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Husband Laid Off!

Posted by nita1950 (My Page) on
Sat, Dec 20, 08 at 17:47

My husband was recently laid off from his job and I am devastated.

How did you manage if you were ever laid off? What things can we do to keep our sanity? We just bought a new home a year ago and was in the process of remodeling the home that we had lived in. We now have two mortgages and no savings which was exhausted doing mainly the kitchen remodel. We hope to rent the first home very soon. Houses are not selling right now and we can no longer afford to keep it vacant.

I am very afraid, my hair is falling out and I cry myself to sleep at night. We did not see this coming.

He is applying for a new job but so far nothing. He worked in the engineering dept of his company...he was in charge of them. The company was in a financial slump and had to let go several employees and started at the top. I am getting very worried. He will get 3 more checks (was laid off in early November. Both of our families are not in a position to help us.

My friends have helped me with food expenses. We can't buy anything for Christmas for anyone. I am learning to be frugal and wish that I had started a long time ago.

He had been on this job for 15 years and we were financially very comfortable, but the savings was exhausted with the remodel and the additional mortgage payment.

Please share experiences on how you survived a lay-off or give me advice. I am working a full-time job(age 59) and don't make much money. We just thought that after we completed the first home that we could sell and hopefully profit enough to put money back into savings. Houses aren't selling right now...so we need to rent. That won't put money into savings but the mortage payment would be paid. We had no clue that we would also be out of a job.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Husband Laid Off!

I am sorry about the loss of job, but sad to say, there are many many like you. Just look at everything you spend and cut the best you can.


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RE: Husband Laid Off!

This is really becoming a common problem unfortunately. As for me, I had to dig deep down to get all the strength and faith I could gather. That included being around friends and attending church.

It takes faith and courage. Fear is the absence of faith.

Go forth with a positive outlook and you will find it. Network the heck out of your friends and family.

I'm so sorry that I can't be of more help. But, I will keep you in my prayers.

Gayle


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RE: Husband Laid Off!

I'm so sorry. Wish I knew why these big lay-offs seem to happen during the holidays. There are a lot of people experiencing a different kind of holiday this year. Focusing on being together as a family instead of gifts. If you live in the states have your DH apply for unemployment as soon as possible to help tide you over until he finds another job. Call your mortgage company. Very important!! Most are happy as long as you just pay the interest for a while, but do talk to them. Sending you (((nita)))) hugs and hope things get better for your framily.


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Thanks everyone. DH just came in to tell me that my credit scores are at 817....his is 769. We have worked so hard to keep our credit scores up.

I never thought about calling the mortgage company. I'll do that next week.

I want so bad to get out of my slump. I am praying also.

I felt so bad for everyone that I knew that was going through a lay-off...now I know how they really feel.

Nita


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RE: Husband Laid Off!

I am so sad to read about your situation. I cannot imagine how difficult it must be. I'm not sure that I even know how to give advice. If this happened to us, I would think of putting both houses on the market and praying that at least one would sell. But I'm guessing that, in this economic climate, either one would go at a loss. A lot of people are taking losses now; your story is another testimony to how hard times are.

It really is terrible that your husband was laid off at his age, with seniority (but that's why they did it, yes?), and at this time of year.

Could you rent both homes and go into an apartment? If you don't have children at home, it doesn't have to be a large one. I think that a good real estate agent could advise you on what to do about selling and renting.

If this happened to us, and we had to cut to the bone, I'd cancel cable TV and keep my subscription to Netflix. For $20 a month you can have 3 fantastic selections at a time, and entertainment every evening. If my DH was at home more now, he could do simple cooking with more inexpensive ingredients, so no eating out. There are many ways to cut back, but you have probably already thought about most of them.

Your main problem is your two houses. You might take this question over to the Household Finance and Buying and Selling Homes forums. There will be a lot of responses, but some of them may be harsh. But I've learned a lot by reading them.

Also, you might take this problem to your doctor. He should know about your not sleeping and your hair falling out and your depression, and he can help with those things. You need to take care of yourself!

Sending you hugs and sympathy...


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RE: Husband Laid Off!

Nita, I'm so sorry! I'd definitely talk to the bank. They don't want your houses--they would much rather have you continue to own them; see if they will work with you.

I googled "living frugally" and found the website below. I haven't spent much time on it, but you may find some tips. Or maybe they have a forum where members can encourage each other--not as good as the KT, of course, but perhaps a friendly ear. You are NOT alone!

My DH hasn't lost his job, but he's self-employed as a remodeler. Things have been very slow, and I'm praying as well. Hang in there!

Hugs,
SadieSadie

Here is a link that might be useful: Frugal Times


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Nita, I am so sorry. We are hearing this way too often these days and it is just sad. I will think of you and your family and pray that good things happen soon.
Hugs


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RE: Husband Laid Off!

Nita, I am so sorry. No advice, but I will keep you in my prayers.

Hugs,
Tammy


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RE: Husband Laid Off!

I am so sorry. I'll be praying for you two to get back on your feet.


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RE: Husband Laid Off!

I am so sorry; sadly, this is a common story now. Your DH should be able to get unemployment compensation. While it will not allow you to live at your normal standard, at least it will put food on the table. You can learn to economize, and that will be of value to you in the future. By all means, see your doctor because you need to take care of your health now. I'll pray for you and DH, and try to have a Merry Christmas. It isn't the gifts that make the holiday joyous. May 2009 be a better year, with a new beginning for your DH's career.


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Could your DH take a temporary job (less pay, I know) while he job hunts for a job in his field?

Cutting expenses is critical, and you need to start now. Do you have two cars, car payments? If you could manage with one car for a while, you would be cutting down on insurance, gas, etc. Even if you could park one and put the insurance on hold.

Gayle said it: your DH needs to network. Tell everyone he knows that he's looking for work.

Definitely rent the other house. Get the best tenants you can and good deposits or it will cost you more in the end.

I'm so sorry and know you are worried sick. Keep us posted on how it goes for you. It helps to share.


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Another thing you should look into is energy assistance. Call your power company and ask about applying for HEAP (or whatever your state calls it). The income levels are relatively high (DH discovered that if he were to retire, even with his pension, we'd qualify--believe it or not), so if you're working at a low-paying job, you may still qualify. I doubt they'll give you assistance for the investment property, but even if you can get some help on the utility bills for your primary residence, if would be a help.

What would I do? Well, first off, I started squirrelling $$$ away years ago. Even though I haven't worked fulltime in over 26 years, I have enough money saved in my name to get buy for 5 years--possibly more if I was frugal. Second thing I'd do? Cancel ALL the non-essentials--cable, internet, cell phone and frills on the land line. I'd sell anything I didn't need--replacing my high end SUV with a cheaper, more economical car, for example. If I was working one low-paying job, I'd get a second one. If I couldn't find another job, I'd trash pick on trash night, fix up my finds and sell at the flea markets on the weekends. I'd go out and collect cans along the road, if I had to--anything to be able to pay the bills and keep food on the table.

Have you or your husband considered looking for a job in an industry where the poor economy is actually a boon? My husband is a bill collector for the utility company, and in the almost 40 years he's worked for his company, he's NEVER had overtime like they're getting now. He's working late every day, and had to work a full 8 hours today. There always seem to be ads in the paper for people to work in debt collection. It might not be your first choice as a career, but it pays the bills, and right now, it's a field where there is money to be made.

Good luck to you.


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RE: Husband Laid Off!

Hi Nita,
First of all I'm sorry this is happening to you.
My husband lost his job last Febuary.He did get a settlement from the company,but it didn't help much as it made him ineligible for Employment insurance.Then of course the gov took a good chunk off the top in income tax,so we were left with a small amount and a small social security cheque to get by on.
We sold our home in the city and bought a much cheaper home on the east Coast...Of course this meant moving away from our kids,but sometimes you have no choice in order to survive.In the midst of this my husband had a complete mental breakdown which he was hospitalized for two months for.
I cried day and night at first because like you,I didn;t know where to turn.
I finally got my backbone up and swore that this was not going to kill me and that there were others out there in even worse straits.
I started by gathering up all our assets and liabilites,and trying to see what could go and what had to stay.
Since my husband usually took care of all our finances this was all new to me.
It took me weeks,but I finally after many trips and calls to the bank etc,started to see some light at the end of the tunnel.
The name of the game for me was living frugaly...cut back everwhere you possibly can.No eating out at all,cooking cheaper meals,going with straight cable,nothing extra..I think we have 15 channels,basic telephone service..no call display,call waiting,answering service etc.I used my clothesline instead of my dryer..shopped at second hand stores etc.
I can honestly say that a year later,my husband is home and doing really well and we have a roof over our head that we own,a car in the driveway that we own,food in the cupboards and are living comfortably on our very small income.
Once the initial shock wears off,sit down with your DH and your bank and you'll be surprised how much you can do to relieve the stress you are both feeling.
You are not alone...thousands more are going through the same thing right now.There may also be a counselling group in your area if many jobs are being lost.Get busy and leave no stone unturned and you'll do just fine.
Hugs for now.
Eliza ann(Audrey)


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RE: Husband Laid Off!

On the radio here in the Los Angeles area, they were just talking about all the advertising Northrup Grumman is doing to hire. Just in case you are around here.


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I was laid off on Nov 24th. My son got laid off a week ago. We're in a recession and a lot of people will be getting laid off. For the time being though, *I* am ok. But barely. I'm on WCB so my wages are 90% covered. But once they say my hand is good enough for work, I'm in trouble. DH and I have lived on one wage before and managed. We just rob Peter to pay Paul. I will find work when I have to. My son will find a job. For the time being, there are still a lot of jobs available in Calgary. But it won't last long, I'm sure.


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I've added your family to my prayer list of others in like situations.

Others have already offered some really good advice. Once debt ridden, I eventually found there were blessings in our circumstances...it taught me ways to stretch meals AND dollars that I've used for the last 40 years.

Don't know what part of the country you live in or source of heat you have, but bill for our gas furnace kept creeping up, up, up, and at a friend's suggestion, we bought a Quartz Electric heater for $39.99 to use in large, open living, dining, kitchen area. Keeps the whole area nice 'n warm with less than $10. a month increase in electric bill, saving nearly $80. a month.

When you talk to Mortgage company, don't forget to mention your great credit scores...it should help a lot with them.

Hold tight to Faith...it can carry you further than you know!

Suzi


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I think from what I've seen and heard, what is considerewd a "need" is so untrue if you've been on the "not have" side. Having always what you wanted is harder than if on the side of not having much.
Cable is not a need, it's a want. To really cut back you need to look at everything and divide as a NEED or a WANT. You know what are definite bills - mortgage, utilities, car payments, loans, credit cards, etc. Some items that are considered needs, like gas and food can go under wants as you can cut back.
You have to be serious about it to really cut back expenses. Groceries means NO extras - snacks, cookies, chips or goodies we like. It means no steak, more hamberger and chicken. It means no 10 course meal only meat and veggies, casseroles and soups. This time of year, chili and soups can go a long way and can be frozen for another time. Check your grocery ads and plan the buying where not running all over the place using gas to save 2 cents and spending more on gas. Get the store brands not name brands.
No manicures, hair appointments, no one doing any work for you, do it yourself. No eating out even for lunch.
There are people that have no home, you have 2. If you can't sell the house, fix it to where you can rent it not necessarily what you would do to sell it to cut back. Look at what other houses like yours are renting for. Can you rent it for the mortgage payment plus $100? Put that $100 aside as if you didn't have it for any repairs to the house or emergencies.
If time, take back some of the expensive gifts and buy something cheaper. Forget about making an impression, your family comes first.
I wish you the best. When growing up, daddy was out of work and we ate what momma had canned for that winter. I just think back and if momma could find ways, so can I.
Lynn


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Nita, my DH was laid off a few years ago. We were very lucky as he has a military retirement. His retirement pays for all of our bills, but no luxury! So we had to cut back on every THING and I agree a lot of things aren't really needs. Having said that, do you have any stocks or a IRA that you can raid? Keep your hands off the credit cards! Since you own 2 homes, you aren't going to be eligible for food stamps, but you can go to a food bank. Your church might also offer food and utility vouchers,and the power company has a winter heating assistance program. Your husband should also be getting unemployment,and you may have to take a job at WalMart to help out( for example). My heart goes out to you, it's really hard in this economy to get by. Kathy


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Nita, I'm sorry I meant HE might have to take a low paying job to help out..Hang in there..Kathy


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One thing I have noticed. Yes everyone says cut back on everything, but in my lifetime, I have found out that if a person cuts back/ or denies themselves EVERYTHING, this too becomes a bigger problem --or prioritize your life and eating/entertain etc. DO NOT eliminate everything, a night out could be to a fast food place, a free concert, a church program, looking up recipes, helping out at the local food bank, food kitchen, shelter etc. You will feel better yourself and might even find new friends and a job.


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I agree, mariend. It's depressing enough as it is without stripping yourselves of everything. For instance, I'd HAVE to keep my internet service!! If just for encouragement like people are giving here.


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Patti--in this day and age, there's NO NEED to pay for internet service if money is tight. Go to the library, or Starbucks or BurgerKing and use their free WiFi. Or just drive around your neighborhood until you pick up someone's wireless signal. We've had our 2nd house for 5 months, now, and I haven't yet gotten cable or internet there--I refuse to pay those bills times 2. Anyway, most of the time when I'm there, I can find an unsecured internet signal--and for those times when I cannot, the library is just down the road.

If finances were tight, internet would definitely be one of the first things I'd let go, because you can always get it for free (or cheap--a few sodas at BK are a lot cheaper than what I pay for my internet service at home).


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I am learning to be frugal and wish that I had started a long time ago.

Let that be a lesson to those who need it.


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I'm very sorry to hear about this. Sending both of you my best wishes that something happens soon.

I'm sure there are a lot of places where you can cut & others have already mentioned them. Make sure he applies for unemployment. Work very hard at getting a renter into your other house, as I'm sure that is a major expense. Do call your mortgage company & ask them to work with you. Cut out things like eating out on a regular basis.

Regarding internet service: Using internet at the library or coffee shop is one thing - they have set up free access for the public to use. But using your neighbors' is another thing. Just because they didn't think to secure their network with a password doesn't give others the right to use it. They are paying for that service & you using it without their permission is cutting into their bandwidth & slowing their connection. If you want to use their connection, explain the situation & ask if it's okay for you to use it.


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RE: Husband Laid Off!

Also remember the importance of networking. You & DH should let all of your friends, neighbors & business associates know that he's looking for a job. Ask if you can send his resume to them so they have a better idea of his experience. I'm worried about my company & have started looking for something else. I've called a ton of my contacts & sent them my resume. I think that even before the recession, a lot of management type jobs were this way. I think that it's even more so now. A lot of the jobs that do come open will never be posted in the paper or on Monster. Definitely have him sign up with Moster, Careerbuilder, etc. It certainly doesn't hurt to check those listings. Also do a search to find recruiters or staffing agencies that specialize in his field. They may be able to help him find something better than average.


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I did not know where to post this Sable...I don't think that I can put it on the other forum now. I don't think that I can duplicate post. Seems that everyone reads Kitchen Table. I thank everyone for their prayers.

I am going to talk to my doctor really soon. I also might need counseling. I need to get better and be strong during this crisis. I try to fake it around people but it doesn't always work. I really don't want to be so sad.

The mortgage payments for the house that we live in now is $2,000.00 and I don't know who would pay that for rent. The other house is $1,500 ..we hope that we can get a renter who will pay that.

I am going to the suggested link frugal times and check it out. I want to do everything that I can.

DH will take a lower paying job. Also as soon as he is eligible, he will do unemployment. We have discussed his working 2 jobs...we don't have a problem with that.

I have cut back a lot and had not done any Christmas Shopping. The money that we had in the Christmas Club we used for bills. We don't eat out anymore and we used to go out to dinner every Sunday as a family after church. I don't eat out for lunch anymore..sometimes I don't eat at all or I take a sandwich.

Part-time jobs seem to be hard to get this time of year..it seems most places already have their part-time extra help already in place. I have considered childcare in my home and put an ad on Craigslist...no one responded yet.

My sister sent me $20.00 just to treat myself to a hamburger. I first wanted to use it to save towards the next bill, but Mariend and Patti...she told me that was splurge money to treat myself and that's what I did. It seemed so odd that I spent that $20 so sparingly. I lasted for 2 weeks as I pinched off of it.

I am much better now, but I was slightly suicidal...wanted to drive over a bridge on the way home one evening. I actually had to clinch the wheel and sing a song to get over. I was surprised that the thought even came to my mind. My Mom worried about my husband. He's in much better shape it seems. I hope not to offend anyone, but he says that God will take care of us. He is in much prayer and I pray also.

Eliza Ann, thanks for sharing your story. Everyone has been so encouraging and I appreciate all of the responses and advice. I never thought to talk to the mortagage company or the power bill company.

We have one car payment...and my 10 year old minivan is in good shape...looks and runs well. I got him a truck as a gift 3 years ago and I am close to paying it off in a few months.

I gave a copy of his resume to a fellow at church to network and he is going to try and give us some leads for the shipyard. We frequent Monster.com and every lead that people give to us. It just seems that no one is hiring or have also had to lay-off people. He was like the 3rd or 4th at the top in his company and they have laid off others.

Oh... he is only 50. I am 59. (smile).

I definitely will let you know when our situation changes for the better.

Thanks everyone, and to each of you have a Merry Christmas.


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RE: Husband Laid Off!

I'm sorry about your husband's job. Sending you prayers and good wishes, hoping he finds something soon.


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When my husband lost his job 4 1/2 years ago we were very shocked, the company closed without notice. Just came in one day and said don't come back tomorrow. What I really learned was that this happens to everyone, we were not alone, and others wanted us to get through it. We ended up moving to where a job was offered. It was networking that got him the new job. You will get through this. Good luck and know that "laid off" or "unemployed" is not a label for who you are, it's just something that happened to you and that you will get through.

But the reason I logged back on was to suggest that you give your family creative gifts for Christmas. I bet there are things in your closets or attic that have sentimental meaning, special pictures and/or keepsakes. It would very sweet to open those things and relive the memories that go with them. Probably better than any store bought things. True story: Somehow I came into possession of my grandmother's "mother's pin," ya know with the birthstones of all her children. It was in a small box of "trinkets" my step-grandfather gave to me, just wanting me to have something of hers. Only recently did I really look at the items, and realized what the pin was. I cleaned it up and gave it to my mother for mother's day. You would have thought I gave her the moon! She hadn't seen or thought about it in years, but was thrilled to have it. I don't think I could have made her happier if I'd bought her diamonds, not even close. I mean, she doesn't usually cry over my gifts! LOL! One year she gave me her old Beatles album. She knows I love the Beatles, but she still did it as a sort of joke. But frankly, I liked it better just about anything she's ever given me. I probably don't even have whatever sweater she gave me that year anymore, but I will never give up that Beatles album that my mom listened to as a teen. One year my mom had copies made of a very special snapshot of her and her siblings as children, put them in frames and gave them to her siblings as gifts. Probably cost her all of $4 each, but it was pricless to her siblings. I have a snapshot of myself, my brother, my cousin and his deceased brother as children that I know my cousin's wife would like (it's embarassing to my cousin), I keep meaning to copy it and give it to her, she's heard it exists but hasn't seen it ;o). I just want to be there when she opens it! I have given my DD a couple things I had as a child, including a doll-shaped clock my grandmother made for me, she treasures those things and I feel like I've introduced her to the great-grandmother she never knew. If you have some items like that to give to your family, you could actually make this the best Christmas ever. Just "go shopping in the attic" (that's what my DS calls it when I give him hand-me-down clothes from his brothers). It might even boost your spirits!


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first off i am so sorry for you and practically everyone i know whos all in the same boat! im not per say a praying person, but lately well lets say ive been doing just that, seems like its helped on the surface so i wont give up hope. ive got it easy compared to most folks, and im not bragging, i help may mom and dad and they help me so for us even though it is tough its a win win situation but still extremely hard. im 41 they are in their 60-70..i should be totally taking care of them, makes me feel ashamed. my dad has worked forever it seems, i should be out of their house but since mine wasnt ready before winter hit us im here with them, they deserve to have their time i feel awful...i try too do as much as i can. i work for our company they pay me i give it back lol crazy i know but im very thankful. i really hope everyone has enough of everything to get through these tough times. i hate seeing people whove worked so hard for their whole lives losing everything. im sorry it just makes me sick....and what last i knew government was paying 800.00 for a toilet seat?? jeeze seemed to have hijacked this thread but i get so angry about stuff like this!!!


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You can probably post briefly on either or both "Household Finance" and "Buying and Selling Homes" forums, linking your post here. You have received many good suggestions here, and should get even more specific responses on those forums.


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Nita, I'm just reading your post. I saw it a few days ago, but couldn't make myself open it. I was laid off for 5 months in 1970 and 6 months in 1971. I know that was a long time ago, but when I recall how despairing it was it seems like yesterday. I was a single mom with a 4 year old dd and a teenage brother who I had custody of. It breaks my heart to know there are so many people going through that same thing today. I have no advice to add what has already been said, but did want to offer hugs.
I read your profile. Your last sentence stated... "I use experiences in my life as teaching tools to help me grow spiritually." Thank goodness you feel that way. I hope it will help you through this. You've been given a lot of good advice here to help you also. I wish you many blessings.

Linda


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I was laid off from a Fortune 500 company in the early 90s. Even though it came with a nice "package" (six months pay and insurance), it was still quite a shock. I had the opportunity to transfer but didn't, and I'm so glad. I bounced around job-wise for a few years before deciding to try my hand at freelance writing. I was 40 years old and never dreamed I could make a living doing something I loved, but 10 years later, I'm still at it and doing quite nicely!

I believe everything happens for a reason...reasons we don't understand at the time and sometimes NEVER understand...and I think these things are often an opportunity in disguise.

BTW, I also went through a serious bout of depression after it happened. I do hope you will take care of yourself emotionally!


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Like you we were in the middle of a house remodel five years ago when DH's foreman called and said, there factory was going to close it's doors in a week.Talk about a shock. On top of this the company he worked for had it's own insurance company so when factory closed our insurance went out the door. DH hit the road everyday hunting for work. On a Sat, he was unloading stuff from the back of a pick up truck the he jumped down and in doing so he crushed his foot. With no insurance, ambulance trip to hospital and operating room to put in screws and pins. He had to go through months of therapy. Two months out of therapy he had a heart attack.Angioplasty and five stints later he was back home to recuperate. Three months later another heart attack and this one was a bad one. Bypass surgery. Since that time he's had seven surgeries and now has kidney stones. He never got that chance to get out and find another job. Finally in the middle of all this he became old enough for medicare. Every dime we had went to medical payments. I know just what your going through. Like what everyone said, give up absolutely everything that you don't need. We went back to basics, no cell phones, only local tv stations, no extras on phone, not even long distance services, used calling card for that. A dear friend paid for my internet, she said, i needed something to keep me sane in all the time i've been taking care of DH. Just know all our thoughts and prayers are with you. We got through it and you will too. One of our daughters and the other daughters Dh both worked in the rv business and lost there jobs. It's the only job they've ever had. We live right in the middle of all the rv layoffs and shut downs. It's not good here for work.


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I'm sorry you're going through this. I've lived on $15,000 a year for several years and it wasn't easy, but it was do-able. I hope there'll be some unemployment compensation for you and your husband and maybe that'll help a little bit??

I wish I knew something more to say. I don't know why life on this earth is so unnecessarily hard.

Rose


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One thing I haven't seen covered: Do you have health insurance carrying over from your husband's former employer?

In our area there are several places to go for help job-hunting -- or just support from others in the same boat. My DH's college even offers some placement services for alums.

DO post on the 'Home Finances' forum. Who CARES if it's a double post!!! (Not me!)

My only similar experience is when my DH was let go from his Fortune 500 company during a wave of layoffs. He was given a buyout and early pension. I learned that men take these things very personally -- many believing that 'work' is somehow proof of a man's worth. The routine of work vanishes; days are long. My DH developed depression and odd physical symptoms (pain in his feet; sinus pain; back pain). He needed therapy, during which he was also prescribed mild meds for depression -- ones he still takes today.

I'm just saying that there are impacts beyond "What will we do financially?" Pay attention to your feelings. Of course you are BOTH impacted and may both need some help coping. If you think you need to see your doctor...GO! As is illustrated in several posts here already, stress can maim and kill. (Another big bonus of forums like this one!)

Someday, this will be just another chapter in your life.


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