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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Upside Down Morgage, Lost Retirement, Looking for Work

Many people said the housing market was on a bubble. It had to burst. I doubt that anyone thought it would be a tsunami when everyone started to get out of the game. Home owners are the ones left to turn out the lights. Now, the lights are out but someone has locked the door. The home owner can't get out. He owes more than he can sell.

Financial managers were investing people's retirements in all types of creative schemes. Billions were being made each year. It continued as long at the commercial paper supply was in great shape. One day the money was all gone. No business could borrow the money they needed to continue the merry-go-round. People started jumping off as quickly as possible. Many people listened to their financial managers advice. They told them to sit still. Things will improve. Is this what these financial managers did with their own money? Now, many people have had their retirements dwindle so low that we won't see a recovery for ten to fifteen years. That's a long time for those whose retirement was to come within those ten to fifteen years.

Some have held a job with a company for a long time. They have gotten into those scary fifties. This is the time when employers don't want to hire an individual. There is a greater chance the older worker will have health issues. A sick worker will not only slow production but will also cause health costs to rise as there are more sick workers. The EEOC says that an employer cannot discriminate because of age but we all know they do. You really can't hide the age when you go for an interview.

I am not Pollyanna. I don't think we should all go home and sing, "The sun will come up tomorrow. . . ." (Yes, I know that was Little Orphan Annie.) Yet, I am also not hopeless. There is nothing we can do about some things. We cannot force someone to refinance our mortgage. We cannot force the stock market's revival. We cannot force someone to hire us.

The question is what can we do? The answer to this will tell who you really are. You allow yourself to be a victim if you decide that you can quit, start living off the government, family members, the church or the benevolence of people who give you money as they drive by. You are a hero if you work hard, quit complaining and keep focused on getting out of the hole you are in. Stop looking for the hero to rescue you. Be your own hero.

I am one of these people who has lost all of his equity in his home and nearly all of his retirement. I will work on. I will not expect the government or anyone else to come bail me out. I believe in a morning for those who work through the dark night. Nevertheless, if that morning does not come, I will still be glad I worked on. I will also encourage as many as I can to work on. We are not a nation of victims. We are free.

Victims are just slaves who don't know they are in slavery.

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