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Working Strategies: Quitting your job Part 2 — Consider your personal finances

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Working Strategies: Quitting your job Part 1: What to do at work

Do you know what the problem is for people who quit jobs? It’s the timing. People tend to wait too long, then quit all of a sudden, leaving themselves with a pile of unfinished business.

Amy Lindgren

Sometimes that business is emotional, with workers’ feelings of being unappreciated accumulating to a toxic level by the time they exit. There’s usually some unfinished business in the job itself, and in the worker’s career as well, not to mention the feeling of being unprepared personally or financially.

Which brings us back to timing: What’s with that pattern of staying too long and suddenly exiting? For one thing, it’s usually a difficult decision. Most people will delay the real or perceived conflict of quitting for as long as they can, opting to adapt to difficult situations instead.

Others may not recognize that their sense of discontent in life may be rooted in a job that no longer challenges them. If the job itself is reasonable, it’s easy to disregard the nibbling sense that something doesn’t quite fit.

And others may just prefer the known downsides of the current job over the potential (but unknown) upsides of a new position.

Regardless of the reasons for a delay, the truth is, most people eventually do leave their jobs and you probably will too. If you’re near the end of your career, the leave-taking might be through retirement or illness, but otherwise you’re likely to quit for reasons that range from new employment to business startup to just needing time off.

Once you acknowledge that fact, you can take more control of the timing. Instead of disregarding the mounting discontent until you can’t take any more, you can plan steps and processes to follow. Whether these unfold over the course of weeks or years is up to you – which is exactly the point.

To help you organize those steps, last week’s column provided five things to do in your current job before quitting. Today we’ll look at five things to do in your personal finances, and next week’s column will finish the series with a look at five things to do in your career before stepping out the door.

Organize (or pay down) your debt. It’s a rare person who doesn’t have debt, whether that’s a mortgage, car loan, student loan, credit cards, or a combination of all of these. The reason to review these accounts while you’re working is three-fold: One, what you discover may influence your timing; two, if you want to make a major purchase, that will be easier while you’re still working; and three, strategies such as refinancing your mortgage to achieve lower payments will be more difficult after you quit.

This step holds true even if you’re quitting to start a new job, because longevity in your position is often considered in lending decisions. And it’s a hundred times more true if you’re quitting to start a business — one of the most difficult positions from which to re-organize one’s debt.

Retirement accounts. Decisions to roll over a 401(k), to set up a new retirement account, or to convert an IRA to a Roth are all things best considered before quitting, while you have the most options available.

Health insurance. You don’t need to be reminded, but just in case: Be sure you know what health insurance options will be available after you leave your job. If any steps can be handled now, you’ll appreciate not having that burden later, when the timing could be more critical.

Take your sick days. Speaking of health … have you used your sick time? Those days have been set aside for you to use in taking care of your health, so now’s the time to schedule your preventative care. This is especially smart if your sick days are “use it or lose it” in terms of payout.

Figure out your cash flow. If you’re taking another job, this step may be built-in, since you’ve already negotiated your next salary. But if you’re leaving without another source of income, you’ll enjoy the getaway more if there’s gas in the car. Don’t just assume that your savings will cover you. Make a decision about how much of your savings you’re willing to spend before you need a new income source.

If all of these personal finance steps are starting to kill your enthusiasm for quitting, don’t worry. You’ll get your motivation back next week when you review the steps to take in your career to ensure a good transition.

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Three Hanukkah dessert recipes that skip the fryer

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Three Hanukkah dessert recipes that skip the fryer

By Melissa Clark, The New York Times

Every winter, I look forward to reveling in the fried food frenzy of latkes and jelly doughnuts called sufganiyot that is Hanukkah in my home. But, after a few grease-splattered days, I’ve had enough. Not of Hanukkah — that goes on for eight gelt-filled nights — but of frying. The question is, what else can I serve to celebrate the holiday?

This year, I plan to lean into the oil part of the story, specifically the olive oil that burned for eight days instead of just one, the miracle that the holiday commemorates. But along with using oil for frying, I’ll make some festive, holiday-worthy confections.

Olive oil is already traditional in many desserts, adding a slightly savory note to round out the sweetness. Here, I played with three classic recipes, blending olive oil into one, incorporating chocolate into another and leaving the third alone but for a tweak in the topping.

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Ravens are field-goal favorites vs. Steelers in Week 13 road trip

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Ravens are field-goal favorites vs. Steelers in Week 13 road trip

The Ravens are field-goal favorites over the Steelers ahead of their game Sunday in Pittsburgh, according to Las Vegas sportsbooks.

After a tense home win Sunday night over the Cleveland Browns, the Ravens (8-3) are favored by 3 ½ points over Pittsburgh, which is coming off its worst loss ever under longtime coach Mike Tomlin. The Bengals routed the Steelers, 41-10, in Cincinnati on Sunday, the second straight game in which Pittsburgh has allowed over 40 points.

The Steelers (5-5-1) could also be without star outside linebacker T.J. Watt, who was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Monday after reportedly testing positive for the coronavirus. Watt has 12 ½ sacks in nine games this season, the second most in the NFL.

According to Covers.com’s historical odds, which date to the 2006 season, the Ravens have never been favored by more than 3 ½ points in Pittsburgh under coach John Harbaugh. They were 3 ½-point favorites in 2019, when Pittsburgh started quarterback Mason Rudolph in place of the injured Ben Roethlisberger. They were also three-point favorites in 2015 and 2012, when Michael Vick and Byron Leftwich started for the injured Roethlisberger, respectively. The Ravens won all three games by a field goal.

Roethlisberger is expected to start Sunday, but he’s coming off a poor outing. He finished 24-for-41 for 263 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions Sunday in Cincinnati, and his QBR (28.3) was the second lowest of his season.

The Ravens, who lead the AFC North and have yet to play Pittsburgh this season, have fared well against division opponents recently. They’re 9-2 against the spread against the Steelers, Browns and Bengals over their past 11 meetings. Pittsburgh, meanwhile, is 1-6 against the spread in its past seven home games overall, according to CBS Sports.

The Steelers, who swept last season’s series after the Ravens took the 2019 series, lead the all-time rivalry, 30-24. Because of illness and scheduling circumstances, Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson has started just twice against Pittsburgh, winning in 2019 in Heinz Field and losing in Baltimore last year.

The over/under for Sunday’s game is 44 points.

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Misfortune follows Von Miller from Denver to Hollywood

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Misfortune follows Von Miller from Denver to Hollywood

After Von Miller left his Russian sable hat and the tears behind in Denver following his trade from the Broncos to the Los Angeles Rams, he cracked, “I went to bed 4-4 and woke up 7-1.”

Talk about a Hollywood ending for the Super Bowl 50 MVP.

He figured he had Super Bowl 56 in his sights just like he did Cam Newton all afternoon all those years ago when he kept separating the football and the Lombardi Trophy from the Carolina quarterback’s grasp.

An encore, however, seems to be slipping away from Miller’s clutches, just like so many quarterbacks of late.

L.A. has been more dystopia than utopia for Miller, even with Odell Beckham Jr. working his way out of cloudy Cleveland and teaming up with him in sunny Southern California.

The Rams haven’t won since Miller’s arrival.

The drought began with a 28-16 loss to Tennessee at home when Miller sat out with a bum ankle that also forced him to miss his final game for the Broncos. He made his nondescript Rams debut in a 31-10 loss at San Francisco a week later, and finally made his mark in L.A.’s 36-28 loss at Green Bay on Sunday.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t for a sack — he hasn’t had one of those since sharing a takedown of Ravens QB Lamar Jackson with McTelvin Agim way back on Oct. 3 — but for his late helmet-to-jaw hit on Aaron Rodgers that drew a 15-yard penalty.

Miller has just half a sack since September, when he had four sacks and won the AFC’s Defensive Player of the Month award in his return from an ankle injury that cost him all of 2020.

He has lost the last six games he has played in, and his former teammates in Denver are riding high after winning three of four without him, including a victory over Washington that he sat out, a signature victory at Dallas and a thumping of the Chargers on Sunday that tightened up the AFC West.

While the Rams (7-4) are still sitting pretty in the NFC playoff picture despite being two games behind the Cardinals in their division, the Broncos (6-5) can surge into the AFC West lead with a win Sunday night at Kansas City (7-4).

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