So, I’ve announced my retirement and given my notice. Now I have a few weeks left to prepare. I haven’t really thought about the actual transition away from employment in a practical way until now, but there are a number of things I need to address before I actually start living without my job. That came into focus when I received an email from our HR Department, explaining the various processes ahead of me and some options I have.
It was actually a very helpful document, and included some items I hadn’t known how to approach. There’s a real value in processes like this that force us to think about all the mechanisms at our disposal, even if we suspect we won’t need them. Anyone leaving an employer with benefits should take time to understand what they leave behind, and what they take with them.
Health and other insurance – Medical and dental coverages have COBRA options assuring that the current insurers continue to offer coverage (at a cost, for time). For some retirees, this would be the time to begin Medicare. I have a spouse who is still working, so I will be able to move to his work plans.
Pension info – At one time, our company had a small pension plan. I had almost forgotten about this because we had it for such a short time, but the checklist did its job, and gave me the info.
401K – My employer provides a 401K option through a national brokerage firm. I can keep those investments in that account, or roll them into my IRA with another broker.
There were a few other items on our particular list. The very last item, however, gave me the most to think about. The Exit Interview.
How do I describe why I’m terminating my relationship with this employer at this time? For better or worse, I have spent ten years in this job, in this place, with these people. It’s not always easy or fun (what job is?), but it’s not that. My industry is changing. Work processes and business methods in general are changing. If I have to keep changing, I want to choose what the next changes are.
Completing the pre-flight checklist will be easy. Choosing my flight plans? Well, that’ll be a little more daunting.
- America’s Dying Corporate Pension System (money.usnews.com)
- The 6 Most Reliable Ways to Save For Retirement (myretirementblog.com)