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Another Threat to Economy: Boomers Cutting Back
Wall Street Journal ^ | AUGUST 15, 2010 | Mark Whitehouse

Posted on 08/16/2010 7:18:41 AM PDT by Publius804

America's baby boomers—those born between 1946 and 1964—face a problem that could weigh on the economy for years to come: The longer it takes for the economy to recover, the less money they'll have to spend in retirement.

Policy makers have long worried that Americans aren't saving enough for old age. And lately, current and prospective retirees have been hit on many fronts at once: They have less money, they earn less on what they have, their houses aren't rising in value and the prospect of working longer to make up the shortfall has dimmed significantly in a lousy job market.

"We will have to learn to make do with a lot less in material things," says Gary Snodgrass, a 63-year-old health-care consultant in Placerville, Calif. The financial crisis, he says, slashed his retirement savings 40% and the value of his house by about half.

Banks, home buyers and bond issuers are all benefiting as the U.S. Federal Reserve holds short-term interest rates near zero to support a recovery. But for many of the 36 million Americans who will turn 65 over the next decade—and even for the 45 million who have another decade to go— the resulting low bond yields, combined with a volatile stock market, are making a dire retirement picture look even worse.

Low yields present retirees with a difficult choice: Accept the lower income offered by safer bonds, or take the risk of staying in the stock market. Either way, their predicament could put a long-term damper on the consumer spending that typically drives U.S. growth.

(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bonds; boomers; retirement; stocks
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1 posted on 08/16/2010 7:18:45 AM PDT by Publius804
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To: qam1

Ping!


2 posted on 08/16/2010 7:20:39 AM PDT by Publius804 (Buckle up - with Obama at the controls it's gonna be a bumpy ride. God help us.)
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To: Publius804

They are not cutting back on health care premiums and health care costs.


3 posted on 08/16/2010 7:21:46 AM PDT by listenhillary (When will our government stop abusing us and stop hurting our children?)
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To: Publius804

Already accomplished as part of going Galt in a virtual manner.


4 posted on 08/16/2010 7:22:08 AM PDT by Paladin2
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To: Publius804
Ah yes. Their proverbial cash cow, their liberated generation of two working parents to support the American dream, the generation that was forced to pay triple the SS/Med taxes for the Greatest Generation who could have endless COLA raises to the point their monthly SS income would be more than they ever privately got paid. The generation whose Employers were forced to match the tripled SS/Med tax. (Sorry for the rambling sentences grammar elitists.)

The biggest group of children from one generation, the unappreciated cash cow is now aging.

Guess the Government can't kick the can down the road any longer. The old gray Boomer Generation has been used up and there is nothing left for them but Obamacare!

5 posted on 08/16/2010 7:27:37 AM PDT by poobear ("The greatest tyrannies are always perpetrated in the name of the noblest causes." -- Thomas Paine)
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To: Publius804

Wait till the second boomer stock market panic takes place. This month or next....


6 posted on 08/16/2010 7:28:44 AM PDT by Electric Graffiti (I'm armed and Amish.)
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To: Publius804

The war against totalitarians should be waged on all levels including philosophical, political, social and financial before you have to get to physical.

Defund totalitarians and their collectives.


7 posted on 08/16/2010 7:28:56 AM PDT by PGalt
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To: Publius804

Very interesting. I think a lot of Baby Boomers are going to find that the whole promise of “retirement” was nothing more than a con job. The idea that someone could retire at 60-65 and then go on living for another 25-30 years without doing anything productive was never sustainable.


8 posted on 08/16/2010 7:30:31 AM PDT by Alberta's Child ("Let the Eastern bastards freeze in the dark.")
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To: listenhillary

>> They are not cutting back on health care premiums and health care costs.

Ain’t THAT the truth. :-(


9 posted on 08/16/2010 7:32:22 AM PDT by Nervous Tick (Eat more spinach! Make Green Jobs for America!)
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To: Publius804

Hell yes. With my job suddenly at risk with the regime wanting to disestablish JFCOM, damned right THIS baby-boomer is cutting back.


10 posted on 08/16/2010 7:32:56 AM PDT by ScottinVA (The West needs to act NOW to aggressively treat its metastasizing islaminoma!)
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To: Publius804
I have a hard time forgiving the bas$$$ds who deliberately tanked this economy for their own political and monetary purposes. They pulled the rug out from under us and laughed as they did it.

Since I have no political power myself, all I can do is pray that God gives them what they deserve. God knows who did it. God can bring them to their knees.

Of course we're supposed to forgive. Yeah, I can do that, but I also ask God to dispense his justice and look after those who call on his name for help and mercy.

11 posted on 08/16/2010 7:33:37 AM PDT by Ciexyz
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To: Publius804
Policy makers have long worried that Americans aren't saving enough for old age.

If we can't make it paycheck to paycheck then, noooo we can't save for old age.

And lately, current and prospective retirees have been hit on many fronts at once: They have less money,

True.

they earn less on what they have

True.

their houses aren't rising in value

False. Housing prices are still skyrocketing in my neck of the woods so property taxes are also skyrocketing causing even more financial problems.

and the prospect of working longer to make up the shortfall has dimmed significantly in a lousy job market.

True. On that progressing unemployment map, this county is now at the dark purple color. There are a few jobs but they are part time, minimum wage, and no benefits.

12 posted on 08/16/2010 7:34:38 AM PDT by bgill (K Parliament- how could a young man born in Kenya who is not even a native American become the POTUS)
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To: Publius804

Except the soup lines won't be as orderly as last time around

13 posted on 08/16/2010 7:35:01 AM PDT by P.O.E. (Compact Theory)
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To: Publius804

Yeah there aren’t enough of us dead yet. Zip that wallet.


14 posted on 08/16/2010 7:37:21 AM PDT by Marty62 (marty60)
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To: Publius804

A threat to a totalitarian economy is a gain for free people.


15 posted on 08/16/2010 7:38:17 AM PDT by PGalt
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To: Publius804

No wonder they wanted death panels in “healthcare”...


16 posted on 08/16/2010 7:40:17 AM PDT by WKUHilltopper (Fix bayonets!)
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To: Alberta's Child
The idea that someone could retire at 60-65 and then go on living for another 25-30 years without doing anything productive was never sustainable.

I agree. And 20+ years of retirement, paid for by "somebody," is only a small part. The entire social-welfare-state construct - handouts for the idle, medical care, schooling - is going to prove to be a failed experiment within the next 50 years.

17 posted on 08/16/2010 7:40:26 AM PDT by Tax-chick ("Large realities dwarf and overshadow the tiny human figures reacting to them.")
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To: Alberta's Child

>> The idea that someone could retire at 60-65 and then go on living for another 25-30 years without doing anything productive was never sustainable.

Right you are.

I feel blessed that I like my work. I plan to work until I can’t anymore.


18 posted on 08/16/2010 7:41:52 AM PDT by Nervous Tick (Eat more spinach! Make Green Jobs for America!)
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To: Publius804

I advise that everyone spends less than 50% of their take home pay. Save the rest. First it starves our evil government of tax revenue, as an added bonus, you will find that all of the crap that you used to spend money on didn’t make you happy at all.


19 posted on 08/16/2010 7:42:25 AM PDT by FightThePower! (Fight the powers that be!)
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To: Publius804

The Fed is basically stealing from savers and rewarding borrowers.


20 posted on 08/16/2010 7:44:40 AM PDT by ikka
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To: Publius804

Already accomplished on my part. When TARP passed, I started going Galt. When Stimulus followed, I went more extreme. I’ve cut way back on my production and even farther back on my spending. As for investment, I’m completely out of the stock market and will remain out for as long as the usurper holds power.


21 posted on 08/16/2010 7:44:53 AM PDT by Pollster1 (Natural born citizen of the USA, with the birth certificate to prove it)
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To: Publius804

NW


22 posted on 08/16/2010 7:47:48 AM PDT by FrankR (It doesn't matter what they call us, only what we answer to....)
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To: poobear

I understood your point, poobear, and it’s a point that deserves to be made. We Boomers didn’t create Social Security, but we sure got the privilege of paying for it (opting out, of course, was NOT an option). The greatest generation who built the Great Society got in early, a smart, albeit immoral choice for anyone in a Ponzi scheme. They got far more out then they paid in—a great deal if one has no moral qualms against stealing from their fellow citizens.


23 posted on 08/16/2010 7:47:54 AM PDT by CitizenUSA
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To: CitizenUSA
Don't get me started but... The Great Society Democrats could always count on our parents to vote for them for that last 50 years. The Boomers parents are now dying and the Boomers that are left, those who didn't hop on the hippie socialist train are now mostly conservative or independent voters. Why do you think the left is trying to poison everyone’s opinion of this generation? Blaming us for our selfish ways. Why do you think the left needs to bring in millions of socialist Hispanics to shore up their votes? Problem is, most of these immigrants are just coming over for the freebies.
24 posted on 08/16/2010 7:57:15 AM PDT by poobear ("The greatest tyrannies are always perpetrated in the name of the noblest causes." -- Thomas Paine)
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To: Alberta's Child
The idea that someone could retire at 60-65 and then go on living for another 25-30 years without doing anything productive was never sustainable.

Wihtout doing anything productive and living independently.

I think many older folks are going to be wishing soon that they had more children, had their children earlier, or worked harder at making the children they did have grow to be more responsible and productive.

25 posted on 08/16/2010 7:58:40 AM PDT by Trailerpark Badass (I'd rather take my chances with someone misusing freedom than someone misusing power.)
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To: Alberta's Child

“Very interesting. I think a lot of Baby Boomers are going to find that the whole promise of “retirement” was nothing more than a con job. The idea that someone could retire at 60-65 and then go on living for another 25-30 years without doing anything productive was never sustainable.”

Your assertion is false. With good policies, the baby boomer retirements could have been reasonably secure. However, we have not had reasonable policies espcially since 2009. Most of the money contributed to payroll taxes should have been saved, not spent. If the contributions had been spent and reasonable constraints would have been placed on government, retirements would be reasonable secure.

The most interesting part of this situation is the utter disregard that baby boomers have had for their own retirement. We have seen the problems of entitlement spending festering for decades. Baby boomers have allowed the rats to demoagouge the issue. The greatest generation (as a whole) has been a determined voting block against reform but baby boomers could have easily voted against fiscal irresponsibility. The greatest generation has skimmed good returns from the entitlement programs without any regard to the sustainability of the programs. The political class has skewed the debate over entitlements that liabilities (trust fuund) are somehow considered assets. I see little hope in any meaningful reform. Privatization is the only answer but it has been eliminated from consideration by liars, thieves, and demagouges.


26 posted on 08/16/2010 8:01:10 AM PDT by businessprofessor
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To: Publius804

John Galt.


27 posted on 08/16/2010 8:04:14 AM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: Publius804
Interesting reading these kind of articles. Being that we have always lived on one income and never liked being in debt we have always lived with less then our neighbors. They are really in a bind these days and our lifestyle hasn't really changed at all.
28 posted on 08/16/2010 8:05:39 AM PDT by ladyvet (WOLVERINES!!!!!)
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To: bgill
False. Housing prices are still skyrocketing in my neck of the woods

Actually, for the great majority in the nation, this is true. And I am one example. My home's value dropped another 11 percent in the past year...after dropping more than 40 percent in the previous year and a half. This is a huge factor in wealth destruction across the nation, which is a problem almost as acute as unemployment.

29 posted on 08/16/2010 8:07:09 AM PDT by Scott from the Left Coast
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To: businessprofessor
I strongly disagree with you.

Yes, the responsible allocation of trust fund payments would have helped the situation. But the simple truth is that no human society in history has ever been able to function well with large numbers of its members living for extended periods of time without working productively. Heck, the whole concept of "retirement" is nothing more than a construct of the modern welfare state.

If you were to go back through human history and had access to the kind of statistical data needed to make these comparisons, I bet you'd find that the Western "super-states" of the 20th century were the first societies ever to see their average life expectancy exceed the productive working age of their populations.

30 posted on 08/16/2010 8:08:44 AM PDT by Alberta's Child ("Let the Eastern bastards freeze in the dark.")
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To: businessprofessor

With good policies.

Where the tax money comes from and where the tax money goes.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/budget-2010/


31 posted on 08/16/2010 8:08:46 AM PDT by listenhillary (When will our government stop abusing us and stop hurting our children?)
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To: poobear

I know exactly what you mean. I remember when the elderly were one of the most loyal voting blocks for Democrats. Like I wrote, sure is nice for them. It’s great to be on the front end of a Ponzi scheme. As a relatively young Boomer, I’ll likely pay for it for my entire life. They’ll either have to inflate the value away or raise retirement age ahead of me. Decades ago, I remember thinking, “If Social Security REALLY is such a great deal, why won’t they let me opt out?” The answer, of course, is obvious.

BTW, I’m not a rich or young man, but I’d still probably opt out if they’d let me stop contributing. I might have another decade or two left in me, and I’d rather keep it and have it as an inheritance, sort of like a dollar in hand is better than two guaranteed by Uncle Sam.


32 posted on 08/16/2010 8:11:42 AM PDT by CitizenUSA
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To: CitizenUSA

Chances are if your employer had the choice of you both opting out you’d also get a significant raise! Double whammy if you’re a saver or an investor over the next 10 to 20 years. A major significance for the self-employed.


33 posted on 08/16/2010 8:16:25 AM PDT by poobear ("The greatest tyrannies are always perpetrated in the name of the noblest causes." -- Thomas Paine)
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To: Alberta's Child

“Yes, the responsible allocation of trust fund payments would have helped the situation. But the simple truth is that no human society in history has ever been able to function well with large numbers of its members living for extended periods of time without working productively. Heck, the whole concept of “retirement” is nothing more than a construct of the modern welfare state.”

You make a good point. Retirement security is very challenging. Fiscally responsible policies are a prerequisite but there is no assurance that responsible policies would have been sufficient. Fiscally responsible policies would have added trillions in private savings to fund retirements. I also think that savings (instead of government guarantees) would have modified behavior. Voters would have realized that their retirements are dependent on fiscally responsible behavior instead of voting themselves someone else’s income and assets. The system would be self correcting with individuals reacting to changes in their worth by working and producing more if necessary.

The situation is the opposite now. We have almost half of the population believing that the other half should fund their lifestyles both before and after retirement. We have many individuals who sincerely believe that government can guarantee their financial security. They believe that confiscatory taxation is the key to equality and fairness for all.


34 posted on 08/16/2010 8:18:40 AM PDT by businessprofessor
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To: FightThePower!
Save the rest...First it starves our evil government of tax revenue

Except that due to "fractional reserve lending" you're enabling the central banks to print more money.

35 posted on 08/16/2010 8:20:24 AM PDT by krb (Obama is a miserable failure.)
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To: Publius804

Even scarier is the perceived solution in DC....open the Southern Border!!!

“the same minds that created the problem are not capable of the solution”


36 posted on 08/16/2010 8:21:36 AM PDT by mo
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To: Scott from the Left Coast

Then explain why my home’s value rose 250% since 2004.

Explain why my home’s value rose 23% since last year.

Do you see a drop there? I don’t. We didn’t buy more than we could afford but the rapid increase in values is killing us.


37 posted on 08/16/2010 8:25:02 AM PDT by bgill (K Parliament- how could a young man born in Kenya who is not even a native American become the POTUS)
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To: Alberta's Child

“The idea that someone could retire at 60-65 and then go on living for another 25-30 years without doing anything productive was never sustainable.”

Well it’s not like anyone will hire the elderly so are we now for death panels or something? I’m being a little sarcastic there.

Reading some of the other comments though, maybe I need to look at my career, because I know for sure I would hate to still be dealing with M$ software problems when I’m 70+.


38 posted on 08/16/2010 8:26:09 AM PDT by DonaldC (A nation cannot stand in the absence of religious principle.)
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To: poobear

I’m still trying to figure out how bonds are “safer” if da gubment goes broke.


39 posted on 08/16/2010 8:26:48 AM PDT by LS ("Castles made of sand, fall in the sea . . . eventually." (Hendrix))
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To: Tax-chick

Unfortunately not all of us boomers pissed away our incomes on *stuff*. Some of us did without things like new cars every year or two, bigger houses than we could afford and every bell and whistle available. We paid for our kids college educations and lived within our means. Suddenly, much of the money we put into retirement savings has evaporated, and we are going to be expected to bail out those who lived like there was no tomorrow. THAT is what ticks me off.


40 posted on 08/16/2010 8:27:11 AM PDT by brytlea (Jesus loves me, this I know.)
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To: businessprofessor
However, we have not had reasonable policies espcially since 2009.

We haven't had reasonable policies for thirty years. The housing bubble and all the other bubbles didn't start in 2009. This federal govt. has been gorging itself on the nation's wealth for decades and promising things it knew it couldn't deliver. Please, don't try to equate this with dems. The GOP has been part of the problem for decades.

41 posted on 08/16/2010 8:27:52 AM PDT by raybbr (Someone who invades another country is NOT an immigrant - illegal or otherwise.)
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To: LS

Who said anything about investing in US Treasuries? Hell, even China is selling theirs! There are a lot of things you can invest in without going through Wall Street or Bond Brokers. Food and guns come to mind.


42 posted on 08/16/2010 8:30:18 AM PDT by poobear ("The greatest tyrannies are always perpetrated in the name of the noblest causes." -- Thomas Paine)
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To: DonaldC

I think there is a problem in that people are living longer, and some can work longer, but I’ll tell you, we live in S. FL and I see LOTS Of elderly who likely could not work. While 65 is probably a little unreasonable (altho not for everyone, since some people really are elderly at 65) I can’t imagine lots of people being able to work until they died of old age. So, your mention of death panels is appropriate.


43 posted on 08/16/2010 8:34:32 AM PDT by brytlea (Jesus loves me, this I know.)
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To: CitizenUSA

Multiply your plight by two, and you see mine.

Halving the population doesn’t bode well for boomers.


44 posted on 08/16/2010 8:38:30 AM PDT by BenKenobi (We cannot do everything at once, but we can do something at once. -Silent Cal)
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To: Alberta's Child

I’ve never figured out what there is to do when one retires.


45 posted on 08/16/2010 8:38:53 AM PDT by stuartcr (Everything happens as God wants it to...otherwise, things would be different)
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To: raybbr

“We haven’t had reasonable policies for thirty years. The housing bubble and all the other bubbles didn’t start in 2009. This federal govt. has been gorging itself on the nation’s wealth for decades and promising things it knew it couldn’t deliver. Please, don’t try to equate this with dems. The GOP has been part of the problem for decades.”

You are correct that we have long abandoned fiscal responsibility. Entitlement problems certainly did not start in 2009. However, conservatives have asked for change for decades. We finally had a somewhat conservative government in 2005. Bush asked for some modest changes and was totally rejected.

The problem that Republicans face is electability. There is no competition for free money. Government spending is considered a free good, almost limitless in ability to transfer wealth and buffer society from market fluctuations. We had a conservative Congress from 1995 to 2000 that had made some positive changes. Almost every postive policy has been undone since 2009. Democrats have exploded government spending, regulations, and promised new levels of taxation. If we could have elected a conservative president in 1996, different policies would have been enacted.


46 posted on 08/16/2010 8:41:16 AM PDT by businessprofessor
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To: Publius804; ItsOurTimeNow; PresbyRev; Fraulein; StoneColdGOP; Clemenza; m18436572; InShanghai; ...
Xer Ping

Ping list for the discussion of the politics and social (and sometimes nostalgic) aspects that directly effects Generation Reagan / Generation-X (Those born from 1965-1981) including all the spending previous generations are doing that Gen-X and Y will end up paying for.

Freep mail me to be added or dropped. See my home page for details and previous articles.

47 posted on 08/16/2010 8:42:52 AM PDT by qam1 (There's been a huge party. All plates and the bottles are empty, all that's left is the bill to pay)
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To: Tax-chick

***The entire social-welfare-state construct - handouts for the idle, medical care, schooling - is going to prove to be a failed experiment within the next 50 years. ***

Darn right! The Welfare voters who voted for Obama are going to be shocked when there’s no money for their health care.


48 posted on 08/16/2010 8:44:03 AM PDT by kitkat (OBAMA hates us. Well, maybe a LOT of Kenyans do.)
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To: bgill
That is YOU...your personal situation is not at all indicative of what is happening across the nation, literally almost everywhere you look. I know that deflation in home prices is less severe in the Pacific Northwest and in the northeast, and that the middle corrider from Texas to North Dakota have not experienced deflation. The southern tier from Maryland across to California (except Texas, which did not experience the bubble in home values like most other states) has been hammered. I bought my house in 2006 - brand new, built in 2006, a modest 2550 square feet, no McMansion - and its value has dropped by more than 50 percent in 2 1/2 years. And yes, my taxes have dropped a little bit.

Just look at the articles from all across the nation, you can probably do a quick search on FR and find a few hundred of them from just the past couple of weeks. I'm not making it up.

You should be extremely thankful if your home increased in value by that much - you haven't lost a chunk of your life's savings like literally millions have across the nation. If my home gained 250 percent in value over the next 6 years, I'd be the happiest damned man on the planet.

49 posted on 08/16/2010 8:46:41 AM PDT by Scott from the Left Coast
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To: Scott from the Left Coast

We bought a modest house for 161,000 back in 2000, using the money from my parent’s home that I inherited and my DH’s house here in MI.

The lemon is now worth 120,000. Along with all the kids college funds and savings are pretty well wiped away.

We have dropped our Directv, killed our cellphones, planted a garden, picked and stored veggies and fruits and limped along in our ten year old cars. We homeschool so there isn’t much education expense. We can’t cut too much more to rebuild any retirement.

I have “Welcome to Walmart” or “Do you want fries with that?” in my future.


50 posted on 08/16/2010 9:00:33 AM PDT by netmilsmom (I am inyenzi on the Religion Forum)
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