Remember all the posts and talk about preparedness last year? Well, the rubber hit the road for us yesterday in the form of D being told that he and others are being downsized in a month.
When I got the call, I immediately got into my triage mode whereby I become very quiet and serious, ready to go. D deals with things differently and likes to make light of things when really, I know he is fuming mad and in shock.
I was waiting for him just to come out and say how he felt -- but he is a guy and I knew that underneath all the "it's ok", there is emotion there waiting to come out. It is the first time this has happened to him and I know he was hoping to go through his whole working life without experiencing this.
Meanwhile, I worked on my spreadsheet and made a list of things to discuss. We plan our life/lifestyle based on the idea that we are each other's back up. That one of us can carry the load should the other be unable to continue for any reason. This tests just how accurate we are in our planning.
So, I had to reacquaint myself with the numbers that D is responsible for, plug them into my spreadsheet after finding out just how long his regular pay, severance, bonus (yes, he did get one) will last. The point it runs out (assuming no new job yet), is the switchover point for us. I will takeover then.
It looks like it will be mid May/early June, depending on how much the tax man takes from the severance. He has been with the company 3 years and got 8 weeks as severance. I believe it to be really good as I think they only have to pay 1 week for every year of service.
Other steps we are taking to hedge ourselves include changes to our mortgage payments. I have decided to temporarily stop mortgage prepayments and keep the money as cash. Also, as I get paid bi-monthly vs. D's bi weekly, I've changed our mortgage frequency to bi-monthly just in case it goes that far.
That move increases our amortization by 5 months as it eliminates the extra month of payments but I'm hoping this will get switched back in no time. I'd rather be over prepared and not need it than be under and have to draw from our non registered savings. Don't want to do that.
As I don't like to leave any stone unturned, we also talked about cancelling upcoming trips. After looking at cancellation fees and penalties, it looks like the money we get back may not be worth it. We have time to revisit it later. My trip to Iceland is very soon and too late to change. Hate leaving at this time even though D says he is fine with it.
We went as far as projecting what we would do a year from now should things stay the same. Technically, as long as I can hang on, things would be ok. D is also learning about unemployment insurance and what that's about.
Our trump card is the cottage. This would be a good time to put it up for sale and interest rates are low and people would want to have it ready for the season. It is paid for and if sold, we would be mortgage free. We aren't ready to let it go yet, so we will revisit this option in a year, if necessary. And selling the ski condo is, at least right now, non negotiable for either of us.
Meanwhile D has applied for a number of positions and hopes to be called for interviews shortly. Also, should he find another job within his current company before his termination date, he forfeits his severance as things would just continue on as if "nothing happened".