Sometimes things don't work out quite the way you plan. So if you're facing a layoff or an early retirement buyout, we want you to know you have options and factors you can control during this life change. We're here to help you make decisions now that can affect your future. This checklist offers ideas and options to consider during this challenging time.

First things first

  • If you know ahead of time that you're being laid off, work to build up your emergency reserves. Ideally, we suggest having at least three to six months' worth of living expenses saved, but every bit counts.
  • If you're offered a buyout, determine whether it will be taxable. Could you roll the proceeds directly into a Registered Retirement Savings Plan, Tax-Free Savings Account or other tax-deferred account?
  • Obtain copies of retirement plan paperwork, including pension and stock options, from your employer's Human Resources department. To help avoid potential penalties or taxes, consider consulting a tax professional before making decisions about your retirement funds.
  • Meet with your financial advisor to:
    • Review your financial situation and update short- and long-term goals.
    • Revisit your financial strategy and making adjustments if necessary to help stay on track.

If you still need to work

Non-financial considerations:

  • Ask your employer for a reference letter.
  • Take advantage of any outplacement services your employer offers.
  • Ensure that your work experience and skills are updated on networking sites such as LinkedIn. These sites may also offer "virtual" networking opportunities.
  • Sign up for job notification emails from job search websites and employers you're interested in.
  • Contact your references to let them know you're in the job market.
  • Consider additional education or training that will help you advance your career or change industries.
  • Evaluate the feasibility of starting your own business, or pursuing consulting or contract work, if this interests you.

Financial considerations:

  • Determine your current and future bills and living expenses.
    • Review and prioritize your expenses to identify areas where you can cut back (for example, cable TV or dining out).
  • Identify all potential sources of income.
    • Consider severance pay, unemployment insurance, spousal/partner income, 
    • Evaluate temporary sources of funds, such as credit cards, home equity loans, other loans or family sources.
  • Apply for employment insurance if you are being laid off. Review how unemployment benefits may be taxed and set aside money to cover it. 

Review your insurance coverage

  • Review your life insurance. If you aren't covered through work any longer, talk with your advisor to determine how much insurance you need and whether you should purchase or increase coverage on an individual policy.
  • Investigate whether any of your insurance policies contain a provision (rider) that waives premiums during periods of unemployment.

How we can help

A layoff or buyout will affect your whole life, but we're here to help turn this experience into a positive opportunity for a new chapter. Talk to your Edward Jones financial advisor to help guide you in the right direction when it comes to your financial goals.