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As far as retirement, as someone else said, only you know if you can make it work.

Severance packages are usually lump sum, not "multiple year." They cut you loose with a flat fee and wash their hands of you - they don't want to keep paying you over time. That's mostly the point of a severance. They are also usually prorated based on one's seniority with company, and level of responsibility in the organization. A secretary with 5 years there would typically get a lot less than a VP with 10 years tenure for example. HR MUST set a consistent policy here or they open themselves to lawsuits. That said, it's somewhat negotiable for some of the small items like access to job placement services, etc. There's also usually a tight deadline for exercising any stock options ( a few months) so be sure you understand what that is.

As far as non-compete, I have never really seen that - or only at extremely high levels of an organization. There is of course a non-disclose policy.

Only you know what your company's package is and if it is a good offer. When I got laid off I ended up with nearly six months salary, plus my accrused vacation. I started consulting almost immediately, so it was a nice emergency cushion to allow me to start my own business. You could consider that route too - could you hang up your on shingle and continue to work in your industry?
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