What should you do when you get pink slipped


COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Right now, there are more than 390,000 Georgians looking for jobs.

If you lose yours, experts say there are some steps you should immediately take.

First, discuss severance pay, outplacement services and health insurance options with your employer.

"You have what's called COBRA rights, that's a federal law, continuation of benefits that allows you for some period of time, it may be for a couple of years, to continue your health insurance, now it's at your cost, but it's at the company's low rate," says Scott Voynich, CPA of Robinson and Grimes, Co. P.C.

Voynich says it's also critical to evaluate expenditures.

"What's appropriate while I'm working might not be appropriate while I'm out of work, for instance my budget for clothing, the dining out options, the memberships I might have, might even include childcare," says Voynich of some items to consider eliminating.

Next, review your tax situation.

"If your income drops in a situation of losing your employment, well it's an opportunity to say, well, I may now qualify for this tax credit or for this tax deduction that I didn't otherwise qualify for," adds Voynich.

Another tip, find additional resources for cash.

"I might have cash value of a life insurance policy, I can always borrow against that, don't want to, but I know it's there, I know I could tap it if I had to, retirement plans, I may have a vested interest in my retirement plan that I'm now able to borrow against if I need to or less desirable answer, cash it out, because I'm gonna pay tax and maybe a penalty on it," says Voynich.

Finally, do what it takes to make some money in between.

"Don't be afraid of for instance, temporary service options, it's an immediate income, it's exposure to a potential employer," says Voynich.