Good morning Dinks. Have you ever planned for something and then things didn’t go exactly as planned? My hometown of London, Ontario was recently hit with some devastating news that will affect the lives of more than 600 people and their families.
You may have heard in the news that the cereal giant Kellogg’s is closing one of their Canadian factories. As you may remember my Dad works for Kellogg’s, or at least he did until he retired five years ago. This news does not directly affect my family, but it does affect many of the people in my life aka my Dad’s friends who have watched me grow up. The decision for Kellogg’s to close its doors after more than 30 years in operation at this particular location has mass implications for not only their workers, but also for their pensions and their futures.
Trying to re-enter the workforce in midlife
As with many workplaces Kellogg’s has a very diverse workforce demographic from young to old employees and many of them have spent the majority of their adult life working for Kellogg’s. Let me ask you this – if you are 50 years old and suddenly find yourself without a job, what do you do? It will most likely be very hard to find another job if you have worked at the same place for most of your life and have a limited skill set because the workplace today is not what it was 20 years ago. Let me ask you another question – if you are 40 years old and have a mortgage payment with two kids in college and you just lost your job, what do you do? I am only 33 years old and childless, but I am assuming the initial thought has to be sheer and utter panic.
Retirement planning without a pension
There has been no information passed on to employees except that the factory will be completely closed by the end of 2014. What would you do if your retirement income source was suddenly cut off? Maybe employees will receive a payout package, but the odds of the lump sum amount of money lasting forever is very unlikely. Not only will newly unemployed workers find themselves without continuous pension savings, they may actually have to dip into their savings in order to survive. Retirement may no longer be a financial goal for those who don’t know where their next paycheck is coming from.
Planning for the future without a real plan
After the initial shock wears off out-of-work employees have to jump into survival mode in order to keep a roof over their heads and food in their bellies – and those are just the necessities. What happens to your other monthly debts like credit card and line of credit payments? When life throws you a money curve ball you have to make a new plan, but in this case life threw a complete strike out. Money sources are completely cut off and I can’t say for sure but this small town doesn’t have 600 new jobs to support the lifestyle that these middle class workers have come to know and love. Of course I wish I could help my fellow Londoners plan the next stage of their lives, but I wouldn’t even know where to begin.
So I’m reaching out to Dinks for advice. If you lost your job tomorrow, what would be your next move?
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