Thursday, March 11, 2010

Facing a Layoff

The other day, we got some bad news. My husband, after 11+ years with his company, is being laid off, along with every other member of his team, and his boss. His job is being outsourced.

The severance terms are fairly generous, and there will be extensive support provided to him in his job hunt. Our financial standing is not going to be at risk unless this goes on for a fairly long time. The job market in Massachusetts is starting to look better and better every month, and was never as dire as other areas. And realistically, if we're cautious with our spending and cut back now, the delta between what we'll bring in and what will go out will be there - but will be fairly manageable. And I now have a fair amount of job security, which is a far different picture than if this had happened a year ago.

That said, it does change things for us. House projects we had hoped to tackle this year will be delayed. How we're going to handle health insurance, which has been through him, is up in the air. My company's insurance plan is definitely the lesser of the two plans, and doesn't cover some key areas for us.

And it's a stressful experience. Even with the uptick in job postings, there are no guarantees. We've seen firsthand extended periods of unemployment for friends and family. And with my deeply ingrained fear of running out of money, I admit to struggling with the news. Some of that is fear of the worst-case scenario (unlikely, but always possible). Some of it is sadness at having to put off goals for more immediate needs.

Interestingly, this news came just days after we had finished booking our vacation for the summer - a road trip to Sesame Place in Pennsylvania and a weeklong stay in a house we rented in Lancaster County to see the sights. Because we've paid a significant chunk of the vacation up front and wouldn't get it back, we'll still be going. But it will be a more reserved vacation - we'll be cooking in more than we might have otherwise done. Any purchases will have to be carefully considered.

But really, that's not so bad. We have enough clutter in our lives already. And most of the things we want out of the vacation - to see some friends and a cousin who lives in the area, to relax, to explore Amish country and see Gettysburg - don't cost much.

This may turn out to be a blessing. It's hard to know. Even though I probably fall into the category of 'financially paranoid', drowning in fear and what-ifs isn't going to serve us well at all.

I guess we'll wait and see.

1 comment:

Amy said...

I'm a firm believer that everyone needs a "sorry you got fired/laid off" vacation. DH and I went on a spur of the moment roadtrip when it happened to me, and it was just what I needed to take my mind off things.

DH got laid off two years ago, right after we bought our tickets on our much anticipated UK vacation, not to take place for a few more months. We still went, and he had a job waiting for him when we got back.

Those trips were among the BEST vacations we've taken. Good luck for your husband's job search!!