July 2, 2019, I received a call from my husband, “I just lost my job, and I need you to come and pick me up.” The company based out of Colorado had taken several steps to remain viable in Northeastern, Texas. They merged two branch offices and leased a building approximately 45 minutes from where we lived. When the price of oil dropped, customers’ need to use maintenance services for their oil wells declined. The loss of our primary source of income impacted us in several ways:
- At 63, my husband would face challenges for re-entry into the job market
- Emotionally, his balloon had burst
- The perks of having a second vehicle, daily socialization, and most job benefits ended that day
As Seniors looking forward to a peaceful retirement that would happen someday in the future, we were displaced from mainstream society. With the stigma of age, we were unemployed and transitioned into a statistic representing those who are no longer considered valuable employees. From prior experience, I was fully aware of the pending struggles. During the time that I was single, two of my employers downsized and outsourced. The severance pay given by both companies was for two weeks, and the health benefits ended on the last day of the month.
With the ravages of the pandemic, many individuals are in the struggle of their lives. We are experiencing tsunami-like effects from a virus-driven by its hunger to devour humanity. The despair is tremendous, and many have turned to pointless habits to ease the pain of their suffering. Yet, they fail to realize that recreational drugs, alcohol, gambling, and consuming junk food reap devastating consequences. In eight months, emotions have escalated to the point that people have suicidal and homicidal ideations, and as the young mother found with her two children in their vehicle, she chose to end the pain of suffering.
Worldwide we are in a crisis. Has God forsaken the very beings that He created in His image? The answer is emphatical, “No! Never!” Even so, the promises from God require action on our part: Human Effort + Divine Intervention = Victory.
Always Pray and ask for Divine Intervention. “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothes?” Matthew 6:25
There are no cookie-cutter approaches to life without a source of money. Once we have completed the grieving process and it must be expedited, it is time to make plans to move forward. Adapting to a new and different lifestyle is not easy, but it is achievable. I am not an expert but sharing some strategies that worked for us.
- Make a financial budget. List your liabilities, including all debts, monthly bills, daily habits such as the coffee and bagel, etc. Areas of change: cable, cell-phone providers, grocery shopping-purchase in bulk, eating out, and impulsive spending.
- Have a family meeting, children who are old enough to comprehend the need to be actively involved in financial strategies. Encourage them to express their ideas. You will be pleasantly surprised, feeling valued opens the door for a creative approach.
- Online sites, such as thred-up, Mercari, and others, have hundreds of buyers looking for pre-owned items. Social media marketplaces offer a selling platform, and local community groups and churches need donations for families and individuals who are in desperate need.
- Credit card debt will not go away. Pay the minimum payments—most auto financing offer at least one annual payment deferment.
- Mortgage payments usually involve a fierce battle. Consider all options to prevent homelessness.
The loss of health insurance involves COBRA payments that are not affordable. If you are on the brink of not having coverage, taking these steps can ease the loss:
- If you have monthly prescriptions, schedule a well-visit appointment with your healthcare provider and ask for a 90-day script with three refills. You will have enough medication for one year. Unless your condition changes, you should be okay until your next well-visit. Good-Rx works with local pharmacies to provide discounts.
- Most health benefits include three separate providers: medical, dental, and vision. According to your situation, if you can keep dental and vision, familiar professionals will provide treatment.
- Primary Care physicians-Leave a message for the Office Manager to inquire about rates for uninsured patients. Explore other options if this leads to a dead-end. Currently, my husband receives excellent medical care at a faith-based clinic where reputable physicians volunteer to provide for the uninsured and underinsured.
- You can visit healthcare.gov or contact your local social services department to find out whether you qualify for free or low-cost health insurance.
- If life-threatening medical help is needed, go to the hospital. Legally, you must receive treatment that will stabilize your condition. Apply for charity services to alleviate the burden of expenses.
- Dial 211 for Community Resources. Dialing 211 helps direct callers to services, among others, the elderly, the disabled, those who do not speak English, those with a personal crisis, those with limited reading skills, and those who are new to their communities.
Testimony: Since my husband’s loss of employment, he has sustained another loss–35 lbs of excess weight. Due to eating healthy, nourishing food, making frozen fruit popsicles, and eliminating all sugar, he is no longer on Diabetic medications.
There are many variables to consider when making life-changes. Each of us is in unique situations that require different steps and actions for positive outcomes. However, we do share something in common: God, who is our Heavenly Father, our Jehovah Jireh–the Great Provider. Pray, believe, and wait on the Lord!
“Be still and know that I am God; … Psalm 46:10
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine! 2When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you go through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, and the flames will not set you ablaze. 3For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; Isaiah 43:1-3
God, we have no one to turn to, but you. We ask for your intervention and blessings in our lives. Thank you for hearing and answering our prayer that we ask in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2020, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the author’s written permission.
From msn.com: 27 million in the U.S. at risk of losing health coverage amid pandemic