Q. I got laid off from Boeing (syndicated readers fill in your hometown company here) after 20 years because of 9/11 and the fact that all of our jobs are going to Mexico. I'm in my mid 40s and I'm having difficulty finding another $30/hr job. My unemployment is about to run out and I'm wondering what my options are. I'm thinking of buying a franchise and have close to 100 g's in my 401k - should I cash it out, pay the penalty, and start my own business?
Signed, Jobless in Seattle
A. Dear Clueless in Seattle,
You only have $100k saved?! What were you thinking? That your job would last forever? That you'd work 40 years for one company, get a gold watch and a pension at retirement? You were making close to $75,000 a year with full benefits and overtime pay, and you couldn't put away $1000 a month? At 12% ROR you'd have a million bucks saved by now. Well, that's the past. So no use crying about it.
BTW, quit crying about your job moving to Mexico. You could have moved there too. But you've chosen to stay where you are. You've made your bed, so sleep in it. In fact, you must've been sleeping if you've waited until your unemployment is gone before you started looking for something else. You should have had a career already lined up like a spare tire ready just in case. But again, that's hindsight.
So what to do now? Make some tough choices. And quit whining.
* To dull disillusioned dadgum crybabies anyone who shoots straight, cuts the crap, and tells it like it is sounds crabby.