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Your Workplace Is Not Your Family. You Will Be Replaced Immediately. (Why F- You Money is Awesome)

A big takeaway from my time on the Early Retirement Forums is that while many posters struggle with the decision to leave their jobs, those that have done so rarely look back. If you are a hard-working, competent employee, it’s very likely your boss will be highly reluctant for you to leave. Employers may demand a full year of notice before leaving (only to let you go early once a replacement was found), plead and guilt you about abandoning your “family”, or simply abuse you until you break.

My wife used to be a very loyal employee that genuinely enjoyed going to work. However, over the years, that changed. The COVID pandemic only accelerated the problem. If you read this NYT article about how “non-profit” hospitals actually make huge profits (gift article), you can get an idea of what happened:

More than half the nation’s roughly 5,000 hospitals are nonprofits like Providence. They enjoy lucrative tax exemptions; Providence avoids more than $1 billion a year in taxes. In exchange, the Internal Revenue Service requires them to provide services, such as free care for the poor, that benefit the communities in which they operate.

But in recent decades, many of the hospitals have become virtually indistinguishable from for-profit companies, adopting an unrelenting focus on the bottom line and straying from their traditional charitable missions.

She didn’t want to leave. She wanted to feel like a valued worker in a safe environment that actually followed their claimed “mission statement”. When that failed, she just wanted an unpaid leave of absence. They denied her that too. The best way to tell this story is through a role play:

Worker: I need to voice my concern that the recent policy changes are detrimental to employee safety and patient care, even though you say that patients are your top priority.

Employer: No, of course not! You are a greatly valued employee. Have a company-branded mug!

[months pass]

Worker: Why did all the lower level staff receive a pay cut when none of the executive team received a pay cut?

Employer: We hear your concerns and will take them into consideration in the future! Would you like a company-branded backpack?

[months pass]

Worker: Dear Management, I am burned out.

Employer: Everyone is burned out! We are a team! Let’s go team!

[months pass]

Worker: It’s been several months. I feel worse. I request an unpaid leave of absence.

Employer: You are a critical part of our team. You will hurt the rest of your team if you quit. We need you!

[two weeks pass]

Worker: I am still very burned out. I am concerned about my physical and mental wellbeing. I officially request an unpaid leave of absence. I don’t want benefits. I just need a break. Please.

Employer: We officially deny your request. Please read this glossy pamphlet on how much we value “Employee Mental Wellness”. See you at work on Monday!

Worker: Okay. Well, I quit. Here is my official letter of resignation.

Employer: What?!? Really? Okay, okay, you can have the leave of absence. Sheesh.

Worker: Too late. I quit.

Employer: Wait, wait, wait. You win! We will give you a 3 month paid leave of absence! With benefits! Stay! Please? Pretty please?

Worker: I decline your offer. You already showed your true colors.

Employer: This is outrageous! You are just being unreasonable!

[a week passes]

Employer: We already hired someone to replace you. We had to pay them double what we paid you. Don’t forget to turn in your name badge.

(I tried to add some humor, but all this stuff actually happened. I can show you the backpack.)

Many co-workers and friends advised her to just take the three months of “free” money and then quit again afterward. But things had changed. She wanted a leave of absence to take a break and re-assess. She was unsure. When she was denied that simple and reasonable request, she no longer had to re-assess. She now knew that she would never go back to work for this current management team. Perhaps they should have read this Linkedin article Don’t beg employees to stay as they leave:

It’s disrespectful to the employee. When employers don’t consider an employee’s request for something to change to make their work environment better, the employee feels devalued. I’m speaking, of course, about high performers. You may not ever be able to make everyone happy but the worst thing you can do to your highest performers is to make them feel less than what they really are to you. Waiting until they threaten to leave to make a change doesn’t help. It takes a lot of energy for them to look for another job and go through interviewing processes. It is completely disrespectful to them when you make them an offer to stay only when you realize they can go somewhere else. […]

I’m not suggesting you give employees everything they want, not even your highest performers. The point is you need to take off the blurry glasses and at least take a hard look at what’s going on in your workplaces, how you are treating your best employees and consider making meaningful changes before you lose them.

The power of having F— You Money the ability to jump ship when you know it’s sinking, as you know you’ll be okay no matter what. She could explore her options, and already has a new position lined up. Otherwise, you may have to start your search while still working. But don’t let your employer convince you to stay longer with guilt trips and meaningless words. If your company treats workers like cogs in a machine, something to be constantly tracked and monitored, then they won’t hesitate to find replacement parts (even if those replacement parts cost them double due to their short-sightedness).

CIT Bank Review: 11-Month No Penalty CD 2.50% APY, Savings Connect 2.40% APY

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Rates went up 9/22/22. Good time to ratchet up your No-Penalty CD up to 2.50% APY. CIT Bank (not to be confused with Citi Bank) is an online-only bank with a multi-year history of competitive rates. They have a checking account, but their specialty is a variety of savings and CD products with high interest rates. Here are the highlights:

  • 11-Month No-Penalty CD at 2.50% APY with $1,000 minimum to open. The 11-month CD keeps a fixed rate, but has no withdrawal penalty seven days or later after funds have been received. This means that your interest rate will never go down, but you can still move out if interest rates go up. (If you have an existing No Penalty CD that you want to close and open up a new one, please see my instructions below.)
  • Savings Connect Account at 2.40% APY if you open with $100. No minimum balance and no monthly fees. There is no longer a requirement to “connect” this to a checking account, so if you have any other savings accounts at CIT, you should move the funds over to this account.

Check out my rate chaser calculator to see if it makes sense for you to move money over.

New customer? Opening process overview. Here’s my review of the opening process if you are a new customer.

  • The application process was completely online. You provide the usual personal information.
  • You must submit to a credit check, but in my experience it was a “soft” pull which did not harm my credit. None of my various credit monitoring services showed it was a hard pull.
  • You may fund via (1) electronic ACH transfer, (2) wire transfer, (3) mobile check deposit via CIT Bank mobile app (iOS and Android), and (4) mailing in a paper check. There was no option for credit card funding. I picked online ACH funding and you need to provide routing and account numbers, followed by manual verification via micro-deposits after a day or two. There was no instant linking option via login information.

After deposit verification, then your funding will go through.

You have successfully verified your external account. Please allow up to 5 business days for your funds to appear in your CIT Bank account.
No further action is required for this account. Thank you!

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Existing savings or money market customer? Check your rate. If you already have an existing High Yield Savings account, it may remain at a lower interest rate than this money market account. If so, take a minute and upgrade yourself to the better interest rate. Click on “Open an Account” here, then “I have a CIT Bank account”, and then login with your username/password. You can do everything online and even fund your new Money Market account with an instant transfer from your existing Premier High Yield Savings. I wish I didn’t have to do this, but at least it literally only took a minute to complete.

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How to transfer your money from an existing No Penalty CD into an new, higher-rate No Penalty CD (or any other new account). You have the option of moving the funds (with no penalty of course) over to a new CD with a new 11-month holding period if the current rate is higher than your existing rate. Here’s the easiest way to do so:

  • Start a new online application for the 11-Month No-Penalty CD. Click on “Get Started” and sign-in as an existing CIT customer.
  • After signing in, go through the opening process but look for “Existing CIT Bank Account” under “Funding Source”. You should see a list of your existing accounts, including any No Penalty CDs. (Screenshot below.)
  • Note that online, your only option will be to have the entire CD balance (including accrued interest) moved over into the new CD. If you want a different amount, you’ll have to call CIT Bank customer service at 855-462-2652, open M-F 8a-9p ET, Sat 9a-5p ET, Sun 11a-4p ET. Press “0” for operator. Tell them you opened up a new No Penalty CD and you wish to fund it by closing out your old No Penalty CD.
  • That’s it. The online option says it will take 2-3 business days to complete. Your new accounts will show up online.

User interface. While the front-facing website is pretty slick, after you login the backend is run by Fidelity National Information Services (subdomain ibanking-services.com). This is a popular backend software system used by many smaller banks who don’t want to create their own software from scratch. Similar story with the iOS/Android app. Functional.

Bottom line. CIT Bank is a lean bank offering targeted products for folks looking to get higher interest rates on their cash balances. They don’t do physical bank branches or fancy apps. However, I have been pleasantly satisfied with their customer service on my accounts with them. Their most compelling products are their Savings Connect accounts, 11-month No Penalty CD, and often they have a competitive rate on at least one of their Term CDs. The No Penalty CD is unique in that you are always able to move out to a higher rate, even within CIT bank itself.

CIT Bank Promo: Free 1 Year Amazon Prime Membership ($139 Value) w/ $15,000 Deposit

Update 9/22: CIT Bank has raised the rate on their free year of Amazon Prime promo to 1.55% APY, remaining competitive with the major online savings accounts plus a free year of Amazon Prime worth $139, resulting in now an estimated effective 5.26% … [Read the rest]

SoFi Checking: 2.00% APY + $1,000 Deposit Bonus (Existing Users, Targeted via App?), $325 Bonus (New Users)

Update/Reminder: If you were not targeted via e-mail, open your SoFi app and look for the offer banner (see below) in your "Banking" tab. You may have been targeted that way instead. Also a reminder that the deposit must post by 9/30, so act … [Read the rest]

SoFi Invest ACAT Transfer Bonus Promotion: Up to $5,000, Both New and Existing Accounts

If you are thinking about switching brokers, always check if that broker is offering a transfer bonus for moving your assets over. Most brokers work within the Automated Customer Account Transfer Service (ACATS), which makes it easy to move your … [Read the rest]

M1 Finance Review: Free DIY Robo-Advisor, Up to $2,000 Account Transfer Bonus

Updated; ACAT Transfer bonus ends 9/30/22. M1 Finance has updated their promotions: M1 Finance Invest Referral: $10 bonus for depositing only $100. M1 Finance Invest Transfer: Up to $2,000 bonus when you transfer over assets from another … [Read the rest]

Fifth Third Bank $250 New Checking Account Bonus w/ Direct Deposit

Offer details updated, bonus lowered. Fifth Third Bank has a $250 new checking bonus when you open an eligible Fifth Third checking account and make direct deposits totaling $1,000 or more within 90 days of account opening. Note that Fifth Third … [Read the rest]

Discover Bank Deposit Bonus: $150/$200 ($15,000/$25,000 Required)

Updated; bonus still available in 2022. Discover Bank has an ongoing deposit bonus for new customers for their online savings account. If you open a new account through either this link by 12/15/22, you can receive one of the following … [Read the rest]

Stuck on a Hard 50/50 Decision? Pick the Change, Avoid the Status Quo

The recently-republished Quartz article An economist’s rule for making tough life decisions draws from research by Steven Levitt, perhaps best-known for being co-author of the book Freakonomics. The study asked people who were having a hard time … [Read the rest]

The Real Cost of Zero Commission Stock Brokers + Why Are Some Cheaper Than Others?

In a recent study, the authors opened accounts at six different brokerages with their own money and executed 85,000 market orders. They discovered some interesting details about the actual costs of making trades using "zero commission" stock … [Read the rest]

Top 10 Best Credit Card Bonus Offers – September 2022 (Updated)

Updated and checked September 2022. That space in your wallet or purse is valuable, and you should be the one to get that value. By being smart and picky, you can find offers worth $500+ for a single card, all to encourage you to apply and try it … [Read the rest]

Top 10 Best Small Business Credit Card Bonus Offers – September 2022

Updated September 2022. Do you have small business income or work as an independent contractor? Freelance, Uber/Lyft, Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Airbnb? A small business credit card separates your personal and business expenses and can build up your … [Read the rest]