Early Retirement – How Soon To Give Notice?

We had some friends over for dinner last weekend and my wife let it slip that I was planning to cash out next year.  I wasn’t upset, but it was a little awkward because the husband works at the same Megacorp that I do and I’m not sharing my plan for retiring early with anyone at work right now.  Our friends were a bit incredulous about the news – he said that he probably had another 10 years to go before retirement, despite being about the same age as me.

One thing I’ve been thinking about is how I should let my boss know that I’m retiring and when I should formally give notice to the Megacorp.  I’ve talked to people who have given or plan to give several months notice (even 6 months) – so that the company has time to backfill their role and properly transition responsibilities.

Other folks take the approach that early notice does them no good.  If they change their mind and want to stay on a few more years they are stuck at the company without a chance of promotion.  Or, if there are unexpected layoffs coming, they might miss out on a lucrative severance package.  Since I get to travel to some cool international destinations with my job, I may also lose the opportunity for an exciting trip or two if I announce too early.

My FIRE date – the date that I expect to walk out financially independent and retired early is 4/1/16.  That’s two weeks short of my fiftieth birthday, so I like the significance of that date.  My current plan is to give just two weeks advance notice chiefly because the company has a “must be present to win” annual bonus payout that happens on 3/15.

I may start telling people informally before that date (as I don’t want work friends to believe that I suddenly got fired for something inappropriate), but the conversation I have with my boss (which I’ve written about here) will likely wait for 3/15/16 – The “Ides” of March.

How will you plan your announcement of early retirement?  How will you choose the date?

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