If the guy hadn't qualified for retirement, he would have been let go with some kind of severance package -- He just took the whole thing personally, but the two guys in the management chain above him who also got the same deal didn't and were quite happy! Truth be known, he just wasn't mentally prepared to retire and then he and wife did a lot of travel (Needed a new truck to pull his trailer, of course) and effectively blew the year's salary.
He was sure that if he had held on for a few more years with retirement in mind, he would have been in better financial shape, but I believe otherwise. In fact, the retirement deal that we all got was the second-best one the company ever offered (They did it slightly wrong the first time around and we were the second go, mostly volunteers). Then they went back through and did selective cutting of people (Now, that got personal!).
My friend didn't look ahead and see that would happen and that with hiring freeze a lot of work was going to have to get done by a lot fewer people and it would get slipshod, which he disliked. He also didn't recognize that many of the people who took the inducements were the people who didn't have any reservations about being able to get another job elsewhere (Small local contract engineering companies were hiring to fill some of the gaps; one guy never left his desk, doing the same job for a new company -- Those companies were happy to take on people as contractors who had retirement medical, etc.). The guys left behind who were eligible for retirement were not the best employees to be sharing an increased workload with.
BTW, what was fueling this was that the company had kept up with funding the retirement funds during good investment times and were actually over-funded, but couldn't use the money for anything but retirements under federal law or agreements. So some bright person came up with the idea of using the money to buy out employees and get the head count down.
What also angered him was that they put his position back after two years because they found they needed it. He's still angry and I am at the point where I can't even remember how to spell GTE...