Many professionals have endured unemployment much as if they were still employed, relying on severance packages to maintain their lifestyle and, to an extent, the economy has been bolstered by what the WSJ dubbed the “severance economy.”
Those affected often have trouble accepting their diminished prospects. Hefty severance packages, while intended as a safety net, can lull the unemployed into a false sense of security. Some people continue spending as before.
“There is an end date when that severance is going to run out,” says Ellen Turf, chief executive of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors. “At that point, the only life preserver is unemployment or getting another job….It’s an awful situation.”
It doesn’t help that severance in general is down in 2009 from where it was a few years ago. The median severance pay allotted in 2009 was 12.5 weeks’ salary, down from 21.8 weeks a decade ago, according to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas.
(image by filtran via Flickr cc 3.0)
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