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I Just Lost My Job. Now What? My Plan

Updated on November 27, 2012

After being employed for almost twenty-five years by the same company I will soon find myself unemployed for the first time in my life because of the closure of this business.

So now what? I'm 49 years old without a college background as I entered the military after high school.

The choices I make in the coming weeks may not sound as those of a responsible adult. Of course everyone has different responsibilities and situations so my choices could be different then many other unemployed people.

My purpose in writing this hub is to help people think “outside the box.” Losing a job and friends you have been working with for many years can be depressing and throw a person's life into uncertainty that can be scary.

My first advice to is take a deep breath and those that can afford it (many that think they can't afford this idea actually could) is........ take a vacation. The way I look at this idea is you've worked hard for many years and now face a uncertain future. Take time out for yourself and dissect yourself from the problem for a a week or so and relax. Clear your head and come back refreshed.

Many years ago I was worried about a bill and a friend told me your always going to have bills and have to pay taxes whether you enjoy life or not.

Of course I realize many people don't have the advantages I have in trying to make lemonade out of lemons when unemployed. I'm not saying I have money but my kids are grown and doing well. I can scrape up enough money to knock out a once in a life time bucket list trip. My previous job also gave me generous vacation time. Once I find a new job I may go with a year or more without vacation time and I doubt I will ever have as much vacation as I have had in the past.

I plan on going to Thailand soon. Traveling to a new place makes me feel young once again by the wonder of new experiences and sights.

First, contrary to many “experts” I'm going to withdraw my 401k savings and take a federal penalty hit.

I'm doing this to pay off most of my debt as I adjust to a new life style with lower earnings. I think its going to be very hard to find another job that pays as well as the job I just lost. Yes, I know there goes a chunk of my retirement savings but there is a sort of logic to this “madness.”

First, I will save money by paying off credit cards and other debts which will stop a good sum of money going to pay interest each month. Second (and I only say this in half jest) I will be lucky to see another 20 years. I base this on three factors:

lifestyle, my previous job, and family history.

The good paying job I lost after 25 years wasn't known for a “healthy environment”. The usual age of a coworker that has died through natural causes seems to be in their late 50's to mid to late 60's.

If I do beat the odds and live to a ripe old age then my contingency plan is to live abroad where a social security check can pay for a comfortable retirement compared to scraping by month to month with subsidized housing. Many Americans that don't travel get their impressions of other countries through newspapers and sensational stories.

A case in point is Mexico. I have been to Mexico many times and I feel safer in the parts of Mexico I go to then some cities in the United States. Some parts of Mexico have a huge expat community of Americans and Canadians living side by side with nationals.

I have wrote several hubs of my trips to Mexico.

My passion is traveling and meeting new people. Everyone has a passion.

I for one, hope to spend my few months being unemployed by waking up early, having a cup of coffee, talking walks, catching up on my reading and looking at travel deals online where I could take a backpack and go to some place new for a couple of days.

How many times have you told yourself you don't have time to spend with family or go fishing or seeing a movie or play?

I know soon enough that I will be back at a job that will probably pay a lot less and have rigid hours and little vacation time.

My advice is to enjoy life more. Losing a job may actually not be as worse as people make it out to be.

After 25 years at the same job I sort of look forward to enjoying life more and seeing what the future holds. I see this as a new chapter in my life. There is always a chance that being forced to change your life style could be in your best interest.


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    • Charles James profile image

      Charles James 4 years ago from Yorkshire, UK

      Have a look at fostering children. You have a house. You have raised children yourself. You have a steady work record and you are generally stable. There is a need. Check out what it pays.

    • Charles James profile image

      Charles James 4 years ago from Yorkshire, UK

      Generally speaking it is wiser to clear debt, especially credit card debt, than to invest. Very few investments return the interest rates that credit cards charge. So well done on that.

      You have worked hard at an unpleasant job. Take the holiday and unwind.

      Do not rely on writing to earn money. If you really have no alternative but to write, look at the high earners on HP. Look at their work rate - often turning out two hubs a day come rain or shine. And look at what they write. It sure ain't politics or poetry!

      Good luck with your next career whatever it is.

    • redwhiskeypete profile image

      redwhiskeypete 4 years ago from Indiana

      I'm doing this because I have a stock loss and hope to use my loss against my 401k earnings. I'm not rich by any means but took risk on stocks and lot.

    • T. R. Brown profile image

      T. R. Brown 4 years ago from Nashville, TN

      Good attitude,

      My advice to you is make sure that you wait until next year (2013) to withdrawal your 401k. You want to be sure that you earnings are a low as possible because that large lump sum will be added to your 2012 income likely forcing you into a higher bracket. (the joys of progressive taxation).

      Good luck and look for importing opportunity while you are in Thailand. You might just find a new career as an importer while you are there.