Financial tips for older workers out of a job during COVID-19

More than 1 million older workers lost their jobs during the height of the COVID-19 lock downs and many have not returned to the work force.

SEE RELATED STORY: Unemployment claims fall to 881,000 but layoffs remain elevated

For older workers, it is very important to get a handle on their finances.

Losing a job with only a few years to retirement can be a financial disaster, so Action 13 asked an expert, Professor John Lopez, what they should do now.

The first thing Lopez, a professor at the University of Houston, said was to go to a fee-only certified financial advisor and find out exactly where you stand when it comes to your savings and retirement funds.

If you cannot live on your retirement nest egg, be sure to file for unemployment.

Next, he said to try to find a job to get you over the hump.

One place to start looking is your former employer's outplacement service. That is typically an agency that can help you get your resume together and help you interview.

You also have to get a handle on how you are going to manage your 401K. Be sure to roll over the money into an IRA, otherwise you could face penalties up to 30%.

"You, as an individual, need to make sure you are protecting yourself as much as possible, protecting your family as much as possible by taking advantage of some of the options that may be available," Lopez said. "Looking for a fee-only financial planner will kind of help you get your head around what the company is offering."

Right now, there are many people who are out of work well before they planned to be.

SEE RELATED STORY: A list of resources for COVID-19 financial relief
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