Okay, It is fully public knowledge now.
My last day of work is March 10, 2017.
I had to give 6 weeks notice and chose that day because:
1) There is a slight (slim) chance that I might recieve a bonus for last year, despite terminating. We will see. Bonuses are discretionary and the pay is received March 9th (and locked decision made by Feb 22). I was a good person and told my boss before the locked in date. Really, I have been working from home so much, and not very effectively some days, it feels like I already received my bonus, so this may help my boss allocate more funds to those that really deserve it.
2) Stock options vesting dates were March 3, and March 4, 2017. May as well stay to get those. This is the first time that I have ever been in the money on stock options, despite receiving 7 issues to date between my hubs and I, and letting them expire "under water" with 3 prior companies. So Worth a shot. Note - exercised them and will receive $12k. Stock price lifted only 10% since I received the first issue 4 years ago.
3) I pushed off taking vacation when I did a trial leave last year for 3 months. This reduces my pay for last year (and taxes), and increases it this year. I get a 6 week payout after my last day, plus the 1 week of salary pay delay.
4) My employment letter said I had to give 1 week per year of service, so 6 weeks notice. I have been sitting on this news for nearly 6 weeks..
What is next?[/color]
A) My boss asked me to stay on as hourly callup to work on projects where they don't have any other staff with my skills. One is for a client moving to a new warehouse 5 miles from my home (aka biking distance instead of the 90 minute commute downtown). What a change from having to fly to Toronto or even Phoenix for work. I said yes, and we will see what happens. I can always say no later.
B) Excited. I am booking a 1 month trip to France in July. DH and DS will join for the first 2 weeks, and DD will stay with me for the next 2 weeks for slow, airbnb room rental while biking and painting type travel. She graduates High School in June, so a reward of sorts. We have never been overseas travel, only to the USA about 3 times in the past 20 years for vacation. Usually just camping and driving vacations so we have saved up a large (to me) vacation fund. Time to use it! Note-- trying to use Aeroplan points would have cost us 60k points and $620 each, versus booking flights for $1000 each. So hard to use Aeroplan.. We will save them for a shorter trip next year.. maybe to see friends.
C) I plan to keep teaching one night course per semester with the local college. It is only 5-6 hours per week, and I can earn $9k pre tax for it. In slow years, that will be all tax free, and it has a pension plan, too. I started this 18 months ago to see if I would like it as a part time money option in FIRE.
D) I plan to start a lifestyle business (aka part time), on financial planning and financial coaching. I finished my exams and obtained the Level 1 towards the CFP. Next is finishing the capstone course and exam (by June this year), and documenting 3 years of work experience to get the full CFP license. I can work under the level 1 license until then.
This is a big change. I used to think that only special people were cut out to run their own businesses, and that special snowflake wasn't me. Now, with FU money and retirement covered, I have the confidence to just try. Hey, I have been very successful in life at many things so far, so why not my own business. Just gotta do it, and keep the effort up!
Business license and wepage domain all set up, and some of the marketing strategy. I just need to make the intiial webpage and start to do it. JUST DO IT.
E) Fear -- small one, is that I won't actually do much on the business, after all. But enjoy life instead, then confess to DH that I was lame about it all along... I don't think that will be much of an issue.
F) I have promised my husband that I would earn $30k per year (he is still working), to top up and allow us to still spend quite a bit. That is supposed to come from the lifestyle business and the teaching for now. He wants this extra padding as my youngest is still in Grade 9 and the oldest is just graduating now... and he is a nervous nelly. Indeed.
We are retiring on his salary and whatever I make. His salary alone means a 75% drop in our income, so I presaved the education funds, and retirement funds, and a bit of a cushion. We are keeping the mortage because we don't want to move and it is still ghastly high, but we have now $600k equity in our home.
--> My secret weapon is that I have pre-saved up about $70k in advance to cover the first two years and startup costs... by working that teaching job as a second income, and not spending last year's bonus money despite maxing out the RRSP's and such.
G) What I have done so far to prep for my FIRE -- I bought discounted gym passes for the city rec centre special promotion -- 25 passes for $45 dollars,for their new (but small) facility. They have a weight room, summer pool, and yoga / Zumba classes, and a drop in gym. Time to get fit! STOP THE POUNDS. RELEASE THE WORK STRESS.
H) I have agreed to ramp up my volunteer activities by stepping onto our church council and attending the school PAC meetings. We will see what that brings. I also want to rejoin choir. These are things you just can't do when you have a lot of business travel.
I) Another objective (after increasing health, volunteer, and my spiritual awareness) is to start to attend a lot more local meet ups and you know, meet people. Gosh. I have "friends"... but, like, only 2 from the past 10 years and both from work, and I have only done non-work things with them 3 times in 5 years. All the other friends are from longer ago, and I barely call them, and they live in cities at least an 8 hour drive away. I just don't entertain or get out and THAT WILL CHANGE. (trumpets sounding) I have definitely put too much time into being a sole income provider, raising kids, and earning money without much pause. Time for balance and living a little.
Going to meet ups will also help me raise awareness of my business in the community, and maybe get clients or referrals.
J) I have also put myself down to give a "how to save for post secondary education" seminar at the local high school in early april. Yay! step one to the business bookings.
Can't stop smiling.... :-)