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No. of Recommendations: 2
An interesting question came up. Is it better to be fired or to retire, assuming you plan to retire (i.e. not get another job)? If you are fired I think you're eligible for unemployment, where if you retire you are not. In my case, they don't even do gold watches for retirement. Just an exit interview, and maybe a retirement lunch.

I hadn't ever really thought about it before, but from a financial perspective it seems getting fired is preferable if you're going to retire anyway.

Thoughts?

1poorguy
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No. of Recommendations: 2
I hadn't ever really thought about it before, but from a financial perspective it seems getting fired is preferable if you're going to retire anyway.

Thoughts?

1poorguy


In my case I all but begged to be laid off - generous layoff benefits. but no deal. I had to quit. Five years later, what's the difference?

Fergiddaboudit. Your integrity is worth more than that.

CNC
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No. of Recommendations: 1
I do expect all those who bitch and complain about not getting every single dollar from social security would choose being fired -- unless of course they are vain and don't want that stain on their permanent record.

Many people are dependent on their work for personal validation. That is sad. Sure I enjoyed my work, but just as being 20 something ends, work ends. The importance of former employees declines rapidly. For most one's post departure half life is measured in months if not weeks.
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No. of Recommendations: 0
Boy is this ever timely.

I’m about 3 weeks out from maybe getting laid off. I say maybe because we’re getting emails that say maybe this or maybe that, then a month of silence. I’m 56 with a boatload saved in my 401K and I don’t really need another job if I decide to just stay home.

Yeah I don’t usually get unemployment because I find new jobs before I qualify for it. Maybe this time?

I would have stayed through 60 because DH wants to work till 60 but it’s really tempting to just…stay unemployed. Really tempting.

You know what I want to do? I want to counsel college kids on money. How do I get a job doing that?
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No. of Recommendations: 3
Well, getting fired would allow you to apply for unemployment. That’s the only upside I can see.

I think my pride would be hurt if I got fired. Never been fired before. <knock wood>

I’m hoping for a layoff, myself, at some point. Most people at my company are offered 26 weeks of salary and paid COBRA in a layoff, which have been very rare.

My company also pays a retirement bonus of, I think, $500 for each year you worked there. Maybe it’s $250. The couple people I know that got laid off close to retirement age got the bonus, too. Rather have the cash than a gold watch!!
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No. of Recommendations: 2
The best deal usually comes when offered a package to take a buy out. Incentive can include x months of pay (I got 16 months) based on years of service, early retirement with participation in company employees health insurance at employee rates (usually much cheaper than Cobra) and goes all the way to Medicare. They also offer assistance finding employment. Help with resume and printing costs.

The normal retirement includes all of the above but you don't have much negotiation power and you won't get severance pay; just pension.

Severance pay usually requires signing an agreement not to sue (for age discrimination or dozens of others: health, age, religion,race, sexual orientation). Collecting unemployment can be touchy depending on circumstances.

When you are ready to retire, best is to wait for a package to be offered.
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No. of Recommendations: 1
My company doesn't offer "packages", at least not to low-level people like me. Maybe executive staff? Dunno.

If there were a lay-off, the only benefit would be that once conditions improved, if I was otherwise in good-standing, they would offer to bring me back. But business is doing well, and no lay-off is in sight. And I would be unlikely to use COBRA (is that even an option if you're fired?).**

As for pride, I don't really care. If I am never seeing these people again, then it doesn't matter to me. If I were to get myself fired, I'd just stop responding to requests. Refuse to come in, don't do anything. It wouldn't take long, I suspect. I'm not close to anyone at work, so it wouldn't matter what they think of me when I'm gone.

Just a thought experiment. I hadn't even considered it until someone mentioned it was better to get fired than to retire.

1poorguy



**I've survived a bunch of lay-offs. Probably 4 or 5. One of those was only for "PIPs" (people in trouble with HR anyway). One time my manager called a last-minute meeting, and when it started he said "if you're in this room, you're safe...we just had a lay-off".
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No. of Recommendations: 6
Was laid off when I was 56... It was 4 or 5 years sooner than I planned, but I decided to retire. Best decision I ever made.

StockGoddess, your dream job of counseling college kids about money/finances sounds great. I would start even earlier, at high school level, when many kids first start working. Starting then might help them avoid massive student loans, expensive schools, etc.

Good luck, whatever your decision, but I'd urge you to cash it in.

regards,
Kris
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No. of Recommendations: 4
A month after I quit (that's how you retire as a worker-bee in the software biz, no retirement benefits, just a goodbye lunch hosted by colleagues, not even by the company)--my smallish company was bought out by a great big company. Since I had moved from CA to SC and was working long-distance, I figure I would've been hot material for layoff after the buyout--with layoff bennies. So too bad I didn't wait!

I also would not care about getting fired, not after years of experience and promotions. Working in the software biz, I had seen the illogic of some of those laid off vs kept on, so I wouldn't have taken it as a poor reflection on myself anyhow.

1pg, you've been talking about retiring periodically for a few years now IIRC. Unless there's a layoff or buyout coming down the pike, I'd pull the plug if you truly want out.

As for those who worry about being bored, I truly do not understand with so much to read, listen to, stream, work on, travel to...
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No. of Recommendations: 4
"I’m about 3 weeks out from maybe getting laid off. "
---------------------------------
I retired 3 years ago, and was 99% sure that I was going to do it 2 years before that date.
I did not have to "set a date", but I did want to leave on good terms, and not put an unnecessary
burden on my coworker.

About 6 months before my "day" came, the mega-corp canvassed people about their willingness to leave if given a "buyout". I told them I was willing, but did not get my hopes up about getting
this windfall, as they had done this before and never followed thru on it. When my day came, I left.
I had a couple of coworkers in the same position, they wanted and were able to retire, but insisted they would not leave unless they got the buyout. As I was enjoying the best, most carefree, workfree
Summer of my adult life, they stayed working. They both ended up retiring at the end of the year, sans buyout.

If you are financially able to retire, once you get a taste of being laid off, you'll probably
not want to go back to the grind. Life is short, enjoy your days.
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No. of Recommendations: 1
I was planning to pull the plug last year. But with COVID, plus cancer and a few other problems, we couldn't have done anything anyway. So I stayed. Current plan is Jan 1 of 2022.

Hopefully won't get too bored, nor any brain atrophy. Have two trips planned already (one in 2022, one is 2023). Want to fill in some more, but those two are set.
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No. of Recommendations: 1
Jan1--just count down the days :-D

IIRC you're still in your 50s. I'm SO glad we traveled in our 50s & early 60s as we can't travel now. The future isn't guaranteed to anyone.

MY FAVE TRIPS
African safari (Victoria Falls and Okavango delta in dry season...up close & personal w/lions, leopards, elephants, giraffs, zebras, warthogs, buffalo, monkeys...)
France & Italy, especially towns, villages, countryside
Oxford/Cambridge/Cotswolds/Bath UK
US Natl & state parks, esp Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Utah parks, Monument Valley...
Nova Scotia/Cape Breton/PEI/Quebec (I've never been to Western Canada, but I'm sure I would've loved it, too)
California (eek, before it burns up!) Death Valley in cooler weather, Napa/Sonoma, Bay Area... I even like LA
New Mexico (esp ABQ Balloon Fiesta in October and camping in southern NM in fall)
Florida in winter
SC coast, esp Charleston area and Pawley's Island area
Northern Michigan & Door County Wisconsin in late spring/summer, esp guided nature walks
Indian pueblos/reservations/archeological sites/museums

I would like to have seen Japan and the PNW/British Columbia.
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Yeah...late 50s.

We've done some traveling, but wish we had done more before our issues of the last 18 months. It will be a bit more challenging now, but we're still healthy enough to do it.

I'd love to hear about the safari that included Victoria Falls. I've sniffed around that (spurred-on by sandyleelee), and I never found that option. Though there was a gorilla option that sounded cool.

One thing I would like to do is the Galapagos. We do plan to return to Europe. Banff NP is on the list (I've been there, 1poorlady hasn't).

Once it's too hard to travel, we'll probably get a dog or two. Right now it isn't fair to the dog to leave for weeks or months at a time, otherwise we'd have one or two now.

You never know how much time you have. I'm hopeful we'll be able to hit the bucket list items, and maybe even travel through some smaller European towns and other cities that are off the beaten path.
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No. of Recommendations: 1
In the professional cost reductions (ie layoffs) I have seen it is common to circulate a list of employees sorted by salary among managers.

Musical chairs is played by the "do we need this person" routine. Those working on key projects they plan to keep are likely to be exempted. Those on projects to be dropped get terminated (unless they are needed for a keeper).
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No. of Recommendations: 1
My BFF used to be a travel agent. She put together a Botswana safari with Ker & Downey (14, 15 years ago IIRC) for the 4 of us.

After a night in Jo'burg, we met DD in Livingstone, Zambia, where we stayed at a rustic resort a short walk to Victoria Falls. We'd walk by monkeys and zebra right on the grounds. DD was working in Lusaka, Zambia at the time and drove down to spend a couple of days with us. We had a sunset cruise on the Zambezi, where we saw hippos. DD and the hubster took ultra-light flights over the falls, and loved it (heh--I went shopping to avoid worrying). Then we spent 3 days each at 3 different camps with our friends. Everything about it was awesome...the facilities--each of which had only a few tents so no crowds where we camped or in our jeep (just the 4 of us) or when viewing wildlife. The guides, the wildlife and scenery--totally fab. We took short walking tours at 2 of the camps--with a well-armed guide. I'm SO happy we went. It was truly unbelievable. If I were rich and the hubster were well, I'd return in a heartbeat. 2 of the camps we stayed at were Shinde and Kanana.

https://www.kerdowneybotswana.com
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No. of Recommendations: 4
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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I texted BFF for the name of the 3rd camp. It's Selinda. I think that was the camp from which we took a boat trip to go birdwatching. I remember hundreds of marabou storks, among other wonders.
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No. of Recommendations: 10
Alstro, your African trip sounded wonderful.

I always regret not getting to the African continent, other than a bit of North Africa...but DH and I have decided the preliminary flight is too long now...

One brother lived in Ghana for several years, my sister lived in Kenya for several years, and my mother who had travelled all over the world (and was the first white woman many Indians or Chinese had seen,) said that of all the beauty she saw in the world, Africa had the most....( and she ended up in New Zealand which is REALLY beautiful in my eyes!)

Retirement. Selling our house helped us move to the Old People's Home, and we are not rich like other people here, but we are secure, I believe.

I was unwilling retire. Loved my job, only 64, but my daughter was having a difficult pregnancy. I still teach English as a Second Language, but as a volunteer.
DH retired a few months ago.(he's 78) He still works pro bono with some of his clients, even though he passed them on to his successor.(They like DH) But he is soooo busy and soooo happy, and he loves not having to get up early!

Now in retirement he has written and published a book of memoirs with lovely photos, he swims every day, he has organized and catalogued his menu collection....1015 menus, and the Archivist at the American Culinary Institute which has already 42,000 menus, is in contact and interested in his collection.He has returned to duplicate bridge, choir, current affairs discussion group, travel plans (we had to cancel a lot) and his beloved world soccer on TV.We have several games going on "Lexulous" and a three-day trip to Napa and the wine country starting tomorrow.Last week he ran a four-day "Bridge Camp" for the three grandsons and feels they have a reasonable grounding in the game. (Mornings Bridge, afternoons swimming pool, relaxing etc)

I want to encourage anyone who is worrying about "being bored" in retirement...we have found it is a time of renewal, new hobbies, new friends, time to learn whatever you want,....(Well, not enough time to do everything we are interested in , but that's our fault!)
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No. of Recommendations: 1
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.

If you are financially able to retire, I'd say if offered a package consider it carefully.

I was on the cusp of being financially able to retire when I accepted a package. But I found job opportunities. I signed up with a temp agency. They placed me. That job became permanent. I retired three years later.

Your experience makes you valuable especially if you have your own health insurance. Universities like to hire adjunct professors to teach some courses. Real world job experience can be a selling point.

I'm a chemist. I signed with Kelly Scientific, the Kelly Girl people. Today temps are available for a wide variety of professions. And I found the pay negotiable and attractive.

When the time comes, an attractive job offer could make the difference.
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SG: You know what I want to do? I want to counsel college kids on money. How do I get a job doing that?


Your average college kid doesn't have any money. Your average investor takes stock tips from their buddy at the water cooler, jumping from stock to stock, and dabbling in bitcoin and trying to time the market, buying high and selling low.

Your challenge would be finding college kids with money who will actually listen.
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Your challenge would be finding college kids with money who will actually listen.

Money is optional. The most important financial step I took when I was young was to read Andrew Tobias's The Only Investment Guide You Will Ever Need. Why was it so important? It taught me what not to do! Use enough good - in this case bad - examples and I think you have a fair chance of making enough of an impression that some of them will avoid falling into financial traps when they eventually have funds.
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While I believe this may be extremely rare these days, one advantage to retiring vs. being fired could be if the company offers any type of medical benefits to retirees.

The company that I am with right now has been acquired, but it is not looking like there will be any layoffs as both companies are still aggressively hiring. I have been casually looking at the job market, and would definitely take a package if offered but also plan to quit if I find an opportunity that I think can be my last stop (currently 46).
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If you are financially able to retire, I'd say if offered a package consider it carefully.

Oh yeah--if I get offered a package, I have no question at all that I'd take it.

I think for me the difficult thing, in the absence of an outside "push" is going to be deciding when it's time. I can, unfortunately, see myself saying, "Well, I know I was going to wait until after I replaced the windows and redid the bathroom before I retired, but it should would be nice to have that outside kitchen done..." or whatever. (I don't even want an outside kitchen--too hot here much of the time...).

I find myself marveling sometimes that I'm actually old enough--and have enough money--to even be THINKING about stopping work in one form or another. I'll probably do some sort of phased retirement, mostly because I'm chicken....
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Big decision... Many different situations, I liked my 'job', work was interesting , good managers, supervisors, c0o-workers I'd known for many years, but they had been slipping away, retiring, layoffs, death came way too early, and the company (WeCo/AT&T/Lucent), was changing, a lot of the positives were fading as more senior managers left, leaving the likes of Fiorina, McGinn up top, raping the company for their own nest eggs, it seemed.. I hadn't thought there would be further 'Offers', but then as I came near 62 years old, near 40 years service, an offer did come along that could add to the pension. DW was working, doing well, and able to switch jobs because of my stability. So as my bosses left over trivial BS from up above, I was going to have to retrain newbies supervision, or more likely be put out on long haul transfers I was getting tired of. Recent orders left me herding newbies to do common work, that most were really bad at, so frustrations, tensions, led to my jumping on the offer, surprised some, but it was time... Took that first year off to sort out investments, force the company to live up to their promised annuity, from the offer. Turned out our/my investments were a bit better than expected, in spite of a huge loss of LU shares.. And buying into Apple had begun to pay off, eventually adding dividends...

Anyway, you'll know when it's time, it's nearly 20 years ago I left, still miss a lot of the work, people, but it's never boring.. We've traveled a lot, camped a lot, still doing projects, remodeling, most recently painting the interior, and chasing grandkids and family about.. Make the most of the time we have, while we can... The world awaits, well as soon as we get past this covid mess...

All the best...
weco
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Universities like to hire adjunct professors to teach some courses. Real world job experience can be a selling point.

My husband was a CS adjunct then a full-time staff instructor (5-yr contract), then a full-time sr staff instructor (another 5-yr contract) after his last startup went down in the tech wreck. He only has a masters and it isn't even in computer science. But he had over 30 years of industry experience. He enjoyed teaching--and having 1 month of vacay in winter and 3 in summer ;-) Non-tenure-track positions don't have to publish-or-perish either, although DH did because he loved research and writing. It was during these teaching years that we did the lion's share (ahem) of our travel.
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No. of Recommendations: 1
I want to counsel college kids on money.

When my husband taught the intro to MS Office course for non-CS majors, he used as raw material for the spreadsheet a budget for new college grads--specifically, the effect of buying a brand new car vs a used car.

Maybe you could teach budgeting or life skills to HS/college/grad school kids--or adults/retirees.
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in the absence of an outside "push" is going to be deciding when it's time.

In my case I did the TMF analysis and determined what I needed in assets to retire using the 4% rule. I decided to retire when my assets reached double that number (in the dot.com boom). The extra buffer came in handy when the dot.com bust soon followed.

Having been tested by a stock market crash and survived builds much confidence in your plan.

Other factors are job related. Some find their jobs challenging and interesting. If you are well treated and enjoy your job, there is no hurry to retire. Some find a job a social experience and co-workers are almost like family.

Of course when you reach the upper salary scales, there can be pressure from management to move on and give someone else a chance to grow.

Long term survivors learn not to let anyone know what you dislike. Some will use those vulnerabilities to make your life miserable. Hoping you will retire without requiring severance pay. For my company severance pay was a big budget item for the profit center. So bosses were reluctant (to give up their bonuses) until funds arrived from above. It took a long time to get it all done. Patience is required.
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No. of Recommendations: 18
Like clouds and love and life I’ve looked at retirement from Both Sides Now.

I survived two company Presidents, but the third one was an idiot and I hated him. Luckily he didn’t like me either, so out I went. Exit package was one year salary continuance and all benefits. My Westinghouse stock options were all underwater so I lost all of that, but I had been a good boy saving tons along the way, most of my annual bonuses which were significant towards the end and I couldn’t wait to get out. When the year ran out I also got unemployment (and felt no guilt, having paid into it for 30 years) so there was that…

I also knew that I was going out at the peak, there was no other job (I could reasonably get) that I wanted, so I retired. Age 47. I’m now 74 and I’m so glad I did. I have found so much to do including, at times, nothing. But travel, reading, RVing, workshop, cats and so much more have made my life Uber-fulfilling, and now my health is failing and I can’t easily travel or do much of that, so I’m so happy I had the chance to.

Mrs. Goofy, by contrast, has retired three times. The first two times it did not take; she was bored and was enticed back, remembered why she disliked it and quit again. And again. Luckily for me third time’s the charm and we’re both out. She still travels without me; she went to Guatemala before the plague year last year, and she vacations with girlfriends on the East Coast sometimes. She hopes for Africa when travel eases; not for me. I’m sorry I missed Germany and the Scandinavian countries but you can’t have everything.

We were both overly involved in our personal identification with our jobs, but I shed it more easily than she did. It’s fine now, but I understand the issue for others.

I have had the discussion with people hereabouts who want to keep working to maximize their income for their “later years.” My view is “for what?” If you have enough, you have enough. You probably can’t travel when you’re 85 but you can have really nice paintings on the walls?

There’s the philosophy: If you have enough you have enough. I wish I could write a song.
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Retired 27 years? Dang. 4% rule works?

That is something to think about for sure. “Enough is enough”. My mom waited way too long and now half her friends are dead and her knees are shot. I don’t want to be her.
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"I have had the discussion with people hereabouts who want to keep working to maximize their income for their “later years.” My view is “for what?” If you have enough, you have enough. You probably can’t travel when you’re 85 but you can have really nice paintings on the walls?

There’s the philosophy: If you have enough you have enough. I wish I could write a song."
---------------------------------

words of wisdom there !
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"“Enough is enough”. My mom waited way too long and now half her friends are dead and her knees are shot. I don’t want to be her."

Indeed. As I have said before, I have been "out" for 20+ years now, since the layoff back then -- which paid for our down payment on our beloved home here on the mountain.

By the way, for those who get handed a "settlement", as I was, if you have a few days to consider it, go to a lawyer and run through it with him/her. I did, and it paid off. One humorous element back then was that it originally said I could never work there again (!?), even though there was no "cause"! Per my attorney, I made them remove that, and some other silliness -- and then they begged me back for a special task a week or two later (at more money)! Stupid people. Glad to be long done with them -- and later "generations" of similar "bosses"!

It may take adjustments, but my dear wife has always been a clever shopper, anyway, and still is.

By the way, I think a big lesson most people -- especially young ones -- need to learn is how to SHOP for food and other things! I think some of the awful debt they run up is due to sheer foolishness. No coupons, always brand names, etc., for example. They need real, down-to-earth advice.

Mainly, folks, do what works for YOU -- not what everyone else says you have to do.

Good luck.

Vermonter
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