Survey: Laid-Off Workers Financially Prepared

Compiled By Tonya Vinas The bad news: You're being laid off. The good news: You likely can afford it. That's the conclusion of a recent survey of 725 laid-off workers by career management company Lee Hecht Harrison (LHH), Woodcliff Lake, N.J. The survey revealed that most people can manage at least a comfortable five- to six-month job search by relying on savings, severance benefits and financial adjustments. "While the job market remains difficult, the good news is that so many individuals are financially prepared for an extended job search," says Bernadette Kenny, LHH executive vice president. Of those surveyed, 21% said they could comfortably take three to four months for a job search; 25% said they could comfortably take five to six months; 9% said seven to eight months; 7% said nine to 10 months; 10% said 11 to 12 months; and 20% said more than 12 months. Eight percent said they could comfortably afford a one- to two-month search. Respondents from dual income families were slightly more likely (61%) than sole breadwinners (53%) to believe severance would suffice. Those surveyed received a median severance of 15 weeks. The survey also revealed that 85% of respondents had at least one month's worth of salary in savings; 45% had at least five months saved.

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