We all know how important it is to be prepared in case of a fire, flood, or other type of emergency. Well these days, the odds of losing your job could be just as great—if not greater—than any of the events mentioned above.
So what should you do if you are laid off? Here are a few suggestions—some critical first steps—that can help minimize the impact and make it easier to move forward:
1. Stay positive: It’s important to remember that the decision was probably based on the economy or other external factors, not your performance.
2. Be professional: If you handle yourself with decorum, your employer may be willing to serve as a reference, recommend you to vendors, and even provide assistance with interviewing and resume building. Plus, if the economic situation improves, who’s to say they won’t hire you back.
3. Account for every penny: Review your terms of employment and claim any money owed to you from bonuses, commissions—even unused vacation. Also, find out if you are entitled to a severance package. If not, file for unemployment benefits right away since it may take weeks to process.
4. Replace lost benefits: If your spouse works, see if you can add yourself to his or her health care plan. If not, you can apply for COBRA coverage within 60 days of termination and extend your health care benefits another 18 months. Similarly, you may want to purchase an affordable term life insurance policy to help replace your workplace coverage.
5. Evaluate your retirement plans: While some employers allow you to leave your 401(k) in place, it may not always be the right move. Have a financial expert look the plan over and see if you are better off rolling over the funds into a traditional or Roth IRA.
6. Network-Network-Network: You never know where your next job will come from, so take advantage of every networking opportunity. Also, be sure to use social media platforms like LinkedIn to help connect with people online and let them know you’re looking.
Frederick will also be holding a financial education workshop at Isadore’s in Manteca on Jan. 16 at 5:30 p.m. The main topic discussed will be on how to accumulate and distribute wealth in a tax efficient manner. If you would like to attend please RSVP to Fred at (559) 447-3604 as seating is limited. There is no cost to attend and is for educational purposes only.