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In the professional cost reductions (ie layoffs) I have seen it is common to circulate a list of employees sorted by salary among managers.

That's a concern I have for myself; I have longevity with my company and I know I'm quite near the top of my pay band. Covid caused us all to work from home, and during the last year, my local office shrank quite a lot--once we go back into the office, if we go, we'll only have about 5 people that ever come into the office at all. I'm the only local manager, but my boss has said I'm free to continue to work at home as much as I want, since no one who reports to me is actually here, they're in other cities. The good thing is I can manage my team from anywhere, and the other good thing is that I'm really good at my job, but the bad thing is: anyone can do my job from anywhere, and the company could probably pay them a good bit less money.

Right now (I'm 56) I'm struggling a little bit to figure out if I should just retire or if I'm in the "last gasp" of my career. There are things professionally I'd like to achieve, I suppose, but I'm also realistic they're unlikely to happen where I'm at. And changing companies just seems like an unnecessary hassle. I recently approached my boss about a job that was posted internally that would have been as significant promotion for me--I thought, "what the hell, make another run at the corner office," but he very politely shut me down, assuring me I was free to apply but "be careful about wasting everyone's time." So I didn't apply, and the post was pulled a day later, indicating they'd already identified someone for the position before they even posted it (they commonly do this where I work...). So in that respect, I was glad I didn't waste MY time.

I'm one of those weirdos who probably puts too much of my self-identification in my job--maybe--but I've also been thinking about jumping ship and planning my retirement as long as I can remember. My long-term long-distance boyfriend, who is quite a bit older than I am, just bought a condo in my city, so I suspect with him being close I'll be thinking more and more about retirement to spend more time hanging with him. Money-wise I'm OK... but another year or two would really firm up my $$ situation and allow me to do certain upgrades to my house before I pull the plug.

This is an interesting discussion, and 1poorguy, I think you and I really close to the same age. It's interesting seeing people I've "grown up with" on these boards, like 1poorguy and StockGoddess and others to be at a similar place in life. My old boss retired 2 years ago, and he was someone I worked with for years and ultimately we've become very close friends. I always saw him as "a company guy" and was a little surprised when he told me shortly before he retired it was only ever a job to him. I think for me it has been a job, but maybe a little more. It's been a social thing for me, for sure. However, it's also telling that since Covid started, two people I worked with and was close to, work-wise, were laid off, and two more retired. I thought we were pretty tight, something more than work friends, and yet we never reach out to each other now that they're gone.

I'd like to travel, and I have some projects I'd like to do, and my garden definitely needs attention, so I look forward to having time to do all that stuff. I don't think I'll be bored in retirement--I remember when my dad retired and we were all like "He's gonna be back at work in 6 months," but he never was. I may be like that myself.
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