Last week, I went to a presentation at work on separation benefits for vested employees. Our area is under the gun, so to speak, for the next round of layoffs. Even though I do not know whether or not I will have a job at the end of this month, it was a good idea to go to this presentation. Since I wasn't planning on retiring for another 7 years, and benefits can change much in that amount of time, I hadn't given much thought to my pension. I admit, I probably should have been giving more thought to it and some other investments, but things like that make my head spin.
There is currently a fairly good separation package that includes choices of how to receive your pension, retraining money, health insurance for a few months (followed by a low-cost option) and 2 weeks pay for every year worked.
Part way through, a light bulb went off in my head (and no, it wasn't just the caffeine kicking in): I have some control over my future. I do not have to make rushed decisions; there will be time to gather information. If laid off, I plan on contacting at least 2 (maybe more) financial/retirement advisors so that I have some information to make informed decisions. I also plan on contacting the college that, years ago, I started to work on a BS degree and look at other educational opportunities.
Rather than feeling a bit panicky about the future, I'm looking towards my future with a bit of anticipation.