Experts say overreacting to a pink slip is ‘worst thing’ one can do

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 29, 2001

Preparing for the pink slip may seem a depressing task for a worker to undertake.

Yet preparation could make a big difference should an unexpected layoff occur, said Sim Mosby, a Natchez certified public accountant and personal financial specialist.

&uot;Especially if you’re in a market that is potentially subject to job losses or job changing, it’s important that you have enough cash to live without having to liquidate all your assets,&uot; Mosby said.

Email newsletter signup

Being prepared gives the laid-off worker extra time to look for a job that suits his or her skills and background, he said.

&uot;Overreacting is the worst thing you can do,&uot; Mosby said. &uot;For instance, if you have stocks, you don’t want to sell them and have to pay tax on them while you’re in the unemployed state.&uot;

The amount of cash reserve a family has on hand will depend on lifestyle and income. At best, however, a good rule of thumb would be to have enough to see the family through 90 days of expenses, he said.

&uot;Everyone knows how much it takes to keep the household running each month, to be sure there is enough to take care of all the needs,&uot; Mosby said. &uot;So it isn’t hard to figure how much you should try to have put aside for emergencies such as losing a job.&uot;

Families should think carefully before making big decisions such as selling homes, he said.

&uot;In some cases it might make sense – that is, if the family knows it will have to move to another location.

&uot;But on the other hand, you don’t want to sell a house so fast that you sell it below market value and then have to turn around and buy another one when employment turns back around.&uot;

Basically, Mosby said, each family should take note of assets and prepare by having a financial plan that will kick in and keep the family going when times get tough.