job loss http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/10423/all en-US What to Expect After These 5 Personal Financial Disasters http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-expect-after-these-5-personal-financial-disasters <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-to-expect-after-these-5-personal-financial-disasters" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-625592664.jpg" alt="what to expect after financial disasters" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Financial hardships can happen despite the most careful planning and saving. If you're facing a crisis, read on to learn what you can expect to happen and how you can handle these challenges. There are always options, and you can recover from even the most feared financial situations.</p> <h2>1. You've lost your primary source of income</h2> <p>There are many reasons why you might be facing a sudden, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-handle-a-sudden-loss-of-income" target="_blank">devastating loss of income</a>. Sometimes family, personal, or medical situations make it impossible for you to continue working; in other cases, the job itself ends, and you have to start over again. Losing your primary income source, of course, hits you hard financially. Other income &mdash; a partner's salary, perhaps, or side job &mdash; can help alleviate the financial impact. But that help is usually limited, either in amount or in duration. Here are a few things you can expect to happen.</p> <h3>Loss of savings</h3> <p>Losing your income means you quickly start relying on your emergency fund and any other savings you've accumulated. If you're able to quickly reduce your expenses, you can make your savings last longer.</p> <h3>Increased debt</h3> <p>If your savings aren't adequate, or if you face unexpected financial needs, you may find yourself debt-dependent in order to handle incoming bills. The worst case scenario is when you have to rely on high-interest debt (such as credit cards) to keep up.</p> <h3>Financial stress</h3> <p>Dealing with income loss, financial insecurity, and all the changes you have to make as a result quickly leads to stress. Stress, unfortunately, is no friend to you and decreases your ability to make smart, long-term decisions.</p> <h3>Change in lifestyle<strong> </strong></h3> <p>You'll need to cut your expenses as much as possible to handle income loss; though these changes aren't necessarily bad, they can cause emotional pain, personal discomfort, and induce more stress. Change is difficult even in positive circumstances, and change induced by financial crisis exacerbates stress and insecurity.</p> <h3>What you can do</h3> <p>There are many ways you can positively handle a loss of income:</p> <ul> <li>Do your best to reduce your immediate expenses, even if only temporarily.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Call and negotiate for delayed payment plans with creditors or other major billers. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/pay-these-6-bills-first-when-money-is-tight?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Pay These 6 Bills First When Money Is Tight</a>)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Get some money coming in; even a small amount of what you used to make will help you deal with bills and expenses. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-come-up-with-1000-in-the-next-30-days?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Come Up With $1,000 in the Next 30 Days</a>)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Reach out to your personal and professional network for work opportunities.</li> </ul> <h2>2. You've defaulted on a loan</h2> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/youve-defaulted-on-your-loan-now-what" target="_blank">Defaulting on a loan</a> feels like one of the worst possible financial situations. However, getting in over your head financially can happen to anyone. It doesn't have to end your financial future, but it will have some impact on your financial present. Here's what can happen after defaulting on a loan.</p> <h3>Lowered credit score</h3> <p>Late payments, missed payments, and account closures on debts can all bring your credit score down. A low credit score isn't the end of the world, but it will limit your ability to establish credit, get loans, or even rent a house or buy a car.</p> <h3>Calls from collection agencies</h3> <p>Different lenders have different rules, but after some period of nonpayment, your loan will most likely be passed on to a collection agency. While some agencies maintain a professional tone and approach, some do not and might become intrusive or aggressive. Even with courteous collectors, it's stressful and unpleasant to get letters and calls demanding debt repayment you know you can't afford. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/account-in-collections-heres-how-to-fix-it?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Account in Collections? Here's How to Fix It</a>)</p> <h3>Repossession of collateral</h3> <p>If the loan you've defaulted on has collateral &mdash; such as a mortgage or car loan &mdash; you may find yourself facing repossession. Home foreclosure is usually a last resort, as it's messy and costly for mortgage companies to handle.</p> <h3>What you can do</h3> <p>The best way to handle defaulting on a loan is with proactive negotiation. Try these steps:</p> <ul> <li>Negotiate a payment plan for delayed and/or split payments in order to avoid collection agencies.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Negotiate a debt settlement with the bank or credit holder. You'll usually need to make a cash payment, but only for a percentage of the total amount owed in order to clear the debt entirely.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Contact your mortgage company if the loan defaulted on is your house mortgage; explain your situation and ask them to help you work out an affordable, alternate payment plan. They don't want your house; they want your cash, and they may be willing to negotiate terms and minimum payments.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Examine options to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-tricks-to-consolidating-your-debt-and-saving-money" target="_blank">consolidate all your debt</a> into a single, smaller payment you can afford.</li> </ul> <h2>3. You've lost money in an investment</h2> <p>So you took some of your hard-won savings and decided to invest. Maybe it was in a friend's startup, a real estate project, or a stock that seemed like a sure thing. It didn't work out, and now you've got to handle the fallout. Assess the impact and start taking positive steps forward. Here are a few things you might initially face:</p> <h3>Loss of money</h3> <p>The most obvious consequence, of course, is the loss of your money; that hurts. Remember, however, that just as you lost money, you can also invest and save money. One painful investment loss does not poison the rest of your savings or investments.</p> <h3>Loss of confidence</h3> <p>The psychological impact of a bad money move can make you doubt your own financial prowess and decisions. It's okay to question yourself, but you want to learn, not stay stuck. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-loss-aversion-is-costing-you-more-than-your-fomo?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Your Loss Aversion Is Costing You More Than Your FOMO</a>)</p> <h3>Smaller retirement savings</h3> <p>If you were counting on the return from this investment as a key part of your retirement savings, you're now facing a major blow to your retirement plan.</p> <h3>Less ability to invest</h3> <p>A loss of money means, of course, lowered liquidity. You may not be financially able to build up savings quickly, which reduces your ability to invest and start rebuilding your portfolio.</p> <h3>What you can do</h3> <p>You don't have to run away from investing (nor should you!) because you made one choice that didn't work out. Start proactively using these options to recover:</p> <ul> <li>Meet with a financial planner to assess your options and go over any lingering financial questions or doubts.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-fast-ways-to-restock-an-emergency-fund-after-an-emergency" target="_blank">Rebuild emergency savings</a>, if you've used them up as part of your investment.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Lower expenses or increase income to replace what you've lost, by cutting back on expenses and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-best-side-jobs-for-fast-cash" target="_blank">adding in some side work</a> for a while.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Keep your savings steady; build up to a minimum investment amount and examine the safest high-yield options for your next investment.</li> </ul> <h2>4. You've racked up high-interest debt</h2> <p>It's never the plan to get stuck with high-interest debt. But with the right (or wrong) combination of life events and decisions, you can find yourself there. High-interest debt is a particularly bad kind of debt: If you can't make more than the minimum payments, your debt will continue to grow at a very fast rate. It's likely you'll be facing some unpleasant consequences such as:</p> <h3>Poor credit score<strong> </strong></h3> <p>If you've made a late payment or missed one altogether, your credit score can be affected negatively. And if you've accumulated more debt than you can manage, and you're frequently missing payments while you try to keep up, your credit score can take a big hit.</p> <h3>Loss of opportunities</h3> <p>When you're struggling to keep up with debt payments, you're limited. Whether it's an investment opportunity or the chance to enjoy some time off with friends, the burden of high-interest debt can keep you from affording the opportunities that come your way.</p> <h3>Financial embarrassment</h3> <p>Many people still struggle with feeling ashamed or embarrassed about having debt, even though having debt &mdash; a lot of it &mdash; is quite common. In fact, according to a 2017 poll conducted by Northwestern Mutual, 40 percent of Americans spend about half their monthly income on debt payments.</p> <h3>What you can do</h3> <p>Being burdened with high-interest debt may feel like a problem you can't solve, but there are steps you can take to reduce its impact on your life. Start with these actions:</p> <ul> <li>Communicate with the debt holder if you've fallen behind on payments. You can often negotiate a split or delayed payment, as long as you can guarantee a payment of some kind.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Learn about <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-best-credit-card-debt-elimination-strategies" target="_blank">debt repayment strategies</a> and which one might work best for you.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Whatever you do, don't add any more to your debt! Put away any active credit cards and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-spending-too-much-on-normal-expenses" target="_blank">reduce normal expenses</a> so you can live on your income without adding more debt to your life.</li> </ul> <h2>5. You're recovering from a divorce</h2> <p>Divorce not only has a huge impact on your emotional and psychological state, but also on your financial well-being. First, divorce itself is expensive; the average cost is between $15,000 and $20,000. In addition to footing your part of that bill, you might also face some of these huge costs:</p> <h3>Disproportional expenses</h3> <p>You might find that your expenses, carried over from your pre-divorce life, exceed your current, post-divorce income. You can reduce or eliminate expenses, but sometimes you're locked into agreements (such as a lease or a cellphone service contract) that keep you at a higher expense level than you can reasonably afford.</p> <h3>Lowered investment returns</h3> <p>If you and your former spouse were contributing to a joint account, you'll have to divide that up somehow in the divorce proceedings. If it's an even split, your half in an account by itself will produce reduced returns.</p> <h3>Big tax bills</h3> <p>If part of your divorce was to liquidate and divide all assets, you might be in for an unpleasant surprise when tax time rolls around. You may have to pay a hefty capital gains tax on certain investments or other assets that have been liquidated.</p> <h3>What you can do</h3> <p>By taking some smart steps forward, you can reduce the negative financial impact that a divorce has on you. Make these moves to take control of your financial life, post-divorce:</p> <ul> <li>Meet with a financial consultant as soon as possible to develop a plan for maximizing your investments and keeping your retirement savings on track. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-get-divorced?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Decide to Get Divorced</a>)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Call and negotiate with contract holders to eliminate any lingering, too-high expenses. There may be a buyout option you can take.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If possible, delay liquidation of shared assets or investments until you fully understand the taxes or fees that you'll face when they are liquidated. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-yourself-financially-during-a-divorce-or-separation?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Protect Yourself Financially During a Divorce or Separation</a></li> </ul> <p>It's not easy to recover from a financial disaster, but recovery is always an option. The most important things you can do are, first, face the situation squarely in order to figure out what your best options truly are. You may have more than you think.</p> <p>Secondly, don't be afraid to ask for help, which doesn't necessarily mean asking for money. Rather, you may be able to get help from your creditors (lowered payments), from your network (job opportunities), from your local community (selling your car, building a side hustle), and more.</p> <p>Moving forward and rebuilding takes time, but it's within your power.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fwhat-to-expect-after-these-5-personal-financial-disasters&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FWhat%2520to%2520Expect%2520After%2520These%25205%2520Personal%2520Financial%2520Disasters.jpg&amp;description=What%20to%20Expect%20After%20These%205%20Personal%20Financial%20Disasters"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/What%20to%20Expect%20After%20These%205%20Personal%20Financial%20Disasters.jpg" alt="What to Expect After These 5 Personal Financial Disasters" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/annie-mueller">Annie Mueller</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-expect-after-these-5-personal-financial-disasters">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-complacency-is-keeps-you-from-financial-security">How Complacency Keeps You From Financial Security</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/its-never-too-late-to-fix-these-5-money-mistakes-from-your-past">It&#039;s Never Too Late to Fix These 5 Money Mistakes From Your Past</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-financial-resolutions-you-can-conquer-before-new-years">10 Financial Resolutions You Can Conquer Before New Year&#039;s</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-start-a-family-before-reaching-these-5-money-goals">Don&#039;t Start a Family Before Reaching These 5 Money Goals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-before-moving-out-on-your-own">5 Money Moves to Make Before Moving Out on Your Own</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance debt default disasters emergency funds expenses income loss investments job loss loans money mistakes side gigs Mon, 11 Sep 2017 08:00:05 +0000 Annie Mueller 2017980 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Networking Tips for the Recently Unemployed http://www.wisebread.com/7-networking-tips-for-the-recently-unemployed <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-networking-tips-for-the-recently-unemployed" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/having_a_positive_attitude_is_rewarding.jpg" alt="networking tips for the recently unemployed" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Through no fault of your own, you find yourself unemployed. After the immediate shock, how do you start to look for work and connect with people who can get you back into the nine-to-five? Here's some much-needed advice.</p> <h2>1. First, take a breath</h2> <p>Before you go diving into social events, sending out mass emails, and making panicked phone calls, you need to take a little time to regroup. Losing a job is a traumatic experience, and you need to give yourself time to decompress, regroup, and reevaluate.</p> <p>We're not talking about two worry-free weeks vacationing on a beach in Cancun. This is more about not jumping into the stress and fatigue of a job hunt immediately after the stress and fatigue of a job loss. Do anything but networking for the first few days, whether it's spending a week at home tidying up or hanging out with family, heading to the mountains for a weekend, or visiting relatives in another state.</p> <h2>2. Get your ducks in a row before talking to anyone</h2> <p>Now, you're ready to get back in the game. Before you make a call or send an email, you have to be prepared. Is your resume up to date? Do you have a personal website that hosts samples of your most recent work? Do you have all the files needed from the office? If not, you may be able to ask human resources to send you whatever you need; after a layoff, some companies are happy to help employees with the transition (if you're fired, it's a different story).</p> <p>Make sure you also know exactly what you'll say to people. How will you explain being out of work? Why were you let go? Do you even want to bring it up? Some employers may see a layoff as part of life, others may think you were expendable for a reason. You want to have your answers rehearsed, and never play the victim. Don't go jumping into calls unprepared; you only get one chance to make a first impression.</p> <h2>3. Start with people you know well</h2> <p>It may seem like stating the obvious, but when anyone is laid off, they are not always thinking clearly. Often, the first thing people do is to start applying for jobs, and that's all well and good. But your own network of friends, colleagues, and even relatives may have just what you need to get ahead.</p> <p>So, call or email (calling is better) your top prospects. These are people you know well, you share a great relationship with, and potentially have leads for you. If they aren't directly connected to the industry you work in, they could very well know someone who is. And a lot of the time, these kinds of connections lead to job openings that have not even been posted on the employment sites yet.</p> <h2>4. Use sites like LinkedIn to connect with new contacts</h2> <p>LinkedIn is a great way to make new contacts through your existing networks of colleagues and friends. And if you really don't have any kind of connection with anyone, you can still ask to be linked to them. People like to build their networks, and it's usually easy enough to connect and send a message. Don't be shy about telling people your current situation and what you are looking for. If they're not hiring, they may know someone who is. You can also use other social media sites, like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, to let people know you're searching for work.</p> <h2>5. Attend local networking events</h2> <p>In almost every city, you will find opportunities to meet up with people who are in your industry. You can start by looking at a site such as <a href="https://www.meetup.com/" target="_blank">Meetup</a>, which gives you access to hundreds of different groups that meet regularly in your area. This is not just for people who like football or book clubs. The vast range of subjects to choose from makes it easy to hone in on your field, and talk to people who may have opportunities for you.</p> <h2>6. Join online forums and industry-related sites</h2> <p>Online forums are a great way to get advice. If you do an online search for your industry of choice, you should find a few active forums quickly. Also, a site like Reddit has sub-pages (subreddits) on thousands of careers. Join that subreddit, and start commenting and posting as soon as you can. You may quickly connect with someone who knows of a job opening.</p> <h2>7. Do not be afraid to take a break</h2> <p>This is crucial. You can suffer from networking burnout if you go all-in, trying to contact as many people as you can in the first week of your job search. Attending events, making calls, crafting resumes, writing emails, and chatting in forums is a lot of work. And it can also cause you to become incredibly deflated and discouraged when you get very little response in return.</p> <p>The truth is, in almost every industry, you are up against some stiff competition. It can take months to get a great lead that turns into a job interview and offer of employment. So, when you start to feel the pressure, take a day off. Do something that lets you decompress a little. Finding work is a job in and of itself, and you should give yourself the downtime you need to stay healthy and optimistic.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-networking-tips-for-the-recently-unemployed&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Networking%2520Tips%2520For%2520The%2520Recently%2520Unemployed.jpg&amp;description=7%20Networking%20Tips%20for%20the%20Recently%20Unemployed"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Networking%20Tips%20For%20The%20Recently%20Unemployed.jpg" alt="7 Networking Tips for the Recently Unemployed" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-networking-tips-for-the-recently-unemployed">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/job-hunting-with-a-long-employment-gap">Job Hunting With a Long Employment Gap</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-a-professional-association-can-boost-your-career">11 Ways a Professional Association Can Boost Your Career</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-crucial-job-searching-steps-most-people-skip">6 Crucial Job Searching Steps Most People Skip</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-someone-to-accept-your-linkedin-invitation">How to Get Someone to Accept Your LinkedIn Invitation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-ask-for-your-old-job-back-after-leaving">How to Ask for Your Old Job Back After Leaving</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Job Hunting applying connections events job loss LinkedIn networking unemployed Thu, 07 Sep 2017 08:31:07 +0000 Paul Michael 2016467 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Handle a Sudden Loss of Income http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-handle-a-sudden-loss-of-income <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-handle-a-sudden-loss-of-income" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/fired_from_work.jpg" alt="Fired from work" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Life happens. Sometimes, life can throw a sudden job loss or drop in income your way. Beyond saving up an emergency fund, you'll need to make a few key moves while you stay afloat. These steps will help minimize the damage and stabilize your finances, quickly.</p> <h2>Alert the people who need to know</h2> <p>There are some exceptions to this rule, but it usually pays to be proactive and honest about your financial situation. If you make the first move and have an honest talk with your landlord, for example, you might be able to negotiate a reduced rent for a few months, set up a split payment agreement, or mutually decide on a later due date for the payment. If you wait until the rent is overdue, and your landlord's patience is already stretched thin, those negotiations might not go so well.</p> <p>It can be intimidating to initiate these conversations; there's no guarantee they'll go your way, and it's humbling to admit that you're struggling financially. However, it's worth the effort. The worst you'll get is a, &quot;No.&quot; In the best case scenario, you may gain some extra time, waive some late fees, or find a much-needed reduction in what you have to pay.</p> <h2>Put payments on hold</h2> <p>If you have automatic payments, particularly large ones, call your bank and put them on hold. While your income is low, you need to assess and prioritize each payment you make, rather than let things flow automatically. You'll also avoid potential overdraft fees by holding those automatic transfers or payments.</p> <p>Some banks charge a fee for putting payments on hold; if that's the case, see if you can put the payment on hold from the payee-side of things rather than through the bank. In other words, if you have an automatic payment scheduled to your insurance provider, for example, and the bank will charge you to put a hold on that auto payment, call your insurance provider and cancel the automatic payment plan until you're ready to reinstate it.</p> <p>Be sure that you keep a spreadsheet or other record of all the payments you put on hold; they still need to be paid. You're just going to manually send those payments according to the best timing for each one. Don't lose track of the payments that need to be sent: Note the amount, the payee information, and the due date for each payment.</p> <p>If you know you'll be late on a bill or payment, call ahead. You may be able to negotiate a temporary, reduced payment plan for credit card debt, car payments, or other bills. Most companies would rather have some money than no money and will work with you, at least to some extent. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/pay-these-6-bills-first-when-money-is-tight?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Pay These 6 Bills First When Money Is Tight</a>)</p> <h2>Reduce your expenses</h2> <p>Take a good look at your budget and cut out all but the essentials. This usually means that you're paying bills and handling necessary expenses such as food and fuel in the car. Every other expense goes on hold: clothing, travel, entertainment, and so on need to wait. You can &mdash; and should &mdash; still have fun, but now is the time to opt for free activities. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-budget-overhaul-tricks-for-the-recently-unemployed?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Budget Overhaul Tricks for the Recently Unemployed</a>)</p> <p>For the time being, pay for your expenses in cash. First, you'll stay more aware of what you're spending if you're handing over a stack of bills. Second, you won't be buying things you can't really afford if you're paying cash. You either have the cash, or you don't; no cash, you don't buy it. This is a very simple way to reduce your expenses to the essentials, only.</p> <p>Remember that this is a temporary state of being. It's stressful to deal with income loss, and having to do without your favorite luxuries can make it even more difficult. However, reducing your expenses is key to getting your finances under control. Splurge on free experiences that help you relax and enjoy the moment, such as watching the sunset, taking a walk, meditating, listening to music, or volunteering.</p> <h2>Get money coming in</h2> <p>Now is the time to polish up all your side-hustle skills. You may not be able to get back to your original income level, but you can definitely pay some bills. There are numerous ideas for side gigs; you might start by offering your professional skills within your network. You can tutor, write, advise, consult, pick up a weekend job, do yardwork, become a virtual assistant, or any combination of those. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-best-side-jobs-for-fast-cash?ref=seealso" target="_blank">14 Best Side Jobs for Fast Cash</a>)</p> <p>Side work will help your mentality; it's important to keep working and be active rather than sink into helplessness. And more importantly, side work will bring in some money.</p> <h2>Don't panic</h2> <p>Last, but certainly not least: Don't panic. It's scary to watch your income plummet and your savings dwindle. But a sudden loss of income is not a reflection of your value as a person. It does not define you, and it does not limit your potential or your future. Many people have walked through the financial fire before and come out stronger than ever on the other side. By taking some of these smart steps now, you can start moving along that path yourself.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-handle-a-sudden-loss-of-income&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Handle%2520a%2520Sudden%2520Loss%2520of%2520Income.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Handle%20a%20Sudden%20Loss%20of%20Income"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Handle%20a%20Sudden%20Loss%20of%20Income.jpg" alt="How to Handle a Sudden Loss of Income" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/annie-mueller">Annie Mueller</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-handle-a-sudden-loss-of-income">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/youve-been-saving-money-all-wrong-heres-why">You&#039;ve Been Saving Money All Wrong. Here&#039;s Why</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-come-up-with-1000-in-the-next-30-days">How to Come Up With $1,000 in the Next 30 Days</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-the-holidays-to-teach-kids-about-money">How to Use the Holidays to Teach Kids About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-your-credit-report-does-not-include">7 Things Your Credit Report Does NOT Include</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-the-savings-strategy-that-works-for-you">How to Find the Savings Strategy That Works For You</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance bills budgeting cutting costs expenses job loss loss of income negotiating payments side jobs Thu, 17 Aug 2017 08:30:10 +0000 Annie Mueller 2003785 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Save for Retirement When You Are Unemployed http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-for-retirement-when-you-are-unemployed <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-save-for-retirement-when-you-are-unemployed" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/latin_american_woman_saving_in_a_piggybank.jpg" alt="Latin American woman saving in a piggy bank" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you're unemployed, saving for retirement may be the last thing on your mind. It may seem impossible to save for the future when you have no steady income to even pay basic bills.</p> <p>But depending on your situation, it may still be possible to build your nest egg even if you're not working full-time. Here are some tools and suggestions for keeping an eye on the future during a period of joblessness.</p> <h2>Familiarize yourself with IRAs</h2> <p>Individual retirement accounts (IRAs) are great for people who don't have access to employer-sponsored retirement plans like 401(k) accounts. A traditional IRA is similar to a 401(k), in that any contributions are deducted from whatever taxable income you have. With a Roth IRA, on the other hand, earnings are taxed up front, but any gains you have won't be taxed when you withdraw money at retirement age.</p> <p>IRAs are useful for people who are self-employed, or who earn money inconsistently through part-time or freelance work. So if you're not employed full-time but still have some earned income, these accounts can help you save.</p> <h2>Think of retirement savings as a necessary expense</h2> <p>When you're unemployed, it's important to get a handle on all of your expenses so that you know where you need to cut. You may find that there are a lot of costs (luxury purchases, eating out, cable TV) that can be taken out of your household budget, while other expenses (food, electricity, debt payments) are more necessary. If you think of retirement savings as a necessity, you will be forced to cut spending elsewhere.</p> <h2>Roll over your old 401(k)</h2> <p>If you've been laid off from a job, you will no longer be able to contribute to the 401(k) you may have had from your employer. But the account will still exist and the money is still yours. You can let the old 401(k) account sit, but it's better to roll it into a traditional individual retirement account (IRA). The IRA will give you more flexibility and investment options, and may also have lower fees. And you can begin contributing to it once you have any earned income at all.</p> <h2>Focus on rebalancing</h2> <p>You may not be able to add much to your retirement accounts, but you can work to make sure they are optimized. This means making sure you have the right mix of investments based on your retirement date, and getting the optimal blend of stocks in various industries and asset classes. It's always smart to examine your portfolio to ensure you are not over- or underinvested in any one area.</p> <h2>Look for higher bank interest rates</h2> <p>If you're not taking in much income for the time being, you need to have your cash savings working for you. That means any cash savings you have should generate as much income as possible. Interest rates are still quite low, but many online banks offer interest rates on CDs and savings accounts that are higher than average.</p> <h2>Avoid the temptation to cash out</h2> <p>It may be tempting to take money out of your retirement funds, but you should avoid it if at all possible. One of the best ways to see your retirement savings grow is to let your investments do their thing. You can see a meaningful increase in your retirement savings just from market gains, even if you're not contributing for the time being.</p> <p>Withdrawing from retirement accounts, however, has consequences. First, any money you take out has no chance to grow and help you expand your overall retirement savings. Second, there are penalties and taxes associated with taking money out of retirement accounts early. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-to-ask-before-you-borrow-from-your-retirement-account?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Questions to Ask Before You Borrow From Your Retirement Account</a>)</p> <h2>Continue to focus on growth, if you can</h2> <p>If you are unemployed and have some investments in a taxable brokerage account, you may be tempted to shift them to dividend stocks or other income-producing investments. This can give you extra income at a time when you may need it. But making this kind of adjustment could have a long-term negative impact on the overall growth of your portfolio. If dividends, bonds, or other income-focused investments will help you keep the lights on, fine. But it's best to focus on finding other sources of income, or reduce your spending first before going this route.</p> <h2>Reinvest dividends, if you can</h2> <p>If you do have dividend stocks already, you can still contribute to your retirement portfolio by reinvesting any dividend income you get from stocks. You may be tempted to use that investment income to pay bills and help get through your unemployed period, but if you can get by without it, direct the dividends to buy more stocks and other investments instead. Even small contributions added to your retirement accounts can add up to considerable savings over time.</p> <h2>Get your spouse involved</h2> <p>Perhaps you never thought to include your spouse in retirement planning because you felt it wasn't necessary while you were working. Now his or her income can be directed to help you save. This may be a challenge, since they are now also working to help pay more of the bills. But there are some ways to use your spouse's income for your own retirement accounts. If you have a traditional or Roth IRA, your spouse's earned income can go toward your account. (Note: This is only allowed if you file your taxes jointly.)</p> <h2>Plan to pay into accounts later</h2> <p>If you are unemployed but expect to be working in short order, you can postpone contributions to your IRA and add money later, even if it's after the end of the year. In fact, you can contribute to an IRA all the way up until April 15 of the following year. So for example, let's say you planned to max out your IRA by making monthly payments. (This would be about $458 monthly for a total of $5,500 for the year &mdash; the maximum amount allowed by the IRS for people under 50.) But let's say you are out of work from August through October of that year. You can hold off on contributing during that time and make up the difference in later months, even the first few months of the following year, if necessary.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-save-for-retirement-when-you-are-unemployed&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Save%2520for%2520Retirement%2520When%2520You%2520Are%2520Unemployed.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Save%20for%20Retirement%20When%20You%20Are%20Unemployed"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Save%20for%20Retirement%20When%20You%20Are%20Unemployed.jpg" alt="How to Save for Retirement When You Are Unemployed" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-for-retirement-when-you-are-unemployed">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/yes-you-can-pay-for-education-with-an-ira">Yes, You Can Pay for Education With an IRA</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-to-invest-in-stocks-past-age-50">7 Reasons to Invest in Stocks Past Age 50</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-sure-you-dont-run-out-of-money-in-retirement">How to Make Sure You Don&#039;t Run Out of Money in Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bookmark-this-a-step-by-step-guide-to-choosing-401k-investments">Bookmark This: A Step-by-Step Guide to Choosing 401(k) Investments</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-traps-to-avoid-with-your-401k">7 Traps to Avoid With Your 401(k)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment Retirement 401(k) contributions dividends interest rates job loss loss of income rebalancing Roth IRA saving money stocks traditional ira unemployment Wed, 12 Jul 2017 09:00:14 +0000 Tim Lemke 1979037 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 New Reasons You Need an Emergency Fund http://www.wisebread.com/4-new-reasons-you-need-an-emergency-fund <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-new-reasons-you-need-an-emergency-fund" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/emergency_fund_money_jar_filled_with_american_currency.jpg" alt="Emergency fund money jar filled with American currency" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You need an emergency fund: You've probably been told this plenty of times before, and you maybe haven't taken it as seriously as you should have.</p> <p>Well, some fresh data from 2017 proves that &hellip; yes, you really do need an emergency fund! If you've delayed stashing that money away, now is the time to start.</p> <h2>1. Potentially higher health care costs under AHCA</h2> <p>Let's start with a big-ticket item: health care. Under the current administration, the American Health Care Act (AHCA) is adjusting several items from its predecessor, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), otherwise known as Obamacare.</p> <p>Depending on several factors, including your age, and income level, and where you live, you may end up paying more or less under the AHCA than you did under the ACA. Those who are older, have a lower income, and live in an area with higher premiums are likely to pay more under the AHCA. For example, while a 40-year-old resident of Cherry County, Nebraska making $50,000 per year would pay 21 percent more in health premiums under the AHCA, a 27-year-old resident of Tulare County, California would pay 26 percent <em>less</em>.</p> <p>To get an idea of how much you would in pay under the AHCA, use this <a href="http://kff.org/interactive/tax-credits-under-the-affordable-care-act-vs-replacement-proposal-interactive-map/" target="_blank">predictor tool</a> from the Kaiser Family Foundation and get more information from your current health plan provider. Having an emergency fund would allow you to be ready to cover not only medical emergencies, but also the potential hike in those health care premiums.</p> <h2>2. Worrying about finances makes you less productive at work</h2> <p>According to recent data from the Employment Benefit Research Institute, three in 10 American workers claim they worry about personal finance at their workplace. Even worse, over 50 percent of those workers believe that time spent fretting about money is making them less productive for their employers.</p> <p>If you belong to this group of workers, then you would regain peace of mind at work with an emergency fund. By knowing that you could cover your necessities for three to six months if you were to lose your job, you would be able to focus on performing better and increasing your chance of a raise.</p> <h2>3. Average credit card APR is on the rise</h2> <p>What do you do when you don't have money to cover surprise expenses, such as the water heater breaking or the car going on the fritz? Most people without an emergency fund turn to a credit card.</p> <p>Well, here is some bad news: A CreditCards.com survey found that the average credit card APR had reached a record 15.89 percent as of June 14, 2017. If your credit score is less than perfect, you can expect to pay an interest rate even higher than that average.</p> <p>Remember, the whole point of having an emergency fund is to lower your financial risk. By using a credit card as an emergency fund, you're only adding risk to your personal finances.</p> <h2>4. Opportunity only comes around so often</h2> <p>Many people think of an emergency fund as a &quot;rainy day fund.&quot; However, others think of it as an &quot;opportunity fund&quot; &mdash; a way to never miss out on a great opportunity for want of cash. And while an emergency fund should never be thought of as play money, if you have enough saved, you can use some of that cash to fund a special opportunity that may not come again. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-opportunity-funds-are-the-new-emergency-funds?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Why &quot;Opportunity&quot; Funds Are the New Emergency Funds</a>)</p> <p>Here are some examples:</p> <ul> <li> <p>You have the chance to refinance your mortgage to a lower rate (and lower your monthly payment!), but you don't have any savings to cover the necessary $2,000 to $3,000 closing costs. Luckily, there's enough in your emergency fund to help you go through with the refi.</p> </li> <li> <p>You've had a lifelong dream of taking a two-week trip around Europe, but the tour company that you like is a little out of your price range. They offer a limited-time discount, and you pull some money from your emergency fund to take that trip of a lifetime.</p> </li> <li> <p>The refrigerator that you've had since college has been jacking up your electricity bill for years. You discover that you could slash your monthly bill by 40 percent <em>and </em>get an energy rebate from the state government if you were to buy a more energy-efficient model. You don't have the money upfront, and the rebate expires next month &hellip; but there's enough in your emergency fund.</p> </li> </ul> <p>The list goes on. An emergency fund is usually a building block to achieve financial security, but it could also allow you to gain financial freedom. Once you gain the discipline to save enough to cover your necessities in case of an emergency, you may be able to continue to save in case of a seizable opportunity &mdash; or even a lifelong dream.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F4-new-reasons-you-need-an-emergency-fund&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F4%2520New%2520Reasons%2520You%2520Need%2520an%2520Emergency%2520Fund.jpg&amp;description=4%20New%20Reasons%20You%20Need%20an%20Emergency%20Fund"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/4%20New%20Reasons%20You%20Need%20an%20Emergency%20Fund.jpg" alt="4 New Reasons You Need an Emergency Fund" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-new-reasons-you-need-an-emergency-fund">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-easy-to-fix-reasons-your-savings-account-isnt-growing">4 Easy-to-Fix Reasons Your Savings Account Isn&#039;t Growing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-places-to-check-out-medical-care-for-the-uninsured">5 Places to Check out Medical Care for the Uninsured</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-start-a-family-before-reaching-these-5-money-goals">Don&#039;t Start a Family Before Reaching These 5 Money Goals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-need-to-know-before-taking-out-a-personal-loan">10 Things You Need to Know Before Taking Out a Personal Loan</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-expect-after-these-5-personal-financial-disasters">What to Expect After These 5 Personal Financial Disasters</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance APR emergency fund expenses health care interest rates job loss opportunity fund rainy day fund saving money stress surprises Thu, 29 Jun 2017 08:00:10 +0000 Damian Davila 1973594 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Secrets You Need to Tell Your Financial Adviser http://www.wisebread.com/11-secrets-you-need-to-tell-your-financial-adviser <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-secrets-you-need-to-tell-your-financial-adviser" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-165869622.jpg" alt="Couple sharing secrets they need to tell their financial adviser" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>So you've made an appointment to sit down with a financial adviser and formulate a plan for your future. Are you prepared to talk about your full money situation? In order to truly help you, your financial adviser needs to look at the big picture. That means there can be no major money secrets.</p> <p>Financial advisers will often begin each session by asking a lot of questions that may seem personal. But they'd be negligent if they didn't. In fact, it's their fiduciary duty to learn as much about you as they can in order to advise you properly.</p> <p>Here's a list of secrets you'll need to share with your financial planner if you want the best advice.</p> <h2>1. All of your debt</h2> <p>When you're being crushed under a mountain of debt, you may not want to talk about it. But a financial adviser is perhaps the best person to discuss it with. Your adviser can't craft a sound financial plan for you if they're unaware that a good chunk of your income is going to pay off debt. If you let them know about your full debt situation, however, they may be able to assist you in climbing out of the hole and onto the path toward financial freedom.</p> <h2>2. Any job loss</h2> <p>It's not always easy to admit you are out of work. But a financial adviser can't help you properly if you don't provide a full picture of your income situation. If you're out of work now, let your adviser know. If you were out of work for a long stretch in the past, let them know that as well. Financial advisers can also help you navigate what to do when your income has been cut, as well as advise you on what to do with old 401(k) accounts and pension money. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/if-youre-lucky-enough-to-receive-a-pension-here-are-6-things-you-need-to-do?ref=seealso" target="_blank">If You're Lucky Enough to Receive a Pension, Here Are 6 Things You Need to Do</a>)</p> <h2>3. Family members you support</h2> <p>Do you pay child support? Do you regularly send money to your brother up in Buffalo? Do you have an elderly parent living with you? Your financial adviser will want to know about any money you spend to support other people, even if it's only occasionally or informally. These are expenses that have an impact on your overall financial picture, and are not the kinds of costs that you can easily eliminate.</p> <h2>4. Sizable gifts</h2> <p>You're fortunate enough to be given $25,000 from your generous Uncle Steve, but you feel like it's really not something you want people to know about. After all, who might come knocking on your door now that you have this extra cash on hand? That's understandable, but it's important to tell your financial adviser, because they can offer advice on what to do with the new funds. An unexpected influx of cash, even if it's just a one-time gift, can have a ripple effect on your overall saving strategy.</p> <h2>5. Tax troubles</h2> <p>Have you been diligent about paying your taxes? If not, this is something you'll want to tell your adviser. This goes for late taxes, tax liens on properties, and past audits. The longer you wait to take care of tax problems, the more you may end up paying in penalties and fees. Your financial adviser can help you clean up your tax issues, and will be in a better position to help you plan your future.</p> <h2>6. The status of your marriage</h2> <p>If you're meeting with an adviser, it helps to let them know if you're about to get married, or if your marriage is about to end. Marriage and divorce have all kinds of financial implications on everything from income to taxes to planning for retirement.</p> <h2>7. Your vices</h2> <p>Gambling. Alcoholism. A shopping addiction. We all have our bad habits, but it's important to be aware of those vices that impact your finances. Are you at risk of incurring debt due to a major gambling binge? Is alcohol preventing you from landing steady work? Your financial adviser can't accurately assess your finances if they don't know the situation.</p> <p>According to Doug Amis, a CFP with Cardinal Retirement Planning in Cary, NC, even casual marijuana use is something clients should disclose to planners, because many life insurance companies still test for it.</p> <h2>8. Anything that your kids need to know</h2> <p>Hans Scheil, CEO and owner of Cardinal Retirement Planning, says that his most challenging clients are those who have kept important information from family members. This secrecy can create difficulty in later years, when facing important estate decisions.</p> <p>&quot;What happens with people now is that they develop dementia, or some sort of chronic illness, and they end up needing care,&quot; Scheil said. &quot;This is when all of the family scandals come out.&quot;</p> <p>Scheil says it's important to anticipate what your children and grandchildren may need to know about your estate to avoid strife down the road.</p> <h2>9. Charitable giving</h2> <p>It may seem odd to think of this as something you'd hide, but financial advisers say they've met with clients who have quietly been giving to a cause that their spouse or other loved ones might not agree with. Your donations to charity may not seem like anyone's business, but they can impact your overall savings if you give a substantial amount. A financial adviser can also walk you through getting tax deductions for your charitable donations.</p> <h2>10. Your own lack of financial knowledge</h2> <p>Are you the type who doesn't know an IRA from an IPA? Are you mystified by mutual funds and baffled by bonds? It's OK, your financial adviser is not there to judge you and will likely be more annoyed by any attempt to bluff your way through a meeting. Financial advisers can help you understand the ins and outs of investing and estate planning, so it's useless to pretend to know more than you do.</p> <h2>11. All of your side hustles</h2> <p>When your financial adviser asks you about your income, they want to hear about everything. Not just your day job, but your side work giving piano lessons, your freelance writing, your pottery sales, and even your gambling winnings. You may be hiding this income because you don't want to pay taxes. But your adviser needs to know about this extra income, or else any financial plan they create will be flawed. Moreover, your financial adviser can often give you advice on how to turn a quiet side hustle into a legitimate, profitable business.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-secrets-you-need-to-tell-your-financial-adviser">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/could-a-divorce-improve-your-finances">Could a Divorce Improve Your Finances?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-yourself-financially-during-a-divorce-or-separation">How to Protect Yourself Financially During a Divorce or Separation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-myths-about-divorce-and-money-debunked">4 Myths About Divorce and Money, Debunked</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-manage-your-money-during-a-spousal-separation">How to Manage Your Money During a Spousal Separation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bad-credit-it-might-cost-you-your-marriage">Bad Credit? It Might Cost You Your Marriage</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance debt divorce financial advisers financial planning gambling honesty job loss marriage Secrets taxes Tue, 28 Mar 2017 10:01:05 +0000 Tim Lemke 1915280 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways to Handle a Forced Early Retirement http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-handle-a-forced-early-retirement <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-to-handle-a-forced-early-retirement" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_taking_notes_73540307.jpg" alt="Woman finding ways to handle early retirement" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You had a plan: You would work until 67, contributing the maximum amount of each paycheck into your company's 401K plan. You would then <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-plan-for-retirement-when-you-re-ready-to-retire">enjoy a retirement</a> of traveling the world and spending time with your grandchildren.</p> <p>But then your company changed your plans. They let you go you at age 55 or 60. Finding a new job at this age isn't easy. According to an AARP study released in 2015, 45% of job hunters aged 55 or older were members of the long-term unemployed, those who were out of work for 27 weeks or longer. And when these older job seekers did find new jobs, they tended to earn less money. The same AARP survey found that almost 48% of people 55 or older were earning less on their new jobs than they did at their old ones.</p> <p>Those are intimidating numbers. But they don't mean that a forced early exit from the workforce will dash your retirement dreams. Here are five steps that you can take after you've been laid off or fired to make your earlier-than-planned retirement a successful one.</p> <h2>1. Assess Your Financial Reality</h2> <p>It's easy to panic when you've lost a job. But your financial situation might not be as dire as you think. To find out, it's time to perform a quick financial assessment.</p> <p>First, list your monthly expenses. These might be lower if you are no longer paying a mortgage each month. Then list the income you have coming into your household. Maybe your spouse's income means that you can still save enough money each month for a happy retirement. Maybe you'll need an extra income boost from somewhere to still hit those goals.</p> <p>Depending on how close you are to your official retirement age, you might decide to start receiving your monthly Social Security payments. You'll get less each month if you haven't reached full retirement age, but if you can't hold off on the extra monthly income, receiving your benefits a few years early might be a sound move.</p> <p>If you were laid off or fired, you probably qualify, too, for unemployment insurance. Make sure to take advantage of this. That extra monthly income could help you stay on track for your retirement goals.</p> <h2>2. Get Realistic About Your Retirement Goals</h2> <p>You might have to scale back your retirement goals should you be forced to exit the workplace earlier than planned. Maybe you planned to take a long trip every year. If you're forced out of work five years early, you might have to scale that back to just three big trips spread out over your entire retirement.</p> <p>This doesn't mean that your retirement is ruined. But you might have to refocus. Maybe instead of joining that high-priced country club, you'll be taking your golf clubs to public courses throughout your city.</p> <h2>3. Make Sure You Have a Plan for Insurance</h2> <p>You'll need health insurance even after you lose your job. You might qualify for Medicare or Medicaid, though you might not qualify for these government programs depending on your age and income levels.</p> <p>If you need insurance not offered through the government, you can search for a low-cost plan through the insurance exchange created under the Affordable Care Act.</p> <p>Letting your health insurance lapse can be a costly mistake.</p> <h2>4. Find Part-Time Work to Fill in the Income Gaps</h2> <p>If you need some extra income each month, consider taking a part-time job. This work, even if it doesn't come with the benefits of a traditional full-time job, could provide you with the extra bit of cash that will keep your retirement dreams alive.</p> <p>Depending on your field, you might find a part-time job as a consultant. But even if you can't, you can still find enjoyment, and some extra financial security, by taking on a position in a new field.</p> <h2>5. Meet With a Professional</h2> <p>Retirement planning is complicated when everything goes according to plan. When those plans are suddenly changed? It's even more of a challenge to make sure that you have enough dollars saved for your after-work years.</p> <p>That's why it's important to meet with a financial adviser who can help you determine what financial steps you need to take now. Depending on your income and community, you might even qualify for free financial advice.</p> <p>A financial planner can help you create a new budget and a new financial plan that fits with your new money reality.</p> <p><em>Have you faced early retirement? What steps have you taken?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-handle-a-forced-early-retirement">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-actions-women-can-take-right-now-to-get-their-retirement-on-track">5 Actions Women Can Take Right Now to Get Their Retirement On Track</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-keys-to-an-early-retirement">4 Keys to an Early Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-reasons-people-dont-retire-early-and-how-you-can">4 Reasons People Don&#039;t Retire Early — and How You Can</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-your-taxes-will-change-when-you-retire">Here&#039;s How Your Taxes Will Change When You Retire</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-moves-that-guarantee-a-great-retirement">4 Moves That Guarantee a Great Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement 401k early retirement extra income forced retirement insurance job loss medicaid medicare part-time jobs unemployed Tue, 07 Jun 2016 09:30:33 +0000 Dan Rafter 1725699 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Signs Your Company Is Going Under http://www.wisebread.com/10-signs-your-company-is-going-under <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-signs-your-company-is-going-under" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000064158607_Large.jpg" alt="her company is going under" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you have ever read <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0399144463/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=0399144463&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=BESEB2MCRG366GKZ">Who Moved My Cheese?</a> you'll know that there are warning signs everywhere about an impending job loss. But what about the company itself? Is it safe? Or is it in real trouble? If you're having a few doubts about the future of your company, look out for these 10 red flags. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-financial-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-fired?ref=seealso">11 Financial Moves to Make the Moment You Get Fired</a>)</p> <h2>1. There's a Hiring Freeze</h2> <p>When a company is doing well, it will be actively looking to expand and add talented new people to the roster. When times are tough, the HR department will initiate a hiring freeze. This is never a good sign. It can be done in a few ways. If the company management does things in a transparent way, they'll be up front about it. You'll be told that there is a hiring freeze until things stabilize. </p> <p>However, most of the time, you'll be given no warning. Positions that should have been filled will be left vacant. When an employee quits, one or two other people will take on their responsibilities. Take a look at the current openings at your company &mdash; they should be listed on an intranet, or publicly on job boards. If you don't see any positions out there, or there are positions that have been open for many months, or years, then your company is probably in the midst of a hiring freeze.</p> <h2>2. Closed Door Meetings Are Everywhere</h2> <p>You walk through the halls of the company and office doors are closed, or sometimes slammed in your face. You peek in to see people clearly upset with raised voices, red faces, and there's a lot of shrugging shoulders and hair pulling. Unless your company has a specific reason to keep a lot of secrets &mdash; perhaps there's a top secret new product in development &mdash; then this can only mean one thing: bad news. Management will not want rumors to start running rampant, and will tell the decision makers to keep everything under wraps. Not only that, but when you ask questions about it, you'll get vague replies. These closed door meetings are not only bad for morale, but a sure sign that there are conversations happening about the future of the company.</p> <h2>3. The Good Employees Start Leaving</h2> <p>Good is a relative term, but in your company you will have employees who are known to be excellent at their jobs. They are good for the business, they are passionate and driven, and they are working on the important projects. When these employees start leaving on their own accord, for jobs that may be seen as a lateral move (or even a downward move), you know something is wrong. The rock stars of any company have a good handle on things, and their gut (plus inside information) will tell them to escape while they can. If upper management starts quitting, that's an even bigger sign of trouble ahead.</p> <h2>4. Layoffs and Reorganizations Are Constant</h2> <p>A company doing well does not need to lay people off, or continually restructure. A company performing poorly will look to cut staffing costs, and shuffle the remaining employees around. It's a Hail Mary approach that rarely works. Layoffs may result in some of the better employees being let go due to salary, or internal politics. The increased pressure on the remaining staff to do more work will take its toll. Mistakes will be made. Problems will escalate. Before you know it, six months have passed and the company is in even worse shape. And then there will be more layoffs, and more reorganization. When this loop occurs, the doors will be closing imminently.</p> <h2>5. Playing It Safe Is Encouraged</h2> <p>Taking risks is part of the business &mdash; any business. After all, starting a company is a risk, and risks are often required in order to grow and succeed. When risk-taking is suddenly frowned upon, you know the company is on shaky ground. What was once considered a bold move will be rebranded as dangerous, or problematic. Your company will slide into patterns of doing only what worked in the past, despite market changes and demographics shifting. Instead of making decisions that will elevate the company, management will pull back, and &quot;play it safe.&quot; Expansion disappears. Innovation crumbles. Everything that made your company a success will be relegated to the back benches, with &quot;tried and tested&quot; solutions taking the lead. When playing it safe is the mantra, it's a big sign of weakness.</p> <h2>6. Everyone Is Unhappy</h2> <p>The conversation in the kitchen is all about how much the culture sucks. At lunch, employees everywhere are complaining about the state of the company, and the future it probably doesn't have. Smiles are in short supply. Everyone is stressed out. The entire staff is walking around with the weight of the world on their shoulders. This is not the kind of culture you'd see at Pixar or Google. Energetic, enthusiastic employees are the sign of a thriving company; the opposite is true of companies that are on the ropes. When everyone is down, the company is going in that very same direction&hellip; and quickly.</p> <h2>7. There's No Money to Do Anything</h2> <p>Cash flow is extremely important to any company. It's the lifeblood of the business, and without it, it's hard to pay salaries, order products, and advertise. In the past, getting the money you needed to get the job done was no problem. Now, it's a struggle. Your requisition for new supplies is denied. Pay raises are eliminated. People are asked to take salary cuts, or even worse, work for free &mdash; furloughs are very real, and very scary. Bills are not being paid. Vendors call you angry about not receiving money they are owed. These are all classic signs of serious money troubles. They are usually followed by closing the doors, for good.</p> <h2>8. The Company Stock Is in Free Fall</h2> <p>If your company is on the stock market, you can track the share price. Every stock has its ups and downs, but if the only way is down, your company has issues. Now, this may be because of a recent press release, or a piece of news that directly impacts your industry. However, if your company is in good shape, it should be a small fluctuation. When the stock starts tanking, and continues on that downward trajectory, things are bad. What's even worse is when major shareholders, including management, start selling off a majority of their shares. If they want out, the end is near. Get out now while you can, and don't let what happened to <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enron#Post-bankruptcy">Enron</a> employees happen to you.</p> <h2>9. Benefits and Freebies Dry Up</h2> <p>Your company was once great at giving employees the benefits they deserved. Not just health care and vacation, but things like free sodas and snacks, parking reimbursements, college tuition, and matching 401K. When times are tough, the perks disappear. If you now have to pay for a lot of the things you used to get for free, your company is in financial trouble. What's worse is that these perks, or lack of them, impact employee morale. Being asked to do more for less is never going to result in a great workforce, which then results in poor performance.</p> <h2>10. You're Not Busy</h2> <p>Your days used to fly by. You were frantic at times, but always had a lot on your plate. Now, you find yourself staring out of the window, or sending emails to people asking for something to do. When it's just you, it could be a clear sign that your position is about to be eliminated. But when there are many people in the company twiddling their thumbs, things are looking bleak. No business can afford to pay a staff to do nothing. If you're not busy for a long period of time, it's time to move on.</p> <p><em>What are some other signs that a company is in trouble? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/10%20Signs%20Your%20Company%20Is%20Going%20Under.jpg" alt="10 Signs Your Company Is Going Under" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-signs-your-company-is-going-under">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-words-to-never-use-in-a-job-interview">10 Words to Never Use in a Job Interview</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-ace-your-next-coffee-interview">How to Ace Your Next Coffee Interview</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/escape-your-dying-industry-with-one-of-these-8-careers-instead">Escape Your Dying Industry With One of These 8 Careers, Instead</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-the-job-without-saying-a-word">How to Get the Job Without Saying a Word</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-job-search-stunts-to-get-you-noticed-by-employers">7 Job Search Stunts to Get You Noticed by Employers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building Job Hunting company employee morale employee turnover going out of business job loss job search job stress laid off lay offs Fri, 29 Apr 2016 09:30:30 +0000 Paul Michael 1699776 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Financial Moves to Make the Moment You Get Fired http://www.wisebread.com/11-financial-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-fired <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-financial-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-fired" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000077659843_Large.jpg" alt="she needs to make these money moves after getting fired" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Just about everyone goes through a job loss at some point in their lives. Hopefully, any job loss you endure will only result in a short time out of work, and minimal financial hardship. But even if you expect your time between jobs to be short, there are a number of things you should do right away to ensure you can make it through a stretch of time with no income.</p> <p>As someone who endured two layoffs in the past, I can tell you that these steps will help keep you afloat until you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-moves-to-make-after-a-promotion">land a new position</a>.</p> <h2>1. Determine if You Are Eligible for Severance and Vacation Pay</h2> <p>If you've been let go from a job, employers will often provide severance pay based on the length of time you worked there. You may also be paid for any unused vacation time. The company should explain your eligibility for these funds upon your termination, but if not, make a point to check with the human resources department. In some cases, you may have to engage an attorney to fight for what you believe you are owed.</p> <p>Companies generally aren't required to offer severance at all, but there are instances when you may feel you are due money for uncompensated overtime or other reasons. Just keep in mind that benefits may vary depending on if you were fired for cause or laid off through no fault of your own.</p> <h2>2. Assess Your Emergency Fund</h2> <p>Now is the time when your savings will come in handy. If you've followed the advice of many personal finance experts, you have at least three months of expenses available in liquid savings. But now is the time to assess precisely how much you have and what your expenses actually are. With proper savings and cuts to your spending, you should hopefully be able to pay your bills until you get back to work.</p> <h2>3. Reduce Unnecessary Expenses</h2> <p>You may <em>think</em> you're living frugally, but now is the time to really strip life down to the bare essentials. Your expenses should really come down to your rent or mortgage, utilities, and a modest food budget. (Keep the Internet and cell phone services, as you may need them for your job search.) But that cable TV subscription? Kill it. Gym membership? Suspend it. Avoid going out to eat, or shopping at high-end grocers. And turn down the thermostat a couple of degrees. Every penny you save now is money that will help get you through to the next job.</p> <h2>4. Assess Your Health Insurance Situation</h2> <p>If you received health insurance through your employer, your benefits may no longer be accessible to you. It's likely that you are eligible for COBRA benefits, which provide discounted coverage between when your benefits run out and when new benefits kick in. After a job loss, you usually have 60 days to apply for COBRA benefits, and they last between 18 and 36 months, depending on your situation. At this time, it's also worth exploring insurance options available under the Affordable Care Act at HealthCare.gov.</p> <h2>5. Apply for Unemployment Benefits (But Don't Necessarily Claim Them Right Away)</h2> <p>If you've lost your job, there's a good chance you'll be eligible for compensation from unemployment insurance. In most states, unemployed people are entitled to up to 26 weeks of benefits that are a portion of their previous salary. Note that earnings from part-time or freelance work can be deducted from unemployment benefits. You don't necessarily have to claim unemployment benefits right away if you still have some money coming in, but it's still important to research options and get your name into the system immediately after a job loss.</p> <h2>6. Accept Outplacement Service if It Is Offered</h2> <p>You may feel like you can do a job search by yourself, but if your former employer is connecting you with assistance for free, take it. Outplacement professionals can help you update your resumé, assess your skills to see what jobs might be right for you, and even help you with interviews and salary negotiations.</p> <h2>7. Update Your Resumé and LinkedIn Profile</h2> <p>Hopefully, these are things you've kept more or less up-to-date anyway, but if you haven't looked at them in a while, give them some attention now. You don't have to necessarily reveal that you are between jobs, but it's important to have up-to-date information on your skills and accomplishments. Be sure to make several resumés based on the different types of jobs you may be pursuing. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-minutes-to-a-linkedin-profile-that-gets-you-hired?ref=seealso">30 Minutes to a LinkedIn Profile That Gets You Hired</a>)</p> <h2>8. Collect All Your Retirement Account Information</h2> <p>If you've lost your job, you're no longer going to be able to contribute to your company's 401K, or other similar retirement plan. You don't necessarily have to do anything with the account right away, but eventually, you may want to roll your old 401K into another 401K or IRA.</p> <p>In the immediate term, make sure you save the login and password information to the account, as well as any relevant paperwork. It will also be important to check your account balance to see how much of your matched contributions were &quot;vested.&quot; If you leave a company after a short amount of time, it's possible that the company can reclaim some matching contributions.</p> <h2>9. Adjust Your Auto Insurance Premium</h2> <p>What you pay for auto insurance is often partially based on how much you drive. If you are no longer commuting to work, you may be able to reduce your premium slightly by arguing that you're driving less. Your rate is especially likely to go down if you're no longer driving and parking in a dense, urban area.</p> <h2>10. Take a Breather</h2> <p>It's okay to take some time off before doing any hardcore thinking about your next career move. While you don't waste a lot of time in getting back to work, it's important to make decisions with a clear head. Do you want to remain in the same field? Do you want to start your own business? Do you even need to go back to work full-time? There is a lot to think about, so take some time. This is as much a financial move as one for your mental health, because the last thing you want to do is rush into a job that you're not suited for and find yourself back in the unemployment line again.</p> <h2>11. Reallocate Some Investments for Income</h2> <p>If you have some investments in a non-retirement account, it's worth examining whether you can adjust them to produce some income. It's not necessarily a good idea to immediately sell a large quantity of stocks or mutual funds, especially if they are for long-term savings. You certainly don't want to do anything rash. But perhaps a portion of your portfolio could shift to bonds or dividend stocks that will help bring you some extra cash.</p> <p><em>What other money moves should you make after getting fired? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-financial-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-fired">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-first-5-things-you-must-do-after-getting-laid-off">The First 5 Things You Must Do After Getting Laid Off</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/whats-an-employee-to-do-part-1">What&#039;s an employee to do? Part 1</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-signs-youre-working-for-an-impossible-boss">7 Signs You&#039;re Working for an Impossible Boss</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-you-should-always-ask-in-an-exit-interview">8 Questions You Should Always Ask in an Exit Interview</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-write-a-resume-12-steps-to-your-next-job">How To Write A Resume: 12 Steps To Your Next Job</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Budgeting employment fired getting fired job loss jobs layoffs money moves resume unemployment Tue, 08 Mar 2016 10:00:05 +0000 Tim Lemke 1667924 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Go From Two Incomes to One http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-go-from-two-incomes-to-one <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-go-from-two-incomes-to-one" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_using_tablets_000081377523.jpg" alt="Couple learning how to go from two incomes to one" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Are you planning on taking some time off from work to raise a family &mdash; or has your spouse recently lost their job? Living on one income can be challenging, but it doesn't have to spell financial disaster. Consider the following ways to reduce the stress of a household income transition.</p> <h2>1. Plan a Trial Run</h2> <p>If possible, try giving a one-income lifestyle a trial run for at least a couple of months before making any sudden changes to your household. Act like the second income doesn't exist. This will help you determine if a one-income lifestyle is attainable, prepare you for any challenges ahead, and help you build up your savings in the meantime before transitioning to one income.</p> <h2>2. Make a Budget</h2> <p>If you aren't sure of how much you'll need to meet your monthly expenses on one income, then use a <a href="http://www.parents.com/pregnancy/considering-baby/financing-family/calculator/">stay-at-home calculator</a> for an accurate estimate. Once you understand your monthly needs, work on creating a budget and sticking to it.</p> <p>Your budget should factor for fixed expenses like rent, car payments, utilities, health and life insurance, credit cards and loan payments, cable and cell phone bills, taxes, and necessities like groceries. But you should also account for variable expenses, like eating out and entertainment, subscriptions, and other expenses that you can more easily limit.</p> <p>You may need to get aggressive in cutting some of these expenses, like <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-easy-ways-to-save-on-your-gym-membership">canceling your gym membership</a> or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-great-hair-without-the-salon">visiting the salon less often</a>. And make sure you aren't living beyond your means when it comes to your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-way-to-decide-how-much-rent-you-can-really-afford">rent or mortgage</a> and car payments.</p> <h2>3. Build Up a Savings Cushion</h2> <p>Building a savings cushion becomes doubly important now that your household will be subsisting on a single income. The average family should save a minimum of three to six months' worth of expenses &mdash; and ideally up to a year's worth, if possible. While you're at it, create a contingency plan to help manage any further changes in income, unexpected expenses, or other financial emergencies.</p> <h2>4. Pay Off Debt</h2> <p>One-income households are less able to handle debt, so try to reduce what you owe as much as possible <em>before</em> transitioning to once earnings stream. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-fastest-method-to-eliminate-credit-card-debt">Eliminate credit card debt</a> and pay down as much as possible early on, and by all means, try not to add any further debt to your plate so that you don't increase your monthly expenses.</p> <h2>5. Strive to Save More Every Month</h2> <p>A lower household income means it's even more important to do all you can to save money wherever possible. Some easy tips for cutting monthly expenses include:</p> <ul> <li>Shop sales and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-couponing-apps">use coupons</a>, whenever and wherever possible.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Limit dining out. When you do dine out, look for deals from sites like Ebates and Restaurant.com, so you can save money at all your favorite restaurants.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Take advantage of free activities with your family. Plan free date nights and family outings together.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Host swaps with your friends and family. You can swap food, clothes, books, or toys. You can clear clutter out of your home and receive items that feel like new from your friends and family.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Take advantage of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-5-apps-will-help-you-finally-organize-your-money">personal finance apps</a> to stay on track and receive alerts when you risk going over budget.</li> </ul> <h2>Living on One Income &mdash; Even When You Don't Need To</h2> <p>The steps outlined above are wonderful for households downsizing their income, but they work just as well in a two-earner household. In fact, living on a single income and saving the other is an excellent way to strengthen your finances quickly. And if you do find yourself needing to live on one income, you'll be better prepared &mdash; financially and psychologically.</p> <p><em>What are your tips for going down to one income? Please share your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-go-from-two-incomes-to-one">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/47-simple-ways-to-waste-money">47 Simple Ways To Waste Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-handle-a-sudden-loss-of-income">How to Handle a Sudden Loss of Income</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/looking-on-the-bright-side-how-to-find-a-silver-lining-in-the-current-financial-crisis">Looking On The Bright Side: How to Find A Silver Lining In The Current Financial Crisis</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-keeping-you-from-a-life-of-financial-independence">What is keeping you from a life of financial independence?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-living-on-one-income-a-status-symbol">Is living on one income a status symbol?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Lifestyle budgeting household job loss one income stay at home parent Tue, 12 Jan 2016 14:00:02 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1634309 at http://www.wisebread.com Is Your Emergency Fund Costing You Money? http://www.wisebread.com/is-your-emergency-fund-costing-you-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/is-your-emergency-fund-costing-you-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/emergency_fund_000051326450.jpg" alt="Find out if your emergency fund is too big" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all know that an emergency fund is an essential tool in personal money management. And even newbies to personal finance can probably tell you how big an <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-your-emergency-fund-big-enough-to-keep-you-afloat">emergency fund</a> should be &mdash; large enough to cover about three to six months of expenses.</p> <p>But what if that rule of thumb is incorrect? If you have an emergency fund that is larger than you need, it could be costing you.</p> <p>Here is what you need to know about figuring out the emergency fund sweet spot for your budget, and why it matters so much.</p> <h2>1. What Constitutes an Emergency?</h2> <p>The typical advice for creating an emergency fund assumes that you would need this fund in case of job loss. That's why the recommendation is to have several months of living expenses set aside, and why Suze Orman in particular suggests that you need <a href="http://www.suzeorman.com/resource-center/suze-orman-money-tips-video-collection/what-ifs-of-life/">eight month's expenses</a>, since an average period of unemployment lasts about 32 weeks.</p> <p>But generally, people who access their emergency fund need the money for an unexpected one-time expense, such as a car repair or medical emergency. This is a far cry from the kind of ongoing emergency you would be facing after a job loss &mdash; and you have much more leeway to handle such a gradual emergency creatively.</p> <p>That's why it's a smart strategy to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-one-family-lives-well-and-even-owns-a-home-on-just-11-an-hour">create a Plan B budget</a> that you could institute in case you lose your job. If you know ahead of time what specific budget items could be struck from your monthly expenses, a smaller emergency fund could handle unemployment much longer than the typical advice would have you believe.</p> <p>In addition, having a Plan B budget gives you options when there is a small financial setback &mdash; such has having to take a pay cut, for instance &mdash; without you having to dip into the emergency fund.</p> <p>It's also unlikely that a job loss emergency will mean you are completely without a paycheck for several months. You might be able to find temporary or freelance work or draw some unemployment benefits, while also seriously reducing some of your expenses.</p> <h2>2. Expecting the Unexpected</h2> <p>So you know that you don't need a large emergency fund in case of a job loss. What about those unexpected one-time expenses? It's not possible to know exactly when your refrigerator will give up the ghost, or when you will need expensive dental surgery.</p> <p>Except that it is possible to plan ahead for most unexpected expenses. According to a 2007 survey by the Pew Research Center, 34% of people <a href="http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/files/2010/10/Saving.pdf">experienced unexpected expenses</a> in the previous year. These were the kinds of unexpected costs they faced:</p> <ul> <li>34% had medical expenses,</li> <li>24% had car expenses,</li> <li>20% had home and housing expenses,</li> <li>9% had life event and child expenses, and</li> <li>The remaining expenses were comprised of work, travel and vacation-related, pets, and taxes.</li> </ul> <p>Each of these types of &quot;unpredictable&quot; expenses is actually fairly inevitable. No matter how healthy you are, it's likely that you will need some sort of medical care eventually. If you own a car or a home, you need to maintain it. Though you might not know when to expect a birth, a death, or a wedding, you do know that they will happen.</p> <p>So instead of treating these sorts of situations as emergencies, it makes more sense to create a targeted budget category for any expense that might otherwise take you by surprise. For instance, you might create a car repair budget category into which you put aside $100 per month. Then when you have an &quot;unexpected&quot; repair, you will have money already set aside for that purpose.</p> <h2>3. The Cost of a Big Emergency Fund</h2> <p>Just because it's unlikely that you will need six months' worth of expenses set aside, and your unexpected emergencies can be mitigated with targeted budget categories, what's the harm in keeping a large emergency fund? It can feel good to have the security of a lot of cash on hand.</p> <p>Unfortunately, there is a major cost for that sense of security: inflation.</p> <p>The cost of inflation averages about 3% per year. Even the best high-yield savings accounts currently offer an annual interest rate of 1% or less. That means inflation is eating 2% of your emergency fund with every year that passes &mdash; and inflation, like interest, compounds. For instance, if you have $15,000 in a savings account with a 1% APR and 3% inflation, your money will only be worth $10,133.84 of today's dollars in twenty years. (If you would like to check my math, this is the <a href="http://www.moneychimp.com/articles/econ/inflation_calculator.htm">inflation calculator</a> I used.)</p> <p>If you never experience a job loss and use targeted budgeting categories, it is very possible that you might not need to use your $15,000 savings account at any point during those twenty years. You could have done something much better with that money.</p> <h2>4. Emergency Fund Best Practices</h2> <p>It makes sense to always keep some money in a savings account so you can access the funds quickly, just in case. But above a certain emergency fund ceiling, a smart move is to invest extra cash that would otherwise collect dust in your emergency fund. In particular, parking that money in a low-fee mutual fund can help you grow your money, while still keeping the funds available in the event of that mythical job loss.</p> <p>The question is, where should you place the ceiling for your savings account emergency fund?</p> <p>It all depends on what amount of money on hand helps you sleep at night and how much you otherwise have invested. If you get twitchy without a fat savings account, and you have a good handle on your retirement and other investment accounts, there's nothing wrong with having a large emergency fund.</p> <p>If on the other hand you still haven't set up your 401(k) at work (but are otherwise not in severe financial distress), then it makes more sense to keep your emergency fund ceiling relatively low while you work on building up your investments.</p> <p>It's also important to note that contributions to your emergency fund should be a consistent line item in your monthly budget. Staying in the habit of always putting that money away will help you to replenish the fund after an emergency, and give you another monthly amount of investable money once you reach your emergency fund savings goal.</p> <h2>Too Much of a Good Thing</h2> <p>Saving too much is generally not the biggest problem among American workers. But those who do work to protect themselves financially might be taking their good habits a little too far when it comes to their emergency funds.</p> <p>Maintaining the right size emergency fund may require a little more work on your part &mdash; from figuring out a Plan B budget to anticipating surprise expenses to figuring out how to make your money grow &mdash; but that extra work will more than pay off in your sense of financial security.</p> <p><em>How big is your emergency fund?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-your-emergency-fund-costing-you-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-life-is-amazing-with-an-emergency-fund">11 Ways Life Is Amazing With an Emergency Fund</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-use-savings-to-pay-off-debt">When to Use Savings to Pay Off Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/managing-your-short-term-money">Managing Your Short-Term Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-new-reasons-you-need-an-emergency-fund">4 New Reasons You Need an Emergency Fund</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/build-a-secure-future-starting-with-your-next-paycheck">Build a Secure Future Starting With Your Next Paycheck</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance emergency fund job loss savings unemployment Fri, 03 Jul 2015 11:00:26 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1471157 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Reasons You Deserve to Get Fired http://www.wisebread.com/12-reasons-you-deserve-to-get-fired <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-reasons-you-deserve-to-get-fired" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/fired-businesswoman-78749363-small.jpg" alt="fired businesswoman" title="fired businesswoman" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The recession might be over, but that doesn't mean any of us can afford to be passive about holding onto our jobs. If you think you may soon be having an uncomfortable conversation with HR, it's time to find out why. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/job-hunting-tips-for-the-recently-fired-and-some-for-the-rest-of-us-too?ref=seealso">Job Hunting Tips for the Recently Fired</a>)</p> <p>Here are 12 reasons you're getting fired.</p> <h2>1. Social Media SNAFU</h2> <p>Venting about your employer, boss, or co-workers on Twitter, Facebook, or any other social media site can get you fired. Avoid other career-killing <a href="http://www.pcworld.com/article/206359/6_Facebook_Twitter_Mistakes_That_Can_Get_You_Fired.html">social media mistakes</a> and remember &mdash; six degrees of separation is about one and a half degrees online.</p> <h2>2. Refusing to Play the Game</h2> <p>I don't know what the game is where you work, but I know there is one &mdash; and I bet there are a lot of folks playing their hearts out. The game usually involves demonstrating your passion for the work, coming in early and staying late, and working to impress the right people without falling all over yourself. Call me cynical and old-fashioned, but if you haven't learned how to play the game, you haven't really learned how to stay employed.</p> <h2>3. Not Giving Your All</h2> <p>Those cheesy motivational posters are wrong; it's impossible to give 110%. But consistently settling for 70% is a bad strategy if want to duck and weave past a pink slip. Doing a bit more than required, volunteering for a committee or two, and diplomatically making recommendations for process improvements adds value to what you do and can help secure your employment long-term</p> <h2>4. Clicking on Caps Lock</h2> <p>TYPING IN ALL CAPS READS LIKE YOU'RE SHOUTING and shows a fundamental lack of professional etiquette and insight. It may be trivial, but people get fired for trivial things every day. Cut it out.</p> <h2>5. Skipping the Finer Points of Good Etiquette</h2> <p>Good business etiquette is both valuable and rare, especially if your job involves direct work with clients or partners. Not grasping the finer points of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/reclaiming-etiquette-dining-basics-for-young-professionals">dining</a>, interview, or meeting etiquette can jeopardize business relationships, flag you as inexperienced, and kill a career.</p> <h2>6. Making Yourself Non-Essential</h2> <p>If you're not actively looking for new ways to add value to the company you work for, you may be inadvertently planting the seeds for your own dismissal when there's a hiccup in the market. Besides being first-rate at your job, look for those tasks that no one else wants to do and position yourself as the go-to person for each.</p> <h2>7. Mixing Your Personal and Professional Life</h2> <p>When it comes to job security, it's good policy to save the drama for your mama. Allowing personal issues to consistently affect your work erodes your professional image and can make letting you go as easy as switching off a bad reality show.</p> <h2>8. Getting Embroiled in Office Politics</h2> <p>Some work environments can be as political as a swing state in late October. Diving in headfirst and picking sides gives you a 50% of being right and a 100% chance of showing how easily distracted you are. Learn how to <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Ways-Beat-Office-Politics-1108688">beat office politics</a> and still get ahead.</p> <h2>9. Snoozing or Boozing</h2> <p>No surprises here. Sneaking a nap or a nip at work is usually an epically bad idea. And with office holiday parties coming up, sticking to a moderate personal drink limit will help you avoid those regretful lampshade-on-the-head moments that leave you red-faced Monday morning.</p> <h2>10. Stealing</h2> <p>Hey, Sticky Fingers, it may feel like a fringe benefit, but few companies see it that way. If you're tempted to pocket random goodies from your employer, it may be a sign that you feel stuck or that you're not being fairly compensated. Be proactive about both issues or move on.</p> <h2>11. Sleeping In</h2> <p>Who hasn't woken up feeling like a sack of wet concrete? These are the moments when we suddenly tap deep reserves of creativity to craft the most elaborate excuses for being late or taking a half-day. But as our inner storytellers dream, our careers can get creamed. Wake up, slam a double espresso, and defend your professional turf.</p> <h2>12. Playing Hooky</h2> <p>It might not have been a big deal in sixth grade, but playing hooky in your professional life can have lasting consequences. Don't assume (cough, cough) taking sick days when you're feeling great, ducking out early, or adding 15 minutes to your lunch hour is going unnoticed.</p> <p>If you're guilty of multiple axe-worthy offenses, it might be time to hope for the best and prepare for the worst by keeping an eye out for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-re-fired-20-signs-that-a-pink-slip-is-coming">signs you're about to get fired</a>. If you make the cut, wipe the sweat from your brow and let 2015 be the year you turn over a new leaf. Like much of life, our professional lives can be reinvented with focus, discipline, and the right motivation.</p> <p><em>Have you ever been fired? Did the experience change how you approached your next job? Share your favorite stories below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-reasons-you-deserve-to-get-fired">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-laid-off-a-step-by-step-guide">How to Get Laid Off: A Step-By-Step Guide</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-re-fired-20-signs-that-a-pink-slip-is-coming">You’re Fired! 20 Signs That a Pink Slip is Coming</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-signs-your-company-is-going-under">10 Signs Your Company Is Going Under</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-not-to-answer-10-of-the-most-common-interview-questions">How NOT TO Answer 10 of the Most Common Interview Questions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-times-of-year-to-start-a-job-search">The Best Times of Year to Start a Job Search</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building fired job hunt job loss new job pink slip Wed, 03 Dec 2014 11:00:09 +0000 Kentin Waits 1262734 at http://www.wisebread.com The First 5 Things You Must Do After Getting Laid Off http://www.wisebread.com/the-first-5-things-you-must-do-after-getting-laid-off <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-first-5-things-you-must-do-after-getting-laid-off" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/businesswoman-unemployed-81387778-small.jpg" alt="unemployed businesswoman" title="unemployed businesswoman" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A few weeks ago, I was laid off for the very first time.</p> <p>I managed to stay calm and do everything I needed to do to make sure I wouldn't end up on the streets in a month. I think it was the shock, but whatever the reason, it taught me that I am stronger than I realized and that I have a tremendous support system. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/job-hunting-tips-for-the-recently-fired-and-some-for-the-rest-of-us-too?ref=seealso">Job Hunting Tips for the Recently Fired</a>)</p> <p>These are the five things I learned to do and to keep in mind if you lose a job.</p> <h2>1. Don't Panic</h2> <p>Yes, this seems obvious. However, it is something I told myself from the minute I started cleaning out my desk. And it helped tremendously. For many people, panic can be crippling. Sometimes when I get overwhelmed, I become paralyzed and don't take care of the basic tasks I need to do to get myself through a crisis. Neglecting basic needs can affect your overall health and ability to keep moving.</p> <p>When you are in a state of panic, you are also more likely to make poor decisions. Most psychologists will tell you that after any loss, it is important not to make big decisions. Before you sell your house or relocate, give yourself some time to find another job. You may find a job that pays more than the one you lost. It's also important to understand what an actual panic attack looks like and <a href="http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/anxiety-help/201109/panic-attacks-what-they-are-and-how-stop-them-0">what to do when you are having a panic attack</a>. Just keep telling yourself, &quot;Don't Panic.&quot; You will be surprised at how much this simple statement will help you get through this time and land on your feet again.</p> <h2>2. Apply for Unemployment and Contact Creditors ASAP</h2> <p>After giving myself time to process everything and take a deep breath, I applied for unemployment benefits the day after I was laid off. This is important to do as soon as you can because it can take weeks for you to get your benefits if you qualify. Also, be sure to check for benefits that you might need immediately, such as health insurance. I called my state's Medicaid office right after I called the unemployment office, and I asked them to expedite the process because I needed a refill for an expensive medication in just a few days. They were very sympathetic and moved the process along quickly. Many people are understanding if you just explain the situation.</p> <p>Additionally, if you have any outstanding bills, such as student loans or utilities, call to see if they will work with you until you get your unemployment benefits. Most companies are willing to do this, and if you have student loans, you can get a temporary forbearance until your unemployment starts, at which time you should be able to defer them. Your unemployment office should offer several services that can help you navigate the free resources that are available to you.</p> <h2>3. Reach Out to People for Support</h2> <p>While I was fairly good about making sure I filled out all the paperwork and made all the necessary phone calls after I lost my job, it all hit me at once a few days after it happened. That's when I knew I needed to call my former therapist to make an appointment. I also called my friends, not only for moral support, but also to see if they could get together for coffee or just to hang out. I knew that I didn't need to be in my apartment alone.</p> <p>You can also find <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/25/us/25support.html?pagewanted=all&amp;_r=0">job loss support groups</a>. Ask your local unemployment office, or try social media. I found a few of these support groups on LinkedIn. Whatever your method, it's important to get your support system in place early on so that you have someone to turn to if you do start to panic.</p> <h2>4. Don't Burn Bridges</h2> <p>Make sure you follow up with any loose ends from your job, such as transferring health or life insurance policies. If you get fired, don't cause a scene. I've seen other co-workers get fired, and a few of them caused such a scene that the HR person had to hover over their desks as they were packing up. Luckily, my situation was different, and they at least let me leave with dignity.</p> <p>But I also called my former manager a few days after I had time to process to tell him that I didn't have any hard feelings and to also ask if he would be a reference. Most importantly, don't put anything out there on social media that would hurt your chances of finding another job. I've seen friends post long, angry diatribes about their former employers, which I encouraged them to remove. Harboring anger is not helping your emotional state, nor will it help you land a new job.</p> <h2>5. Be Gentle With Yourself</h2> <p>During a crisis like this one, blaming yourself will not help; it will only make it worse. Try to take the judgement out of any of your actions, unless you are praising yourself for applying for another job or giving yourself a break. Give yourself some breathing room.</p> <p>Sherrie Bourg Carter, Psy.D offers some useful advice along these lines. Her first suggestion is to <a href="http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/high-octane-women/201102/managing-job-loss">take time to recover</a>, but she also argues that part of the recovery process is to focus on what you can control rather than dwelling on what you cannot control. For instance, you cannot control what has already happened, so worrying about getting fired is living in the past, which will only bring you down. Worrying about finding another job can also hold you back. Spend that energy on making your resume stronger and finding the right job.</p> <p>Immediately after I got the news, I called one of my most practical friends, who reminded me that I could do all the necessary steps the next day and that I should just give myself the afternoon to call loved ones and process what just happened. This was sage advice, because I was in no state to take care of business. But the occasional gentle reminder to be kind to yourself and focus on what you can control throughout this process will make a huge difference in your ability to function and figure out the next steps.</p> <p><em>Have you ever been laid off from a job? How did you cope?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-watson">Ashley Watson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-first-5-things-you-must-do-after-getting-laid-off">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-financial-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-fired">11 Financial Moves to Make the Moment You Get Fired</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-things-you-need-to-survive-a-job-loss">The 5 Things You Need to Survive a Job Loss</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-long-can-you-really-live-on-unemployment">How Long Can You Really Live on Unemployment?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-you-should-quit-your-job">8 Signs You Should Quit Your Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-unemployment-insurance">Everything You Need to Know About Unemployment Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income fired job loss layoff unemployment Fri, 29 Aug 2014 15:00:04 +0000 Ashley Watson 1197958 at http://www.wisebread.com Everything You Need to Know About Unemployment Insurance http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-unemployment-insurance <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/everything-you-need-to-know-about-unemployment-insurance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/job-loss-478634205.jpg" alt="job loss" title="job loss" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="176" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Most of us don't think about the possibility of losing our jobs at a moment's notice. However, that is exactly what happens to thousands of people every day across the United States. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-things-you-need-to-survive-a-job-loss?ref=seealso">What You Need to Survive a Job Loss</a>)</p> <p>If the unthinkable happens to you, it is important to know where to turn for unemployment help. From locating the correct agency to applying for financial assistance to receiving your funds, read on to discover everything you need to know about unemployment.</p> <h2>Who to Contact</h2> <p>The United States Department of Labor (DOL) oversees unemployment assistance for the entire country. Each state has an agency that determines eligibility, administers compensation, and offers training to get displaced employees back into the workforce.</p> <p>Each state calls the agency something different. To find the agency for your state, use this <a href="http://www.servicelocator.org/OWSLinks.asp">locator map from the DOL</a>. This map will link you up with where to file, check on, and answer questions about your unemployment claim.</p> <h2>Determine Eligibility</h2> <p>Unemployment compensation is provided to employees who have lost their jobs due to something outside of their control. This means the employee could not quit their job without a serious reason (such as a medical condition, harassment at the workplace, or workplace violence) and could not be fired for something they did on the job, like stealing from their employer. Each state determines guidelines for eligibility. Contact your state agency for those rules and regulations.</p> <p>Everyone who files for unemployment must have been employed for a certain length of time prior to filing and earned a certain amount of money. For example, in the state of Colorado, the employee must have earned at least $2,500 during a period of 12 months prior to filing a claim.</p> <p>Another portion of the eligibility for unemployment compensation is your ability and desire to find future employment. You must be actively seeking employment or receiving training towards future employment if financial compensation is going to be received. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/job-hunting-tips-for-the-recently-fired-and-some-for-the-rest-of-us-too?ref=seealso">Job Hunting Tips for the Recently Fired</a>)</p> <h2>Filing a Claim</h2> <p>You can begin the application process for unemployment immediately after the loss of your job. In some states, you can file online, over the phone, or by using a mobile app. When you do file, be sure to have information about your employer and your employment history available. You will be asked questions about who your employer was as well as the address and phone number for them. You will need to provide dates for when your employment began and when it ended. Also, be prepared to provide information about your income while you were employed.</p> <p>After filing your claim, it can take two or three weeks before payment is received. Some states require a waiting period of one week before money is issued.</p> <h2>Remaining Eligible</h2> <p>In order to remain eligible for unemployment, you must continue to file the status of your claim with the agency. Every state has set this up differently. You may need to provide an update every week or two weeks. You will be required to answer questions about the process you are going through to find new employment. Some states may require lists of employers who have your resume, some may require you to register with employment agencies, and some may require you to come into their office a certain number of hours each week to conduct your job search.</p> <p>To remain eligible, it is important that you update your status on the day that it is required. Failing to do so can mean a disruption or cancellation of your benefits. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-thriving-in-long-term-unemployment?ref=seealso">Thriving in Long-Term Unemployment</a>)</p> <h2>Receiving Benefits</h2> <p>Unemployment benefits can be financial payments, insurance, and job training. Each state will determine which you need. If your spouse has insurance that is available to you, then the state will not provide you with unemployment insurance. If you are already highly-skilled, job training may not be available but other resources like resume building and interviewing skills can be an option. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-interview-technique-will-get-you-hired?ref=seealso">This Interview Technique Will Get You Hired</a>)</p> <p>Financial benefits can be in the form of a check, but most states have moved to automatic deposits into a state-controlled debit account. The amount is based on a percentage of your previous year's income and can not go over the state's maximum. Compensation is available for a maximum of 26 weeks unless it is during a time of high unemployment, in which case <a href="http://www.workforcesecurity.doleta.gov/unemploy/extenben.asp">extended benefits</a> are available. Money received is considered taxable income and will need to be claimed on your yearly income taxes.</p> <p>If you have filed a claim for unemployment benefits and were denied, you do have the right to file an appeal. Appeals can be filed with the same agency that you filed your initial claim with and should be done as soon as possible.</p> <p>Whether you are anticipating a layoff months in advance or you find yourself without a job very suddenly, the process of applying for unemployment benefits can feel daunting. However, filing a claim need not be a painful experience. Arm yourself with all the information on your employment and these tips beforehand to ensure the process is as smooth as possible.</p> <p><em>Have you ever made a claim for unemployment benefits? What was the process like for you?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-unemployment-insurance">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laid-off-make-sure-you-get-your-unemployment">Laid Off? You May Have to Fight for Unemployment Benefits</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-first-5-things-you-must-do-after-getting-laid-off">The First 5 Things You Must Do After Getting Laid Off</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-financial-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-fired">11 Financial Moves to Make the Moment You Get Fired</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/does-generous-unemployment-benefits-prolong-the-length-of-unemployment">Do generous unemployment benefits prolong the length of unemployment?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-deal-when-you-work-with-someone-you-hate">8 Ways to Deal When You Work With Someone You Hate</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Life Hacks job loss unemployment unemployment benefits Wed, 30 Apr 2014 08:00:22 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1137341 at http://www.wisebread.com Job Hunting Tips for the Recently Fired (and Some for the Rest of Us, Too) http://www.wisebread.com/job-hunting-tips-for-the-recently-fired-and-some-for-the-rest-of-us-too <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/job-hunting-tips-for-the-recently-fired-and-some-for-the-rest-of-us-too" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/fired-5321265-small.jpg" alt="fired" title="fired" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Job hunting after you've been fired can be an intimidating task, especially in a tight job market. It may not be a cakewalk, but there are ways to make getting your first post-termination job a bit easier. And once you've cleared that hurdle, the impact a firing has on future job searches decreases. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-tax-deductions-job-hunters-can-t-afford-to-overlook?ref=seealso">6 Tax Deductions for Job Hunters</a>)</p> <h2>Get Your Emotions in Check</h2> <p>Getting fired is one of the most distressing things a person can go through. The uncertainty of sudden unemployment coupled with the humbling experience of being dismissed instead of leaving by choice can cause anger, feelings of inadequacy, anxiety about your future, and an overall depressed mood. These reactions are completely normal, but they're also unhelpful.</p> <p>To get yourself back where you need to be, focus on positives instead of negatives. Think about your strengths and what you can contribute to an organization. Forgive yourself for any failures and make a conscious decision to move on. If you make peace with the situation, feel confident about what you have to offer, and adopt the view that you've only experienced a minor setback, getting back out into the working world will be a whole lot easier. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lose-your-job-without-losing-your-identity?ref=seealso">Lose Your Job Without Losing Your Identity</a>)</p> <h2>Reassess Your Situation</h2> <p>Once you've dealt with the emotional side of the situation, you've got to get analytical. Think about what went wrong, why, and how you can stop it from happening again. Next, ask yourself some important questions:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Where do you really excel?</p> </li> <li> <p>Which areas of your expertise do you need to build?</p> </li> <li> <p>Are you utilizing your skills and knowledge in a way that was satisfying to you? If not, what would you rather be doing?</p> </li> </ul> <p>Getting fired can be the push you need to break into a new area of your field or start a new career altogether, so as you're evaluating your strengths, weaknesses, and goals, think about how they would fit into new positions or industries. Don't be afraid to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-secrets-of-long-distance-job-hunting">look into other locales for new opportunities</a>.</p> <h2>Take Immediate Action</h2> <p>Getting fired is one of the worst times to take an extended break from working. A hole in your employment already sends up red flags to prospective employers. Revealing that you were in fact fired before that gap could lead them to believe you have even more serious issues. Plus, the longer you go without making progress, the more those negative emotions you're trying to control start to fester.</p> <p>Start your job hunt as soon as possible. The same day you receive your walking papers is a perfect time to begin, but you can take a few days to get your emotions together if you need it. If your search starts getting lengthy, say more than a couple of months, you may want to look into freelance and volunteer work or enrolling in job-related courses to fill the hole. You'll look better to employers if you've been keeping busy since you were laid off. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-work-experience-without-having-a-job?ref=seealso">Getting Work Experience Without a Job</a>)</p> <h2>Optimize Your References</h2> <p>You'll need extra good references to take the sting out of the nature of your previous departure. References from pre-firing employers are good, but references from the job you were let go from are even better. Fellow employees should be able to substantiate the explanation you gave about your parting as well as tell potential employers about your positive contributions.</p> <p>The absolute best reference is one from your former managers or other higher-ups. The viability of this option depends on the reason you were fired and how well you performed before things went south, but having a positive reference even after you've been fired can make a huge difference. To maximize your chances, you could try sending a post-termination letter admitting any wrongdoing, and thanking the employer for the opportunity and learning experience. Even if you messed up bad, this bit of mea culpa can sway your old boss toward giving you a good &mdash; or at least better &mdash; reference. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-great-job-references?ref=seealso">How to Get Great Job References</a>)</p> <h2>Describe Your Job-Hunting Activities Wisely</h2> <p>The way you present your circumstances can have a big impact in your job search. Using a statement such as &quot;Actively pursuing new opportunities&quot; in your cover letter and online job networking profiles lets employers know you're available without disclosing exactly why. If you're taking a new career path, Deborah Jacobs of Forbes Magazine recommends a statement such as &quot;Currently seeking to leverage my Equity Floor experience and education into Investor Relations.&quot; This kind of phrasing works well when you're discussing your job status during interviews, too. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-great-job-references?ref=seealso">How to Make a Good Impression at Your Job Interview</a>)</p> <h2>Be Upfront, but Not Too Upfront</h2> <p>You definitely don't want to make any mention of your firing on your resume, cover letter, or online networking profiles. However, you also don't want to wait so long that the employer finds out on their own while checking references. The best time to broach the subject is during the interview. Wait until you're asked to describe your previous job or why you left your former position, and then give your explanation.</p> <p>In the event that you really messed up and don't want future employers to know about the job at all, you could simply leave it off of your resume and avoid bringing it up during interviews. This works better if doesn't have much relevance to the position you are seeking or if you were only there for a short time, but you may still be able to pull it off if you have other career-related activities to fill in the blank. Keep in mind that this will not work for people who are applying for jobs that require background checks or complete disclosure of all previous positions, such as in government, financial, and legal work.</p> <h2>Prepare Your Explanation</h2> <p>You'll need to formulate a statement that gives potential employers the facts surrounding your firing without injecting resentment, blame, or other negative emotions into the story. Even if you feel that your termination was unjustified, you need to avoid bad-mouthing your old boss or coming across as defensive. Interviewers only need to know what happened, why it happened, if there was anything you could have done differently, and what you've gained from the experience. Most importantly, you have to come up with a reason the mistake won't happen again. Above all, do not lie. There's a chance a potential employer will learn the real story eventually, especially if the job is within the same industry, and being dishonest is the surest way to disqualify yourself from a job.</p> <p>Planning out what you'll say makes it easier to be upfront about the situation, but discussing these kinds of stressful subjects can still make you uncomfortable. Even when you're telling the truth, anxiety can cause you to stutter, avoid eye contact, perspire, and flush red&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 13px;">&mdash;</span><span style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;">&nbsp;all tell-tale signs of lying. To avoid raising an interviewer's suspicions unnecessarily, practice your explanation in front of the mirror or with another person, until it sounds natural and authentic. (See also: </span><a style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;" href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-body-language-mistakes-that-sabotage-most-interviews?ref=seealso">Body Language Mistakes That Sabotage Interview</a><span style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;">s)</span></p> <h2>Word Your Departure Carefully</h2> <p>Even if the truth seems pretty bad, there are ways of making it come across better. Avoid use of the word &quot;fired,&quot; because that particular expression carries a stigma that interviewers may find hard to overlook. Using phrases such as &quot;I was let go&quot; or &quot;My employment was terminated&quot; tones down the inherent harshness of the situation. Pairing your big reveal with an aptly-worded statement can then shift the focus from the negative subject of your discharge to the positive subject of what you can contribute to the company. Something like, &quot;My limited sales skills simply couldn't keep up with the fast-paced production required by my previous employer and I was let go. However, I believe my graphic design skills will be well-applied in this position as an advertising assistant.&quot;</p> <h2>Tell Them What You Did Right</h2> <p>Referencing situations in which you excelled at your previous job assures potential employers that you weren't just flailing around Mr. Bean-style, leaving confusion and calamity in your wake. Highlight your successes, such as the number of new accounts you brought in or the projects you completed. If you were better at one aspect of your job than another, put emphasis on the duties you did well. Have your references mention these things as well to support your description.</p> <h2>Show What You've Learned</h2> <p>One of the most effective ways to decrease the impact being fired has on your job hunt is to demonstrate that you've addressed the issues that lead to your firing. If the problem was a lack of knowledge, tell interviewers about the steps you took to fill gaps in your expertise, such as engaging in self-study or enrolling in continuing education courses. If the problem was due to interpersonal issues, explain how you've learned to work with a greater variety of personalities and viewpoints and now have the ability to handle similar situations better. No matter what the reason, the key is to describe how the knowledge you gained will help you be successful in the position you're applying for.</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><em>Have you ever been fired from a job? How did you get hired afterward?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lauren-treadwell">Lauren Treadwell</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/job-hunting-tips-for-the-recently-fired-and-some-for-the-rest-of-us-too">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-guide-to-getting-a-job-right-out-of-college">Your Guide to Getting a Job Right Out of College</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-hard-truths-about-getting-hired-that-you-dont-want-to-believe">10 Hard Truths About Getting Hired That You Don&#039;t Want to Believe</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-that-really-annoy-hiring-managers">9 Things That Really Annoy Hiring Managers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-signs-your-company-is-going-under">10 Signs Your Company Is Going Under</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-financial-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-fired">11 Financial Moves to Make the Moment You Get Fired</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Job Hunting fired job hunting job loss Fri, 14 Mar 2014 10:36:24 +0000 Lauren Treadwell 1127919 at http://www.wisebread.com