Author Topic: Close to the finish line, but having worries  (Read 9111 times)

Frankies Girl

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Close to the finish line, but having worries
« on: November 20, 2014, 04:09:17 PM »
Of course I'm going to start worrying at this point since I'm technically just about a month and a half out from RE (or at least the date I originally intended to give notice). Scroll to the purple for the TL/DR.

So here's the situation:

Been working for my employer for just under 12 years. Have hit a wall as far as advancement since I don't want to be management, and I've got an excellent rep for speed/accuracy that is known company wide. And have been hating my job for most of the last 3-4 years and thought I was really looking forward to quitting. Now having a bit of anxiety and second-guessing.

I'm having surgery in December, and will be out on vacation (ha! recovery) for the last half of that month. When I come back the first full week in January, I was intending in turning in my notice and letting my boss know that I'd stick around through the end of January to train someone on all of my projects, so roughly 4 weeks' notice instead of the standard.

This also was to ensure that any complications that arose from said surgery were still under the workplace's insurance too. Also, will be getting all my yearly crap (well woman/mamm) out of the way that month.

My employee handbook states that to be eligible for the employee match for our 401k, you must be employed through December 31 of the year in question. So on paper, I'm good to receive my match for 2014, but they don't get around to figure them until March (!) and I wonder if I'm not employed March 2015 if they'll still pay me my match for 2014. Obviously, I can't go ask anyone because that would be a flashing neon sign that I'm thinking of leaving and I know it will get back to my boss. So I now wonder if maybe I shouldn't just work through March...

And if I do that, then I should just stay through April as that month is the worst time to leave in my department. My biggest yearly project hits in April and if I leave during that, the coworker that gets that job dumped on them without having worked on anything like it before will be cursing me for the rest of the year. I generally like my immediate coworkers, and would feel guilty if I left then.

And then at that point, I might as well just work until July, when I'd hit my work anniversary so I could round out my year and quit during the summer too... (see what is happening here? I can't figure out a good stopping place because I'm starting to overthink all of this and worry about the consequences)

I had thought of going in January, sitting down with my boss and laying out my list of demands requests for making me happy at my job (sort of getting it across to them that I am thinking of leaving). I'm not asking for much considering how long I've been there and I am the ONLY one in my department that other departments specifically request to work on their projects (I've been told this MANY times due to my speed and accuracy and creativity).

What I'd want would be flexible hours/work from home a few times a week, not having to work on one specific department's crap (there are plenty of others to choose from, just don't want it to be me), and a 10% raise. I think the last one is going to really be a sticking point, but it isn't actually a whole lot of money (I make waaay less than 6 figures) and the company can afford it easily (we are growing like crazy - easily doubled in size in the last 4 years and profits are often discussed in our company meetings). 

And yet, I'm almost afraid that my boss will agree to all of these things. Cause that means I might have to stay longer. And I'm actually really tired and burnt out and just bored to the point of hating some of the jobs I do every month. Part of me feels like getting all three of those things would improve my overall morale and make it easier to squeak through another year maybe... but then I think why the hell do I care about working another year when I'm FI?

So if I'm feeling trapped at the idea of them meeting all my requests, isn't that a good sign not to make any and just LEAVE??? But I am torn about walking away from this job since it technically has been good to me and for my overall (no matter how burnt out I am now, I did use to enjoy it and they had pay and benefits most of my friends couldn't even imagine).


TL/DR: Planned to quit in January 2015, starting to have second thoughts/doubts about leaving work - not money-related specifically.  Hilarity ensues.


Gah. I hate this. I'm probably worrying over nothing and I still have some time to work through everything, but I'm interested in opinions or insights from anyone contemplating RE (or having already gone through it).


Catbert

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Re: Close to the finish line, but having worries
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2014, 04:21:41 PM »
I suggest you go with your original plan of giving notice in January when you return from sick leave.  As you saw when you tried to figure out a better time to leave, there will always be some reason for sticking around one more month or three or a year.

 I *think* that you will get   your company 401k contribution since the plan says only that you have to be on-board on December 31.  The only way to really know is to ask your HR and I understand why you don't want to do that.

I would not come up with a wish list of things that might make you stay.  As an HR manager (now retired) I usually dealt with the other side of it - managers who wanted to give employees things when they put in their notice.  I always advised against it.  You want to leave.  Giving you your wish list won't keep you there for the long run.  You'll be resentful that you could only get those things by force.  Manager will resent being forced to give them to you.  Other employees will want those perks also. 

deborah

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Re: Close to the finish line, but having worries
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2014, 04:32:12 PM »
Looks like one more year syndrome to me.

However, will you regret leaving in January (as against July, or any other month you mention) a year after you leave? Do you want to return part time after your operation? Does it really matter if you get the match?

I would also talk to your doctor to see whether some people take longer to return to work than others, and how debilitated you may be when you expect to return to work. Sometimes doctors give unrealistic expectations.

Jellyfish

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Re: Close to the finish line, but having worries
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2014, 04:38:14 PM »
Find the Summary Plan Document for your company's 401(k). These plans are governed by ERISA law and this document is required to be provided to employees. If you have a company intranet with benefits info it is probably there, or ask HR and tell them you are doing long-term financial planning. That document will tell you exactly how your eligibility is determined for this year's benefit.  My guess is that you will be eligible if you leave in Jan.

Hope you can stick to your original timeline!

Workinghard

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Re: Close to the finish line, but having worries
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2014, 04:39:09 PM »
No advice Frankies Girl, since I've been so wishy washy on my own employment. I got a nice raise earlier this year but am going PRN as of Jan. due to lack of control with my schedule and another issue.

Mary W, thanks for sharing your perspective as a HR manager. It explains why they didn't try to talk me out of a change in status especially when I have given 120% and am a top performer.

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Re: Close to the finish line, but having worries
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2014, 04:42:51 PM »
First of all, if you are employed through December 31st and there is a company match, you will get the match. Quit your job like you planned then find something that you really want to do after a few months of rest. You definitely have options.

Franklin

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Re: Close to the finish line, but having worries
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2014, 04:52:00 PM »
Frankies Girl, perhaps you should take a moment to focus on the positive and tell us all of the great things you plan on doing if you quit.  I'm <5 years away and I've already started my list.  Also, for your reference: 

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/best-day-to-quit/msg426921/#msg426921

Good luck!

BPA

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Re: Close to the finish line, but having worries
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2014, 04:54:49 PM »
Do it!  But I understand because depending on what happens to the commuted value of my pension, I plan to RE at the end of December 2015 and I'm going to need surgery between now and then (and will likely be off six weeks) and I'm already feeling OMY syndrome even though my RE date is 13 months off.

There is always a reason to stick around as someone else pointed out.  I oscillate between feeling like a big chicken and exhilaration at REing in 13 months.  I can only imagine it will get worse for me as December 18, 2015 approaches. 

Good luck.  And no pressure but you might become my inspiration.  :)

Another Reader

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Re: Close to the finish line, but having worries
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2014, 04:56:36 PM »
You know, if I were in your shoes, I would not focus on making a decision until I had recovered from the surgery.  All kinds of things can change when you have a serious medical issue that requires surgery.  I would focus on preparing for the surgery by improving my health and fitness between now and the surgery date and then I would focus on recovering completely.  My guess is your priorities will change after the operation and you will have a much better idea of what you want to do once you are past it.

flyfig

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Re: Close to the finish line, but having worries
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2014, 05:35:44 PM »
Great advice. I'm glad to hear that there is a syndrome. I am t-minus 4 months from this (pending bonus payout) and am on a roller-coaster of emotions on this. Some days I think someone will need to drag me away from work and other days, I'm trying not to hand in my notice.

Plus keeping this secret is freaking killing me.

Cassie

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Re: Close to the finish line, but having worries
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2014, 05:39:26 PM »
It is hard when you get close.  If you are retiring to something then I would leave.  If you aren't sure what you will do once you retire then maybe you should wait until you are.  I think it is normal to be fearful even though you looked forward to it for so long.  I know from experience that it is a huge change. 

UnleashHell

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Re: Close to the finish line, but having worries
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2014, 05:45:22 PM »
put in your demands now. see how they react.
if you get nothing then stick to the quit.
if you get work from home and a big pay raise (ask for big) then you have what you want and are getting extra money, work from home and pick and choose your projects. make your decision after your surgery and recovery.

opnfld

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Re: Close to the finish line, but having worries
« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2014, 05:48:19 PM »
I've always thought it telling that MMM reduced to 80% for a year before calling it quits.  If you are having cold feet, consider revising your list of demands to something that really would make you happy.  A salary increase + reduction in hours + work from home?  Or wait until January and see how you feel.

I'm aiming for June 30, 2015, but plan to request a 6-week leave of absence starting that date and might offer to return in a half-time, remote work arrangement after that.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2014, 05:54:44 PM by opnfld »

Gone Fishing

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Re: Close to the finish line, but having worries
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2014, 05:48:45 PM »
Stay strong, this is the final badass step, don't chicken out, I'll need you to tell me how great it is!

feelingroovy

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Re: Close to the finish line, but having worries
« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2014, 06:18:12 PM »
I agree with Another Reader that you really don't have to decide anything until after your surgery.

Even so, if it helps you to have a plan (it always helps me), why not give more than 4 weeks notice in January?  This would allow you to stay until March if necessary without feeling like you're dumping a project on a coworker without notice.

Years ago I left a job much like yours.  I used to love it and still liked many things about it--the people I worked with, the feeling of being appreciated and really helping people.  But I was really burnt out.  I wasn't FI but had FU money.

I gave my boss 6 month's notice and started taking 1 day/week vacation to immediately lower my hours.  I trusted my boss enough to not fire me in retaliation and it worked well--it gave them plenty of time to find someone.

And fwiw, I think it took me a full year of recovery from being so exhausted.  Burnout is real.

Frankies Girl

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Re: Close to the finish line, but having worries
« Reply #15 on: November 20, 2014, 06:29:35 PM »
Thank you sooo much everyone - both for the commiseration and for the practical advice! 

Mary W: your insight is extremely valuable to me - you are totally right that there would be major resentment about having to force them (by turning in my notice) to give me more anything. I know one thing that you mentioned I do want to spread to my coworkers - I want to make sure and bring up the flexible work schedule since I want my coworkers to be able to have that even if I am leaving.

deborah: I should be recovered from the surgery come early January unless there are complications (highly unlikely). And definitely one more year syndrome. I honestly don't know if I'll regret quitting in Jan as opposed to July other than I waffle back and forth over wanting to get the hell out of there or OMG what if I am making a huge mistake? I don't know the likelihood of going back even part time, but I really want to cut ties completely whenever I do leave - I am that sick of the place when I really start thinking about it.

Jellyfish: YES. Thank you!!! I will request the Summary Plan Document ASAP and double check - that is awesome since I was really worried about that money. It's not a fortune, but dammit it was supposed to be mine as part of my benefits package and confirming that I'll receive it means I can stick to the original plan and leave at the end of Jan.

Workinghard: HaHa - It is so nice to know there are others out there waffling like I am. :)

Numbersman: That's what I am hoping anyway. And sometimes too many options can lead to decision paralysis... which I think is what is happening here.

Franklin: I saw that thread earlier! I'll have to go take a look. ;)

BPA: Aw cool, another waffler! :D I know how hard it can be to not blurt out "I quit!" sometimes. And in my case, yes, it did get much worse the last month or two with the wild swings back and forth about should I stay or should I go... sigh.

AnotherReader: Absolutely. I'm not doing anything until January, but I am OCD and started running through the end of year stuff and that is one of the things on my list, and then I went down the rabbit hole of what ifs.

flyfig: I was even aware of OMY syndrome and still got caught up in it. Totally get the roller-coaster too!

Cassie: I am sort of retiring to something but it's mostly "sleep late, wear pajamas and putter around the house" for the first couple of months and then my main job will be cleaner/errand runner/cook/repair person and working on my artwork in my spare time. I am actually hoping that I get so "back into it" that I can start doing some side hustles again (used to freelance, but burnout robbed me of my creativity).

UnleashHell: I thought about making the requests now, but I really don't want to rock the boat until I'm ready for the boat to be rocked, if that makes any sense.

opnfid: My boss might go for a reduced schedule, but I'm hoping still to stick to my original plan if I can work through all my worries.

So Close: Thanks for the encouragement! I'm going to try to stick to the original plan and hope this is just countdown butterflies in my stomach.

« Last Edit: November 20, 2014, 08:21:45 PM by Frankies Girl »

deborah

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Re: Close to the finish line, but having worries
« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2014, 08:32:50 PM »
Sounds like you really want to go. I had OMY syndrome too. I took some time off, and when I went back, I realised within a couple of days that no-one REALLY needed me, so I left. If I hadn't gone back, I may still have regrets. You sounded like you were like me at first, but you now sound much more definite. Why stay if you really have had enough 3 years ago?

Frankies Girl

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Re: Close to the finish line, but having worries
« Reply #17 on: November 20, 2014, 08:49:52 PM »
Sounds like you really want to go. I had OMY syndrome too. I took some time off, and when I went back, I realised within a couple of days that no-one REALLY needed me, so I left. If I hadn't gone back, I may still have regrets. You sounded like you were like me at first, but you now sound much more definite. Why stay if you really have had enough 3 years ago?

I go from being completely sure, to a feeling of dread that I've forgotten something or I'd be making a huge mistake. That OMY syndrome is a sneaky bastard, isn't it? ;)

desk_jockey

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Re: Close to the finish line, but having worries
« Reply #18 on: November 20, 2014, 09:26:59 PM »
Could you request a sabbatical?   Take 6 or 12 months away and overcome the burn-out, but with an option to a similar position at the end.   The time away would help you decide if ER is what you want, or returning for a time to a more flexible role with some of the other conditions that you had in mind.   Wade into the water, so to speak.  Test ER with a money-back guarantee. 

Frankies Girl

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Re: Close to the finish line, but having worries
« Reply #19 on: November 20, 2014, 09:56:59 PM »
Could you request a sabbatical?   Take 6 or 12 months away and overcome the burn-out, but with an option to a similar position at the end.   The time away would help you decide if ER is what you want, or returning for a time to a more flexible role with some of the other conditions that you had in mind.   Wade into the water, so to speak.  Test ER with a money-back guarantee.


I would lose my main projects if I left for a sabbatical (if they even allowed me to do that) and upon return get stuck doing all of the shit jobs that none of the others enjoy doing (and see my former project that I built from scratch mangled by someone else...or at least that's how it would feel). It would be a pretty awful tradeoff, so I'm operating on the assumption that once I leave, I'm gone for good.


deborah

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Re: Close to the finish line, but having worries
« Reply #20 on: November 20, 2014, 10:29:39 PM »
Sounds like you really want to go. I had OMY syndrome too. I took some time off, and when I went back, I realised within a couple of days that no-one REALLY needed me, so I left. If I hadn't gone back, I may still have regrets. You sounded like you were like me at first, but you now sound much more definite. Why stay if you really have had enough 3 years ago?

I go from being completely sure, to a feeling of dread that I've forgotten something or I'd be making a huge mistake. That OMY syndrome is a sneaky bastard, isn't it? ;)

We like to think we are irreplaceable and we are just another cog. It is also a giant step - will I REALLY enjoy being retired, and do I REALLY have enough money for the rest of my life. The only other comparible steps are going to school for the first time, going to work for the first time and possibly getting married.

Exflyboy

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Re: Close to the finish line, but having worries
« Reply #21 on: November 20, 2014, 10:44:20 PM »
OK I recognize al of your emotions..:)

My advice.. do exactly what your original plan dictates.. you can check easily that you will get your 401k company match.. then recover from surgery then quit.

Then wait for the offers of part time contract work to roll in.. its very entertaining..:)

Frank

DoubleDown

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Re: Close to the finish line, but having worries
« Reply #22 on: November 21, 2014, 09:43:53 AM »
Totally normal and rational feelings. I still deal with them after leaving last year. I'd be surprised if anyone here doesn't experience them when they ER. But you will not regret having your time to yourself!

You've done all the preparation, all the calculations, all the planning, made contingency plans, made arrangements at work to leave and get medical affairs in order. Now it's time to go!

Remember, there will NEVER be a time when you have no reservations about it. People retiring at age 70 have reservations. It's like taking the training wheels off a bike, or going on a big trip -- you will always wonder, "Am I ready? Just one more ride with the training wheels!" Or, "Did I forget to pack something?" But eventually you just have to do it. And there will be some hiccups along the way, no big deal.

Good luck, you've earned it!

Spork

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Re: Close to the finish line, but having worries
« Reply #23 on: November 21, 2014, 09:51:00 AM »

I wish I had advice.  All I can say is I'm somewhat in the same boat.  On my end: I've discussed the end with my immediate boss and made a handshake deal to give him 6 months notice... yet keep kicking the delivery of that notice every month.  I feel your pain.

countdown

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Re: Close to the finish line, but having worries
« Reply #24 on: November 21, 2014, 10:23:38 AM »
If you decide to stay, you might want to talk to your Dr about how tired you are post-op and your pain level. If your employer has enough workers to be covered by FMLA and your Dr certifies your serious health condition and restrictions, you can go on intermittent leave and work part time when you come back.

Frankies Girl

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Re: Close to the finish line, but having worries
« Reply #25 on: November 23, 2014, 03:07:54 PM »
All great advice, people and I really appreciate it and the commiseration too. I am shocked at how silly I'm getting the closer go-time gets. I swear I'm not a drama queen in real life!

I did get the Summary Plan Document and confirmed that I'll be eligible for whatever match the company offers for the calendar year (and I have it in writing!) so that is a big load off my mind, and makes it much more likely that I'll turn in my notice so I am out by the end of January as long as all the healing stuff goes according to plan. I think I am also going to offer to stay through February at the very latest if they meet a few minor requests from me, which would be in their best interests, but I'll be fine to leave in January if they want to be weird about it.

I have no doubts that the higher-ups see me as an easily-replaceable cog, but my boss was just saying a few months ago about how hard it was to find someone with any real experience in what we do now... so should be entertaining to see how this plays out.

Workinghard

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Re: Close to the finish line, but having worries
« Reply #26 on: November 23, 2014, 03:37:33 PM »
It's hard cutting the cord, isn't it? I decided I'm cutting out OT in December as I'm really getting exhausted working 6-7 days a week even though some are half days. I know my company will feel the pinch since another FT person just gave their notice. They're burning people out though.

At first I was nervous about going PRN in Jan., but now I'm getting use to the idea. I also found out I can still contribute to my 401k which will be a motivator to work more. Picking up 23k of OT in the last 6 months (when I became eligible for contributions and catch up contributions) has been rough though.

BPA

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Re: Close to the finish line, but having worries
« Reply #27 on: November 23, 2014, 03:43:18 PM »
All great advice, people and I really appreciate it and the commiseration too. I am shocked at how silly I'm getting the closer go-time gets. I swear I'm not a drama queen in real life!

I did get the Summary Plan Document and confirmed that I'll be eligible for whatever match the company offers for the calendar year (and I have it in writing!) so that is a big load off my mind, and makes it much more likely that I'll turn in my notice so I am out by the end of January as long as all the healing stuff goes according to plan. I think I am also going to offer to stay through February at the very latest if they meet a few minor requests from me, which would be in their best interests, but I'll be fine to leave in January if they want to be weird about it.

I have no doubts that the higher-ups see me as an easily-replaceable cog, but my boss was just saying a few months ago about how hard it was to find someone with any real experience in what we do now... so should be entertaining to see how this plays out.

Good luck with this and your surgery.

I am a bit of a drama queen.  If you are going through this, I can't imagine what I'll be like.  ;)

I don't know about you, but I've had such a relaxing weekend that today I'm definitely thinking, "I'm done December 18, 2015."

Tyler

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Re: Close to the finish line, but having worries
« Reply #28 on: November 23, 2014, 04:19:21 PM »
I go from being completely sure, to a feeling of dread that I've forgotten something or I'd be making a huge mistake. That OMY syndrome is a sneaky bastard, isn't it? ;)

The wife and I both quit our jobs in October (we don't call it retirement, but by the standard MMM definition that's what we did). In my experience, what you're feeling is completely normal. All I can say is that in the weeks sense we left, neither of us has regretted our decision for a single second. The anxiety is simply gone, and some days I have a tough time remembering what I was so wound up about. A stressed brain is not always rational.

First and foremost, take care of yourself and get well soon!  No matter the timing, the work stuff will work itself out.

couponvan

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Re: Close to the finish line, but having worries
« Reply #29 on: November 23, 2014, 07:12:54 PM »
I audit benefit plans for a living.  As long as the plan document says 12/31 for the match, if you leave after December 31st you will be entitled to the match (even if it isn't contributed until March).

As far as your surgery is concerned, have you thought about doing this in January as opposed to December and then quitting in say February?  If you have an FSA option, there is a little known loophole for FSA expenses. If you are eligible for a FSA and have a large copay/deductible for the surgery, it may make sense to do this surgery in January. If you quit in February, you will reap the entire year's worth of the FSA contribution benefits after only paying one month in.  This will not work for HSA's....(Also, if you have an FSA, you cannot have an HSA in the same year, even if you change employers.)

The rationale goes like this - if you don't spend all FSA in a given year, you forfeit any monies after year end.  However, if you have execess claims before you quit, they cannot go after you for them.  You can claim the entire year's worth of planned contributions in January (without ever making them). It's a little extra "bonus" that very few people know about.  There are usually plenty of forfeitures sitting in most plans for those who failed to reach the limits.

This runs in the "gray" area of ethics, but it is a loophole.