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Thread: Has The Economy Woes Affected You Personally?

  1. #1

    Question Has The Economy Woes Affected You Personally?

    Either yourself or your family. If so, what are you doing to help get through these tough economic times? For my family and I, the problems are having a big impact on my retirement savings plan. About 1/4 of it was in company stock where I worked which has gone from a high of $107 a share down to as low as $13 recently. Unknownst to me, the company got in a pinch with not having enough liquidity to continue operating a certain large area of it's business. In fact, the company, Constellation Energy, is now attempting to sell itself to billionaire Warren Buffett for $26.50 a share - .25 cents on the dollar from what it was worth a year ago. Of course, that's pending stockholder approval which has some serious doubts at this time. I'm almost afraid to see what my next statement is going to look like when received in a week or two. If I was still younger there would be plenty of time for it to recover, but I'll be eligible to draw from it in less than a year and a half. Most economy experts are saying don't expect much improvement for another 5 to 7 years. At it's present value, I'll probably wait until I'm in my early/mid '60s before touching it in hopes it will improve somewhat. At least I still have plenty of contract work with Constellation due to their downsizing employees (myself included) to the point they don't have enough now to get all the work done.

    We've also tried to cut costs at home. Bathroom lights that normally take 8 bulbs now only have two. Ditto for other ceiling lights that get used a lot. We do most of our heating with a wood stove on the coldest days when the heat pump is least efficient (most expensive) to use. AC is set at 81 and heat is set at 69 degrees F. If the price of LP gas keeps climbing, the wood stove is also going to be used for some of the cooking since it has a built-in cook top.

    Anyone else getting caught in a pinch with the economy woes, and what are you doing to help get through it?

    ~Pramrider

  2. #2

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    Well it is affecting us -all-, even if we don't see it right now. You may not see the effects for another couple of years, but it will affect all of us.

    But I have not been -directly- affected, no.

  3. #3

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    I don't see why it should affect my state of mind. Anyways I do not think I'll be hurting for cash at all once I get a job.

  4. #4

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    Ohh Yea! Likewise my retirement 401k is now about worthless. I had a set of mutual funds set to pay off my mortage on dec 2009 that are also worth less than when I bought them in "08". It's scarey. Hopefully it will turn around but right about now I'd like to strangle my financial planner! During the last drop after 911 We got 10% pay cuts and 4 day (8hr) work weeks. I was just recovering. On the up side fuel is getting cheeper and I've no debt save for my mortgage.

    Nam

  5. #5

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    My family has been completely unaffected. Our investments are all in companies that have been minimally affected by this crisis, if anything they are benefiting from it due to their cash reserves and lack of debt. Also, since housing prices are still going up where I live and not in a bubble-like fashion, we haven't lost anything there. My parents have very secure jobs, and in fact are planning on buying a business for $1.3 million or so. They want to move up north to live more comfortably, and want a local source of income. Kind of an early retirement.

    I don't think any prices increases will seriously affect us, nay they will make us money. That is because part of this business up north is a liquor store, and I can imagine more heavy drinking by the public in the years to come. Speaking of which, I think I'll be putting some money into Altria as well, they have an excellent dividend.

    Seriously though, I'd say half the current problems are psychological. There isn't any particular reason for the freezing of the credit markets to continue. The banks that will fall due to bad loans already have, but the rest are still hoarding cash because it calms investors during the market turmoil. Problem is, it's exactly that hoarding that is causing much of the turmoil we see now, where perfectly good businesses fail because of a lack of access to short term capital. It's retarded, frankly. And if I had a billion dollars right now, I assure you I would have $10 billion by the end of this by buying all the securities panicked investors are selling at fire-sale prices.
    Last edited by IncompleteDude; 08-Oct-2008 at 03:39.

  6. #6

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    Our house, purchased 3 years ago for $195,000 and another $15,000 worth of improvements (finishing basement, interior improvements, etc) was recently revalued by the bank as worth only $185,000. Also, retirement funds were worth around $120,000 at one point currently down around $60,000. So yes, the current slump is affecting our household.

  7. #7
    Peachy

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    Quote Originally Posted by closet dl View Post
    Our house, purchased 3 years ago for $195,000 and another $15,000 worth of improvements (finishing basement, interior improvements, etc) was recently revalued by the bank as worth only $185,000. Also, retirement funds were worth around $120,000 at one point currently down around $60,000. So yes, the current slump is affecting our household.
    As long as you don't intend to sell your home, it should not affect you at all. And taking out a loan with your house as collateral to finance consumer spending is a really stupid idea and caused the whole crisis in the first place, so I would highly discourage you from doing any such thing.

    Personally, the crisis has only affected me indirectly. I don't have significant assets I own, and luckly, my that one investment certificate I owned was due back in July and I was able to sell it at a 14% profit. Ever since, I simply haven'T had the time to think about reinvesting the money, and it's sitting in my savings account where it's all safe from the stock market crash.
    I'm only indirectly affected as I need a new job after finishing my PhD soon, and I was going to work in the finance profession. And with all banks laying off people, it'll be harder to find a job.

    Peachy

  8. #8
    Darkfinn

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fire2box View Post
    Anyways I do not think I'll be hurting for cash at all once I get a job.
    Good luck trying to find a job... especially one that pays well and has good benefits. Companies are cutting payrolls at a faster rate now than they have in many many years... over 700,000 jobs were lost in September alone.

    What Mandi said is right... in the end we will all be affected by this shitty economy.

    Personally, higher food and fuel prices have forced LuvsGurl and I to cut back on our expenditures. We drive less, eat out less, go out shopping or to the movies far less, buy store-brand foods and products instead of name-brand whenever possible, shop at wal-mart for pretty much everything instead of fancier stores, and forego many luxuries like video games or DVDs. I've been wanting a new charcoal grill for barbequeing for a while now... but that won't happen quite yet... maybe around christmas.

    My work has also been effected by the current situation. We resell high-end wireless communication equipment to companies world wide... and everyone is feeling the pinch. Our sales are up, which is awesome all things considered, but from what I can see we are on target to grow only 10% this year... compared to our 30% or greater growth every year for the past 5. People just aren't spending on fancy technology items like they used to... and it does make me afraid. My 1 year anniversary with the company is next month... and I plan on campaigning for a big raise... but with profits down I don't know how much I will actually get.

    The other way I can tell things are bad isn't really related to the economy at all. The gas companies around here used the most recent hurricanes as an excuse to jack up prices and cut supplies. Regular unleaded is going for right at $4/gal here in the Charlotte area... and I'd say about half of the gas stations don't have any gas at all. It's been like this for a month now... and the situation is only slowly starting to abate. Over the past weeks people have been lining up for hours just to get gasoline... I feel like it's 1970 again. So dispite the fact that prices in the rest of the nation have dropped, we are getting no relif here.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darkfinn View Post
    ... and I'd say about half of the gas stations don't have any gas at all. It's been like this for a month now... and the situation is only slowly starting to abate. Over the past weeks people have been lining up for hours just to get gasoline... I feel like it's 1970 again. So dispite the fact that prices in the rest of the nation have dropped, we are getting no relif here.
    Darkfinn, I saw that on the news a couple weeks ago and was wondering if the gas situation down your way had eased up any. Hearing about it sure did bring back bad memories of gas lines in the early, and again in the late '70s.

    ~Pramrider

  10. #10
    Darkfinn

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    It's slowly... slowly... getting better. As I said, about half the stations have regular now... and there aren't hour long lines anymore. But there is still no premium (93 octane) to be found. What sucks is that my car runs on premium... and having to put regular in it for a month now has really killed it. I can't accelerate past about 1/3rd throttle, my mileage has gone from 25 city down to 21... and my check engine light stays on all the time. I've checked all the stations within a 10 mile radius... none of them know when they are going to get any.

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