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It Happened!

March 24th, 2014 at 04:40 am

We are now officially a stereotype. The corporate gravy train has ended. This is such a typical scenario I can't believe I didn't see it coming. Hubby has worked (hard) for the same company for 24 years, although in recent years the company has undergone acquisitions about every two years. In the past, each time the company sold, hubby would come home with the bad news that he had to lay off some of the employees he managed. Now it has happened to him. His whole department was let go which at least helps him feel that it wasn't personal.

Amazingly, though, this time we are well prepared. For the past several years we have been living off my wages from my company and saving Hubby's salary. Even on what I make, we were saving about $1,500 a month and can probably even save $1,000 more.

Also, during the last company acquisition three years ago, after Hubby was laid off he was rehired by the new company a day later. This meant we were able to take Hubby's 401 K and transition it into a self-directed IRA consisting of rental houses. This year we saved a bunch of money and are paying the taxes on most of the IRA to convert it to a Roth IRA. After we convert the remainder of the IRA this year, when we retire we will be making around $5,000 a month tax free.

Compared with many Americans going through a layoff, we are in great shape. That being said, though, I wish Hubby could have held onto his job until he was around 60 as he is just 57 now.

WHERE ARE WE NOW? Well, we are in the second week of Hubby's layoff and he seems to be doing pretty well with it. He is actually doing some free-lance work for his former employer and also taking care of some of our rentals which are not in the IRA. We need to make a new budget to get a better handle on keeping our expenses down. We have a paid off house and cars and no credit card debt -- no debts of any kind so we are in good shape. We always said that in retirement we hoped to live on $5,000 a month, so I guess now we will be getting a head start on starting that lifestyle. I bring home about $8,000 a month and things are going very well at my company. I would like to save about $3,000 a month and live on the remaining $5,000.

My former overspending ways are now a thing of the past. It is funny but it was hard to control my spending when money was "growing on trees" but when the going gets tough I am easily able to stop spending. Every time we go through something like this as we have at two other times in our lives I am always able to truly rein in the spending and I vow to never fritter away money again, but inevitably, once the income returns to normal levels I forget my wiser ways.

I have to admit that this is NOT a great turn of events and I am a bit scared of this new reality, but I also realize we are in good shape.

Hubby is going to put his resume out and slowly begin looking for a new job, so we will see what happens. But if he isn't able to find anything, he can focus on the rentals which are outside the IRA. I just want more than anything else for him to be happy. I know this sounds sexist, but if he were a woman he could just happily retire. Since he's a man, though, his self-worth is more tied up in the corporate world. Hubby is my world and I will support him in whatever direction he wants to go.

Ironically, just a couple of days before he was laid off, Hubby's boss had sent out a wonderful email about him to all the higher ups saying that he had been with the company 24 years and lauding his excellent work ethic and many wonderful accomplishments. Just two days later his boss had to call him and tell him they BOTH were being laid off. Doesn't the new corporate reality suck??

Thanks for listening.

5 Responses to “It Happened!”

  1. wife of the deacon Says:

    I, too, am scared of our new reality. DH's last day of paid employment is 8/31 (corporate merger left him out of a job) and severance will see him through the end of the year. And he's starting school in September. I have run the budget and the numbers (aka "post employment" reality). It is frightening, but being prepared and having an idea has been very helpful.

    Glad to see that things are going well for you. It is pretty tough out there, putting out resumes and dealing with headhunters. Keep us posted!

  2. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    24 years, a superb employee, then they fire him and contract with him as a freelancer? Wow. Bottom line means everything, doesn't it?

  3. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Sorry to hear this.

  4. for vegetarians Says:

    You have achieved a very good result because getting paid on retirement benefits is very good and an example for the rest.

  5. essay-editor.net/blog/professional-paper-editing-service-reaches-the-main-goals Says:

    Well, it sounds very attractive... I like that you tell us how to solve this problem. Very useful info. Best luck!

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