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Financial Independence Update

I just celebrated my 6 year anniversary with Rexall, coming into the homestretch of my financial independence goal. Prior to being an employee, I’d done 2 years of contract work for them so 8 years of total service. This means that Rexall has been a part of my life longer than my fiancé and high school tenure combined.

These days, I find that I am no longer as integrally focused on my retirement date. This is because I no longer despise my job. I’ve modified my work environment to suit my needs. I have limited my workweek to the minimum required for full-time status.  I’ve found a workplace that is low volume and minimized my commute.  I’ve established positive relationships with my coworkers.  Quitting would mean losing my health / dental / pension benefits and would likely lead to boredom, especially during the winter months.  And by voraciously reading the blogs of other early retirees, I’ve learned that boredom and disillusionment are salient post-retirement.

In summation, I’m not quitting. However, my current job will likely be my last in retail pharmacy. For starters, retail operations of all stripes are struggling to remain viable. Cash strapped governments are looking to reduce expenditures on generic drugs. And fresh pharmacy graduates are flooding the market. Knowing all of this, I’ve made the decision to just stay on until I am fired.

Financial Samurai first discussed how it makes more financial sense to get laid off than quit.  Waiting to get laid off means that I can coast by with minimum stress, banking an extra $8,000/month towards my FI nest egg.  When I am ultimately fired, I can realistically expect about 12 months of severance pay based on my 8 years of service (1.5 months per year of service or $110,000). Once my severance runs out, I’ll likely be entitled to a maximum of 38 weeks of Employment Insurance benefits ($543 per week, total ~$20,000).  There is no reason to walk away from a job I enjoy and simultaneously leave $130,000 on the table.

I’ve also taken to reading my company benefits handbook. My insurance covers laser vision correction! (goodbye nerdy eyeglasses!) And physio exercises! (hello 6 pack!) And my massages! And orthopedic shoes for those 12 hour shifts! I can even get $700 for a TENS machine in case my back acts up. I should probably get my teeth checked and stock up on my prescription retinoid cream while I’m still covered. So in summation, I’ll be mooching off my employee perks a little longer.

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