Due to the draw downs of troops overseas, the military is currently downsizing. Part of this is the reducing in the numbers of active duty members. They are currently trying to allow people to voluntarily separate before forcing people out. Due to only being in less than 3 years and putting on my most recent rank last summer, I and most of my peers that joined with me are safe from the cuts this year. It did however prompt quite a large discussion at work recently though and it eventually came down to one question.
What would you do if you were forced to separate?
Or to rephrase it to apply it more people, regardless of where you work, “What would you do if you found out you were going to lose your job soon?”
It really made me stop and think. With not a lot of actual job experience I’d probably have a difficult time getting a job in the same career field as my A.F. job. Another option would be to go to school and finish out my degree in Business Management. However not everyone has this option.
I think situations like this, whether you are in the military or the civilian work force, are important to think about sometimes. It highlights the importance of having a properly funded emergency fund. I see too many people everyday that are living paycheck to paycheck. What happens when the money dries up? Especially in this economy everyone’s number one financial focus should be having an emergency fund. Whether that means 6 months of living expenses or 6 months income or even 1 year of living expenses, whatever you feel comfortable with. I currently have my emergency fund set at $4500 but will be increasing this in the coming months as I add apartment rent to my monthly expenses.
How prepared are you in the event you lost your job? Do you have an emergency fund and if so, how do you determine how much is enough?