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Old 01-07-2018, 08:34 AM   #21
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Nobody has said it, but let me say a prayer for you. Unfortunately the DC area is a HCOL place and just basic living expenses requires financial resources.

We pray that another church is in need of someone with your experience. The doors will open for you.
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Old 01-07-2018, 08:53 AM   #22
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As an administrative assistant you would have skills (organization, word processing, etc) that are in demand. Have you thought about starting your own business and working out of your home? Make up some business cards and fliers and start passing them out everywhere. I bet you will get some jobs quickly. You could also try some temporary agencies. Look at Craigslist under Gigs, just be careful of scams. You can also post your resume on Craigslist.
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Old 01-07-2018, 08:56 AM   #23
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In California, the Episcopal church is now required to pay unemployment tax OR let their employees know that they are not covered from day one of employment in their employment letters. That state is different from many others and the District of Columbia where I live. I have $20,000 in immediate savings that I can tap without going into my retirement accounts. Of course I am trying to preserve what I can before I go there. I also have a business I started as a personal Concierge and that is just now getting off the ground. I love helping others organize their lives and solve problems. I am paid monthly, so my last official paycheck in the severance package is January 25, 2018 which will take care of Feb 2018 bills plus two weeks of unused leave which I am to be paid as well and that may help me into March, if needed.
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Old 01-07-2018, 08:59 AM   #24
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The District of Columbia website clearly states that churches do not pay the unemployment tax and therefore no benefits will be paid. I also called and spoke to an attorney who is employed there...they checked and sure enough, NO benefits. Thus I do not qualify. I tried to get the Rector to pay more in severance, but he would not. I worked there 2.5 years and left the medical world to do so as I felt I had a calling even though it paid less.
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Old 01-07-2018, 09:12 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCJennifer View Post
In California, the Episcopal church is now required to pay unemployment tax OR let their employees know that they are not covered from day one of employment in their employment letters. That state is different from many others and the District of Columbia where I live. I have $20,000 in immediate savings that I can tap without going into my retirement accounts. Of course I am trying to preserve what I can before I go there. I also have a business I started as a personal Concierge and that is just now getting off the ground. I love helping others organize their lives and solve problems. I am paid monthly, so my last official paycheck in the severance package is January 25, 2018 which will take care of Feb 2018 bills plus two weeks of unused leave which I am to be paid as well and that may help me into March, if needed.
When does your HI end? My immediate advice would be to file for ACA insurance showing you have no W-2 income after 1/18... your cost would be minimal ..I don't know what DC has for expanded Medicare. Then you won't have to add much HI coverage expense to your budget. Do you realize the Christian HI groups all have a certain waiting period before they cover pre-existing conditions and virtually every issue you've ever had wouldn't be covered. This exposes you to possible huge medical bills.

Spend a little time expanding your business and see where it leads. Live off your 20K for a little while. Look around for a full/part time job that you would like. Many churches do like part times workers.

Be aware of the fact that you do obtain full time work early in the year you might need to pay back some of your HI subsidy, depending on your income total at the end of the years. It seems that if you can find part time pleasant work and take your SS early, you could qualify for subsidized HI, pay your bills and have a little left over for fun money. Don't panic..think of this as an opportunity to think about how you might like to spend the next 10 years..Your condo payment should be done by then, which will free up some cash.
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Old 01-07-2018, 09:35 AM   #26
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I do not want to tap my savings AND if I am not contributing to SS, I am trying to decide if I should take my benefits early.
If you need to start collecting SS early, then you have no choice.

But remember that your benefits may be reduced for the rest of your life if you take that route.

If you were married for more than 10 years, and if your ex has already started to collect, then you could choose collect spousal benefits (again at a reduced rate now). See: https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/divspouse.html
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Old 01-07-2018, 09:46 AM   #27
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OP will qualify for Medicaid, not an ACA plan, as she has insufficient income. With less than two years until Medicare, that might be the way to go, unless DC Medicaid is as useless as it is in California. The advantage is that unlike an ACA subsidy, benefits do not have to be paid back if her income goes up. DC is an expanded Medicaid entity, so this might be the way to go even if she has some small amount of income this year.

OP should also be aware that if she takes her own benefits, earning income will cause her payment to be reduced if her earned income will be over the limit, around $17,000 this year. The decision is made monthly, so if you go over the annual income divided by 12, the payment is reduced for a later month or months. You get it back when the earned income drops. Not sure what happens when you take the divorced spouse benefit, worth looking into.
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Old 01-07-2018, 09:48 AM   #28
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I'm sorry to hear about the job loss. I can imagine how stressful things may be for you.

If you log on to the SSA web site you can find out what your benefits would be if you were to begin collecting SS today vs waiting. If you want to post the numbers here we may be able to give you some guidance on best strategies. Ideally if you can cover your living expenses for a few more years to maximize your SS payments that would be ideal. But there are always a number of factors to consider when doing this analysis.

How many years of living expenses do you have in your retirement accounts? This will help us to give you more specific advice on where to go from here. And of course, if you do find full time work, that will give you a chance to reevaluate all of this.
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Old 01-07-2018, 10:17 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by DCJennifer View Post
In California, the Episcopal church is now required to pay unemployment tax OR let their employees know that they are not covered from day one of employment in their employment letters. That state is different from many others and the District of Columbia where I live. I have $20,000 in immediate savings that I can tap without going into my retirement accounts. Of course I am trying to preserve what I can before I go there. I also have a business I started as a personal Concierge and that is just now getting off the ground. I love helping others organize their lives and solve problems. I am paid monthly, so my last official paycheck in the severance package is January 25, 2018 which will take care of Feb 2018 bills plus two weeks of unused leave which I am to be paid as well and that may help me into March, if needed.
Your concierge business is a very good business to have! There is a good demand for this type of business in Florida. I would at least consider a relocation to a lower cost of living state like Florida, where you could grow your business there. Good luck!
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Old 01-07-2018, 10:46 AM   #30
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I would think in DC that you could also find temp office jobs to supplement your severance and savings. Best of luck to you—you are getting helful advice hete!
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Old 01-07-2018, 10:47 AM   #31
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Take your spending and subtract your SS benefit income. Take that number(annual) and multiply by 25. If you have that much or more in your savings then you don't need to find another job. Example: $24,000 spending minus $15,000 SS income equals $9000/yr needed to live on. $9000 multiplied by 25 is $225,000. Do you have that much? You may not even need to get another job if you are willing to live rather cheaply.
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Old 01-07-2018, 10:50 AM   #32
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You should collect unemployment after the 2 months severance runs out. That would give you some cushion and time
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Old 01-07-2018, 10:52 AM   #33
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Jennifer - Others have given you great advice. Do you have a LinkedIn account? If so, you're well aware that it can connect you with other administrative assistants who can give you leads, and of course to potential employers.

I am in MD not too far outside D.C. and would love to have access to a concierge service! If you have a LinkedIn, feel free to PM me with a link :-)

Best of luck!

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Old 01-07-2018, 10:56 AM   #34
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Welcome to the forum, sorry to hear about your job loss. Lot of good advice here already. My only contribution is to use both your administrative assistant skills and your concierge skills. For the AA, being tax time there might be some good work at an accounting place for the next few months? Continue pursuing the concierge business, but stay diligent on the job search. Can you go back to the medical side for AA positions? For sure, you have good skills that someone will be happy to have you working for them. Yes, age discrimination does exist, but show you have the ability to immediately become productive and contributing. There is a position waiting for you.
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Old 01-07-2018, 11:16 AM   #35
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I would think in DC that you could also find temp office jobs to supplement your severance and savings. Best of luck to you—you are getting helful advice hete!
+1
DW did that for a couple years. Better pay than a full time job. She eventually took a permanent position that she'd temped at.
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Old 01-07-2018, 11:18 AM   #36
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You are all wonderful! Thank you for the advice. If I collect SS now I would get $1700 per month. If I wait until I am 66 it is $ 2100 and if I wait until 70 it would then go up to 2600. I have rounded the figures to make it easy. I am in good health and am told I do not look my age which I hope will help me and I am an organizer as well as skilled in Google Suites, Microsoft and Excel. I am accustomed to keeping calendars and schedules as well as Event planning and execution. I also have great follow-up skills. If I were to do a job I thought that a Family Assistant would be a fun and good fit. My Personal Concierge/Travel Assistant business focuses on those who need assistance, but whose adult children are away and are not able to be present. My website is: Assistedjourneys.com.
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Old 01-07-2018, 11:40 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by joeea View Post
If you need to start collecting SS early, then you have no choice.

But remember that your benefits may be reduced for the rest of your life if you take that route.

If you were married for more than 10 years, and if your ex has already started to collect, then you could choose collect spousal benefits (again at a reduced rate now). See: https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/divspouse.html
She says she is only 63 so she cannot collect spousal and allow her own to grow. That option is off the table for those born after 01/01/1954. However, it's possible she could collect survivor depending on how long she was married and if her ex-spouse is deceased.
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Old 01-07-2018, 11:43 AM   #38
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I’m not sure, If you can collect spousal benefits now, I believe you can wait to claim your own benefit and let it grow.
Def file unemployment.
Check out healthcare.gov for insurance
Check on your exes pension for sure!

Sorry for your situation. It does not seem right.
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Old 01-07-2018, 11:49 AM   #39
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I know it seems bleak now, but i will bet you get your side business going and growing and in a year from now you will post here and say that losing your job turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
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Old 01-07-2018, 11:53 AM   #40
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When does your HI end? My immediate advice would be to file for ACA insurance showing you have no W-2 income after 1/18... your cost would be minimal ..I don't know what DC has for expanded Medicare. Then you won't have to add much HI coverage expense to your budget. Do you realize the Christian HI groups all have a certain waiting period before they cover pre-existing conditions and virtually every issue you've ever had wouldn't be covered. This exposes you to possible huge medical bills.

Spend a little time expanding your business and see where it leads. Live off your 20K for a little while. Look around for a full/part time job that you would like. Many churches do like part times workers.

Be aware of the fact that you do obtain full time work early in the year you might need to pay back some of your HI subsidy, depending on your income total at the end of the years. It seems that if you can find part time pleasant work and take your SS early, you could qualify for subsidized HI, pay your bills and have a little left over for fun money. Don't panic..think of this as an opportunity to think about how you might like to spend the next 10 years..Your condo payment should be done by then, which will free up some cash.
My health insurance ends January 31, 2018.
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