Wikinvest Wire

Life on severance

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

This is a fascinating read and, fortunately, for those who were formerly WSJ subscribers and have had to cut back lately, the story is in the free section of the online paper.

Paul Joegriner hasn't worked since March 2008, when he was laid off from his $200,000-a-year job as chief executive officer of a small bank. But you wouldn't know it by appearances.

His wife, Marzena, shuttles their two young children to private school every morning. The family recently vacationed in Virginia Beach, Va., and likes to dine on Porterhouse steaks. Since losing his job, Mr. Joegriner, 44 years old, has had several offers. He's turned each down in hopes of landing a position comparable to what he held before.

The family's lifestyle over the past year and a half has been propped up by a $200,000 severance package and another $100,000 in savings -- funds the family has burned through rapidly. By Mr. Joegriner's own calculations, the family will be out of money in six months if he doesn't find work.

"It will be D-Day," he says. "But on the outside, no one has any idea that we're in trouble."

Mr. Joegriner is a member of what might be called the severance economy -- unemployed Americans who use severance pay and savings to maintain their lifestyles. Many lost their jobs in 2007 and 2008, and thought they'd soon find work. Now, they're getting desperate.
Wow - almost 200 comments over at the WSJ. While I haven't read them, my guess is they are an equal mix of sympathetic views and those thinking Mr. Joegriner should make his own coffee now that he's about down to his last few dollars.

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Anonymous said...

All too many financial institution business models were absurd. Let's hope they don't ever come back. Who needs to bail out all of these high risk, bubble ventures. Let people laid off from these failed institutions find honest work making chairs or something else that is useful. Taxpayers don't need to bail out any more crazy derivatives or loans to people who don't repay.

Dan said...

He should indeed, "make his own coffee". What a fool.

staghounds said...

Funny old sort of depression, odd sort of capitalism, unexpected sort f deflation- "economic collapse" and nothing gets cheaper- including discharged bankers.

Anonymous said...

This guy is an idiot. Pull the kids out of private school, stop eating out.
Take a reality pill!!

Anonymous said...

Stop eating out? Put the kids in public school with the hoi polloi?


Anonymous said...

Actually there are a lot of very strong reasons not to put the kids in public schools if the public schools where you live are bad. Home school them perhaps, but not public schools.

It's often a question of whether the kids get any education at all, so it certainly isn't the first thing to cut back on if you want your kids to have a future.

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