Author Topic: Retirement Police strike again  (Read 2601 times)

Prairie Stash

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Retirement Police strike again
« on: April 19, 2018, 04:11:20 PM »
My spouse is celebrating her last day today. We belong to the same company, different departments. Our company has a employee club where we pay money every month and they organize a small monthly event (ice cream in the summer, a cupcake day etc.). They also send out gift baskets for births, deaths and retirements; saving us from the card passed around money raising some people get (does anyone like those on the spot money requests?).

Today being her retirement (FIRE) at a young age, she will not receive a retirement gift. Instead its considered farewell, basically the same thing except for the retirement gift.

I don't know what else to call it, she's leaving work to spend time with our family and has no plans to return to the workforce. To me that's retirement, to everyone else its confusion.

MarciaB

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Re: Retirement Police strike again
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2018, 04:33:19 PM »
Did she get a card, or was there a potluck or something?
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v8rx7guy

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Re: Retirement Police strike again
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2018, 04:42:26 PM »
I'm kinda with your company on this.  When my wife left her job to become a stay at home mom (possibly never returning to the workforce) we didn't go around telling people she was "retiring" or expect people to celebrate it as a "retirement party"  It is indeed much more of a "farewell" in my opinion and that's how it was treated.

Prairie Stash

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Re: Retirement Police strike again
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2018, 06:18:06 PM »
Did she get a card, or was there a potluck or something?
There was a card, it was nice. Since our staff association does the gifts we don't pass the hat too often, although I have been hit up occasionally for others. I think most people would be surprised to find out she received nothing, our coworkers are usually very generous, but most would assume the staff ssociation had it covered. When we had our first child we had a baby pool (guess the date, weight etc.) to raise money for a local charity, it was sucessful, we have great coworkers.

She worked for over 13 years at the company, retirement gifts are given after 10 years employment. The policy makes no mention of age, just minimum service time. It was an arbitrary decision, at the hands of a few people, its a social club run by staff with rules to ensure fairness (not the companies fault). They envisioned a 60 year old getting hired and leaving after 2 years, that person wouldn't fulfill the minimum timeframe. However a younger perons retiring fits the associations service length, but apparently not the unwritten rules on age. As an association they have bylaws, we occasionally need to vote on revisions (the last was to increase our monthly dues).

I don't care about the money or gifts, my sore point is the minimal acknowledgement. She retired, its a major achievement, it feels diminished if others won't accept it.

TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: Retirement Police strike again
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2018, 06:39:08 PM »
Did she get a card, or was there a potluck or something?
There was a card, it was nice. Since our staff association does the gifts we don't pass the hat too often, although I have been hit up occasionally for others. I think most people would be surprised to find out she received nothing, our coworkers are usually very generous, but most would assume the staff ssociation had it covered. When we had our first child we had a baby pool (guess the date, weight etc.) to raise money for a local charity, it was sucessful, we have great coworkers.

She worked for over 13 years at the company, retirement gifts are given after 10 years employment. The policy makes no mention of age, just minimum service time. It was an arbitrary decision, at the hands of a few people, its a social club run by staff with rules to ensure fairness (not the companies fault). They envisioned a 60 year old getting hired and leaving after 2 years, that person wouldn't fulfill the minimum timeframe. However a younger perons retiring fits the associations service length, but apparently not the unwritten rules on age. As an association they have bylaws, we occasionally need to vote on revisions (the last was to increase our monthly dues).

I don't care about the money or gifts, my sore point is the minimal acknowledgement. She retired, its a major achievement, it feels diminished if others won't accept it.

When you retire it will be different and you will be acknowledged for it since you're (a) male, and (b) not with a wife still in the workforce.

From the outside looking in (which is the only view of your family's finances that your co-workers can see), what your wife is doing looks no different from a woman deciding to be a stay at home spouse for a breadwinner, which is a different kind of career. If it were you retiring and not your wife, the move would most likely be taken seriously and acknowledged, due in part to the (frequently false but common) assumption that you're the major breadwinner.
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babybug

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Re: Retirement Police strike again
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2018, 06:46:42 PM »
But, SAH spouses or parents often feel offended if we don't recognize or celebrate their chosen occupation as a profession.

Now I switch from the company to the SAH profession it should be celebrated as retirement.

Can we just accept that the predominant cultural views just can't be bent to suit us all?

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TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: Retirement Police strike again
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2018, 06:54:10 PM »
But, SAH spouses or parents often feel offended if we don't recognize or celebrate their chosen occupation as a profession.

Now I switch from the company to the SAH profession it should be celebrated as retirement.

Can we just accept that the predominant cultural views just can't be bent to suit us all?

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In this particular case the predominant cultural view isn't set up to accommodate Mustachianism. Which really shouldn't be a surprise: we're not the norm.
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MissNancyPryor

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Re: Retirement Police strike again
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2018, 06:54:23 PM »
Maybe we should all think of it as a graduation when our time comes around.   You have learned all the lessons from the workplace and now can commence to be free.   

Prairie Stash

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Re: Retirement Police strike again
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2018, 07:11:38 PM »
Did she get a card, or was there a potluck or something?
There was a card, it was nice. Since our staff association does the gifts we don't pass the hat too often, although I have been hit up occasionally for others. I think most people would be surprised to find out she received nothing, our coworkers are usually very generous, but most would assume the staff ssociation had it covered. When we had our first child we had a baby pool (guess the date, weight etc.) to raise money for a local charity, it was sucessful, we have great coworkers.

She worked for over 13 years at the company, retirement gifts are given after 10 years employment. The policy makes no mention of age, just minimum service time. It was an arbitrary decision, at the hands of a few people, its a social club run by staff with rules to ensure fairness (not the companies fault). They envisioned a 60 year old getting hired and leaving after 2 years, that person wouldn't fulfill the minimum timeframe. However a younger perons retiring fits the associations service length, but apparently not the unwritten rules on age. As an association they have bylaws, we occasionally need to vote on revisions (the last was to increase our monthly dues).

I don't care about the money or gifts, my sore point is the minimal acknowledgement. She retired, its a major achievement, it feels diminished if others won't accept it.

When you retire it will be different and you will be acknowledged for it since you're (a) male, and (b) not with a wife still in the workforce.

From the outside looking in (which is the only view of your family's finances that your co-workers can see), what your wife is doing looks no different from a woman deciding to be a stay at home spouse for a breadwinner, which is a different kind of career. If it were you retiring and not your wife, the move would most likely be taken seriously and acknowledged, due in part to the (frequently false but common) assumption that you're the major breadwinner.
Wise words, very therapeutic. I promise I'm not lashing out in the real world, just on the forum.

You are right, I was having trouble figuring out why this bothered me. I think if she remained in the workforce (reversal) I would still get the retirement because (a) male still would apply. She earned this, she deserves the credit, its tough seeing the double standard.

Knowing myself, I'm going to be annoyed at my own retirement now. I'm petty over slights to people I like, it would be hard to enjoy it. Luckily, realizing ahead is often the best way to avoid situations that cause me to be an ass. I usually end with regret and make everyone else miserable in the process.

Malkynn

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Re: Retirement Police strike again
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2018, 07:09:01 AM »
Yeah, the fact that you are still working full time at the same company makes it pretty reasonable for them not to consider it a retirement. I’m sure there’s a gender bias contributing, but personally, I wouldn’t automatically consider a man retired either if his household was still engaged in full time employment during typical employment years.

Of course it depends on their finances, if they’ve reached FIRE yet, whatever that arbitrary number is...In terms of what “counts” as retirement, the debate can start getting pretty ridiculous, which is why I don’t care much for the concept and think it needs to be “retired” har dee har har

But yeah, I personally won’t be at all offended when I leave my day job in my 40s years before DH does and people don’t consider me “retired”.

kayvent

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Re: Retirement Police strike again
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2018, 03:30:04 PM »
In my field, in the 1950s/1960 it was customary to throw 'retirement' parties for women getting married.

TexasStash

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Re: Retirement Police strike again
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2018, 09:50:58 PM »
In my field, in the 1950s/1960 it was customary to throw 'retirement' parties for women getting married.

Ah... The good old days...

(Kidding.)

dragoncar

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Re: Retirement Police strike again
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2018, 03:26:41 AM »
I'm kinda with your company on this.  When my wife left her job to become a stay at home mom (possibly never returning to the workforce) we didn't go around telling people she was "retiring" or expect people to celebrate it as a "retirement party"  It is indeed much more of a "farewell" in my opinion and that's how it was treated.

Yeah, it's technically retirement, but official recognition usually requires having put in a significant number of years at the company.  Even if your wife was 70, if she was hired a year ago and retired she probably wouldn't get a retirement gift

TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: Retirement Police strike again
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2018, 11:03:49 AM »
I'm kinda with your company on this.  When my wife left her job to become a stay at home mom (possibly never returning to the workforce) we didn't go around telling people she was "retiring" or expect people to celebrate it as a "retirement party"  It is indeed much more of a "farewell" in my opinion and that's how it was treated.

Yeah, it's technically retirement, but official recognition usually requires having put in a significant number of years at the company.  Even if your wife was 70, if she was hired a year ago and retired she probably wouldn't get a retirement gift

True, and at @Prairie Stash's company the sole criterion for retirement recognition is time worked. The company's minimum time is ten years. Prairie Stash's wife has put in thirteen years. So, mathematically she meets the requirement.
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dragoncar

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Re: Retirement Police strike again
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2018, 06:24:42 PM »
I'm kinda with your company on this.  When my wife left her job to become a stay at home mom (possibly never returning to the workforce) we didn't go around telling people she was "retiring" or expect people to celebrate it as a "retirement party"  It is indeed much more of a "farewell" in my opinion and that's how it was treated.

Yeah, it's technically retirement, but official recognition usually requires having put in a significant number of years at the company.  Even if your wife was 70, if she was hired a year ago and retired she probably wouldn't get a retirement gift

True, and at @Prairie Stash's company the sole criterion for retirement recognition is time worked. The company's minimum time is ten years. Prairie Stash's wife has put in thirteen years. So, mathematically she meets the requirement.

Oh then I’m not with the club on that one and would ask for my contributions back.

spartana

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Re: Retirement Police strike again
« Reply #15 on: April 22, 2018, 11:44:04 PM »
When I quit my job at 42 (with no intent to get another one in the near future if at all, also no kids and single) my agency just considered me to be "quitting" not retiring even though I worked for a government agency where it was common for people to retire at 50. They had a nice and very huge farewell party but given my age I never expected them to give me a retirement party. So I'm with the OPs company also and would have consider his wife to be quitting rather than retiring even if she never planned to go back to work.

ETA I think its a work culture thing. If you work somewhere where early retirement is common it's going to be easier for coworkers to consider you retired at an early age and give you a party. It's common to retire from the military after 20 years in and you'll get a retirement party regardless of your age or what your plans are for after you retire. Same with government or private sector jobs that have pensions at fairly early ages. But if you work for a company where its normal to retire at an older age they might not consider quitting as retirement if you are much younger or being a sahp or home maker or student or travel bum -especially if you have a working spouse.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2018, 12:06:21 AM by spartana »
Retired at 42

Prairie Stash

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Re: Retirement Police strike again
« Reply #16 on: April 23, 2018, 09:40:50 AM »
When I quit my job at 42 (with no intent to get another one in the near future if at all, also no kids and single) my agency just considered me to be "quitting" not retiring even though I worked for a government agency where it was common for people to retire at 50. They had a nice and very huge farewell party but given my age I never expected them to give me a retirement party. So I'm with the OPs company also and would have consider his wife to be quitting rather than retiring even if she never planned to go back to work.

ETA I think its a work culture thing. If you work somewhere where early retirement is common it's going to be easier for coworkers to consider you retired at an early age and give you a party. It's common to retire from the military after 20 years in and you'll get a retirement party regardless of your age or what your plans are for after you retire. Same with government or private sector jobs that have pensions at fairly early ages. But if you work for a company where its normal to retire at an older age they might not consider quitting as retirement if you are much younger or being a sahp or home maker or student or travel bum -especially if you have a working spouse.
If you were retired, by your own standards, shouldn't you be able to say retired? For clarification, its a staff association, not a company rule. She paid seperate amounts every check to belong to a group that is designed to raise moral, our company lacks the ability to do fun events (under scrutiny constantly for expenditures).

The dollar value is insignificant (we had a lot of weird money events this month with far higher values). Its being told that an achievement isn't real because you're too young that irritates me. When she went to 60% time, a lot of people were commenting and it got a lot of people thinking about their own lives. Retiring before 40 would start a lot of conversations, conversations that should happen. Instead the conversations are stifled because people disagree over terminology, we tend to hide the truth of the mater to make it palatable to the non-retired people. Her accomplishments don't take away from others, why change the label for her in an one seided manner?

If she retired, why can't she use that term and others? Retired and SAHP aren't mutualy exclusive terms, a person can be both or more. For example, Spartana is retired and a travel bum or Prairiestash is near retirement and an apiring internet troll. I've long hated the thought that a SAHP parent can't be retired, that's a big part of my retirement goal (I fantasize about doing a year of home schooling).

spartana

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Re: Retirement Police strike again
« Reply #17 on: April 23, 2018, 10:05:21 AM »
I totally agree its irritating that society in general only seems to accept that people are "retirees" that fit in a narrow definition that often excludes some people like SAHPs and will scoff at anyone who uses that term. BUT...trying to change the thoughts of the vast majority of non-FIRE minded eople probably isn't going to happen.

 Even here where FI and RE is normal you find arguments about the definitions and qualifiers for FI and RE.  For example is your spouse dependant on your job income to be able to leave her job? If so then many (myself included) wouldn't consider her to be FI and not RE.  That's probably how her co-workers view her - a SAHP that is supported financially by a working spouse - even if she has the financial ability to fully support herself without working and without your job income. Hard to change that mindset that most people have.

ETA I didn't use the word retired after I retired. Chose to just say long work break or sabbatical instead. Even then, as a single woman, there was a lot of speculation about how I was supporting myself. Seems hard for people to understand that someone could live off a small income that they saved for 20 years.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2018, 10:14:23 AM by spartana »
Retired at 42

Cali

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Re: Retirement Police strike again
« Reply #18 on: Today at 06:21:09 AM »
As someone who is thoroughly tired of workplace parties I am totally okay with this.

Birthday? Party/cake/card/gift/potluck/whatever.
Baby? Party/cake/card/gift/potlick/etc.
Retirement? Party/cake/card/potluck/gift/take up a collection.

I could easily burn my entire income buying junk or contributing to junk for the workplace. No thank you. I don't want gifts from anyone, I don't want to buy things for anyone.

It's not my job to keep buying crap for the people who got hired into the company I did. If I like you I will buy you something you like or will use or take you to lunch. I will even keep in touch after you depart. The rest of it is just ridiculous.