It happened again. I got THE call. “Barbara (said in THAT voice followed by a sigh), it’s Susan. I gotta talk to you. Call me.”
The situation was this: Susan had just been laid off. Fired. Let go. Axed. Terminated. No-longer-getting-a-paycheck. Is this you? Or a friend of yours? It wouldn’t surprise me. Approximately 111,111 people were laid off in the United States in 2013. Layoffs are occurring today.
How does that feel? Susan was devastated, scared, angry. Luckily, I could honestly give her some good news. Information that I have learned from living lives with people from all walks of life. Losing your job is not always a bad thing. Not all is lost when you become un-bossed.
1) MoPac is not jammed at 10:00 am. For real.
2) The gym is not jammed at 10:00 am either. Or 2:00 – 4:00 pm. This is a great chance to get that body back in shape. It feels good, it is good for you, you will do better in interviews and you can learn while you walk.
3) You have time to fix your retirement tax burden. IRA’s and 401k’s are called retirement benefits. The benefit of a retirement tool should occur during retirement, right? I don’t see how you can call it a benefit when you have to take out more than you need to cover the tax burden.
The fact is, taxes are the biggest bill that you will ever pay in your whole life.
People have strong opinions about the market and take steps to protect themselves from the market. The stock market has periods of depreciation; It also has periods of appreciation. It goes down AND up. But the money you give to the tax system never returns to your portfolio.
Instead of focusing on the maybe of the market, why not address the certainty of taxes?
4) Barton Springs is lovely in the middle of the day in the middle of the week. If it is too rainy or cold, go to the movies. No one is there either and movies are cheaper in the middle of the day. Double score.
5) Self-Employment. Millions of Americans have found freedom and regained their zest for life by working for themselves. Self-employment allows you to combine what you are good at with what you are passionate about. It gives you time to do items 1-4. Sometimes even get paid to do them!
Self-Employment opportunities such as Network Marketing are not only becoming acceptable, but respected and valued. People like Robert Kiyosaki, Warren Buffet and Tony Robbins all talk now about the benefits of Network Marketing, which include low start-up costs, tax benefits, residual income, social benefits and more.
6) The opportunity to control your 401k on your terms. Many corporate employees invest in 401k programs simply because they are offered by their employers, even if there is no matching!
Yes, it is important to save for your future. Yes, you probably need to have a structured system that takes money out of your paycheck before it hits your bank account. However, you don’t need to lock yourself into a plan that won’t let you access those funds until you are 59½ then pay crazy taxes in return for the small tax break you took up front (see item 3). There are strategies and tools that will allow you to put away as much or as little as you want today, protect it from the market and taxes, and take ‘free’, matching money if your next employer offers it.
7) Life is too short to live under someone else’s thumb. Sadly, that is what happens to many people over time at traditional jobs. While losing your job can mean losing your short-term identity and needed income, it can bring many, many benefits. Losing the security blanket called a job is often what finally enables people to venture out into the world and test opportunities and life experiences that they would have never even acknowledged before.
Susan turned out ok. Great actually! Not only did she will land on her feet, but she ended up living a whole new life; one that had more ‘life’ in it.
What about you? What opportunities are waiting for you to finally see them and say hello? What types of irreversible financial mistakes could you address now? What would it take for you to raise your head, look around and take action?
Not all is lost when you become un-bossed.