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What To Do When You Get Laid Off

What To Do When You Get Laid Off

March 17, 2018

In 2017, a total of 418,770 people were laid off from their jobs. (1) While this is 20 percent below 2016's number, job cuts impact many lives and the threat of being laid off causes plenty of stress. Downsizing has become a way of life in today’s marketplace, as companies try desperately to keep up with technological advances and changing markets. No matter how your company seems to be doing, you should at least consider what a layoff would mean for you. How do you move forward if you get laid off?

1. Read The Fine Print

When you are laid off, the last thing you feel like doing is signing piles of paperwork and making important decisions that will have future financial impact. Unfortunately, you will have to. Make sure you go through your HR paperwork with a fine tooth comb before signing anything and ask detailed questions about severance pay, remaining vacation and sick time, and unemployment insurance.

2. Devise A Plan For Your Assets

You probably have a collection of assets, such as retirement accounts and company stock. What are you going to do with them when you are no longer with your company? Is there a way for you to get a paycheck from them? You need a plan, and a financial advisor can help. Someone experienced with corporate employees can help you decide if you should rollover your 401(k) and what to do with your company stock.

3. Review Your Healthcare Options

You may have several options available to you for health insurance, such as COBRA, private insurance, or Medicare. A knowledgeable financial advisor can help you analyze your options to see what is best in your situation. They can also help you strategize the best way to pay the premiums, such as using IRA funds penalty-free in spite of your age.

4. Stay In The Game

Many people decide to retire when they are laid off. If that’s not your plan, you need to stay connected personally to those in your industry. It will be a lot easier to network and find your next job if you have current connections and active relationships to work off of.

Another way to improve your future job search is to use your extra time to hone your LinkedIn profile. According to a JobVite survey, 95% of recruiters use LinkedIn to search for candidates and 92% post jobs on LinkedIn. (2) If you are going to be looking for a job, LinkedIn is not optional. It’s mandatory. Just having an account with a one-line job description is not enough, though, if you want to be competitive. You need to update and expand your profile to stay relevant in your industry.

5. Limit Your Spending

When you don’t have money coming in, you want to limit the money going out as much as possible. Getting a handle on where you stand financially after a layoff is critical to keeping your stress and anxiety in check. Revisit your budget, factoring in severance or other unemployment benefits, and find ways to cut back on expenses so you have a financial cushion if the job hunt takes longer than you thought.

6. Reconsider Your Portfolio Risk

Review the risk level of your assets. If you are going to be spending some of your investments sooner than originally planned, you may need to get more conservative with your portfolio.

6. Determine When To Take Social Security

When you decide to claim your Social Security retirement benefits has a big impact on the amount of benefit you receive. The longer you wait, the greater your benefit will be. If you get laid off, you don’t want to rush to take Social Security if it’s not necessary.

7. Ask For Help

When you are let go from your job, you have a lot of financial decisions to make. Don’t try to make them all on your own. You will have a lot more confidence in your decisions if you make them with the counsel of an experienced financial advisor. Whether you’re trying to sort through healthcare or figure out if you can afford to retire, we are here to help. Email me at  or call 770-800-2851 or book your free introductory meeting online. Together we can develop a plan so you can walk away from your current job with confidence and joyful anticipation of the future.

About Kevin

Kevin Myers is a financial advisor and managing partner at ATL Global Advisors, an independent financial services firm serving transportation and logistics employees in the greater Atlanta area. With more than two decades of industry experience, he specializes in providing private wealth management services to business owners and their families, with the goal of helping them realize their financial dreams. Learn more by connecting with Kevin on LinkedIn.