It hardly seems as if anybody believes that their jobs is 100% safe these days. We have certainly seen some dismal unemployment reports on the news lately, and we also know that some of the problems with homes in foreclosure has to do with a loss of income. The problems with the economy are widespread, and if you work for a living, you need to take some steps to prepare yourself. Consider that the average person will experience a couple of periods of unemployment in their life, and that most of the people who lose their jobs were good employees. Also consider that, according to Freddie Mac, the troubled mortgage giant, loss of income is the most common reason that home loans go into default.
So remember when your dad told you to always stash 3 to 6 months of income in an account that you can access quickly? Well, it turns out that was very good advice. If you are not moving forward with a savings plan, can you examine some of your expenses? Could you cut out one night out a month to put away an extra $50? Can you turn your thermostat up a couple of degrees in the summer and use a fan instead? If you spend a lot of money on books, rediscover the public library. The library has just as many books as most bookstores, and it is free! Would a regular $1.00 cup of coffee rev you up just as well as a $4.00 cup? That $3.00 a day savings adds up to almost $100 every month! Lots of us can come up with some simple ways to stash away some money every month.
However, I understand that life's emergencies have a way of depleting our savings accounts. One trip to the emergency room or mechanic may wipe out months of savings in a few hours. If it seems as if it is all you can do to keep bills paid, then you may want to consider additional layoff protection. I really like the new plans that pay the consumer cash, and am not a big fans about the plans that pay off specific bills or lenders. I believe that the consumer, the one who pays the bill for the layoff protection, is in the best position to determine how plan benefits should be used to protect their finances. And it is a big relief, during an unemployment period, to know that a cash payment will be coming.
Supplemental unemployment plans are very affordable, and priceless to have when they are needed. In general, they follow the same qualification guidelines as state unemployment benefits do, but look at the plan to make sure it is the right one for you.
Beyond your financial planning, you should also consider your emotional reaction to a layoff. I have known some very talented people who became very depressed and frustrated. They had to deal with the ego blow of losing their job and income, plus the frustrating task of finding another job. Of course, if money problems are very pressing, the stress is multiplied!
Also make sure to keep your network of friends and business associates intact. In my experience, networking is a much faster and better way to land another job than job boards and classified ads. If you keep all of your contact information at work, make sure you keep a copy somewhere you can get to it in case you cannot login to your company system one day! You do not want to lose all of your relationships along with your job.
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