It is just after 6am and I am sitting on my balcony with a cup of tea watching the sun start its never-ending race after the moon. This is my favourite part of the day and I am thinking: What could possibly go wrong? I open up my laptop to read the news from the UK. The first thing I see is HSBC announcing 8,000 redundancies in the UK and closing numerous high street branches. I can only think of my friends and ex-banking colleagues that work for HSBC and hope they will be safe.
It just shows once again that there is no longer something called ‘a job for life’. It can be fickle here. One day, you are the toast of the town; the next day, you are put in the bin with the other stale bread.
What do you do now? The first thing is don’t panic. Hopefully, you have taken on board my missives about having emergency savings. Again, you should have a minimum of three to six months’ salary in savings that you can access within a few days. This will carry you over paying your rent and living expenses when you are looking for new employment or go towards starting up a business on your own. If you haven’t done this, it is time to take a job – any job – whether it be in Vietnam or further afield.
There are insurance policies out there that can step in to assist you if you have left work through no fault of your own. Specialist redundancy insurance can be taken out at any time, normally as an extension to a life insurance policy. These can pay out a certain percentage of your salary for between six to twelve months and are there to give you peace of mind and the time and space needed to get re-employed.
What happens, though, if you have an accident and cannot work? Once again, these circumstances can be covered through accident insurance, paying a percentage of your salary until you are fit enough to get back to work, or a PTD (permanent and total disability) plan that will pay either a living wage or an agreed lump sum if something like this happens. These plans are a bit like an extended warranty. Some people think they do not need them, but the difference is that extended warranties are attached to something like a car purchase, not the human body.
However you look after yourself and your family’s future, please make sure that you do something. Too many people have had to leave living in this mad but wonderful country because they have been living for the now, not tomorrow.
Paul McLardie is a partner at Total Wealth Management. Contact him at Paul.firstname.lastname@example.org