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Hi Jim,

My first thought is that you're overrating the severance package. There's a rough professional standard of one week of severance per year of service with the company. And several factors can multiply that, such as seniority of one's position, the company wanting to appear generous, or you having legal leverage against the company (such as an age discrimination case.) Invariably, severance packages include an agreement that you indemnify the company of any such legal claims. But at any rate, six months of severance pay is on the high side, and a year's pay would be about the most one would ever expect.

(Also consider this - why would they give you multiple years of severance pay, when they could just keep you employed for the same price instead, and still have your services?)

As Ginkgo says, severance is usually a lump sum. However, nothing stops you from simply investing the lump sum to create a stream of income for yourself. If the income from that and from your other savings (plus Social Security when eligible) is enough for you to retire on, you can do so.

And I think you know this, but just to spell it out: you're under no obligation to accept any severance package if you don't agree to any strings attached, such as a non-compete clause. If you don't already have a non-compete as part of your employment, you're free to decline the severance and take a new job.

Hope that helps,
- Erik
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