"Avoiding a problem with foresight and good design is a cheap, highly leveraged way to do your work.
Extinguishing a problem before it gets expensive and difficult is almost as good, and far better than paying a premium when there's an emergency.
Fretting about an impending problem, worrying about it, imagining the implications of it... all of this is worthless.
Action is almost always cheaper now than it is later." ~Seth Godin on Problems
This spring Intel announced and began executing on a plan to reduce as much as ten percent of its workforce. For most, the rapidity of this round of layoffs was jarring. Mike Rogoway, writing in the Oregonian, paints the following scene:
It happened, typically, in one of Intel's windowless conference rooms, at the end of a long table under droning white fluorescent light. A supervisor arrived, along with someone from human resources.
We've got some bad news, they'd say: You're being laid off. They would pass paperwork across the table and tell you it's time to go. Right then. You might have passed a friend on the way out, pausing just long enough to share the news before handing over your Intel badge and walking out the door, for good.
In hearing from and talking with many people dealing with the layoffs or voluntary separation packages, one thing was common: the speed at which the layoffs were announced and the pace at which Intel required a decision be made was challenging. It made for a stressful period with inadequate time to plan—there wasn't much warning.
What’s more, according to the Oregonian these layoffs fell disproportionately on older workers. Many of these people likely considered retirement still a few years off but now they were left with uncertainty. Can I afford to retire now? Can I afford to work less or take a lower paying position?
When it comes to preparing for the future, and knowing where you stand, action now is better than action later. You never know when something like this is going to happen. When your company gives you just a couple of weeks (or no time!) to figure out what to do, you may not have time to do a thorough job planning your next steps or to consider the ramifications of the options. It’s better to take action now (and update your plan continuously) in order to be prepared next time around.
To that end, Cordant is hosting a financial education workshop later this month. Titled “Navigating Your Financial Transition to Retirement,” the seminar will shed light on the key question we get from anyone leaving Intel. Questions like: What am I going to do about health insurance? And, where is my “paycheck” going to come from after I retire? In addition, we will cover some of the “unknown” areas—the things people miss but should be considering.
For many, retirement means freedom to do what you want to do when you want to do it. Join us on Wednesday, August 17th and get the clarity and confidence you need to take advantage of that freedom!