Effect on Job

Leaving or Working Part-Time

  • Before leaving a job or changing your hours, check into what will happen to your benefits as a result.
    • If you are in a traditional pension plan you usually become vested in five years.
    • If you are in a defined contribution plan, such as a 401(k) plan, there are similar vesting requirement, usually three to six years.
    • Where will you get health insurance and how much will it cost? Many people over age 50 or with chronic health conditions cannot get affordable coverage on their own in the private market.
    • A federal law referred to as COBRA, allows you to continue under your previous employers coverage at the full premium for a limited period of time.
    • If you don’t have insurance. Check with your State’s Department of Insurance for a list of companies that are licensed to sell insurance in your area.
    • Don’t under estimate the risk of disability. Check with the Actuarial Foundation and the Consumer Federation of America about purchasing disability insurance www.actuarialfoundation.org and www.consumerfed.org.
    • If you have a 401(k) you have a few options when you change jobs. You may be able to leave your savings in the same account or roll it over to an IRA. Do not take the money out; invest it so the account will keep growing until you retire.
  • Exhaust all of your options before leaving a job or reducing your hours.
    • Eldercare Locator is a good place to start.
    • This service helps individuals find local caregiving services and resources.
    • Call 800-677-1116 or see www.eldercare.gov
    • Staying home will not only cost you your salary, but possibly important benefits like retirement contributions and health insurance.