All this math may be meaningless if the early-retirement offer comes at a time when your job is in jeopardy (you've been stripped of duties or received bad reviews) or your company is at risk of going under (its stock has tanked, key clients have fled, budgets have been cut more than usual).
Attractive buyouts can foreshadow forced layoffs with far less generous terms. "When the buyout window shuts," says Kra, "it's usually closed for good."
In that case, take the money. Ask if you can stay on payroll awhile instead of getting severance as a lump sum. That way you'll have health insurance while you look for another job.
In this economic climate, I personally think that if the company is or has been in the news and appears to be on shaky ground and a buy out offer comes - look at the terms closely and TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN! I sadly do not think we have seen the last of the companies folding and once the court papers are signed, sealed and filed - well the COMPANY OWES its employees nothing. We have seen this with the airlines filing bankruptcy to break their union contracts and we are seeing it with Lehman on Wall Street.
This is the sad state of affairs we are in. There is zero reward for being a loyal employee and I hardly think the employees are to blame. Gen-Xers are simply smarter than there parents it would seem. The Gen-X motto rings true to my ears - "Screw me once shame on you, screw me again, shame of me."
Corporations have turned the workplace into legal prostitution. Who can do it and for the best price. And sadly who can screw whom the quickest and the fastest and at a profit. It is sad. They can talk about corporate culture and vision all they want - but until the CEO pay is slashed and their pay is exclusively tied to company performance and until we get some honor back into the leadership of the business community - I say this unfortunate trend will not reverse. There is no reason for CEO's of failing companies get big fat paychecks while the little guy gets screwed. It is wrong and it has to stop before the American economy gets back on track.
30 years of faithfully doing a job and maybe you get a cheap clock and a gift card at best and at worse - you lose everything... when the company goes belly up becasue someone at the top played the game fast and loose and got greedy.
We as a country have to decide - as we close the first decade of this century - do we want to show true innovation and clean up our businesses or do we want become a nation known for greed and failing businesses? I think the answer is clear - but then I am just one woman with alot of opinions and a poison pen.