STUDENT LOAN DEBT KILLING ECONOMY FOR SOME

#StudentLoans #StudentLoanDebt #economy #college
Imagine having your dream job, after a great education, and yet be broke.
That is the case with Melissa Cefalu, a veterinarian, and her husband Andrew, a chiropractor.
You see, Melissa and Andrew are buried under $365,000 in student loan debt.
Paul Davidson highlighted their story in his USA Today article about how student loan debt is hurting the U.S. economy. It was also published in the July 7, 2017, edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Melissa and Andrew never take vacations. They may grab a long weekend with friends or relatives. Andrew drives a 13-year-old Chevy Tahoe. Instead of buying new clothes, Melissa, 35, wears her sister’s hand-me-downs, according to Davidson’s article.
The $1.34 trillion in student loan debt, a record high, is affecting the overall economy, Davidson writes. It’s causing delays in home purchases, it’s crimping consumer spending and inhibiting formation of new businesses, the article quotes analysts. He quotes others as saying the student loan debt crisis is no more than a lot of hype.
“I love what I do but … I don’t feel my degree was worth the sacrifices we have to make every single day,” the article quotes Melissa Cefalu. The couple, between them, makes $125,000 a year, and lives in affordable Madison, Miss.
Let’s break this down further. We’ve all heard about the excessive student loan debt, and the debate rages on about how to fix the problem. Should we, as a nation bail out these loans, or should we let the people who incurred the debt take their medicine – probably for a lifetime?
At the rate they are going, Melissa and Andrew will probably never be able to save for a house, let alone retirement, for a good long time. Theirs is a lesson for others thinking about whether college will be worth what they will have to do financially to get through.
And the Mississippi couple’s example shows that even if you come out of college with a decent job, doing what you had always wanted, debt can punch you in the gut for many years. Think about the graduate who comes out of college with no job, AND lots of debt.
Statistics repeatedly show that the more education one has, the better his job prospects. Still, the decision whether to go to college should not be automatic, even for the brightest of students.
There are many different ways to approach the problem. Consider these options: if a student is college material, but his family cannot afford to send him, he could work for a few years at a relatively menial job, i.e. a restaurant server, and save his money to go to college later in life. That same student could take that menial job, and take some college courses part time over a few years until he has the money to go to school full time.
Secondly, a student could consider military service for a few years, presuming he is physically able for that. The service may entitle him to college benefits after he serves his tour of duty.
Thirdly, a student may decide to look for a vehicle that will provide him enough income to eventually give him a world of educational options, without incurring a lifetime of debt. To check out one of the best such vehicles, message me.
Regardless of how you may feel about student loan debt, and how it may be affecting the economy, consider this: if a student incurs debt that would surpass a mortgage, that student will not be able to do much of anything financially for a good long time. He or she could grow old and broke, with very little help to get out of their situation.
If you don’t want to be among those folks, think long and hard about whether, and when, to go to college. College is not for everybody, and for those who are ripe for college academically, but not financially, it’s still not a decision to be made without lots of thought.
He who properly thinks through the college decision will likely see the most success as a productive adult.
Peter

JOB MARKET GETTING CRAZY

#JobMarket #employment #SmallBusiness
After years of recovering from the 2008 recession, the job market is starting to look good, even for those who’ve had a hard time finding work in the last decade.
The number of part-time workers who would prefer full-timework dropped by 281,000 in April 2017. Those numbers dropped from 9.2 million at the peak of the job crisis, to 5.3 million in April, according to an article in USA Today by Paul Davidson. It was published May 11, 2017, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
On the opposite side of the coin, many baby boomers who are small-business owners are at or approaching retirement. That may produce a “silver tsunami” of job losses among those who work for those retiring business owners, according to an article by Gene Marks in The Washington Post. That article was also published May 10, 2017, in TheAtlanta Journal-Constitution.
According to Project Equity, many small business owners do not have a succession plan. Therefore, many of those businesses will quietly close forever, the Marks article quotes Project Equity co-founder Alison Lingane.
Let’s examine these two trends together.
Many big employers are finding it hard to find workers. Small businesses may quietly close when their owners retire, putting lots of folks out of work.
“There simply aren’t enough” available workers, the Davidson article quotes Joe Brusuelas, chief economist for consulting firm RSM U.S. “The dynamic has shifted. Labor is going to have power for the first time in years,” the quote continues.
“Since today most family-owned businesses don’t have somebody in the next generation who wants to take over, employee ownership is one of the best ways to keep thriving businesses locally rooted into the next generation,” the Marks article quotes Mark Quinn, district director of the U.S. Small Business Administration.
So, are you finding that your employment prospects are looking better? Do you work for small business with an owner who’ll retire soon, with no plan to keep the business going?
Do you like what you do? If so, enjoy the better job prospects, or become an owner of the company for whom you work. That’s easier said than done, obviously.
If you don’t like what you do, and really need a change, there are many vehicles out there to earn a potentially great income and help others do the same. To check out one of the best such vehicles, message me.
We’re all hearing and reading good news about the economy, but some folks still are not seeing the improvements in their own lives. There are still a good number of folks who, if they are still working, are working a job that paid less than the one they lost. Others just never found work at all after losing a good job, and have quietly left the job market.
In those cases, complaining, blaming various people or entities for one’s plight is not productive. One must take action – perhaps a different action from the one(s) he has taken thus far – to find a better way to live.
Indeed, there is much to be excited and optimistic about out there. Likely, those things may not just land in your lap. Or, if they do, they may do so in the form of a person – someone you already know, or will meet for the first time – who has something to show you.
Don’t be afraid. Check it out. If that person is honest, he’ll take no for an answer. (If he doesn’t, walk away). Saying no before looking could bring you much regret.
Peter

MORE JOBS, LESS SECURITY

#jobs #security #parttimejobs
The United States is gaining jobs, but more of them are part time, pay less than the ones lost and employees haven’t had raises in years.
Sure, McDonald’s, Wal-Mart and other companies have announced employee raises with great fanfare recently, but many of those who work there can’t make a decent living on what they earn.
Associated Press reporters Josh Boak and Christopher S. Rugaber tackled this issue in an article published June 14, 2015 in the Tennessean newspaper in Nashville. In that same Tennessean edition, Paul Davidson of USA Today said many who are working part time are doing so reluctantly.
If you grew up in the 1950s or 1960s, you are at or near retirement. Hopefully, you retired, or will retire, on your own terms. Many have not. If you are currently in your 20s, looking for steady work, perhaps you are cobbling together an income, however inadequate, with one or more part-time jobs. If you are doing that, what are the prospects of you getting the full-time job you need? Are you still living at home with Mom and Dad, and don’t really want to, but can’t afford not to?
The Associated Press article quotes Lena Allison, 54, of Los Angeles. She lost her job as a kindergarten teacher and has worked temporary jobs since. “More people may be working jobs, but they’re like these serial part-time jobs,” the article quotes her.
The AP reporters also point out that hiring has surged in the health care, retail, construction and hospitality and leisure industries. Rick Rieder, a Black Rock investment officer quoted in the AP article, says the country is beginning to see the start of broad-based wage growth. That opinion would surprise many Americans, the reporters say.
But here’s what could trigger wage growth: lower productivity. In the first three months of 2015, productivity dropped 3.1 percent after a 2.3 percent drop in the fourth quarter of 2014, the AP reporters say. Productivity had expanded 2.1 percent annually, on average, since 2000, they add. Companies have been slow to invest in equipment and other assets that might make their workers produce more. Therefore, hiring more workers in the short run could combat that, the AP reporters say.
Still, most workers are collecting no benefits or vacation time with their jobs.
Let’s face it. For most people who have lost jobs in the last few years, the ones they’ve gotten to replace them, if they’ve been so lucky, pay less than the jobs they lost. For those fortunate enough to survive the downsizings, most are working harder and probably haven’t had a raise in quite some time. Fortunately for those employers, these employees probably have no better place to go.
What’s an employee to do in these situations? First, if you have a job you like that pays well, don’t let it go. But, don’t presume it will always be there. Most people are one reorganization, or one bad manager, away from an untenable employment situation. Look for a Plan B that can help you make an extra income while you work, so, if the worst case happens, you can leave your job with a smile.
If you are in need of something to relieve an immediate income problem, the same solution could apply. There are lots of great ways to make extra income outside the traditional employment arena. For one of the best, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau.
Don’t let the numbers fool you. Things may appear to be getting better as far as economic numbers go, but little has trickled down to the average person. With very few ways to get meaningful help from this situation, decide today to help yourself. Save more. Spend less. Look for a Plan B. Don’t waste energy complaining about what is. Use that energy to look for, and find, what can be.
Peter