ADVICE FROM THE FINANCE EXPERTS

The reality of being unemployed has set in for Grand Junction’s Rob Flenard.

After being laid off from Power Motive Corp. in November, Flenard, 39, focused his energies on coaching a traveling hockey team of teenagers.

Flenard, a shipping manager for nearly three years at Power Motive Corp., dove into other chores when hockey season ended.

“I’ve done a lot of housework, and I’m tired of it,” Flenard joked.

A growing number of Coloradans are unemployed, according to statistics released Wednesday by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.

Dealing with unemployment and the stress that comes with it is the most important thing people can do financially, said a local financial analyst and a licensed mortgage broker.

Bill Haggerty of Primerica and David Posta of Apex Mortgage said they have received calls from clients who were prepared to lose their jobs and clients who were completely caught off-guard.

“Either way, they are in deep yogurt,” Haggerty said.

Haggerty, who is hiring employees because his business has increased, has a long list of suggestions for getting through unemployment. On that list is talking to neighbors and friends because they might be able to help. Also on the list is talking to a financial analyst to plan the future.

“Now is as good a time as any to find one because you’ve got time,” Haggerty said. “My generation and (younger) generations (don’t) know anything about finance. It’s never too late to learn.”

Posta advised against missing payments. Mortgage brokers often have more knowledge about options available to people worried about a mortgage payment.

“If you think you are going to be late on payments, call right now,” Posta said.

Keeping his house is important to Flenard, he said. His wife has a job she loves, so the family isn’t worried about missing bill payments, but paying bills on time has trumped all other plans for the family, Flenard said.

He had hopes of replacing a garage and screen door. Flenard and his wife were thinking about getting newer cars. No more.

“There were things we budgeted for (this year) that we took out,” Flenard said.

After dealing with the initial shock of being unemployed, Flenard said he began looking for local jobs months ago. He searches daily. He has called friends to network.

His supervisor from Power Motive Corp. has even called Flenard a couple times since he was laid off.

“They fought for me, but there was no money,” he said. “That’s what they told me.”


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