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Life Lessons

In my experience, life lessons can be learned in sundry of ways.  Some, I’ve learned by watching and imitating those who’ve earned my admiration. While in some cases, I’ve been guided in my own life by bearing witness to someone else’s misfortune and attempting to take cautionary note.

A couple of weeks ago, I received a call from my regional manager asking if I could work a few extra shifts.  As it turns out, a pharmacist I’d been working with (and was quite fond of) had been let go. Ironically, I’d only come to know the laid off pharmacist whilst filling in for another pharmacist, whose ailing health will likely result in his eventual premature retirement.
Witnessing this, I was struck by the fact that in the span of 2 weeks, two of my colleagues were facing unemployment and/or retirement much sooner than expected. With this in mind, I decided to start investigating how to protect against the adversity that comes with losing your job later in life. Much has been written about this phenomenon, which can result in depression, limited reemployment prospects and reductions in net worth.  Being female, I knew that this problem could be even more acute for me.
Since no one can predict declining health or weakening job prospects, one can only attempt to protect themselves on a microeconomic level.  Luckily, this article provides insight on how to ward off the depression stemming from a late life job loss.  The TL;DR version is 1) be rich and 2) do not be poor.  This seems reasonable, as ample financial resources can mean the difference between an impromptu trip to Hawaii vs. struggling to pay bills after being handed an unexpectedly clear calendar.
Thus, I immediately made another lump sum mortgage prepayment and topped off my TFSA for the year.  Although these are not “fun” expenditures today, I’m certain my 50 year old, laid off future self would thank me.
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