questionsshould i just retire?


do it. the first person you have to worry about is you. and if this current job is bringing you to tears as often as you say, it can't be healthy. if you've got a comfortable amount of money saved up and you don't need the extra income, i vote for retirement.

just because you're retired doesn't mean you're not doing anything. it just allows you to do other things that you never had time for before. maybe there's a place you always wished you had time to volunteer at. maybe there's a new hobby you always wanted to try (i strongly suggest skydiving).

remember, when it comes down to it, no one is in their death bed wishing they'd spent more time at the office. (--stolen from somewhere)


I retired after 28+ years on active duty with the Air Force. I retired because I reached a point that I wasn't eligible for promotion to the next grade and had to leave.

That having been said, I also always planned on leaving if it wasn't "fun" any more.

Sounds like you've hit that wall. Retire before the strain becomes to much on you.


Life's too short to stress out this much. There's nothing you can do to prevent the loss of all of those jobs and there's little you can do to prepare them for it. So I, too, would vote for the retirement option.

However, if you pick up a hobby, I personally discourage skydiving, because as I said before, life's too short as it is, no need to shorten it even more... Do something that makes you happy (not others), and once you're happy, you will find that it's easier to make those around you happy as well.


Outside the emotional variables that occur with this decision, first and foremost talk to a financial advisor. Your age, household income, savings, etc., can all play a huge role in determining when you should retire.

For instance, if you're 55-60 you have 2-7 years before you can draw Social Security benefits (at a reduced rate). Does your pension compensate for your SS benefits until you reach retirement age? You can't draw from your 401(k) (w/o penalty) until 59 1/2. Do you have enough in your personal savings and pension to cover the quality of retirement you want?

If you're able to afford the type of retirement you're looking for and are more or less concerned with being bored, then you could always look for a part time position. Even if you're on SS benefits you can still work part time or under a certain limit ($14,640 for 2012) and if you're over 66 you can earn as much as you'd like!


I agree with everyone here. Especially in your case. There is no such thing as an easy lay-off for the people of your company. You can do little to help at this point and the stress being put on you seems like too much. Unless there is some dramatic financial strain put on you to keep working there, just retire ad enjoy it!

I feel that any of the "baby boomers" that are eligible and are financially safe to retire, should. This will in some way open up more positions for the younger unemployed to take. Even if your position isn't filled by someone unemployed, chances are whoever fills it, even if temporarily, will have opened up a job for someone else somewhere else in the market. So if anything try and think of the circle of life benefit to your early retirement.


Don't retire certainly sounds like your job is terribly stressful right now, and definitely not enjoyable, but on this end, it sounds like you still have the passion to "do good." I've worked with more than a few people who retired, and then came back in a lesser capacity because retirement drove them crazy. Even if you only stay on long enough to get through the layoffs, don't go until you really feel like you aren't making a difference, or just absolutely can't take it anymore. If you still care enough to cry, you aren't ready yet. You're still grieving the change. It's when you stop caring that you need to quit.


Hard question to answer for someone other than yourself. How long do you have to make a decision on the job offer? Is the offer with the "new" place? It would matter to me if I was still working with the same people I liked/disliked.

Seems like the same people you would like to help through the tough time at the current job would be the same ones happy for you to be retiring and not thinking you should stay and help them. If you have close friends in that group you can still support them emotionally without doing the work.

I took a break from working a few years back. It took a couple months before I was not thinking about the old stressful job and relax. If it works for you financially, go for retirement.


If you can afford it, then retire if that is what you want.

There is so many things to do. You can volunteer (become a Master Naturalist or what ever the equivalent is in your state), take a class or two, travel, etc...

You can also take another company up on their offer of employment, but there is no guarantee that lay-offs won't happen there.


Do consider health care. If you are 63 and a half you can Cobra until Medicare at 65. Probably will be very expensive but you will have coverage.


Wow! Some great answers and nicely supportive responses. I think I feel better now.

For those who mentioned hobbies and volunteering, my "2nd job" is volunteering. I run the local chapter of a national support group for families dealing with mental health concerns, chair the board of a family resource center, and keep discovering that I have somehow volunteered to be on other boards and committees. For years DH kept telling me to just retire and do my advocacy work as a full time job, but while I enjoy doing this as a volunteer, I don't believe I could do what those wonderful folks do as a career without breaking my heart over it. (Hmm. Sounds like a theme in line with my original post.) However, some of my co-volunteers are encouraging me to retire so I can spend more time on those projects. It's still a thought.

Probably no skydiving in my future, @carl669. My teeth chatter just thinking about it. Although I might change my mind if you offer me a chute while I'm airsick!


Regarding finances, I have been paying into a wonderful retirement system long enough that I can receive over 90% of my current salary as a retiree, regardless of my age. Of course, like most people I have tons of debt and am helping to support elderly parents and a disabled adult child. For the next few years I could cut back in small ways and never miss the extra few bucks, but I've seen other people retire early only to discover that inflation eats up their fixed incomes and they eventually find themselves in the food stamp line. One of my fears.

I still have a few weeks before I have to make a decision on the job offer. One of the reasons they want me so desparately is to oversee the layoff THEY are planning. (sigh) The positive of that job is that it is a company that provides services that are of tremendous interest to one of my volunteer groups, and I might be able to exert some helpful influence there if I take it.

OTOH, I could finally have time for those banjo lessons...


@belyndag: Is there any monetary benefit other than salary - such as guaranteed medical benefits, additional years of service credited that would make it to YOUR benefit to retire? Can the retirement/medical plan change for current employees within the next how many years you want to work? Other than incentives, it looks as though you can make this decision at any time in the future without losing anything in a material sense. If that is correct, wait until you are absolutely certain that that is what you want to do and are totally comfortable with it. Sure, there are other paying jobs out there, but you are a valued, senior person where you are and undoubtedly have earned respect. Could be you would find yourself in a totally different environment in a different workplace. Lots to think about.


@klozitshoper: Additional years of service credit (at a slightly higher salary) is about the only real benefit of taking this job. And I have to confess that I have never been pursued so heavily and find this flattering. Silly me.


@belyndag: A thought only - you know what you have, and it is indeed very flattering to be recruited - but you don't really know exactly what you are getting in to until you are actually working somewhere. So many variables - such as new coworkers who might not be as enchanted with a new person or a new boss who might have wished a promotion - you know, the beat goes on. But, if you want to leave where you are and are open to the possibility that you might end up with something that you are not too fond of AND would be prepared to leave, then I guess you have to go with your gut feeling. To me, a new job is always a shot in the dark.


@belyndag: I volunteer at a women's shelter, so I understand being heartbroken by the volunteering. I couldn't do it full time either. That is why I gave the sugestion to be a Master Naturalist (Texas verbage). It allows you to volunteer your time in a wide range of activities that mostly involve kids and nature. And here it only requires 60 hours of volunteer time (or more if you want) per year. You get to help kids understand nature and see fabulous things at state parks and nature centers. I know there are plenty of other ways to volunteer, but this is the most fun for me.

Good luck with whatever choice you make.


I'm 2.5 years from my 30 yr retirement and if I could retire today, I would. My best friend is retired and he is at my house right now hanging out with my dog and cat, working on my yard, watching my TV and eating my bananas. I soooo want to be there, too. Of course this lovely spring weather I can look at but not enjoy from my 8th floor office is contributing to my insatiable itch to begone. But in spite of the fact that I love my job, there are so many things I would love to be able to do that I just don't have time for. Spend more time on art. Spend more time volunteering. Spend more time with my BFF and with my dog while he is in his prime and can enjoy being out and about with me. Fix up my house. Plant flowers and baby them into growing despite the climate. Our pension caps at 75%, but one co-worker who retired recently at 30 years says that without all the deductions, her retirement check is almost the same as her paycheck was. Best of luck whatever you decide!


I could afford to retire early (age 52) and I did it and have never been sorry. With your job there is never going to be a "great" time to retire. There is always going to be something going on that you will feel bad about "leaving them like this now". You are not going to be able to solve all the problems now or 5 years from now. If you have plans for other things that will keep you interested in life by all means go for it. Just make sure that you will get out and enjoy life.


Just do it. Money is secondary to your own sanity. Get out! You'll be amazed at what you can accomplish, as I did, with the skills you've honed in someone elses' work place. Just don't retire to nothing. That's not an answer. You'll do well! You've got the right attitude about life. Let your money, whatever you were able to lay to the side or invest, work for you now.
Retired 8 yrs ago. Built an equine breeding and boarding facility in north Florida. Now I'm in my 60's with a Florida place paid for and looking for a summer place somewhere in Canada or Maine to do it all over again.
Who knew that I could do all these things? I certainly never knew. You'll do somewhat the same.


I haven't read all of the other replies so it is what it is...

Retirement-particularly on your own schedule is quite the luxury. Being in HR you probably knew that. heeheehee

I think the magic of your situation is that you can retire now and find something part-timey or even just personally fulfilling to do whenever you want OR you can take on this new challenege and then retire if you find it isn't a good fit. It sounds like a true win-win for you.

Good luck whatever you choose. :o)


It is interesting that you begin with "I love my job", but end with the fact that it is ripping you up. My thoughts:
First, that early retirement generally does not agree with people. The extra hours pass slowly, and too many people just kind of spiral in. It doesn't really sound like the case with you, but really something to think about.
Second: Look very carefully at your finances. I normally don't recommend paying somebody to help, but in this case it may be a good idea. The health care question is a good one.
Third: Consider why you are leaving. If you walk away, will it change anything? (Probably not. Almost certainly not.) Are you helping the rest of management do something that, in the long run, is a stupid move and not in anybody's best interest (It sounds like it). So, here is the trade off. You can leave with a clear conscience, but then there won't be anybody with your experience to help the people laid off transistion. (continued)


(Continued from above)
Or you can quit and keep your conscience clear and let the place function as best as it can without you. I don't know what I would do. I would give one caution about the latter. At some point the "I was trying to help and mitigate this bad policy as best as possible," becomes a very hollow excuse and everybody involved ends up taking the blame for whatever happens (Please see how the CJCS went along with a Vietnam policy they knew was destined to utter failure. Read "Derelection of Duty" by R. McMaster.)


Thanks to all of you for your comments and suggestions. I'm still working through this, but am now swinging toward retirement. I have many issues covered, such as health insurance, and am seriously thinking of starting over in a new career. I just realized that two months ago I posted this: I knew that some of the things at work were coming, even then, and I guess I was feeling a bit more open to taking a leap of faith at that time. I have talked this week with some of my own employees to assure myself that they won't be too adversely impacted if I bail out before the layoffs start taking place, and they assured me that understand that I need to take advantage of this short window for early retirement. I might change my mind again tomorrow, but I think I'm going to at least get the paperwork started, even if I don't date it yet. Thanks everyone!