HOUSING PRICES GOING UP, BUT …

#HousingPrices #AffordableHousing #HousingCosts
About a decade ago, we were hearing about people being forced out of their homes through foreclosure.
Today, we’re hearing about housing shortages, sky-high prices and high rents.
Rick Hampson tackled this issue in Los Angeles in an article for USA Today. It was also published May 20, 2018, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Hampson’s article calls this time the second Gilded Age. The first was in the late 1800s, when industrialization of the U.S. brought many immigrants, mostly from Europe, attracted by higher wages here than in their home countries.
“In this Gilded Age, like the one at the end of the 19th century, the gap between rich and poor is widening: monopolies have more power over business; business has more power over politics; and politics are close-fought and hyper-partisan,” Hampson writes.
In Los Angeles, where the cost of housing is out of sight, you have the mega-rich and the homeless huddled together.
Hampson writes about affluent areas like Bel Air, where a wildfire revealed a homeless encampment among pricey homes.
We all would like to live where we want. We all can’t afford, perhaps, to live where we might want, so we settle for living where we are.
We all can’t afford homes worth, say, $500 million, like the hilltop mansion in Bel Air that Hampson says is bigger than the White House.
Some of those homeless folks might be mentally ill. Some might just be urban outdoorsmen, to coin a phrase from retired radio talk show host Neal Boortz.
Some might have been victims of the recession 10 years ago. They’ve lost their homes to foreclosure, and can no longer afford another one – or even an apartment in California – at current prices.
One may not aspire to live in a $500 million hilltop home, but there are many ways people of modest means can better their lives, with a few hours a week part time. To check out one of the best such methods, message me.
The gap between rich and poor may be widening. Builders are not concentrating their efforts on building “affordable” housing. They are concentrating on building large homes for those who can, or want to, afford them.
Hampson goes on to say what Realtors in L.A. are doing to entice buyers. One even includes furniture, decorations and champagne with a home she is listing, he says.
Certainly, one could read this and think that it’s over the top. Perhaps you live in a small town in the middle of the country and cannot envision this happening where you are.
But the point is that housing prices are going up just about everywhere – especially in and around big cities.
Amazon is scouting places for its second headquarters that promises to bring 50,000 jobs. But amid all this prosperity are those who have very little.
We have to hope that as some prosper, others will be able to use what they leave behind to build a life of their own. The answer to homelessness is building more housing. It won’t get every homeless person off the street, but it may help the ones who’ve gotten there because of bad luck, and who want to work to create a better life.
Peter

PLAY MORE, WORRY LESS

#PlayMore #WorryLess #fun
Laurie Santos greeted her Yale University students with slips of paper that said, “No class today.”
Though she was canceling class in the middle of the semester with exams and papers looming, she instructed her students NOT to use the 75 minutes studying. She told them that they had to enjoy their time.
“She was asking them to stop worrying about grades, even if only for an hour,” writes Susan Svrluga, in an article for The Washington Post. It was also published May 20, 2018, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
As you might guess, Santos psychology class, titled “Psychology and the Good Life,” is the largest class, by far, in Yale’s 317-year history, Svrluga writes.
Before you start laughing, students, particularly those who go to top-notch universities, have pretty rugged schedules. They take courses. Some juggle those courses – homework, tests, papers etc. – around part-time jobs.
There are times when kids need to just kick back and do something fun or, at least, restful.
Perhaps some folks are, let’s just say, not sympathetic. Life isn’t like that. One has to have rigor to make life good, right?
Yet, that is an oxymoron.
The bigger lesson here might be creating balance in your life. If you work all the time, even make lots of money, but never take time to enjoy it, what good is it?
Certainly, for the students, their rigor is temporary. But what Santos is trying to teach them is, to quote the old adage, “all work and no play makes Johnny (or Janey) a dull boy (or girl).”
All too often, the “good life,” as we see it, involves trappings such as kids’ ball games, cooking dinner, mowing the lawn and, oh yes, having a job that might eat you alive.
We schedule ourselves, or over-schedule ourselves, if you prefer, down to every last minute. If you are going from the time you get up to the time you go to bed – perhaps incapable of finding down time – that, by and large, is not good.
The Santos class is teaching young kids who are, just from the school they are attending, likely to be high achievers to, using another cliché, “stop and smell the roses.”
We’ve previously talked about creating happiness. This class is showing kids that they MUST find time in their busy schedules to do that, however they wish.
If you find the idea for this class instructive, but are overly worried whether you are doing enough to keep your head above water, know that there are many vehicles out there to help you if you are either time-broke, or not financially where you’d like to be. To learn about one of the best, message me.
Meanwhile, don’t laugh at Santos’ class or the many students who are taking it. Life lessons are as important, or more so, than academic ones.
Sometimes, you have to say to yourself, “I need a break.” But, your life has become such that you have no clue how to take one.
Perhaps you should study what’s taught in Santos’ class. It might even change your life for the better.
Peter

MILLENNIALS’ FINANCIAL DITCH

#millennials #StudentLoans #CollegeDebt #FinancialSecurity
Some millennials find themselves in not just a financial hole, but a ditch, just as they start their adult lives.
They come out of college deep in debt, and wind up with a low-paying job, making it difficult, or impossible to keep up with their loan payments.
Tom Allison of the Young Invincibles, an advocacy group, discussed this in an article that was published May 1, 2018, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Allison talked about Siara Sellers, 28, who owes almost $13,000 in student loans. She’s working part time at a UPS warehouse near her Detroit home, making $11 an hour. She had to leave school in 2013 after her grades plummeted. Her older, now-retired husband became sick at that time, the article says.
“Young adults with college degrees and student debt, for example, find themselves looking at a median, negative net wealth of $1,900, based on research by the Young Invincibles. Simply put, they owe more than they own,” Allison writes.
“There’s no question it used to be much easier to build financial security 25 years ago with a college degree,” Allison says.
So what is a young person to do?
First, don’t let circumstances get you down. Learn to make the most of what you have, and appreciate what is good in your life.
Second, the employment picture is improving greatly. It was reported recently that there are about as many jobs as there are unemployed people, which is just about the best of both worlds. That could send wages and salaries higher.
If you have a marketable skill, find different ways to use that skill and, if you have enough ambition, a clean record etc., you should be able to find something suitable.
Once you get a job that suits you, pay down your debt at whatever speed is comfortable. Obviously, paying it down sooner rather than later is preferable. Then, once it is paid, use that payment, plus any income increases you may get, to put toward your retirement.
Easier said than done, you say? Well, there are many other ways out there to make money working part time in your off hours, without taking a second, W-2 job. If you are motivated and want to help others prosper, you can learn about one of the best such vehicles by messaging me.
Those who are older may want to be young again, but others who are older do not. What the young folks are going through is tough to watch. In fact, some older workers are “being retired” sooner than they want to.
In short, if you are young and considering college, think about what it will cost you, and what you will do with your education on the other side before deciding to go to college. Though all education is valuable, it may not be worth taking on what would seem like a lifetime of debt for a degree that won’t make it easy to pay off.
Just as you need, as a young person, to have the right attitude, you also need to make decisions that will be best for you in the long run. That may require opening your mind to things that may lurk outside your comfort zone.
Times are tough. But tough people get through them – even to the point of seeing prosperity.
Peter