The Checkout

The Bye Out

Today is a momentous day for me. I know it's trite, but today is truly the first day of the rest of my life. Why? Yesterday, after 25 years at The Washington Post, I retired. Well, sort of. This blog will continue.

I'm taking advantage of an attractive early retirement/buy-out offer that the Post has offered scores of longtime newsroom employees. Nearly 70 people accepted (see the story by Frank Ahrens). It was a tough decision, because I loved my job at the newspaper. I love ferreting out misdoings and helping others steer clear of financial traps and misdeeds. And I love sharing my thoughts on this blog as well as the comments I get back (well most of the comments).

Yet, I'm very excited about trying something new--even though what that will be remains a big question mark. But as I try to sort that out, I'm going to keep writing this blog, although perhaps a little less often as I use my "free" time to travel, relax a little and just think (hopefully all nice thoughts).

I'd love to hear from you--your thoughts, ideas, suggestions for items. I'll continue to report on your questions and problems--and post them here. So please write me--early and often--at this new e-mail address: thecheckout@carolinemayer.com

Many thanks to all you loyal readers--please keep reading and commenting!

Caroline

By  |  June 2, 2006; 7:00 AM ET Etc.
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Comments

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Happy Retirement!! Thanks for continuing to write the blog.

Posted by: KS | June 2, 2006 9:26 AM

The buyout was offered to newsroom employees who are at least 54 and have 10 years of service at the paper. That's a lot of institutional memory to leave the paper at one time.

Good luck.

Posted by: Corinne | June 2, 2006 9:38 AM

Congrats on the "retirement" - not knowing what you want to do without having to work is the kind of problem I want to have.

Anyway, as far as readership goes, I'd like to know what this buyout boils down to. "Buyout" to me implies that people are being terminated under agreeable terms and probably not replaced for the most part. (Or, if they are being replaced, then "buying out" seems like a way of weaseling out of having to pay retirement packages that are more costly in the long run to longstanding employees.) Anyway, if you're one of the 70 or so people, and you have a column I like, then what do the other 60-some people do, and how many other columns and blogs are going to disappear? Is this a move that will be truly beneficial to the Post and readership alike, or will this translate to a more comfortable bottom line for the paper at the expense of less variety of opinion and topic for the reader? Would love to hear your thoughts and I'll be sorry to see this blog go/slowly fade away.

Posted by: Arlington, VA | June 2, 2006 10:01 AM

Congratulations on your early retirement from WaPo, and a big thank you for continuing this blog.

I discovered it not all that long ago and it is the one WaPo column I check for updates regularly.

Your blog is outstanding, it must be a reflection of the person who created it.

Thanks and continued thanks.

Posted by: im1dc | June 2, 2006 5:50 PM

Congratulations!

If you can't win the lottery, the next best thing is being paid to retire early ~ if you're in a financial position to take the offer.

The gummint paid me to retire early almost two years ago ~ I was luckier than most of my colleagues who were in the same boat, and I was able to leave.

Happiest day of my life, I haven't done a thing since, and I've loved every minute of it.

Enjoy!!!

Posted by: lily | June 2, 2006 6:58 PM

Please keep updating the blog regularly. As a legal journalist turned lawyer turned Consumer Protection official, I don't think there can ever be enough info out there for the public. Your blog reaches a lot of people with straight-forward, helpful information that every consumer needs.

Posted by: Consumer Protection Official | June 2, 2006 7:06 PM

Congratulations on your early retirement! I'll miss your daily blog posts. But I'll be okay knowing that you're enjoying your free time.

Posted by: ProfessorB | June 5, 2006 10:42 AM

There will STILL not be enough time to do all the things that have been piling up over the years. I "retired voluntarily" in 1992 and am still trying to catch up. Parkinson was right, in either work or play!

In any event, have fun.

Posted by: Lurker | June 5, 2006 10:52 AM

Thanks for your outstanding work! Please continue to report on this blog, you have many loyal readers!

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