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Old 01-01-2010, 06:49 AM
Location: Fairfield, CT
5,541 posts, read 8,202,280 times
Reputation: 5791


Originally Posted by aep73 View Post
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.
Heath is so important and something that we often take for granted. Even if we go through hard times, having good health helps get us through it, and enables us to recover from the hard times. Health problems make it so much harder.

What I take away from all this is that we have to plan to deal with life when things aren't great. Often, when things are going well -- our health is good and we are making good money -- we act as if that's always going to continue. It's so necessary to have some insurance to provide something beyond a subsistence level income if we become sick in some way and are unable to work. And of course, it's very important to avoid debt beyond a certain level and save money for the time when we might have to go without an income due to a bad economy.

I know several people who have gone through, or are going through, hard times. My cousin is trying to hold onto a house she can't afford. She has an OK income and a steady job, but she smokes heavily and that costs her about $500 per month. She has an old car that she can't really afford to replace, but she still insists on driving a long distance to work rather than use available public transportation, which would be much cheaper. So much of her income is going to her mortgage, cigarettes and gas, that there's nothing left. She's having a hard time, but it's largely of her own making.

My brother lost his job paid well a while back and now he's making a lot less money. He went deeply into debt during this whole period, and he's still barely squeaking by. I hope things get better for him.

I have other friends who were just squeaking by, and then the husband had a substantial salary cut. They were lucky he didn't lose his job. They're really struggling financially. I hope they're able to take the steps necessary to get into better shape.

I hope for a better 2010 for everybody.

Old 01-01-2010, 09:29 AM
5,748 posts, read 10,513,337 times
Reputation: 4494
I don't know anybody who is truly hurting, but I know a lot of people who like to pretend.

Sorry to hear about your situation, OP. Sincerely hope things get better for you soon.
Old 01-02-2010, 10:08 AM
Location: Ocean Shores, WA
5,082 posts, read 12,596,161 times
Reputation: 10554
As far as I can tell, things are the same as they have always been.

There are rich people and there are poor people.

And there are a whole bunch in between who either know how to live or don't.
Old 01-02-2010, 10:12 AM
Location: southern california
55,237 posts, read 72,484,664 times
Reputation: 47457
per OP
i know lots losing their home. lots lost their job.
too too many renters who lost their job and these guys and gals are well in their 50's, not the pick of the litter for employers, experience does not cut it in this job market. unemployed @ 55 is bad news.
Old 01-02-2010, 10:32 AM
Location: Phoenix
354 posts, read 1,046,398 times
Reputation: 426
I do not personally know anyone undeservedly ruined because of recent economic events. Sure, some are losing their homes and moving into a rental but they went shopping for that grief when they followed the crowd and borrowed all the equity out of their homes as home prices climbed and used that money to live beyound their means. Now they can't borrow anymore and income isn't as high as it was and they are in a spot. I don't enjoy seeing my friends suffer and at the same time am glad I didn't go along for the roller coaster ride myself.

I know that this is not the case for some people who for circumstances beyound their control are suffering. They need debt relief (maybe through bankruptcy), support of their families, and help accessing whatever community resources are available.

There would be a great deal of resentment on my part for any government programs that provide a soft landing for realestate speculators and good-time-charlies who gambled and lost on unsound financial deals.
Old 01-02-2010, 09:35 PM
3,007 posts, read 3,257,230 times
Reputation: 2002
Originally Posted by Huckleberry3911948 View Post
per OP
i know lots losing their home. lots lost their job.
too too many renters who lost their job and these guys and gals are well in their 50's, not the pick of the litter for employers, experience does not cut it in this job market. unemployed @ 55 is bad news.
I have heard though, that some employers are preferring older folks because they have a work ethic, where the younger folks don't. I guess it depends on the field (for instance, anything high tech is going to go to the young brains).
Old 01-03-2010, 08:29 AM
Location: In America's Heartland
929 posts, read 1,825,995 times
Reputation: 1173
There is no doubt that there is plenty of hurt to go around. Some of it is self inflicted and some of it is beyond anyone's control. It is not a pretty picture, but this country has survived worse in the past and we will survive this. Keep on keeping on. I wish you all well.
Old 01-09-2010, 12:16 PM
1,450 posts, read 3,709,645 times
Reputation: 962
ummm.......any H-1b visa holders want to join this thread?

Spare me the crap about how those immigrants work so much harder than American workers, this is a nation of immigrants, yadda, yadda.

I just know something is a little out of balance in this great nation of ours, when immigrants have opportunities denied its own citizens.
Old 01-09-2010, 12:31 PM
3,720 posts, read 4,444,781 times
Reputation: 4741
Originally Posted by dangles View Post
I won't even go into this guys background because its pretty depressing.

He worked as an electrical technician at EMC. Him along with a bunch of friends saw the EMC stock go up so they invested almost all they owned into it. At its peak, they all were worth a couple of million apiece. We all know what happened with the bubble in 99; things regressed to normal. My friend had planned his retirment house, his kids education, and lost it all. Several of his co workers in the same sitaution committed suicide.

To this day, he can not sleep more than 1 hour per night. He has trouble keeping jobs because of the economy. He is an extremly hard worker and dedicated individual who would be a welcome addition during a healthy economy.
My investment instructer told us to never invest where you work. If the company goes down, not only do you lose your income but your life savings too.
Old 01-09-2010, 12:39 PM
3,720 posts, read 4,444,781 times
Reputation: 4741
Originally Posted by karibear View Post
I hear some people around where I am complaining because they can't get the kind of jobs they want. It irks me some, because I live on a fixed income and budget well - all my bills get paid before I even think of buying groceries. I have enough stockpiled from sales, etc, that I can do that - it just gets boring at times. But I also have another house I want torn down, and I have a lot - and I do mean a LOT - of scrap metal that the sellers left behind when I bought my house. I have some trees that are winter-killed and well seasoned. I keep hearing that there are people who will tear down, remove, etc, for the materials that they can then recycle and sell. The trees alone would keep a family in firewood for the winter. But every single person I've talked to wants to be paid as well as getting the materials, firewood, all the scrap metal which they will then take to the local dealer and sell. If they are so broke, what on earth is wrong with workng for kind instead of cash at least part of the time? It seems to me that a lot of the people who are complaining most loudly are the ones who still have a sense of entitlement, they think that they should keep on getting paid just to show up [and I won't even mention the ones I've actually paid to repair things that still didn't work after they got their cash - 'no checks, please'].

I know others who have been laid off from good jobs, who just suck it up and take the first thing they can find that will pay the bills, or most of them anyway, and aren't shy about contacting creditors and getting them to work with them - and very few of them have credit cards they've used for anything other than a true emergency, anyway. Some of these people will work 2 or 3 part time jobs, whatever it takes to keep their families fed, housed, and clothed - and I don't mean designer labels or eating out a lot.

End of rant.
Call your local junk yards and find out how much they'll give you for your scrap. If you have a truck or a friend with a truck, take it to the one that has the best price.
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