May 27, 2008

Journal of my life changing career event - Part 1

As anyone can see from reading archived articles within this blog, I have been going through a life changing event this year (2008) due to my job being eliminated and outsourced. Outsourcing is something that has been occurring withing the IT industry for at least a decade, as large companies look for ways to cut costs. I won't go into the various opinions of mine and others on why this is happening, but rather, post a journal of events I have been going through, for the benefit of other Boomers who will be going through similar experiences as we all are approaching retirement years.

I don't think we will be having the kind of retirement that we all pictured in our minds...the same that our parents experienced after working a lifetime at a company, retiring and being able to enjoy the rest of their lives traveling and being grand parents. I think we all are aware of the many media stories of how the Baby Boomer generation will have to work much longer and into a semi-retirement of having pensions and yet still working.

Since I really looked forward to being able to follow my musical dreams, I was more or less ecstatic that I didn't have to go to work every morning. I did, however, find myself struggling during the first two weeks of many different emotions. I didn't have a problem with staying home, as I love to be home anyway, but I found myself doing many household tasks with no organization. I would feel like I needed to cut the grass, and wash a load of clothes, and clean the house and ..and... and.. oh yeah, spend more time on the things I want to do to earn a living in music... I just was getting overwhelmed with how to handle this freedom of doing whatever I wanted with what I felt I should be doing. I think I finally hit a wall where I realized that I can not do everything and need to be more organized. This is something that I knew I would need to do but it is different when you physically stop doing something that you have done for 23 years! Now at least I am feeling less stressed and am able to concentrate on music composition.

So, now, into my third week, I am feeling more calm and am concentrating on my main goals in music and do small household tasks only as a break from the music, but not allow chores to take time away from my primary goals.

I have also met with my financial advisor and I am beginning to develop my financial plan. My financial advisor is developing various scenarios including beginning pension payouts, unemployment compensation and income tax variables. There are a lot of different decisions to make. The decisions really come down to deciding if you want to begin taking pay outs from pension plans, etc.

I did begin the process of unemployment compensation today. I didn't really know when I should begin this or how long it would take for the process to actually start paying. I completed the form on the PA website, but I had some questions so I called the department and spoke to an agent. My main questions where when should I complete the on line form and how to handle dependent questions.

I was told to apply for benefits as long as I was actually not working. As I am no longer at work, I am able to apply now.

Also, even though my wife works, as I earned more income than her, I can add her as a dependent which will give me a bit more per week.

After I receive some scenarios from my advisor, I will post my next decisions. Hopefully, some of my fellow workers who will also soon be in the same boat that I am will benefit from some of this information.

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