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Old 02-19-09, 11:40 AM   #1
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OT: These tough economic times...

Watching your retirement account evaporate over the last couple of years: Discouraging

Having most of your client engagements which were scheduled for 2009 put on hold or cancelled: Depressing

Taking the car in for a new belt and coming out with an estimate of $2,400 + tax for a variety of things that were discovered and can't be ignored: Priceless.
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Old 02-19-09, 12:01 PM   #2
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At least your dealership understands these economic times...
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Old 02-19-09, 12:22 PM   #3
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In the last 6 weeks I have been hit by:
- $600 repair to a car
- $500 repair to a car
- $1800 unexpected aid to a child
- $2800 for a new furnace
- $800 for a new water heater

It has been very depressing. But at least I've been able to handle it and still have a job. I have friends who have lost jobs and live in areas of high unemployment, who don't know how they are going to get through it.

Losing both a furnace and a water heater within a 2 week span, was tough. When I found the pool of water under my water heater, as it sat next to my brand new furnace, I was not a happy camper.

But I guess this has been good for the economy.
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Old 02-19-09, 12:58 PM   #4
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The continuing job losses are astounding. They just announced another record week of losses. One thing that is not mentioned in the media is that once unemployment runs out then the unemployed simply drop off the statistics. The real unemployment numbers are significantly higher.

This is a different time of high unemployment in that there are very few companies that are hiring so when someone looses their job it's very difficult to find any type of job.

Be thankful to still have job.
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Old 02-19-09, 01:05 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Digital Gee View Post
Watching your retirement account evaporate over the last couple of years: Discouraging

Having most of your client engagements which were scheduled for 2009 put on hold or cancelled: Depressing

Taking the car in for a new belt and coming out with an estimate of $2,400 + tax for a variety of things that were discovered and can't be ignored: Priceless.
The up-side? More time for cycling.
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Old 02-19-09, 01:23 PM   #6
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I am amazed that 50+ has this viewpoint. Have you not been through hard times before? I know I have. 2 young kids, house loan due, and laid off! Somehow things worked out. Why not this time around.

Everyone thinks things should stay the way they are(were) and the only thing that is really constant is things change. During the good times of 1976 I took a job as a janitor to feed the family. Most of our kids have no clue as to what hard times really are and the same could be said true of us in relation to our parents.

Ride more complain less.
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Old 02-19-09, 01:55 PM   #7
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Watching your retirement account evaporate over the last couple of years: Discouraging
The stock market should eventually come back, so there's a good chance that this account will recover most, if not all, of its losses. Just hold on.
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Old 02-19-09, 02:02 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by digital gee View Post
watching your retirement account evaporate over the last couple of years: Discouraging

having most of your client engagements which were scheduled for 2009 put on hold or cancelled: Depressing

taking the car in for a new belt and coming out with an estimate of $2,400 + tax for a variety of things that were discovered and can't be ignored: a blow to the gut!
fify!



BTW been there done that...
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Old 02-19-09, 02:22 PM   #9
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I am amazed that 50+ has this viewpoint. Have you not been through hard times before? I know I have. 2 young kids, house loan due, and laid off! Somehow things worked out. Why not this time around.

Everyone thinks things should stay the way they are(were) and the only thing that is really constant is things change. During the good times of 1976 I took a job as a janitor to feed the family. Most of our kids have no clue as to what hard times really are and the same could be said true of us in relation to our parents.

Ride more complain less.
You too? When I left the Jet Engine Industry (left=get out) during the big layoffs of 1992 I also worked as a custodian for a while before selling sterio equipment in an electronics retail establishment.

In the end, I developed another set of skills and moved on to other jobs. The lesson learned was that anything can change at any time but life goes on. At the age of 62, if I am layed off again (a not totally unlikely circumstance given the nature of the company that owns my workplace) I will bounce once more. After all, who could resist the resume of a bicycle building, auto mechanic, software engineer, heavy equipment salesman who can clean a toilet or put equipment into orbit......

Most people would be amazed at what they can do once they break the thought process that locks them to the last job. It may not be easy, it may be necessary to move or to work in a different part of the country from where your family lives, but there are still an awful lot of jubs in this country looking for good people to take them.
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Old 02-19-09, 02:45 PM   #10
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Watching your retirement account evaporate over the last couple of years: Discouraging

Having most of your client engagements which were scheduled for 2009 put on hold or cancelled: Depressing

Taking the car in for a new belt and coming out with an estimate of $2,400 + tax for a variety of things that were discovered and can't be ignored: Priceless.
I retired early in 2006 because I couldnít ethically do some of the things upper management wanted me to do to some of my loyal employees. I thought I had every things planned out pretty well. I took a job in 2007 that would cover my housing and automotive expenses. I saw some of this coming at the last minute and decided it was time to hunker down into survival mode. I retired for good. I sold the mountain home. Paid off all my bills. Moved to where we live now in the desert because the place is paid for. I drive about 50 to 60 percent less and took up cycling to replace golf and some other sports (read cost intensive) I used to do. Now on a fixed income it takes a lot more planning than it used to but I believe I am happier. That doesnít mean I donít worry about the economy it only means I know I can find a way to get by. It just might not be the way I had dreamed I would live before I retired. My worry is for those that never seemed to plan for the future and bought way beyond their means.
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Old 02-19-09, 03:24 PM   #11
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My worry is for those that never seemed to plan for the future and bought way beyond their means.
Hey, I resemble that remark! At least the not planning part, I never had a problem spending too much because I never had much income. Last year I made 20% less than the year before and this past Monday they told us they are cutting our pay rate by 10%.
Things are different this time, there aren't a lot of jobs to go to . In my business, auto repair, it's slow all over. If this place closes, a real possibility, I don't know where I would go.
It would be great if I could find a place to rent cheaper than the place I have.
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Old 02-19-09, 04:02 PM   #12
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Hey, I resemble that remark! At least the not planning part, I never had a problem spending too much because I never had much income. Last year I made 20% less than the year before and this past Monday they told us they are cutting our pay rate by 10%.
Things are different this time, there aren't a lot of jobs to go to . In my business, auto repair, it's slow all over. If this place closes, a real possibility, I don't know where I would go.
It would be great if I could find a place to rent cheaper than the place I have.
I understand how you feel. That is why I still take my car to my local mechanic even if there are some things I could do myself. I don't want them to have to close. Part of that is because I don't want to have to look for one if there is something I can't fix myself.


But I have tried to always buy within my income and for years have learned to do without some of the toys many of my friends have. Not all of those people were buying over their heads but some did and they are the ones I worry about in this economy. Because like you said, there aren't many jobs to replace the ones we are losing. But there are places people canít cut back on, groceries are a prime example.
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Old 02-19-09, 04:06 PM   #13
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Taking the car in for a new belt and coming out with an estimate of $2,400 + tax for a variety of things that were discovered and can't be ignored: Priceless.
Sure makes you appreciate your bicycle don't it. And with all those cancelled appointments, you have more time to ride.

On the plus side, I'm grateful for a couple of things that haven't happened. My niece didn't get laid off by Starbucks, and my nephew didn't get redeployed to Iraq.
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Old 02-19-09, 06:33 PM   #14
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Even those of us who thought we were smart and planned out the future got euchred by companies like mine changing their commitments such as eliminating health care coverage and reducing pension plans to retirees.

The wife and I seem to be replotting our escape every year now, and it finally looks like we've been "benifit reduced" into perpetual non-retirement. The CEO and the V.P.s, etc. are well taken care of, but the rest of our workforce has gotten pretty beaten up financially. We (at my company) now are in a mode of just riding out the wave till it hits the beach (the company eliminates us...annual layoffs happen every six months now), picking up the pieces and hoping for the best.

Our futures have been written off for the "Good of the Company"! All hail the company!

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Old 02-19-09, 07:34 PM   #15
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I have been out of work for 7 weeks, the first gap in a 32-year continuous career in consulting engineering and electronics. I was laid off in 1999, but I had 6 interviews and 3 offers within just over 2 weeks. I have been networking and applying for various full-time, part-time, and contract/temporary positions, indicating each time that I am extremely flexible regarding compensation. Yes, all of us have been through hard times before -- my wife and I used to live on $6K to $8K/year in the mid 1970s, when she was a substitute teacher ($35/day) and I was a starving grad student -- but the current employment situation is by far the worst I have ever seen. The discouraging part is that job creation is always the last stage of an economic recovery -- the stock market has to recover first, and I expect us to be skidding and bouncing along the current bottom for much of 2009.

The bright note is that I can easily handle 2 or 3 years of unemployment with cash on hand -- this is my wife's reward for putting up with 35 years of my Scottish penny-pinching. (Copper wire was invented by two Scotsmen fighting over a penny.)
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Old 02-19-09, 07:42 PM   #16
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I had already figured out that I would be working until I'm 75 (by choice) before the economic crap times hit us. That now seems less goofy and more sensible. The wife/stoker recently went back to work halftime in a hospital lab and I am an RN working in risk management for a large hospital system so we shouldn't lack for work. I hope I can continue to stimulate the economy on a small scale by, too often, going online to command UPS/FedEx to bring me bicycle stuff.
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Old 02-19-09, 07:48 PM   #17
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Got laid off last week first time in 16 years as a machinist. I only have found 6 jobs to apply for here in the Portland area man times are tough. I can survive on umemployment for some time I seen it coming and have some money in the bank. 3 years ago I moved up here with no job and 12 interviews lined up and got 5 more interviews when I arrived and was able to pick and choose were I wanted to work know havn't even had a offer I know its only been a week but in the past only took a few days to get a job.
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Old 02-19-09, 07:55 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Gee View Post
Watching your retirement account evaporate over the last couple of years: Discouraging

Having most of your client engagements which were scheduled for 2009 put on hold or cancelled: Depressing

Taking the car in for a new belt and coming out with an estimate of $2,400 + tax for a variety of things that were discovered and can't be ignored: Priceless.
Whoa! It sounds like you've hit the poop tri-fecta. I hate when that happens.

One of the nice things about driving a school bus is that it requires a certification that not everybody can get and it can't be out-sourced off shore. On-the-other-hand our state legislature is talking about allowing 4 day school weeks. I'm thinking it's going to happen. That would mean a 20% pay reduction but more time for bicycling.

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Old 02-19-09, 08:04 PM   #19
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Our futures have been written off for the "Good of the Company"! All hail the company!
Well, at least you are taking it well!

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Old 02-19-09, 08:24 PM   #20
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I have had four jobs in the last year and half, been laid off from all, have sent out probably thirty resumes to different companies that were in my field and had a job available, have had exactly one interview. HR lady told me I should consider that lucky for there was over two hundred resumes for this one job. They chose four to interview, she called yesterday to inform me that they chose someone else. My unemployment runs out in a month although they say I will get a extension. Sure hope warm weather gets here soon so I can at least hit the rode and not think about this all the time. At least my wife has a secure job and I now am on her insurance but she doesn't make enough to cover all the bills.
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Old 02-19-09, 08:50 PM   #21
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Old 02-19-09, 09:00 PM   #22
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I just remembered where I got the inspiration for my riding kit.
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Old 02-20-09, 01:49 AM   #23
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.... My worry is for those that never seemed to plan for the future and bought way beyond their means.
What about those that never were able to make more than it took just to get by week to week, month to month? You know, those without plasma t.v.s or high speed internet. Those for whom dinner at Applebee's is an annual event reserved for celebrating the fact that finally *this* month, the rent & utiities (credit card? what credit card?) are paid up with enough cash left to celebrate the fact.

There are many people like that. People who couldn't buy "beyond their means" if they wanted to, and whose idea of "planning for the future" is planning on whether to pay the electric bill or the water bill or see the dentist.

Those are the people to worry about, and there are millions of 'em.
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Old 02-20-09, 03:38 AM   #24
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My job is only reasonably secure, and I'm so glad I've got it. Things are tight too. I just bought the Big Blue Bicycle Repair Book, felt like saying to the LBS... "sorry, but I can't afford $30.00 for you to replace a spoke". Even my $30.00 per month and the fact that I bought my latest tyres elswhere for $20.00 less, has gotta impact on them and their families. I guess much of the world is finding it's getting too hard to be supportive. I'm not as optimistic as some of you guys.

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Old 02-20-09, 07:25 AM   #25
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I retired early in 2006 because I couldnít ethically do some of the things upper management wanted me to do to some of my loyal employees. I thought I had every things planned out pretty well. I took a job in 2007 that would cover my housing and automotive expenses. I saw some of this coming at the last minute and decided it was time to hunker down into survival mode. I retired for good. I sold the mountain home. Paid off all my bills. Moved to where we live now in the desert because the place is paid for. I drive about 50 to 60 percent less and took up cycling to replace golf and some other sports (read cost intensive) I used to do. Now on a fixed income it takes a lot more planning than it used to but I believe I am happier. That doesnít mean I donít worry about the economy it only means I know I can find a way to get by. It just might not be the way I had dreamed I would live before I retired. My worry is for those that never seemed to plan for the future and bought way beyond their means.
This is exactly what I did and within that time line. Although I did not have the, "mountain home", and had no debt, we decided to hunker down. For hobbies I also returned to biking replacing many miles in a car. I also took up making beer, an absolutely wonderful hobby with many benefits.

The economic times we are experiencing right now are different than the recessions of my past. I don't believe there will be a short turn around, nor do I believe the jobs will return at the same level of pay/benefits.

Do things differently, view the world differently and you will be happy.
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