update: my company is not planning well for my retirement … what’s my responsibility?

Welcome to “where are you now?” season at Ask a Manager! Between now and the end of the year, I’ll be running updates from people who had their letters here answered in the past.

There will be more posts than usual this week, so keep checking back throughout the day.

Remember the letter-writer whose company wasn’t planning well for her retirement? She was wondering what her responsibility was, and here’s the update.

First of all, I didn’t get into this in my original letter, but it is relevant, although I didn’t realize it at the time. The past six or so years, I have had a lot of not so good things happen in my personal life. I lost my mother to cancer, my husband had two different life threatening medical issues (he is doing okay now), and early in the pandemic my (adult) child passed away and I had the trauma of finding him. Because of the lockdown, we couldn’t hold a funeral or any of the normal things you do when someone passes. I had not really mentally dealt with any of this. Shortly after you published my question, my oldest son convinced me that I really needed to talk to a therapist about everything. I have been doing that and I am in a much better mental space than I have been in for a long time.

I brought up work in our talks, and my therapist helped me to realize that the only thing I really felt was going well, and that I have had some control over for the past few years is my work. Because of this, I was worrying so much about what would happen when I retire, without thinking about the fact that it really isn’t my problem, and that retiring without someone to handle my work would not be a personal failure. Armed with this knowledge, and the great advice you and the commentators gave me, I decided to lay things out with my bosses.

I managed to get them all together in one room at the same time – not an easy feat, and something like herding cats – and we had a long talk. I made it very clear that I WAS retiring next year, and they absolutely need to get someone who could replace me and manage my jobs. I gave them a very definite description of what I would (and would NOT) be willing to do part time after retirement, and what amount of time I would be willing to give them. I will do some of the “grunt” work, answer the new manager’s questions, and review completed jobs for them. I will not plan the jobs, be responsible for the jobs, or be the contact person for any client. I will work two days a week during each of the two busy seasons – a total of about 22 weeks – and will set aside one day a month in the non busy season months where I will come in and review other completed jobs. I will not work any overtime or extra days, and if it starts to turn into that, I will immediately give them two weeks notice. I told them if there was no one ready to step into my role, I would simply retire and be done.

I guess they finally believed me, because after this talk they have actually found and hired someone with some relevant experience, who started about six weeks ago, and is doing well in her training so far. They have also hired an entry level person to train to help on my jobs who is starting next month. They did ask if I would defer my retirement until the end of next year (originally I planned on retiring in the late summer) so my replacement would have a full year and have gone through all the jobs with me at least once. After I saw that they really were hiring someone, I agreed. In return, they agreed to pay me holiday pay for all company holidays, even if they didn’t fall when I was scheduled to work, and give me ten days of PTO as a part timer. (So basically an extra 18 paid days I won’t be working.) We also agreed that this part time gig was a one year deal, unless we all agree to extend it for one more year, which is the maximum amount of time I would be willing to work after retirement.

I do know some commentators thought I shouldn’t agree to work part time at all, since I don’t need to financially, and I wouldn’t if there wasn’t a capable replacement, but for me, I enjoy the idea of a “transition” year. I think it will be easier on me than just a hard stop of working after so many years.

Things have been so much better for me since I forced the issue with them. I am less stressed, I have gone on vacations and not checked emails or texts, something I never used to do. I have been letting my clients know that I will be retiring at the end of 2024, and that we will have a replacement in place. I have been documenting everything I can so that she will have something to help her when she takes over. Most importantly, I have finally allowed myself to grieve, and to process all I have been through these past few years, and I am feeling so much better mentally. I have come to understand that crappy things happen, but it doesn’t mean it’s my fault or a failure of mine. I am ready to retire and enjoy it!

Thank you and the commentators so much for your helpful advice! It was really appreciated!

{ 84 comments… read them below }

  1. Anony*

    I am so sorry for your losses, OP. I appreciate the thoughtful update and hope your next few years are lighter and brighter than your more recent ones.

  2. Throwaway Account*

    Thank you for the update. It sounds like you have handled a very tough time with so much grace. This internet stranger admires you!

    I am so sorry for your loss.

  3. DisneyChannelThis*

    What a great outcome! You handled that really gracefully. I hope the retirement treats you well.

  4. Sara*

    OP I’m so sorry for you loss and am glad you’re on a road that allows you to grieve. I hope you enjoy your retirement!

    Out of curiosity, what happened to Clive in the original post?

  5. ferrina*

    So many hugs to you OP! This is an excellent update. It sounds like you made an incredibly good plan for your work and you handled this magnificently. You are prioritizing the things that are important to you (including how you want to retire and whether you want to continue working and in which terms), while setting clear and steady boundaries. You are an inspiration.

    It sounds like you’re also in a better place personally. I’m so glad you’ve got support (shout out to your son for encouraging you to go to therapy and take care of yourself!) and it sounds like you’ve been dealing extremely well with incredibly difficult things. Sending you lots of love.

  6. Lily Rowan*

    You sound like you’re doing very well, OP, and have a great plan.

    One note: My mother retired like you, sort of easing away, and never got to have a big retirement party! So if that is something you care about, keep it in mind.

  7. Falling Diphthong*

    Huzzah for your older son, and to you for taking his advice.

    One of the sledge hammers of the pandemic was that usually the bad stuff is spread out and so when you hit hard emotional things, other people will help you. During the pandemic we were a) all going through some version of a tough time, and b) forbidden from breathing on each other, so the most obvious thing to help each other (in person support, where you can hold a hand, exchange a hug, or just go off the other person’s body language to fine-tune what you’re doing) was the one thing we couldn’t do. It was really rough.

    (And if you were the rare person to have good news during the shutdowns, well, you knew other people were struggling, and so didn’t share and ask for the “Yay you! That’s great news!” that would also be normal.)

    1. Lab Boss*

      Your parenthetical note is very insightful. I would NEVER compare my situation to someone who was suffering losses- but I had a big career boost, got married, and bought a house in 2020- and was fortunate enough that neither my spouse nor I had any particular hardship other than overall stress of the situation. Even as lucky as we were, it’s still a bitter pill to swallow that all those big milestones kind of got eaten up when we couldn’t do all the social things that come with them, and had to be careful how much we talked about our good news because nearly everyone else was having bad news.

      1. Ally McBeal*

        Is there an opportunity now to have a big party to celebrate your milestones & successes? Maybe tie it to your wedding anniversary, or (if that still feels too solipsistic) invent a day where you round up all your friends to mutually celebrate everyone’s wins over the last 3 years. I once attended a “celebration of life” party which, contrary to the common use of the term, was actually celebrating a person who beat cancer and was fully healthy again.

        1. Trippedamean*

          This is such an excellent suggestion. My brother went through something similar – got married in 2020 but couldn’t celebrate it because Covid – and they had a wedding with everyone they could the next year. I think they felt like they weren’t really married until they could celebrate it the way they’d originally planned.

        2. Lab Boss*

          We did have a wedding reception on our 17-month anniversary, and it was a ton of fun, and I don’t want to sound un-grateful for the opportunity! But the group was smaller than would have been there on the day, and it still wasn’t the same. Likewise I’ve eventually had a chance to buy friends a fancy dinner with my new paycheck, and we’ve had friends over to the new place, and it’s all been great- but none if it happened “how it was supposed to” which will always add a little tinge of regret around that year even though we were impossibly lucky with how it all played out compared to so many others. I didn’t mean I wanted sympathy for “non-optimal party time,” I just was struck by FD’s point about how even the luckiest people had things damaged by COVID.

    2. CommanderBanana*

      ^^ This. My only sibling passed away unexpectedly and terribly in Spring of 2020 and it was incredibly disorienting to not be able to do any of the rituals that we’d normally do. We couldn’t hold a memorial service or interment and by the time things had opened up enough to do it, we no longer felt the need to.

    3. properlike*

      This is very insightful and gives excellent context to some of the more subtle losses/compounding factors of the pandemic.

      And Lab Boss, you are also right! It’s a reminder that community is so important for getting through the big and small, good and bad, of all that life is. These are the critical times we turn outward for support, and not being able to do that is compounding the loss.

  8. Meatloaf*

    OP, you made a kick a** arrangement for yourself! After all of your suffering, you deserve to have everything you want.

    1. GammaGirl1908*

      She really did kill it on this deal! Proud of you, LW.

      What happened to poor Clive?

      I remember pointing out in the comments of the original post that LW was overestimating how invested she would be in the day-to-day activities and success of the company once she leaves it, AND that she would be surprised how well they would figure it out once she forced them to.

      Further, and more importantly, once she is gone, it will not be her problem if they don’t figure it out.

      She seemed to be taking such personal responsibility for something that would no longer be on her plate, like she would have to jump back in and rescue the projects if her successor struggled. Nope. It’s your successor’s responsibility and problem, not yours. The buck will stop with them once you leave. It’s hard to let something go after 30 years, but once you DO let it go, you can let it go completely.

      I’m terribly sorry for your losses, LW.

  9. saskia*

    A yearlong training period sounds like a dream. This company (not to mention the new employee) is very lucky to have you.

    1. Slow Gin Lizz*

      Right? I wish my org had figured this out. Our CFO is retiring at the end of this year and we’ve only just now hired her replacement, who starts….mid-January. And we’ve also known about the retirement since last year so what gives?

      OP, I’m so glad for this update and so sorry about your son.

    2. Hastily Blessed Fritos*

      It sounds horrifying! A full year before I’m trusted to do the job I was hired for? I hope they disclosed that at the interview stage.

      1. Velociraptor Attack*

        I worked at a place that did this for the CEO. New CEO came on in January, Old CEO stayed on to help transition and their title changed to “SVP, Special Projects”.

        They finally left in December. No-Longer-New CEO finally started making some long awaited changes and it was clear they’d been purposefully avoiding doing them while Old CEO was still there. I don’t think they truly felt like the job was theirs until Old CEO left.

      2. saskia*

        It depends on the type of role and the personality/learning style of the new person!
        I took over a similarly complicated role at a startup from the previous manager, who stayed on part-time for over a year — at first to train me, then as a regular PT employee who was actually under me for a while before transitioning fully out. Even when she was just a ‘regular’ employee, I utilized her live expertise a lot, in addition to the many training and process documents she’d prepared. It prevented significant knowledge loss and stopped me from quitting out of utter frustration.

  10. Pastor Petty Labelle*

    YAAAY OP. This is great. I am so glad you realized that not having a replacement is not your responsibility.

  11. Grumpy Elder Millennial*

    Thanks for the update! Good on you for doing the hard things – going to therapy and having that serious talk with your bosses. I’m glad things are looking up!

  12. The Unspeakable Queen Lisa*

    Oh, LW, I’m so glad you realized you needed to process your traumas. I’m glad you are doing better. I’m also glad you got your bosses to listen to you.

    One thing I noticed is that the work plan is all about your perspective. It’s possible that your replacement might not want you to continue to stay on so long. Are you considering what she wants in all this planning?

    You might consider holding the possibility of still retiring at the end of next summer, depending on how things go. Basically, it’s rigid thinking to decide now how things will look and feel that far in the future and you might still be trying to control everything even beyond your departure. Or maybe your bosses are doing that. Either way, try to include flexibility in your plans. Maybe you’ll love retirement too much and not want to keep helping out past 6 months!

    1. Turnipnator*

      While I agree in general that imagining our mental state that far ahead can be difficult, I don’t think that the plan is too rigid at all. Setting a boundary and holding to it is not to rigid, imo. It’s also not her responsibility to manage every single contingency; if when presenting the plan, she _is_ only responsible for her own perspective. Dealing with another employee leaving (or potentially leaving) is the business’s responsibility.

  13. Jessica*

    If I were the new employee, I think I’d love this. Chance to get trained over a significant period of time by the wiser experienced person, having her still be around as we go through the busy season, then taking on the client-facing parts of the job myself but having her in the background as a resource for a while, AND knowing it all has a fixed timeline and she’s absolutely committed to retiring? Sounds like you’re really setting your successor up for success. :-)

    1. Throwaway Account*

      Queen Lisa raised the question that the new hire might not want the OP there that long and I think it is a great idea to check in with the new hire about this.

      1. Lady_Lessa*

        I know that one place I was hired to replace a woman who was retiring. We overlapped for 3 months, but she taught me minimal stuff about an area where I had never worked. Just saying, “you will know by feel” is NOT training, when you have never worked with that kind of material.

        I brought in my own lap top to work on safety documents.

  14. Brain the Brian*

    My mother also took the “ease away by reducing her number of days” approach to retirement, and it worked really well for her. Kudos to you for negotiating it, OP!

    1. Where’s the Orchestra?*

      I honestly think for some people easing into retirement is the best possible choice for them. It helps the employer by having your experience around just a bit longer for an emergency- but it also helps the employee have a chance to still have the “work scaffolding” while deciding what their next adventure is going to be.

      My dad seriously could have used that – but didn’t get it. He flailed around pretty uselessly and was a touch depressed that first two years of his retirement, because how do you turn off 38 years of being active in a very collaborative designing and experimenting career into nothing at all?? It was quite a steep cliff.

    2. Warrior Princess Xena*

      My grandparents did this too, as much for their own need to ease themselves in as for the places they worked for. Would recommend!

    3. allathian*

      Yay, kudos indeed! This whole post was so heartwarming. LW, your lot in life has been very tough for the last few years, and I’m so glad to hear that you’re in a much better place now. Enjoy your retirement!

      Several of my coworkers have done the same thing, and the ones I’ve talked to have all loved it. Most of them were also involved in hiring their own replacements, mainly by being available to answer specific work-related questions during the interview.

      My mom also did the same thing. When she retired, she started by working 4 days a week for 6 months and 3 days a week for the next 6 months, before finally retiring.

      My FIL was allowed to complete two projects as a hourly contractor after he officially retired. He loved it, and said that he’d absolutely wanted to continue working a bit longer under those conditions if it had been possible, because he didn’t have to do any of the frustrating off-task stuff that people who don’t have an end date in sight have to, like he didn’t attend any departmental meetings unless he wanted to, and he didn’t have to do any professional development stuff anymore. I sympathize with my FIL.

      If and when I decide to retire, I’m going to go easy on the professional development stuff. One of my former managers attended a compulsory training a month before she retired. She’d already given notice (two months is required before retiring but much more than that is very common, I think she gave notice six months before the actual date). If and when I give notice to retire, you sure as hell won’t get me to attend any trainings, no matter how compulsory they’re supposed to be. It’s not as if my employer can fire me for insubordination, my notice period would run out before that happened, and I seriously doubt they’d try.

  15. JaneDough(not)*

    LW, I’m so sorry for your many losses and challenges.

    I’m also glad that your oldest son, and you, saw (and see) the value of therapy and that it has helped. Fwiw, I too would have chosen a step-down-gradually departure, not a clean-break departure; this is a major change after a long and basically satisfying career. (There is no “right” way, just what’s right for *you*.)

    And congratulations on clearly communicating with your somewhat obstinate bosses, such that the new person is in place and will have been able to shadow you for a long time before you leave.

    I hope you enjoy this next year, and enjoy your retirement even more.

    1. Brevity*

      Seconding all of this, especially hearing and believing your son that it was time for therapy. Which, of course it was, losing both a parent and a child in short order, good heavens. I’m so sorry. You have handled everything beautifully — and even if you hadn’t, I can’t think of anyone who could blame you, given your experiences. I hope you continue to be well.

  16. Critical Rolls*

    What a badass. No wonder your company was willing to drag its collective feet! When you were ready you lined ’em up and knocked ’em down. I’m so glad you’re getting what you need, both in terms of therapy and in terms of a succession plan.

  17. MAOM7*

    First off, sorry for your losses. How devastating.

    Secondly, I may have missed something, but I cannot think of any job that would need a 1-year transition period to train a new person. I work in an extremely niche field and am at the very top tier of what I do, and I cannot see providing a 1-year transition for whoever they want to hire to replace me in a couple years when I retire. Four to six weeks, eight would be generous, but beyond that, this is their problem, not mine. So I’m curious what this job entails that it takes a full year to train a replacement?

    1. A Year of Training is Nothing Here!*

      I work for an auditing agency and our projects all run on a cycle that takes at least a year. Each project involves set phases (planning, data collection, analysis, reporting, etc) governed by very specific rules and regulations. It’s impossible to do this work with any independence without going through the whole cycle with someone familiar with it, so we have a two year trainee period for new hires. Many audit, financial and some types of consulting are similar.

    2. Warrior Princess Xena*

      I think in a lot of more specialized jobs it’s one of those things that’s nice to have if you can manage it, even if most places don’t manage it. Especially for niche jobs where you can get the foundational understanding in many places but then the work itself is specialized enough that unless you’re an unusually gifted learning it’s rough to self-teach.

    3. Brevity*

      Definitely higher education. Come to think of it, education at any level. The school year has a definite rhythm and set of tasks that come up only annually, such that you can’t really understand the whole job until you’ve been there for at least a year.

    4. Off Plumb*

      I’ve had budget-related jobs where they told us from the beginning that we wouldn’t start to feel like we knew what we were doing for at least a year. The work itself is cyclical. Each part of the fiscal year has its own tasks, and even if you’ve done that kind of work for another entity and understand it conceptually, there will still be aspects unique to the current job that you’ll have to learn.

      So it really varies.

    5. CTT*

      I’m a lawyer and we have had some people do this – it can be easier to transition a client to the replacement during a deal or case that the soon-to/retiree is still working on, as opposed to saying “here is the New Me, send all questions to them, bye!” Obviously that has to be the case with some clients if a new project never comes up during that window, but it’s really helpful to have the new person co-lead the project so they can see how the exiting person works with that client and their quirks.

      1. J*

        The best transition I saw was one where 1) the partner had a full partner and associate queue to be able to staff matters, 2) the partner had spent 2-3 years working up the junior partner to know the client and to be ready to step into the client management role. Then when partner was ready, he switched to of counsel for a year (a typical practice, especially in regards to divesting from the firm) and basically worked for the junior partner but still was ready to talk through issues should a client have any doubts about the work or attorneys they were left with. We didn’t lose a single client to his retirement, and it was a huge book of business. And then the attorney left the country for a 3-month trip so no one would be tempted to contact him and he wouldn’t be tempted to work.

        I’ve seen so many attorneys do the opposite or be ego-driven and it always damages both the firm and the client and often the personal relationship between the retiring attorney and the client they’ve likely known for 20+ years socially. I don’t know of many attorney relationships like that in younger generations but with those retiring now, it’s definitely a thing.

    6. JaneDough(not)*

      @MAOM7, I remember a letter from someone (the manager of a small environmental-regulation group — a niche program in a field that hasn’t been around for long and therefore hasn’t created a big pool of knowledgeable candidates) who was worried about what would happen to the office once the LW, with an enormous amt of institutional knowledge, departed. This helped me understand that a few jobs really *do* require a new person to shadow the experienced person for a long time.

      Here’s a link, the header, and the 1st graf.


      5. How do I pass on institutional knowledge before I retire?

      I’m a bit over a year from retiring. I currently manage a small environmental regulation group that I was an inspector in for almost 30 years, and when I retire I will have been here for 32ish years. We’re a niche program in a field that really didn’t exist until the early 80s; I got started in it in 1982 at another city, so I was in on the ground floor. In my time here as an inspector, I have always been the subject matter expert here. My three employees total about half my experience in the field.

  18. Not Tom, Just Petty*

    Well done, OP. I’m putting this in my pocket for when my turn comes. (Although, I’m far more replaceable than you!)
    So, will all props to OP,
    I kind of feel like Vern after Gordo tells the blueberry pie story in Stand By Me.
    “Did he have to pay to enter the pie eating contest, or did they just let him?”
    “They just let him.”
    Because, what happened to Clive?
    Did he find a new spot in one of the areas he was pulled into?
    I hope so. OP did a great job advocating for herself and getting a real protégé.
    I hope when the owners realized that the warm body they hired to give OP the illusion that they were listening found his own spot there.

  19. annabelle*

    I’m sorry you’ve had such a rough few years, OP. I can’t even imagine losing a child and then not being able to properly grieve like that. And I totally understand wanting to have a transition period between working full-time and retiring full-time. A lot of people don’t do that transition period and then have a very difficult go of retirement life. Kudos to you for speaking up for yourself! I hope you continue to find healing and peace.

  20. buddleia*

    Go you OP! Fantastic work in laying out what you will and will not do. I’m so sorry about your losses and I’m glad you went into therapy and are doing better. I hope you have a fabulous retirement!

  21. Ready to Retire*

    OP here. Thank you all so much for the kind thoughts and words. I really appreciate it. I do want to encourage anyone who is going through a rough time to reach out for help. Therapy has been a wonderful thing for me. I wish I had gone sooner.
    Someone asked about Clive. He continues to work here, but in the other group. (Big boss wanted to keep him there.) He seems happy, so that is good.
    New coworker is doing very well, and seems like she will be good at the job. I don’t foresee her leaving before I retire, though I know anything can happen. If that changes – not my problem. It would just mean I probably wouldn’t be working part time, because I am not going to be responsible for managing the jobs once I retire. But she seems enthusiastic and excited, so I hope that doesn’t happen.
    Thank you again for all your kindness. It means more than you will ever know.

    1. Not Tom, Just Petty*

      You are very good egg.
      Thanks for for the update and the reply.
      Best wishes for an awesome 2024 and keep traveling!

    2. Broadway Duchess*

      This was so nice to read! And I hope you tale some time to be proud of yourself for figuring out how to navigate all of this. Sometimes, highly responsible people just look at the job getting done and forget about the role they played in the success. You handled everything so gracefully!

    3. Sara without an H*

      This sounds like the best possible outcome. Jedi hugs, Ready to Retire, and here’s to a happier future!

    4. allathian*

      Your update really warmed my heart as well. Wishing you a very happy retirement when the time comes.

  22. goducks*

    One thing to consider as you train the new person. Sometimes in situations like this there becomes a point where the new person views the retiring person as a barrier to success rather than a help. If they come in with relevant expertise, they may not find value in being tied to your way of doing things for a whole year. Obviously there are parts of the specifics of your company that it can be important to impart, but there may be parts of the job that come down to personal preference/working styles, and a person who knows what needs to be done might be frustrated by knowing they’re tied to doing things the old way for many more months just because that’s what was agreed upon.

    So, please regularly consider whether your presence is actually helpful and wanted by the new hire, and be ready to start your retirement earlier if they’ve got it under control. Most people don’t get a 1 year overlap with the former employee, and do just fine without it.

    I have seen a situation where the replacement person quit the job after several months because they didn’t want or need the outgoing person’s support anymore, and it made things frustrating because they felt they had a shadow boss who wanted to control how things were done. And because the company and the retiring person had agreed to an amount of time, it was going to go on and on. It made that perfectly good employee decide to leave for a job that just let them use their expertise without all the complexity, which set the whole retirement plan back to square one.

  23. @ Work & Reading AAM*

    So sorry for your losses – thank you for sharing your story…never know how it might help others to see your triumph on the heels of adversity.

  24. Qwerty*

    The transition year sounds pretty great! I love how clear the plan was that you gave your company. I don’t think continuing to stay on part time is a problem as long as you are actively choosing to do so, especially with the schedule given. I hope it all goes well for you!

  25. Just Thinkin' Here*

    OP, you went through a rough couple of years. It sounds like you’re finally able to breathe a little and think about your own future.

    I think a transition year is a great idea. Whether you call yourself semi-retired, part-time, or transitioning, it sounds like this is something you want to do and you are able to negotiate for it. Many more companies need to be doing this! Employers feared the baby boom retirement wave over the past 10 years but did almost nothing to ensure a better transition. Allowing folks to go part-time, train replacements, spend a month documenting everything you do, these are all activities that are worthwhile. And yet so many companies don’t plan ahead. Instead they demand either full-time or out the door. There are other options that work to the benefit of both parties.

  26. Kevin Sours*

    “I do know some commentators thought I shouldn’t agree to work part time at all, since I don’t need to financially, and I wouldn’t if there wasn’t a capable replacement, but for me, I enjoy the idea of a ‘transition’ year. I think it will be easier on me than just a hard stop of working after so many years.”

    I think the important thing here is you are doing it out of desire and not obligation.

    1. Onomatopoeia Cornucopia*

      Yes, and that you understand that if the terms of the work change (i.e. it suddenly sucks in any way), so do the terms of you being willing to still work there at all.

  27. Save Bandit*

    I am so very sorry for all the trauma you’ve experienced. I’m very glad to read this positive update, and applaud you for taking the steps you needed to allow for healing! You did many things that are not always easy to do (seeking therapy chief among them!), and you should be extremely proud of yourself.

  28. Coin Purse*

    When I retired last year, despite a year advance notice, they still had not hired someone for my niche expertise role. I felt awful but financially I had made plans to retire and followed through. It took them another year to cobble two hires to cover my desk. But you know what? They survived. The only regret I had was carrying the mental load for the job for so long.

  29. Cookie Monster*

    OP, so sorry for your hard times and congrats on handling this well.

    But man. Asking you to defer your retirement for one more year after they’ve had THREE YEARS of notice is…gutsy.

  30. Ready to Retire*

    OP again. For those wondering how the new hire will feel about my staying on part time for a year, she and I have discussed that. I have assured her that I don’t want to be in charge once I am retired. I will be there part time as a worker bee and a resource for her. I have given her permission to tell me to butt out if she feels I am overstepping, but trust me – I don’t want the responsibility as I move into retirement, so I don’t foresee myself doing that. The only thing my bosses are insistent I do is give a final review to each job when it’s completed, and she says she’s very grateful for that. She has some experience, but this will be a big step up for her, and the year of training plus my being around a little for the next year helped her decide to take the job. As I mentioned in the update, I am letting the clients know now that she will be in charge after next year, as I don’t want them coming to me with questions or problems once I am retired. (I have to train them too, since they are so used to working with me.)

  31. UsuallyLurks*

    This is aspirational negotiating; I will have this bookmarked for my own future (although it’s a bit of a ways off).

    Many years ago my dad did the part-time-for-a-year after retirement thing (after more than 30 years in the job); it was really good for him. In the beginning he was still getting up every day at his usual time, raring to go; by the end he was over it, he had lots of other projects he wanted to spend time on and work was getting in the way.

  32. MassMatt*

    Terrific update, and wow this has been a very difficult time for you!

    I am in the retirement funding and planning business, and wish more people would consider easing into retirement as opposed to making a sudden break.

    People are often surprised by this, but retiring can be very stressful. People usually identify a lot of their stress as being job related, and figure once they retire that will disappear. But a lot of stress comes from change, and going from working a lot to not working is a big change. I find people so who really strongly identify with their careers can have an especially hard time figuring out what to do and how to give their life meaning.

    OP, I hope you continue to talk with your therapist and supportive friends and family as you make this transition, and have a great retirement.

  33. Not that other person you didn't like*

    OP, I want to send my condolences for your losses. I also want to send my deepest thanks to you for sharing this update. I know it was about you, and not me, but it spoke to my soul in ways that I found VERY personally helpful and healing. Thank you.

    Warmest wishes for a wonderful retirement.

  34. Triplehiccup*

    I think a transition year is smart, especially when you’ve been so dedicated to your work. It’ll give you time to ramp up to building new routines and activities, which seems to be key to actually enjoying retirement for the retirees I know.

  35. NLB*

    Amazingly done and I’m so sorry for your losses. My dad retired from his 9-to-5 and immediately went back to carpentry/handy work which is what he did when he was younger. He couldn’t just stop working full stop either. I hope this works out great for you.

  36. Michelle Smith*

    I never would have expected such a positive update re: the business. I really thought (and may have said at the time, idk) that they would continue with the status quo and force your hand. I’m really glad to see that they are apparently not doing that and hope you’ll update us again at the end of next year to let us know how it’s going with the new person!

Comments are closed.