Job Loss

Updated on July 06, 2011
M.M. asks from Trumbull, CT
13 answers

My husband just lost his job. The company he was working for was run by a trust in England with an office in the US. Now the company went out of business and they walked away and the employees didn't get any severance. We have no emergency fund and the bills keep coming. My questions to my mamapedia moms are: should we cash in our retirement and payoff our mortgage or should we take out a home equity loan and live off that until my husband finds employment??

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Thanks Mamapedia moms for all of your helpful advice. My husband did get a job offer as a contractor with no benefits. Is anyone self employed in the CT area that can recommend some time of healthcare plan?

Thank you again!

Featured Answers



answers from Phoenix on

I could be totally wrong, but I think I would take out a loan and try to love off that before you cash out on retirement. Maybe you could call Dave Ramsey's show, he's pretty helpful. Good Luck with thejob search, hope it all works out for you!

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers


answers from Tulsa on

I'd try as hard as possible to avoid cashing in your retirement. You'll have taxes and penalties, not to mention locking in any losses your portfolio had over the past few years. I hope you guys find something soon!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Step 1) Apply for unemployment

Step 2) Call all your creditors and get as many bills as you can placed on hold

Step 2.5) For any that won't place a hold, arrange a payment plan

Step 3) Figure out which 'loan' (home equity or retirement) causes the least financial hardship (aka sometimes there are HUGE penalities for early withdrawl on an IRA, sometimes there's not -depends on use-, other times a home equity loan will punch you in the gut because of the increase in payments & or apr. Run the numbers. Figure out which gives you the most for the least damage. Also consider selling a car or any other smaller assets).

Step 4) Make sure your mortgage is paid

Step 5) Completely revamp your expenditures (cancel gym memberships, magazines, hair appt., extracurriculars, car maintenance that can wait, etc.) Consider leasing out your home on a 6mo or 1year lease.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

Do everything you can to stay away from the retirement fund.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Appleton on

Has he applied for unemployment??

Maybe both of you should be job hunting.

I wasn't gonna mention this but thought maybe I should. North Dakota is called the Silicon Prairie and has a 3.2% unemployement rate. I just read an article on Yahoo that they have 15,000 jobs they can't fill. I don't know the numbers in Texas but there is no recession there either. I don't know if you are willing to move and uproot your family but it might be worth a look.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

My husband lost his job April 2010 and he got a new job by October 2010. But he got severance and he worked his tail off networking. The decision you make really depends on your husband's ability to find work. Is he a got getter, willing to spend 8 hours a day on the job search? Would contract work - consulting - work for his line of work? Realistically, what is the job market like for him - his personality, line of work, etc? Of course, apply for unemployment, but that's not much. If he's got a good network and there are a lot of openings in his field, perhaps you could take a loan. If not so good, perhaps borrow from retirement. However, if you are thinking about taking out a home equity loan and, worse case, walking away from the house if you have prolonged unemployment, then at least your retirement is safe. Hard decision.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I'm sorry your husband lost his job.

There are jobs in Connecticut...have him apply for Unemployment Benefits and search for a job. I would NOT cash in my retirement the taxes on that early withdrawal will be HORRIBLE!!!

Don't limit yourself to Connecticut...I would also look for jobs elsewhere - North Dakota is DYING for employees right now...and Texas has a VERY low unemployment rate as well. It all depends upon the industry your husband is working in...

however, here's a link

Sikorsky has a plant in Straton - they do manufacturing and assembly

for jobs in Trumbull;

I would NOT take out my retirement. I would find other ways to survive...

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

Wow I am so sorry to hear this-and supposedly the economy was picking up right!!?? They say unemployment has dropped-maybe they aren't considering that it dropped because people without jobs still -the unemployment benefits have run out.......this totally stinks but your situation is the exact situation that Dave Ramsey speaks about and why it is so important to have your debt paid off and to have an emergency fund.
If I lost my job tomorrow or my husband for that matter we only have about $3000.00 saved. We aren't any closer to paying off our debt than we were a year ago. Mainly because everytime we re-build our emergency fund back up for those un-godly medical bills we get hit with another one. It's so depressing but the main factor is we are almost half-way there to paying off one-credit card balance -once we get that out of the way then we will work on the next one and it will free up 130.00 a month to apply towards the next one. We didn't get into debt overnite and we sure as heck aren't going to get out of it overnite either! Now that you have been faced with reality I would work on calling any of those creditors to see what they will work out for you for the time being. Has the hubby gone to file for unemployment yet? I know its not much but at least it would be something coming in the door while he searches. When you can work on paying that debt off again the sooner the better-that way if this situation were to occur again it wouldn't hurt as bad. Believe me ANY job loss is surely a dent in the income spectrum but if you don't have any debt to pay on then your better off than more than half americans out there. Personally I am so sick and tired of being a slave to debt. I think my grandparents and ancestors had it right-if you don't have the money for it you wait and save up for it and then you get it. I personally wouldn't touch my 401 (k) unless I absolutely had no choice. Cut back on everything you possibly can at this point. It's going to be a struggle and I will have you guys in my prayers-I hope he finds something right away. Take this as your warning sign though-get paid up on those debts and start working at an emergency fund-it's never too late to start.



answers from New York on

You mentioned that he was working for a company from England, but is in the branch in the U.S.? Is he a U.S. citizen or does he have a green card? I know you can apply for unemployment if you're a citizen, but I don't know if you're just a resident. As for cashing out your retirement to pay off a morgage, it could be a good idea or a bad one. A good one, because you could go for a more flexible equity line of credit rather than an equity loan. You don't have to use all the line of credit, so it makes it easier if he finds a job. It could be a bad idea to cash out your retirement, because you won't have much for retirement and may get a penalty, so you would have to start your own roth IRA. As for the bills...Yes, I hear you loud and clear. Look for help on local, state, and federal levels. Sometimes you can find free government grants/programs to help you out. (Do not buy that stupid book about free gov. programs/grants, because the government agencies and libraries hand the info. out for free.) Also, you need to get creative. Maybe one of you can work a job at night and the other during the day. Maybe one of you or both of you can get either a part-time/full-time job at a store or restaurant. Something is better than nothing and he might need to work a less desirable job, before he can get one like he had or the one you want. (Don't go thinking all those Chinese waiters are going to be waiters forever...That is how they start off.) You can even try selling thing like having a couple yard sales, Ebay, offer typing services, or even baked goods. Try to save. A good rule of thumb is "If you can make it cheaper, then don't buy it." This means bread is cheap, so you can buy that. (.99 cents for a large loaf of white bread.) Cookies are expensive, so you can bake those. "If you don't need it, don't buy it." Ask yourself questions when tempted to buy something to find out if you can "do without." Ex: "I'd like to have another flat screen TV, but my old set works just fine so I don't buy it." "I already have a swim suit, so I don't need another." "That TV dinner tastes good and is convient, but I can always make my own."



answers from New York on

Has your husband applied for unemployment? I know that isn't going to be equal to his actual salary but if he hasn't done so, he should right away. You should not cash out your retirement and you should not take a home equity loan. You should call your creditors and mortgage company, tell them your situation and ask for a deferrment. If you got, say, a 6 month deferrment, it means that you don't have to make payments for six months but still accrue interest charges during that time. A bank does NOT want you forclosing on the mortgage. But also, if you have zero savings, it indicates that you are living outside of your means. If your house is in decent condition, put it on the market. If you sell it, great, some money for you and move to something more affordable, a rental. Also, if hubby is getting unemployment, I understand that he can't pick up weekend work at home depot or wait tables because it will mess up the unemployment payments, but YOU can take another job. I did this when my husband lost his job, once the severance was running out, I worked a second job.
Good luck.



answers from Austin on

As far as the person who wrote that Texas isn't having a recession, I'm not sure about that. Texas is hurting a bunch, also. Thousands of teachers across the state got laid off in the spring, for one.

Hubby was laid off October 2008 (engineering), and was out for 2 1/2 years! (He ran out of unemployment benefits in October.) He just found a job in February, but it paid about what unemployment did.... I don't know how many resumes he sent out, but being laid off at 57 was tough... there are engineering jobs out there, but it is tough for the older ones... their "skills" are older stuff.

He isn't even working in engineering anymore.... but at least he is bringing in money now. (He is actually working 2 different jobs for the came company.) He was even applying to Home Depot and stuff like that, but he never got called. VERY discouraging!

At any rate, good luck..... we did cash in our 401(k), but you do what you have to do to survive...... will it get built up again? I don't know... at this point, we are basically making ends meet, but at least we make enough to live on now.



answers from Los Angeles on

My husband and I lost our home with the first recession in the Clinton years. We both got laid off that same year. This year, I lost my job and he just lost his largest contract. I can tell you that it's not easy and it only gets tougher. You must act quickly. If you can save the house, do it. If you can't don't worry about the house. Many of my friends lost theirs and put alot of money into saving it, in hopes they would be able to. They failed. One is working again, but I'm not. You can actually live in your home for up to two years without paying mortgage at all. But I only knew this because my husband took real estate courses years back. Be willing to relocate at some point in the future by renting if you must. Can't tell you what to do with the retirement. It's hard to say without looking at the entire picture. If it means no more payments EVER, I'd say it's pretty tempting to do it. You can always rebuild a retirement but how quickly depends on your discipline and the amt you put in with the new job. So, much will depend on what you don't know at this time. You know your husband will likely get a job. What you don't know is what day. That's a disadvantage in planning. In the meantime, here is my suggestion to you. Sell all your worldly posessions. Sell your furnishings to a consignment store or or pennysaver or craigslist. Sell anything of value that you can get later when things improve. It helps to downsize for many reasons. We sold our boat, our trailer, our tractor, tools, clothing, everything. We sold it quickly to bring in money. We cut down our lifestyle and did without alot. You don't need everything you have. You do need food and shelter. Your objective is to buy time. You can do it, trust me. And keep your husband happy. If he yells it's his stress speaking, not him. Don't stress him out. Keep him fed, and go to a discount theatre, go to goodwill for clothes, play music in the home more, have more cheaper dinners, be creative as to how you do it. And call your cell company and see if they can reduce the bill. Call cable to see if they can reduce the plan. You still have to have entertainment. In Riv county they have a "level pay plan" for utilities. I don't know about the OC. And Sprint has a new plan called "seasonal standby" that is $8.99/mo to keep your phone number and not accrue more minutes. It's kinda like freezing your account. You can do it for up to 6 months. Have him sign up with lots of headhunters to help him find work, even when he's depressed.,, yahoojobs,, volt technical, etc. Stay positive. God be with you.



answers from New York on

did you file for unemployment

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions