly appreciate receiving by xx date."
2. Polish up your linked in profile and expand your network. Every day set a goal of inviting 5 more people. This may not land you a job directly, but future employers look at your profile, and seeing that you are engaged.
3. Use your local unemployment office / workforce center resources for free resume reviews, classes, and really nice professional empathetic staff.
Yes, all excellent advice for steps to take!
"Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time." ~ Steven Wright

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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by CyclingDuo » Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:29 pm

smitcat wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 10:53 am
When we faced the first cycle of layoffs we began researching other areas where we could gain income and that we really liked to do. Over time we formed a fairly large chart that outlined the best and worst traits of many different methods to do this as a guide.

As a result we started a number of business's over time some small and some larger that were in place prior to the next cycle of layoffs.

For us this has been a very productive way to get on front of these cycles and the problems they generate in later years.

Always though the best way to attend a problem with income and expenses is to work on both sides of the equation as a best solution.
Interesting. Would like to hear more about the creative process and some of the different methods you went through and utilized.

Agree with the latter bolded statement wholeheartedly!

Being our first rodeo getting thrown off the human capital bull in terms of experiencing a layoff, increasing our diversity of income over the past 20 months due to several jobs between the two of us in three separate industries (academia, federally mandated public school program, and technology) as well as working diligently on the expense side of the equation at least feels like we are positioned for what might come.

Yet - we are still tweaking and looking at potential additional steps to take...

Smitcat, at any point along the way in those cycles during the working years did you remove the mortgage debt to cut the P&I expense? In our case, the P&I is only 6.4% of gross income and 12.6% of net income we live on for our current budget (that's after taxes, pre-tax retirement deductions, pension contribution, health care premium contribution, ESPP)? Obviously, goal was to get it paid off by retirement or in the early years of retirement, but plenty of discussion has taken place over the past 20 months with my spouse about just writing a check and being done with it.

I'd worry a lot more about it if it was a higher percentage of our net income, but at least we are paying additional principal payments every month (which is programmed into the new budget we have been following this year).

CyclingDuo
"Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time." ~ Steven Wright

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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by smitcat » Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:47 pm

CyclingDuo wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:29 pm
smitcat wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 10:53 am
When we faced the first cycle of layoffs we began researching other areas where we could gain income and that we really liked to do. Over time we formed a fairly large chart that outlined the best and worst traits of many different methods to do this as a guide.

As a result we started a number of business's over time some small and some larger that were in place prior to the next cycle of layoffs.

For us this has been a very productive way to get on front of these cycles and the problems they generate in later years.

Always though the best way to attend a problem with income and expenses is to work on both sides of the equation as a best solution.
Interesting. Would like to hear more about the creative process and some of the different methods you went through and utilized.

Agree with the latter bolded statement wholeheartedly!

Being our first rodeo getting thrown off the human capital bull in terms of experiencing a layoff, increasing our diversity of income over the past 20 months due to several jobs between the two of us in three separate industries (academia, federally mandated public school program, and technology) as well as working diligently on the expense side of the equation at least feels like we are positioned for what might come.

Yet - we are still tweaking and looking at potential additional steps to take...

Smitcat, at any point along the way in those cycles during the working years did you remove the mortgage debt to cut the P&I expense? In our case, the P&I is only 6.4% of gross income and 12.6% of net income we live on for our current budget (that's after taxes, pre-tax retirement deductions, pension contribution, health care premium contribution, ESPP)? Obviously, goal was to get it paid off by retirement or in the early years of retirement, but plenty of discussion has taken place over the past 20 months with my spouse about just writing a check and being done with it.

I'd worry a lot more about it if it was a higher percentage of our net income, but at least we are paying additional principal payments every month (which is programmed into the new budget we have been following this year).

CyclingDuo

"Smitcat, at any point along the way in those cycles during the working years did you remove the mortgage debt to cut the P&I expense?"
No - it never made sense to do that. Our latest mortgage was and is a variable that has gone and stayed down so far.

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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by anoop » Fri Feb 07, 2020 1:06 pm

Resurrecting an old thread since I came across a relevant article with some interesting stats.
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/holdi ... 2020-02-07
Believe it or not, as you can see from the accompanying chart, they found that more than half of workers “experience an employer-related involuntary job separation after age 50 that substantially reduces earnings for years or leads to long-term unemployment.”
If I'm interpreting the chart correctly, it looks like < 20% make it to where they are still working at age 65.

This is something that has been on my mind a lot recently (I will be 50 this year) because I'm seeing a lot of people losing their jobs and remaining unemployed for extended periods -- individual contributor to SVP level.

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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by CyclingDuo » Fri Feb 07, 2020 1:19 pm

Yes, I will echo anoop's post. I was typing up a post on the very same thing as I just read the article.

Mark Hulbert tuned in today with yet another article that is indeed à propos for this thread.

Opinion: Holding on to a job after age 50 isn’t always easy

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/holdi ... yptr=yahoo

Not really anything that is new to the already well covered discussion here, but I keep seeing posts on occasion here at BH of folks going through a layoff in their 50's. I thought I would post the link to Mark's version of covering the subject today at MarketWatch.

It's also a good reminder for those in their working careers under the age of 50 to tweak their retirement saving rate and focus on future planning so that one is prepared for all scenarios.

Mark used this graphic which is just a refresh of the ProPublica, Urban Institute data I had posted before...

Image

Here is the one I posted previously based on the same data...

Image

I am fast approaching the two year point of first getting the layoff news of my prior job at age 56 (end of February 2018), so am in the middle of my second year of soldiering on with the replacement income I was able to find which involves more hours, but seems to have settled in around 10-12% below my prior salary. Not good for my SS benefit as Mark mentions in his article, but we bumped up our saving rate and cut household expenses to compensate for that. Spouse's salary climbed about the same amount as mine fell, so that improves her SS benefit. OMY at a time...

CyclingDuo
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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by anoop » Fri Feb 07, 2020 1:51 pm

CyclingDuo wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 1:19 pm
I am fast approaching the two year point of first getting the layoff news of my prior job at age 56 (end of February 2018), so am in the middle of my second year of soldiering on with the replacement income I was able to find which involves more hours, but seems to have settled in around 10-12% below my prior salary. Not good for my SS benefit as Mark mentions in his article, but we bumped up our saving rate and cut household expenses to compensate for that. Spouse's salary climbed about the same amount as mine fell, so that improves her SS benefit. OMY at a time...
What does OMY mean?

10-12% is not bad. I see up to 25% variation in my total compensation just depending on how the company does in any given year. Because there is tremendous consolidation happening in my field of work AND I have some health issues that I'm dealing with, I don't know if I'd be able to find anything at all. I've been investing very conservatively so even though I have all my retirement accounts max'ed out and substantial after tax savings, I still have a long way to go before I'd say I'm ready to go it without work. Not sure I can do much else to prepare.

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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by sergeant » Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:23 pm

OMY= One More Year
AA- 20+ Years of Expenses Fixed Income/The remainder in Equities.

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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by visualguy » Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:40 pm

anoop wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 1:06 pm
Resurrecting an old thread since I came across a relevant article with some interesting stats.
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/holdi ... 2020-02-07
Believe it or not, as you can see from the accompanying chart, they found that more than half of workers “experience an employer-related involuntary job separation after age 50 that substantially reduces earnings for years or leads to long-term unemployment.”
If I'm interpreting the chart correctly, it looks like < 20% make it to where they are still working at age 65.

This is something that has been on my mind a lot recently (I will be 50 this year) because I'm seeing a lot of people losing their jobs and remaining unemployed for extended periods -- individual contributor to SVP level.
Being an employee in your 50s in a career that doesn't have strong job security has always been a frightening situation if you didn't already have enough for a reasonable retirement. The economy is relatively good now, so as problematic as it is now for such people, it's a lot worse during recessions. You either need to plan to build a large-enough retirement portfolio before you reach that age, or work in one of the (relatively few) jobs with excellent job security, or be your own boss.

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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by KlangFool » Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:46 pm

CyclingDuo wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 1:19 pm
Yes, I will echo anoop's post. I was typing up a post on the very same thing as I just read the article.

Mark Hulbert tuned in today with yet another article that is indeed à propos for this thread.

Opinion: Holding on to a job after age 50 isn’t always easy

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/holdi ... yptr=yahoo

Not really anything that is new to the already well covered discussion here, but I keep seeing posts on occasion here at BH of folks going through a layoff in their 50's. I thought I would post the link to Mark's version of covering the subject today at MarketWatch.

It's also a good reminder for those in their working careers under the age of 50 to tweak their retirement saving rate and focus on future planning so that one is prepared for all scenarios.

Mark used this graphic which is just a refresh of the ProPublica, Urban Institute data I had posted before...

Image

Here is the one I posted previously based on the same data...

Image

I am fast approaching the two year point of first getting the layoff news of my prior job at age 56 (end of February 2018), so am in the middle of my second year of soldiering on with the replacement income I was able to find which involves more hours, but seems to have settled in around 10-12% below my prior salary. Not good for my SS benefit as Mark mentions in his article, but we bumped up our saving rate and cut household expenses to compensate for that. Spouse's salary climbed about the same amount as mine fell, so that improves her SS benefit. OMY at a time...

CyclingDuo
CyclingDuo,

But,

A) How do you tell anyone that has no laid off experience that they may not be continuously fully-employed until retirement age?

B) And, they should not be "House Poor" and buy that big expensive house assuming full-employment until retirement age?

Unfortunately, it is too late for many people when they faced this reality in their 50s. They had overspent on their houses and they do not have the time and the future earning to recover from the house mistake.

I know that I am fighting a losing battle. I am just saving whoever is willing to listen.

KlangFool

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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by CyclingDuo » Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:49 pm

anoop wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 1:51 pm
What does OMY mean?
Seargant replied, but it means staying in the game for one more year. The realization that future layoffs are always a possible scenario, I focus on OMY at a time as I am still willing and able to bring in income from my human capital as I do not feel burned out from working and was not ready for any sort of capitulation retirement. Branching out into a second line of work that is not related to what I have been doing the past 34-35 years has created a nice diversity of income and benefits. It also has the potential to provide more years of income if the wheels totally fall off the main gig I have been doing. Feel fortunate on the FI- side of FIRE, just not ready for the -RE part of the equation yet.

In particular, the OMY of particular interest to me was covered in the research...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxKRTwmMLDI
anoop wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 1:51 pm
10-12% is not bad. I see up to 25% variation in my total compensation just depending on how the company does in any given year. Because there is tremendous consolidation happening in my field of work AND I have some health issues that I'm dealing with, I don't know if I'd be able to find anything at all. I've been investing very conservatively so even though I have all my retirement accounts max'ed out and substantial after tax savings, I still have a long way to go before I'd say I'm ready to go it without work. Not sure I can do much else to prepare.
Outside of organizing and preparing diversity of income within the household and continuing to build your savings to cover any gap before SS, sounds like you are on a pretty good preparation track as it is. Is your health issue something that has the potential to improve?

CyclingDuo
"Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time." ~ Steven Wright

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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by anoop » Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:02 pm

CyclingDuo wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:49 pm
Is your health issue something that has the potential to improve?
What I've been told by doctors is to treat it like a chronic condition and manage my life around it. The maintenance medications cause a lot of side effects, and a relapse is always possible. There are promising new treatments in the pipeline. So a lot of uncertainty on how long I have to live, so I just take it one day at a time.

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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by CyclingDuo » Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:08 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:46 pm
A) How do you tell anyone that has no laid off experience that they may not be continuously fully-employed until retirement age?

B) And, they should not be "House Poor" and buy that big expensive house assuming full-employment until retirement age?

Unfortunately, it is too late for many people when they faced this reality in their 50s. They had overspent on their houses and they do not have the time and the future earning to recover from the house mistake.

I know that I am fighting a losing battle. I am just saving whoever is willing to listen.

KlangFool
No need to battle!

Regarding letter A, I think a thread like this goes a long way in helping inform others if they happen upon it. Not sure I was very aware that I was floating along in a boat on the river DeNial until the layoff hit. Even though I now see things in retrospect, I don't feel that telling it to anyone who will listen is perhaps a duty. I don't do that at my current places of employment as it seems like a socially odd discussion to have with colleagues. Seems better to have the discussion with family members.

Regarding letter B, I will agree with you regarding housing costs. Even long before any thoughts of what happens during your 50's, our housing has always been well within our income levels (rent or mortgage) at single or low double digit rates in the teens as a percentage of our household income. We only broached that discipline one time for rent in a HCOL European city where we paid 20% of household income during a 5 year stretch of living on a single income and raising small children.

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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by corn18 » Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:14 pm

I would like to get laid off @ age 55 (next year). Don't want to be fired, want to be RIF'd (I have a nice executive separation package in writing). How do I do that?
Don't do something, just stand there!

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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by KlangFool » Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:20 pm

corn18 wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:14 pm
I would like to get laid off @ age 55 (next year). Don't want to be fired, want to be RIF'd (I have a nice executive separation package in writing). How do I do that?
1) Do the opposite of whatever that makes you successful. Learn to be a Wally in Dilbert.

2) But, why would you want to do that after so many years of building up your reputation?

KlangFool

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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by corn18 » Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:23 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:20 pm
corn18 wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:14 pm
I would like to get laid off @ age 55 (next year). Don't want to be fired, want to be RIF'd (I have a nice executive separation package in writing). How do I do that?
1) Do the opposite of whatever that makes you successful. Learn to be a Wally in Dilbert.

2) But, why would you want to do that after so many years of building up your reputation?

KlangFool
2) to retire
Don't do something, just stand there!

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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by KlangFool » Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:27 pm

corn18 wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:23 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:20 pm
corn18 wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:14 pm
I would like to get laid off @ age 55 (next year). Don't want to be fired, want to be RIF'd (I have a nice executive separation package in writing). How do I do that?
1) Do the opposite of whatever that makes you successful. Learn to be a Wally in Dilbert.

2) But, why would you want to do that after so many years of building up your reputation?

KlangFool
2) to retire
corn18,

Sorry. That does not work for me. I have a stupid sense of family honor and reputation to upheld. It goes back thousands of years.

KlangFool

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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by corn18 » Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:48 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:27 pm
corn18 wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:23 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:20 pm
corn18 wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:14 pm
I would like to get laid off @ age 55 (next year). Don't want to be fired, want to be RIF'd (I have a nice executive separation package in writing). How do I do that?
1) Do the opposite of whatever that makes you successful. Learn to be a Wally in Dilbert.

2) But, why would you want to do that after so many years of building up your reputation?

KlangFool
2) to retire
corn18,

Sorry. That does not work for me. I have a stupid sense of family honor and reputation to upheld. It goes back thousands of years.

KlangFool
So sorry to offend you. My sole purpose in life is to live up to the moral standards of a guy on the internet.
Don't do something, just stand there!

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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by KlangFool » Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:50 pm

corn18 wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:48 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:27 pm
corn18 wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:23 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:20 pm
corn18 wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:14 pm
I would like to get laid off @ age 55 (next year). Don't want to be fired, want to be RIF'd (I have a nice executive separation package in writing). How do I do that?
1) Do the opposite of whatever that makes you successful. Learn to be a Wally in Dilbert.

2) But, why would you want to do that after so many years of building up your reputation?

KlangFool
2) to retire
corn18,

Sorry. That does not work for me. I have a stupid sense of family honor and reputation to upheld. It goes back thousands of years.

KlangFool
So sorry to offend you. My sole purpose in life is to live up to the moral standards of a guy on the internet.
No offense was taken. That was my burden to bear. It was not yours.

KlangFool

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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by wolf359 » Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:55 pm

corn18 wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:14 pm
I would like to get laid off @ age 55 (next year). Don't want to be fired, want to be RIF'd (I have a nice executive separation package in writing). How do I do that?
Can you just let them know that you're volunteering to be RIF'd? You leave on friendly terms, your reputation is intact, and they avoid making a really hard choice on who to lay off. It makes their job easier.

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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by corn18 » Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:57 pm

wolf359 wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:55 pm
corn18 wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:14 pm
I would like to get laid off @ age 55 (next year). Don't want to be fired, want to be RIF'd (I have a nice executive separation package in writing). How do I do that?
Can you just let them know that you're volunteering to be RIF'd? You leave on friendly terms, your reputation is intact, and they avoid making a really hard choice on who to lay off. It makes their job easier.
I'm thinking about doing that. We jut finished a big merger so I am waiting on some tea leaves to show themselves.
Don't do something, just stand there!

gogleheads.orb
Posts: 138
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:34 pm

Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by gogleheads.orb » Fri Feb 07, 2020 4:13 pm

even if you ask, it doesn't mean that they will necessarily do it. I have a coworker who went in and yelled at this boss for not laying him off a few years ago. We have had two rounds since then and he is still around. Maybe they don't take him seriously. Don't know.

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Harry Livermore
Posts: 427
Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2019 5:32 am

Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by Harry Livermore » Fri Feb 07, 2020 5:22 pm

visualguy wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:40 pm
anoop wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 1:06 pm
Resurrecting an old thread since I came across a relevant article with some interesting stats.
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/holdi ... 2020-02-07
Believe it or not, as you can see from the accompanying chart, they found that more than half of workers “experience an employer-related involuntary job separation after age 50 that substantially reduces earnings for years or leads to long-term unemployment.”
If I'm interpreting the chart correctly, it looks like < 20% make it to where they are still working at age 65.

This is something that has been on my mind a lot recently (I will be 50 this year) because I'm seeing a lot of people losing their jobs and remaining unemployed for extended periods -- individual contributor to SVP level.
Being an employee in your 50s in a career that doesn't have strong job security has always been a frightening situation if you didn't already have enough for a reasonable retirement. The economy is relatively good now, so as problematic as it is now for such people, it's a lot worse during recessions. You either need to plan to build a large-enough retirement portfolio before you reach that age, or work in one of the (relatively few) jobs with excellent job security, or be your own boss.
Ditto. This happened to my dad in the late 1980's, just as I was finishing college and the other 3 siblings were in the thick of it. It put quite a strain on my parents financially, and ultimately my dad never quite recovered, professionally or emotionally. It was a sobering lesson for me. While I am self-employed, so technically not subject to a "layoff", I have watched trends in my industry very carefully and noted threats to my livelihood. In short, it's the same thing as others here have expressed. Younger folks are doing the same work much cheaper. And while I have serious doubts that these younger folks will ever own a home, send kids to college without debt, or even retire, they sure seem excited to be in my industry, charging half what I charge.
Luckily for me, I had 8 extremely good years from 2008-2015, fully funded the Keough, put cash in the taxable, and was able to buy a larger home while keeping our old residence as a rental. If my wife and I are careful, we can easily get all three kids through college debt-free and downsize into a secure retirement. If I can look back and be proud of any money moves in my life, it's that I had the discipline to put the money away and not buy a bunch of fun toys. I'm also lucky to have a spouse on the same page.
Kids, start saving from Day One. Many of you will be chucked to the curb as soon as you are "too old" and "too expensive" (though no employer will ever be honest enough to say this) And you may be surprised how young "too old" is, and how NOT expensive "too expensive" is...
Cheers

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