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Old 05-16-2009, 02:53 PM
Location: Oxygen Ln. AZ
9,321 posts, read 16,133,484 times
Reputation: 5685


Quite a few of our friends and family members have seen their retirement portfolio blow up in thin air. We lost all our larger jobs in a matter of two weeks. This was our retiremnt. So we plug along and make sure our priorities are in order. Good example of priority is the homeless woman I met living in a room of an ex co-workers home in my neighborhood. She had lost everything except some furniture and her BMW sports car. Can you believe she was still getting her nails and hair done at a hugely expensive salon? Not sure where her priorities were. Mine are not on getting my nails done.

Old 05-17-2009, 09:05 AM
Location: Forests of Maine
29,722 posts, read 47,483,706 times
Reputation: 17565
On the forums I read about folks whose stories say they are really hurting. And my heart goes out to them.

I belong to a few fraternities [VFW, American Legion, Masons, Shrine] and I do see where everyone who had put their money into stocks / mutuals has really lost their shirts. Those who kept their money in rental real estate is doing fine.

Having recently returned stateside, we are meeting folks and building networks here; so far I can not say that we know anyone here who is 'hurting'. We do know low income folk, but they were low income regardless of the economy. They live low income lifestyles.

I have relatives who live high-income lifestyles, and they are still putting on the show. So I must assume that their debt-loads have not bit them yet.

We produce a surplus of food here. We take some to church each week, and we call our neighbors offering to share from our over-abundances. More often than not our offers are turned down. Folks refuse eggs, poultry, fresh veggies, fire-wood, etc.

So I must assume that we really just do not know anyone 'in person' who is hurting, yet.

I do expect that it will get much 'worse' before it gets any better.

Old 12-25-2009, 08:28 PM
Location: Spokane via Sydney,Australia
6,611 posts, read 10,946,003 times
Reputation: 3083
The last post in this thread was 6-7 months ago. I wonder how things have changed in those intervening months - are there more people out there "hurting' now from this economy and finding they HAVE to be frugal just to survive?

I would think so. I know MY circumstances have surely changed in the last 6 months, and not for the better.
Old 12-26-2009, 07:28 AM
Location: Forests of Maine
29,722 posts, read 47,483,706 times
Reputation: 17565
From 7 months ago to today; each of our friends/relatives who were out-of-work back then are still out-of-work today, and each of our friends/relatives who had jobs back then still have jobs.
Old 12-26-2009, 07:44 AM
Location: Fairfield, CT
5,530 posts, read 8,186,609 times
Reputation: 5765
I know some people who are going through some very hard times economically, but their problems are not closely rated to the economy. They'd be doing poorly even in a strong economy because they're trying to hold onto houses they can't afford. If anything, the bad economy has 'helped' them in a short-term sense, because in a stronger economy and real estate market, they'd have already lost their homes to foreclosure. That probably would have been better for them ultimately.
Old 12-26-2009, 01:43 PM
5,617 posts, read 13,389,329 times
Reputation: 2771
Originally Posted by superk View Post
Let me see ...

Older bother who had a surveying business saw the business dry up as builder's slowed down or completely stopped their projects. Wife left him about the same time with a whole bunch of bills. As you mentioned, self-employed = no unemployment benefits, no food stamps, nothing. Lost the house, car, recently disbanded the business. He moved into my house. Can't pay me anything for rent or his share of utilities.

Younger brother in the mortgage industry laid-off with no prospects of employment in that field. Moved in with me also. Also can't pay me anything for rent or utilities. Every penny he gets from unemployment pays for his car payment.

Parents lost their home years ago after he was laid-off. Both have diabetes and struggle to maintain healthy. Dad has recently been employed with benefits, but at age 78 or so, he really can't keep up with the demands of a job. He's planning for a lay-off, and then they'll be moving in with me sometime this year.

Me, wife has a genetic progressive debilitating disease. There is no treatment, no cure. She receives a monthly Social Security payment, since she did work prior to being disabled. She now requires round-the-clock care, so I was able to place her into an Assisted Living Facility earlier this year. The cost of such a facility is close to 100% of our combined income. I also have the additional expense of her prescriptions, doctors, labs, ER visits, etc. Haven't been able to make a mortgage or car payment so far this year. I'm expecting the cars to be repossessed anytime now, as well as a foreclosure notice. Don't know where we'll all go when that happens.
Holy Moly!! You my dear are a SAINT!!!! stevemorse aka Mariyn
Old 12-30-2009, 09:15 AM
32 posts, read 64,366 times
Reputation: 39
My husband has been out of work for over a year now and we are scraping by, but reading over these posts, a few things have jumped out:

We are very lucky to have our health (that seems to be a big source of financial woe in addition to the stress that any health-related condition puts on a family); we are very lucky to have each other, our toddler son, our surviving parents, siblings, extended family and friends; we are lucky to have a roof over our heads that doesn't leak and is weatherproof; we are lucky to know that our friends and family (one way or another) have their health and roofs --is that the plural? -- over their heads; and I am lucky to have a stable job that covers food and housing and provides health benefits that aren't exorbitantly priced.

To those of you who do not have these things, I wish you the best in this new year. To those of you who do have these things, count your blessings (and I wish you the best in this new year, too!). If this crisis has done nothing else, it does put what is truly important into perspective.
Old 12-31-2009, 09:57 PM
3,007 posts, read 3,253,795 times
Reputation: 2001
We are unemployed but thankfully own our property and our small, very humble house in the country. I'm not complaining. We will not be homeless. We buy Kaiser insurance and we are both healthy, thank God. I'm frightened for the future because we are past our prime earning years even if we could get jobs, and like many other people, our retirement funds are not so plump anymore.

As for knowing people who are hurting, most of the people we know are educated professionals who led a comfortable lifestyle, but a surprising number of them have lost their jobs this past year. How they are living month to month, I do not know. I know that they are proud and don't want to divulge the specifics of their situation. I suspect many are living on savings and that will eventually run out. I have one friend who is dependent upon her boyfriend, who has a job. It makes her very uncomfortable. If we go out, I always offer to treat because I know she can't afford it. However, now we're getting to the point where we really can't be "treating" either. We don't go out anymore but socialize in each other's homes to save money.

I think that some of our friends' financial situations are going to become more dire if the economy doesn't pick up. They are clearly nervous and not spending, even for things like a coffee at Starbuck's. But are they homeless and going hungry? No, we don't know anyone in that situation yet. I've never been so frightened in my life, though. To see so many friends who had advanced college degrees and such lucrative careers be unemployed for one to two years now -- it's disturbing.
Old 12-31-2009, 10:11 PM
Location: Falls Church, VA
722 posts, read 1,714,202 times
Reputation: 314
We have been so, so, lucky. Things are tight, but okay. My husband's job is stable (I'm a SAHM for now, though I'm looking for work) and covers our expenses. Not being in debt when this recession started turned out to be such a blessing.

But my father...things are not so good. He had a stroke in 2009 and lost his job, his health insurance, his house. He'd dug himself into an impossible hole anyway - he took on a house he could not afford, along with all sorts of consumer debt - but the stroke made it all so much worse. I'm sure there are thousands out there like him.
Old 01-01-2010, 12:43 AM
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
4,486 posts, read 14,920,188 times
Reputation: 3919
Many of these stories are hard to read, my heart goes out to all of you that are hurting, hopefully 2010 brings new blessings upon those who are truly in need. Stories like this make me appreciate what I have been blessed with. When I thought of "hurting", I thought of friends who couldn't afford their week long family vacation or afford to buy the new vehicle they had been saving for. It really puts everything into perspective. Cheers to a better new year!
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