If you have been laid off from your job, thinking about how to pay your bills and replace your income is likely one of your top priorities. It’s important to think realistically about your situation and strategically manage your uncertain future.
Consider Selling Your Life Insurance Policy
If you have life insurance, this might be a good time to consider cashing in your life insurance policy. The funds can then be used for your living expenses. The amount you can receive will depend on the type of policy and its value. If you are thinking about going this route, you can review a guide on how to cash your policy in and find the best choice to fit your needs in the long-run.
Applying for Unemployment Benefits
The amount of money you have been making and your state will determine the amount of unemployment you receive. It can’t replace your whole paycheck, but it will help you make ends meet while you are job hunting. And you will likely experience a delay until you first receive the unemployment funds, so you will want to get that set up as soon as you can. You will need some pillars of faith to keep your attitude positive while you navigate this terrain. If you have debt, now is the time to reach out to them and see what types of relief programs they have. See if interest will continue to accrue or if you can delay your monthly payments until it becomes easier for you to cover these costs.
Ensuring You Have Health Insurance
If you got laid off of your job, you probably don’t have health insurance for you or your family at the moment. Still, there are some federal programs, like COBRA, that allow you to continue your coverage for up to a year and a half. And your kids and spouse can likely be covered for even longer. Of course, you will need to pay for the coverage yourself, and that can cost more now that your employer isn’t kicking anything in. Contact the HR or benefits department to find out how much you will need to be spending and find out how to switch to COBRA. Don’t be afraid to shop around to see if there are any better deals out there. You could also consider switching to your spouse’s coverage if that is an option.
Don’t Turn to Your Retirement Savings
It can be tempting to use any savings you have, including your 401(k) accounts. However, while you can’t contribute to these accounts, you can still keep them, and they should be kept for long-term savings only, not emergencies. Look at what you can take from your taxable accounts right now. Look at the value of your taxable investments and cash and then divide that by how much you are spending each month. The resulting number is the amount of time you can go without an income. Unfortunately, some unemployed people only have their retirement accounts to choose from. If you need to turn to these savings, try to take out as little as you can at first, since the funds are still earning interest.