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Final Year Pre-retirement

I just entered my final year of work. I informed my boss of my retirement date and told him I wanted to make this a productive year. I have always been a high performer in the office and want to make sure my departure leaves the staff in good shape. I am a very active volunteer and leader in my area. I didn’t see that changing this year.

 

Perhaps I am overreacting but I see a difference in how I am treated. I get the feeling that my boss has determined that I am retired in place (RIP). I just reviewed my annual performance review. It was high in praise and acknowledging my performance as usual but my rating was just midpoint. I am pretty certain this is to allow those in need of raises and more permanent to the company to get them. I can kind of see the logic and at the same time see it as unfair. It’s the first time I have ever been unhppy with my review.

 

Have other people seen this type of behavior in your final year of work? I want to remain positive and productive but feel this type of environment will wear me out. I don’t want to count the days and dread going to work, especially from a job I have loved over the years.

 

Tom

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Honored Social Butterfly

I never thought about it at the time, but this corporate change has made a big difference in my retirement. Due to divestiture in the electric power industry, the entire department in which I worked for 16 years was sold to other utility companies .. with all of my former coworkers. Then after 12 years in another department, that facility with all the personnel was also sold to another company, which wasn't even in our region. So most of my former coworkers have been working for other companies long enough, by the time they retired, to not consider themselves retirees of our original company .. which I do with 28 years in. When I attend our retirees luncheons, there's almost no one that I knew from work, because they're all from departments the company didn't sell off! 


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I entered retirement last week. I thought I would give some final thoughts for anyone following this thread. My final year was very hectic. There was a scramble for me to get as much done and transitioned as possible before my departure. I was given a substantial project seven months out. I did get quite a bit done and set the direction of this project for my successor. I was able to train a successor who does my job well.

 

I had one bad experience that left me questioning a person I considered a friend for 20+ years at work. In my final month, the department was reordg’d and I was assigned to a new manager. She was a former coworker and my manager in the past. I thought this was OK. Unfortunately, she had different views and priorities than my preceding manager.

She was constantly challenging me to get more done. I was fully booked. She even confided in coworkers that she believed “I had checked out.” That statement upsets me because I did everything possible to leave things in good shape. Many people check out but I worked until minutes before my farewell reception.

 

I hated that I left with a broken friendship. Over the past days reflecting, I came to realize that she was in a panic with my departure. She could have handled the friction better. I could have handled it better too. Now it’s time to move on. Sad that it will be without a person I worked with for 20+ years. That, my friends, is why I will never again enter corporate America.

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Honored Social Butterfly


@BearonaBicycle wrote:

I entered retirement last week. I thought I would give some final thoughts for anyone following this thread. My final year was very hectic. There was a scramble for me to get as much done and transitioned as possible before my departure. I was given a substantial project seven months out. I did get quite a bit done and set the direction of this project for my successor. I was able to train a successor who does my job well.

 

I had one bad experience that left me questioning a person I considered a friend for 20+ years at work. In my final month, the department was reordg’d and I was assigned to a new manager. She was a former coworker and my manager in the past. I thought this was OK. Unfortunately, she had different views and priorities than my preceding manager.

She was constantly challenging me to get more done. I was fully booked. She even confided in coworkers that she believed “I had checked out.” That statement upsets me because I did everything possible to leave things in good shape. Many people check out but I worked until minutes before my farewell reception.

 

I hated that I left with a broken friendship. Over the past days reflecting, I came to realize that she was in a panic with my departure. She could have handled the friction better. I could have handled it better too. Now it’s time to move on. Sad that it will be without a person I worked with for 20+ years. That, my friends, is why I will never again enter corporate America.


I enjoyed your post.  I hope that you will check in periodically and tell us how you are doing in retirement.  I am approaching that point and I am interested. Thanks and best wishes!

Life's a Journey, not a Destination" Aerosmith
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Honored Social Butterfly

@BearonaBicycle - Keep looking ahead & enjoy your retirement!

 

I think that many of us have stories about life at work after announcing our retirement. Because my facility had been sold 8 months earlier, and my deciding to retire was somewhat hasty, there was no retirement party. A couple of close co-workers took me out for lunch my last day. While we were sitting at the restaurant, my soon-to-be-former-boss came over from another table, telling my friends he needed them back ASAP for something urgent. Since they didn't work together, it sounded phoney, and just to get them back to work faster. He'd only been my boss a short time; I thought he had no balls or spine when upper management pressured him .. I was glad never to see him again!


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Looking ahead and not back is the best advice! Thanks.
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Gold Conversationalist

Don't feel like the Lone Ranger, Bro.  After 39 years of high performance ratings I was about flunked.  Massive new projects were added so that I couldn't do a good job.  I didn't need the money so I retired to rid myself of the stress.  A year or so later they closed the office I worked out of.  Their goal was reached.  They avoided paying me a lot of severance pay by forcing me out.  Do nor trust corporate America.  They will take advantage of you.  Get them for all you can before they get you.

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Periodic Contributor

Yes, I saw this type of behavior directed at many of my coworkers over the years. I took note of this behavior and it helped me plan my own exit.  As I approached reirement age, I never discussed reirement with anyone other than my wife. When I was ready to retire, I met with my boss. We found a mutual date suitable for me to retire and I walked out the door on that date. I worked at the same place for 39 years and I feel good about the way my retirement was handled.

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Periodic Contributor

My final year before retirement, became a lot less stresssful as soon as I began the retirement process.  My immediate and next level bosses became incredibly nice to me.  I was no longer pushed to improve performance beyond reasonable limits, and not harrassed in any way.  In fact, the work environment became so good, I was a little saddened it had not been so comfortable in the previous 20 years.  I was given a retirement party at work, and the senior person in the city came and gave me a certificate, (crappy) wrist watch, and a picture of him shaking my hand.  My second level manager offered to secure for me a part time position, however, I told him my retirement meant complete retirement.

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Thanks for a positive response. It has taken some time, but I now understand my role is changing and my responsibilities. I am transitioning out. I know it's a shared responsibility. I'll do my part. Management needs to do their part. I can't control that.
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Honored Social Butterfly

There have been many good posts and advice here..  I still have a year or so to go but if there is anything that I have learned from my years of work it is to think and decide what is best for you, not to discuss those ideas with co-workers unless you really trust them, to make a plan of your own and to move forward with it.  The company will always do what is policy and best for them and so should you.

Life's a Journey, not a Destination" Aerosmith
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Newbie

The one thing i have learned about co-workers you think are your friends a lot of times they are not! As long as you are in the same boat they are you are ok but the moment you step out on your own there's problem! I had to learn the hard way as well. I now don't discuss any of my personal business with them because of trust! People are people and it's sad to say there are a lot of people who don't have your best interest at heart!
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I definitely understand that. I've had "friends" throw me under the bus and it's not fun. My work group is much younger than me and they were all hired by the boss - I'm a hold out from the former manager of the group, but have the most experience. My mentor says it's time to move on. I think that's the best assessment, but it's getting there from here that I'm concerned about.
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It has been 5 months and I quickly came to realize that "work" friendships may not be as enduring as I thought. I have been able to move past those mired in office politics. Retirement is a new day and a new chapter. I have definitely moved on.
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Honored Social Butterfly


@BearonaBicycle wrote:
It has been 5 months and I quickly came to realize that "work" friendships may not be as enduring as I thought. I have been able to move past those mired in office politics. Retirement is a new day and a new chapter. I have definitely moved on.

You are right.  I left a previous job that I was at for many years and as close as some of us were we gradually all stopped communicating.  Your work connection goes away I guess. King of sad. 

Life's a Journey, not a Destination" Aerosmith
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@k621545m wrote:
The one thing i have learned about co-workers you think are your friends a lot of times they are not! As long as you are in the same boat they are you are ok but the moment you step out on your own there's problem! I had to learn the hard way as well. I now don't discuss any of my personal business with them because of trust! People are people and it's sad to say there are a lot of people who don't have your best interest at heart!

This is true of acquaintences of all kinds..  only a very few are true friends and can be trusted with anything you want kept confidentail.   It takes a long time to find out.

 

 

Life's a Journey, not a Destination" Aerosmith
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Good luck as you plan your final year. Actually, 3 months into that final year and things are good. I work in a close knit work group where we are all senior techies. Over the years we have become friends beyond coworkers. It was only natural to share our retirement dreams. I am fortunate to work for a super employer that focuses on employees. I know that is rare. I am still enjoying my work.
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I plan on retiring a year from this August. I've been warned by many not to broadcast my plans as I may not have a choice if I change my mind.  I haven't been exactly discreet about this and was passed over for promotion this year again (but recv'd a large bonus instead so I know they are not unhappy with me).  It's difficult not to talk about something so huge (esp since I'll also be moving out of state too).  I plan on giving 3 months notice so I can help with sucession planning but nothing official before then. 

 

 

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Another condition of the full early retirement for me is like your requirement... it is not revokable. Once I submit the form, it is done. I am fine with that.

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Honored Social Butterfly

@iluvsamz wrote:

I plan on retiring a year from this August. I've been warned by many not to broadcast my plans as I may not have a choice if I change my mind.  I haven't been exactly discreet about this and was passed over for promotion this year again (but recv'd a large bonus instead so I know they are not unhappy with me).  It's difficult not to talk about something so huge (esp since I'll also be moving out of state too).  I plan on giving 3 months notice so I can help with sucession planning but nothing official before then.  


If you've been in your company long enough, you should have a good idea what thir past practice is, as far as "succession planning". If you know they do it, and you'd be helping your successor & the company .. the 3 months sounds generous & dedicated on your part. But if you work for one of the many companies that either doesn't "get around to" succession planning .. and even looks at someone leaving as an opportunity to cut staff .. you might want to cut that down to a month or so.

 

As far as talking about it; talk to us, talk to relatives, and talk to friends not connected to work, so you can get it out of your system, without contributing to the rumor mill at work going into overdrive about your plans!


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Good post and I agree. I have been at my company long enough to know the culture and practices. It's a large employer but also employee focused. That is indeed rare today. I work in a group where 5 of the 9 employees are retiring in a 2 year period... my poor boss! With this many retirements, they still don't get it. 1 has left and another goes in 1 month. Yet, succession planning is pretty much non-existent. It is just putting more work on the remainder. Chalk up another 2 in a year and my boss can't continue this path. I beleive the 6 month notice for early retirement is meant to force the boss to plan. It just does not happen.

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Honored Social Butterfly

"...Chalk up another 2 in a year and my boss can't continue this path. I beleive the 6 month notice for early retirement is meant to force the boss to plan. It just does not happen.....".

 
   Of course, I have no idea of the background and capabilities of your boss. I know, from my decades in corporate IT,  there was a good percentage of people promoted to supervisory levels because they were good at their respective IT jobs. However, they were not management material.
   We used to call this being promoted to your highest level of incompetency.
 
   I've been a non-working bum for some years now, so don't know if this has changed or not. There was such a push to promote from within, but it was done regardless of skills at higher levels. That is, good people, good employees, put into positions they couldn't handle.

"...Why is everyone a victim? Take personal responsibility for your life..."
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Those are true statements. Nothing has changed. LOL. There are hard parts of being a boss that most people do not like or do. I was a manager for a time and disliked it immensely. I understand that I am a technologist and that's my strengths. I'll roll with the flow but still continuing doing the right things.
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@tb69139184 wrote:

I just entered my final year of work. I informed my boss of my retirement date and told him I wanted to make this a productive year. I have always been a high performer in the office and want to make sure my departure leaves the staff in good shape. I am a very active volunteer and leader in my area. I didn’t see that changing this year.

 

Perhaps I am overreacting but I see a difference in how I am treated. I get the feeling that my boss has determined that I am retired in place (RIP). I just reviewed my annual performance review. It was high in praise and acknowledging my performance as usual but my rating was just midpoint. I am pretty certain this is to allow those in need of raises and more permanent to the company to get them. I can kind of see the logic and at the same time see it as unfair. It’s the first time I have ever been unhppy with my review.

 

Have other people seen this type of behavior in your final year of work? I want to remain positive and productive but feel this type of environment will wear me out. I don’t want to count the days and dread going to work, especially from a job I have loved over the years.

 

Tom


I can't imagine anyone giving a year's notice before leaving a job for whatever the reason.  Many don't give you ANY notice when they tell you that your services are no longer required.  That being said of course, your boss is going to treat you differently and the work he gives you will undoubtedly be different.  Also, don't be surprised if you don't get to work the entire year.  They do what's best for them; not you.  And to be perfectly honest with you as much as you think you'll be just as productive as ever, you won't, especially as you get closer to the day.  It's just human nature.

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I retired two years ago with a two-month notice.  It was the worst 2 months of my career!  I was treated differently by everyone.  I was not included in any decisions, just told about them after they happened.  I was not given juice projects - they were sent to others who were planning to be around. The whole culture changed for me.  I felt apart and distant.  It is not a fun time if you value personal relationships and superior results.

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Regular Contributor

I worked for the federal government and had to turn in paperwork 6 months ahead of my retirement date.  My boss had to sign papers also.  Once they knew I was retiring they started giving projects to others and having them start doing my job.  By the time I was within two weeks there was nothing to do really.  Once they know you are leaving any perks, performance reviews, etc go out the window.  I spent my last two weeks cleaning out my cubicle and out-processing.  However, retirement is the best thing that has happened.  I love it.

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@MaryHuss looking back I know it might have been best to take your course of action. @ssbeagle I have the same requirement. Since I am retiring early (before age 65), I must give 6 months’ notice. My company provides a unique benefit that gives me full retirement (normally age 65) when I am at least 62 and have 10+ years of service. That is my magic formula and the formula that requires 6 months’ notice. I am a key senior technical resource that will be hard to replace. I want to transition my expertise and know that is more than a 2 week thing.

 

Something I have observed since my initial post: My boss does still involve me in many strategic decisions. I think that is partially because I am his option at this point.  As mentioned earlier, I am learning that management does not do succession planning well. It’s most likely because it is just plain hard. I also recognize that teams being staffed now that will go beyond January 2017 need a team member who will be engaged through the timeline. That is not me. I wasalso surprised with a generous raise and good performance reivew. I figure why waste the money on me. I am coming to see that I have a place but maybe not the place I envisioned.  My boss reminds me in every 1-on-1 that he is stumped on how to replace me. I offer every time to lay out a plan (which I am doing.) At some point this will strike him as a necessity and I will have it. My guess is in late 2016, too late. 

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I worked in government almost 27 years. I could retire with full benefits after 25 years. And maximum benefits with 26.75 years. Because there were voids in management and key positions I decided to tell my bosses the date of my resignation. My intentions were to train managers and fill the voids in the key positions. The thing that happened was that they wanted to stretch me beyond my area of responsibility so I would leave early. They put no thought to the proper structure of my crews or their training capabilities. I ended up taking stress leave for the last 6 months of my tenure. During that time I got healthy and retired in great health while my three crews and the entities they served were left in disarray.
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I also had that kind of treatment during my last year. I was also a high performer.
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I work in senio-level HR position and would provide only as much notice as I'd be willing to be walked to the door and not be paid for (minimum two weeks). Realistically things do change between employer and employee once you notify them that you are leaving. This isn't like it was forty years ago; this is about business. This is information you should keep very private as it may effect opportunities, raises, reviews, how you are treated, and how much longer they let you work at the company. If you want to determine how and when you exit, zip it.
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