About pbilodeau01

Born in Berlin, N.H.; bachelor of arts, major in journalism, Northeastern University; master's degree in urban studies, Southern Connecticut State University; was an editor and reporter at New Haven Register, an editor at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and a reporter at The Meriden Record-Journal. Now a freelance writer and editor.

BUYING A HOUSE REQUIRES MUCH THOUGHT

#HomeBuyingMistakes #homebuyers #BuyingAHouse #DreamHouses
Buying a home is a big decision, no matter where you are in life.
“When you’re in your 20s, your life isn’t the same as when you’re retired, and yet you’re both going to make some timing mistakes (when buying a home),” Natalie Campisi quotes Ilyse Glink, author of “100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask.”
Campisi wrote her article for Bankrate.com. It was also published June 11, 2018, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Campisi discusses the various mistakes buyers in different age groups make. Young buyers, in their 20s, often get the wrong type of mortgage because they may not have had the ability to save as much for a down payment. The lesson here is to avoid adjustable rate mortgages, tempting as they might be for young buyers who see a great introductory rate.
Buyers in their 30s, meanwhile, may not be considering a future family when standing in the middle of a downtown condo with great views, Campisi writes.
Middle-age buyers in their 40s and 50s tend to overestimate their budget and buy houses they can’t afford. One can avoid this by figuring out his or her lifestyle comfort level, Campisi quotes Glink. When figuring out a budget, these buyers should leave enough room for things that are important to them, such as private school tuition for the kids, Campisi writes.
Retirees, in their 60s and older, tend to fall in love with a vacation home, Campisi writes. They get attached to a vacation home before making the decision where they might want to retire – either where they live now, a warmer climate location or even another country, Campisi writes.
In short, buying a home requires careful thought and wrong decisions, no matter how old you are, can be costly.
Younger folks may opt for a smaller, more affordable house as a starter, with plans to trade up as they get more financially settled and decide when, whether and how big their family will be.
Older folks may go from bigger house to smaller house, as children leave and the desire for less upkeep strengthens.
But it boils down to money. What if you could buy whatever you wanted, wherever you wanted? For most, that’s a dream. Yet, it could be a reality if you consider ways other than a traditional job to make money.
There are many such vehicles out there for those willing to consider escaping – even for a few hours a week – his or her comfort zone. If you are that type of person, and have the desire to live where you want and in whatever house you want, message me to check out one of the best such vehicles.
The Bankrate.com article talks a lot about the practical considerations to home buying, and less about emotional considerations.
For example, you may have sentimental attachments to a house – perhaps it’s where you raised your family or, as the article pointed out, it’s where you liked to go on vacation.
Remember that adding emotion into such a big decision can complicate matters. So, if you buy a house, think of it strictly as a house – a financial asset that provides you shelter, and comfort, of course. Your home is wherever you are.
A dream house can be created with building materials. It can also be purchased already built. A dream home is wherever you decide to settle. You can create a dream home by making the most of life wherever you are.
Peter

SOFT SKILLS? RATHER, CREATIVITY

#SoftSkills #education #creativity #boldness
“What I find missing (when college grads don’t land jobs) is any sense of creativity. If you are going to get something, you have to think about what is an interesting and bold way to get it.”
So says Ted Dintersmaith, a former venture capitalist turned education advocate. He was quoted throughout The Atlanta Journal-Constitution education columnist Maureen Downey’s June 11, 2018, column.
Downey writes that Dintersmith recalled how impressed he was with a young entrepreneur seeking to meet him. The student pleaded with Dintersmith’s assistant to allow him to sit in the office so he could grab a moment with Dintersmith as he walked to his car.
Dintersmith’s two decades as a venture capitalist brought him much success. He came to believe that success demanded both innovation and entrepreneurship.
In other words, if you go through channels to find an opportunity, you probably will not hear anything back. If you do something outside the box to get someone’s attention, that person might be impressed enough to hire you.
This type of thinking may differ greatly with what you’ve been taught since childhood. Remember your parents or other advisers telling you, “don’t make waves,” “do everything properly,” or, even, “do what you are told to do?”
Today’s society put value on wave-makers. Even if you are getting a W-2 job, with a set job description, you have to show some entrepreneurship in that role to get noticed, or get ahead.
Conduct yourself with the attitude of, it’s better to beg forgiveness than ask permission.
America must re-imagine education, Downey quotes Dintersmith, so millions of people aren’t stranded by an economy that prizes creativity, innovation and invention.
Of course, as a practical matter, we still need people toiling at tasks that require a set job description. It’s tough to think outside the box if you wait tables, wash dishes or do some other minimum-wage work. In that case, though, you’re creativity and innovation must come to the fore as you imagine yourself in the near future doing something other than what you are doing.
For students, the best path may be to give more meaning to a high school diploma by requiring students to work in real-life challenges, for an organization or community, Downey quotes Dintersmith. He has seen teachers doing this in places like North Dakota and Hawaii, she writes.
Schools will change, “one classroom at time by teacher-driven, well-thought-out small steps leading to big change,” Downey quotes Dintersmith.
Maybe you, today, are following your parents’ advice and cherishing the security of following a set of rules. But, perhaps, you long for something more.
If you are bold enough to look for something better, something that rewards your boldness, something that requires you to look at something completely different from what you thought you would do in life, there are many such vehicles out there. To check out one of the best, message me.
Otherwise, if you are doing something that bores you, that doesn’t reward you the way you think it should, or that eats away at too much of your life, look for a change. Perhaps not today, or tomorrow, but put a goal in front of you that says something like: I’m only going to do this for X years at most. Then, start looking for a change that will better suit you.
Remember, as Dintersmith advises, just sending a resume, or filling out an application, and waiting to hear something probably won’t cut it, no matter how impressive your qualifications are.
If the opportunity is worth pursuing, don’t hesitate to visit the employer and ask to see a person of influence. You may have to do some research to see who that is, but, in the process, you may actually meet someone who can formally introduce you.
Be bold. Be creative. Go after it!
Peter

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

DON’T COSIGN YOUR GRANDCHILD’S STUDENT LOAN

#SchoolLoans #CosigningSchoolLoans #EndangeringRetirement #StudentLoans
Students looking to go to college might hit up one or more grandparents to co-sign for a student loan.
Personal Finance columnist Liz Weston recommends against it, for the most part. She discussed the topic in an April 29, 2018, edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Here are Weston’s reasons: late payments will trash the grandparents’ credit; if grandparents have to take over payments (perhaps because the student, presuming he or she graduates, may not find a job immediately, or has to take a low-paying job), the strain on their finances can endanger their retirement.
Of course, this could be a moot point if the grandparents are independently wealthy.
So, if you are considering co-signing a student loan for your grandchild, or the child of a friend or relative, consider this scenario: the child graduates from school with a five- or six-figure debt, and can’t find lucrative work – or, at least, work that would match what he or she studied. If you’ve co-signed a loan, the debt collector will notice that and come after you almost immediately, because there may be a house or other assets they can tap quickly.
If you are a student, do you want to put your grandparents, or other friends or relatives, in that position?
If you are the grandparents, or other co-signers, do you want to mortgage your future for the sake of that student? At least in theory, the younger generation should be working to help the older generation, not the other way around.
If you are distant from the student, and co-sign a loan because your friend or family urged you to, how much do you think the student would care that he or she has saddled you with this debt? Many students believe college loan debt is something they can blow off temporarily until they get financially settled. If the debt collector has already been repaid by a co-signer, the student may not be obligated to repay you. What lesson(s) does that teach?
It all goes back to the reason a student chooses college in the first place. Certainly, students with good grades and a clean record should actively consider a college education. Perhaps that student can opt to start his or her education in a low-cost community college, and graduate up to a four-year school.
That would ease the college tab a good bit. But as the student and parents think about the student’s future, they have to consider what the student will do with the education, and whether what they do would be worth the investment (or expense, depending on how you look at it).
Another idea: defer admission for a year, and have the student get a job that will allow him or her to save a good chunk of money for college.
Also, does the student have the discipline, ambition and tenacity to do well in college, in spite of temptations that could distract him or her? A smart student with no drive is like a shiny car with no engine.
And, if the student has the drive and smarts for college, but chooses a field of study that will be enjoyable, but not terribly lucrative, perhaps the family should consider a vehicle that will help the student pursue his or her passion, while earning a potentially good income with a few part-time hours a week.
There are many such vehicles out there. To check out one of the best, message me.
Weston, in her column, goes on to advise grandparents, and other co-signers, how to deal with the problem if they’ve already cosigned.
Here’s her warning, if you are in too deep: “Talk to a bankruptcy attorney. Student loans are extremely difficult to erase in bankruptcy court. …. If you don’t have any assets other than retirement funds, and your only income is from Social Security and pensions, you may be “judgment-proof. That means, if you are sued, the creditor can’t collect anything.”
Try not to get yourself in that situation. If you are asked to co-sign, say no, firmly. Your grandchildren, relatives and friends may be disappointed. If they are, so be it. You will have done the right thing by you.
Peter

HAPPY RETIREES

#HappyRetirees #mortgages #MultipleSourcesOfIncome #FullCalendar
There are three characteristics that make happy retirees.
Those are a paid-off, or at least paid-down mortgage, multiple sources of income and a full calendar of activities.
So says Wes Moss, who writes a Money Matters column for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and has a Money Matters radio show on WSB in Atlanta. He discussed happy retirees in his April 24, 2018, newspaper column.
Moss narrowed the happiness criteria down from the research he did for his book, “You Can Retire Sooner Than You Think.”
The mortgage issue is certainly up for debate. Certainly, when one is working, paying down mortgage debt is certainly a good use of money. It’s not a substitute for saving and investing, but if you have a relatively high mortgage interest rate, applying extra money to one’s principal in mortgage payments is like putting money in your pocket.
Of course, if your interest rate is relatively low, and you have a good financial adviser, you can probably do better saving your cash and investing it well. A rule of thumb: if you have a 5 percent interest rate on your mortgage, and you have a good financial adviser who can certainly make you a good deal more than that on your money – on average, of course – then saving and investing could be more lucrative over time.
On the other hand, in a down financial market, paying down that mortgage debt IS a good use of excess cash you might have. It’s certainly better than spending it on frivolous things.
Keep in mind that the more debt you pay down early in the mortgage, the less interest you’ll be paying toward the end of the mortgage. As more of your monthly payment is applied to principal, the sooner your mortgage will be paid off.
Multiple sources of income is also a good thing – not necessarily more income, as Moss points out.
We think of income sources for retirees in terms of a pension, Social Security and perhaps a low-stress part-time job that you like doing.
If you’d been a good saver and investor in your working years, you might also use some of the dividends, interest and other income your nest egg is now earning for you. Try to refrain from touching your nest egg’s principal. Whether you die young or live a long time, as long as your principal is relatively intact, you will NEVER outlive your money.
As for a part-time job, it may serve two purposes. It will provide some pocket money and keep you busy in your elder years. However, if you don’t need the job, your time may be better spent pursuing your favorite hobbies or other activities like, say, golf or travel.
Or, you could add to your sources of income one of the many vehicles out there that allow folks – retirees or not – to make a potentially substantial income by spending a few part-time hours a week. To check out one of the best such vehicles, message me. It could allow you to spend some non-stressful, even fun, time adding to your income sources and help friends do the same.
The lesson here is to plan for your retirement while you are young. You never know when you will retire – or be retired by your employer. You never know when that one bad manager comes into your orbit and kills your career.
If you plan well, perhaps forgoing some immediate pleasures to save money, you can retire, as Moss’ book title says, sooner than you think. If you are forced to retire before you want to, good planning could allow you walk away from that job with a smile.
Peter

SAVE EARLY, SAVE OFTEN

#SaveEarly #SaveOften #retirement #jobs
In previous generations, people (usually the man of the household) worked, using the money to raise his family.
Couples married fairly young, had children young, and concentrated on giving the kids the best life they could.
When the kids grew, graduated college etc., parents were still working, still fairly young, and began to save for retirement.
In the few years between when the kids grew up and when they actually retired, investing their nest eggs into fairly safe investments, they could accumulate a decent amount of money. Using that savings, plus pension and Social Security – and, if desired, a low-stress part-time job – they could put together a pretty good life in retirement.
That was then. Now, young people, who may or may not marry young, need to begin thinking about saving for retirement as soon as they get their first jobs. But, as life would have it, most young people postpone saving for retirement, and pay the price later.
Two articles from USA Today, both also published April 22, 2018, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, take on this topic.
“Wasting just five short years at the start of your career would cost you nearly $500,000 (if you invest $250 a month), reads a headline under a column by Peter Dunn, known at Peter the Planner.
“Too little cash. Don’t know what I’m doing. Not the right time.” These are some of the excuses cited in an article by Adam Shell about postponing key financial decisions in life.
To sum up these articles: save early, save often. Let time work in your favor. Whatever inconvenience one must endure to put a regular amount of money from each paycheck away, not to be touched until later in life, it will be so worth it.
When you analyze the scenario above, you realize that times have greatly changed. Previous generations could bank on a certain amount of job security. Today’s workers have virtually no job security, no matter what they are doing.
The job security of previous generations allowed them to wait until later years to save. They knew they could work until, say, age 65, and save for a comfortable retirement in a few short years.
Today, many workers are forced to retire long before they want to. Younger people may work for eight, nine or 10 employers over their lifetime, without little, or no, pensions. Social Security probably won’t go away, experts say, but in coming years benefits could be reduced.
That leaves the bulk of one’s retirement nest egg up to his or her own decisions.
That means that no matter what you are earning, put some of it away and let it grow. You may only be able to afford, say, $5 a week. Start with that, and keep increasing it as your pay increases – presuming it does. (There’s no assurance of that anymore).
Something else to consider: perhaps you might take a few non-work hours a week to pursue your dream of a comfortable retirement. How? There are many vehicles out there that, with a few hours a week of part-time effort, could produce a substantial income, without interfering with your regular, W-2 job.
To check out one of the best such vehicles, message me.
Since one cannot count on employers or other entities to ensure a good retirement, one must take matters into his or her own hands. Certainly, you want to provide a good life for your family, if you start one. Certainly, you want to pay rent or a mortgage, put food on the table, pay the electric bill etc.
But you HAVE to think about the future. You have to think about what will happen to you if your job goes away. Presuming you don’t want to work until you die, you have to think about, as the TV ad says, not how long you expect to live, but how long you could live.
If you are young, time is your best ally. If you are nearing retirement, and don’t have what you need, you have to perhaps think outside the box on how you are going to make up what you didn’t, or were unable, to do when you were young.
Save early, save often.
Peter

MIDLIFE: A NEW ERA

#midlife #MidlifeCrisis #MiddleAge #MidlifeRelaunch
Midlife, generally defined starting at age 40 to about, say, age 60, has always been a time of change.
Some, particularly men, tend to long for their youth, when their bodies and minds were fit and nimble. They tend to look for love and respect – at home, at work or both – and don’t always get it. So, they may venture out of their regular lives and make impulse purchases or, worse, mistakes.
Others may see it as the best part of their careers. For example, a lawyer who may have spent his entire career since law school in the same firm, may look to become a full partner. He goes from doing the legal grunt work for others, to schmoozing and recruiting clients.
But, alas, midlife is changing in modern times. Companies see older workers as more expensive than younger ones. They may have a good deal of seniority, higher salaries, more vacation time etc. There’s also an attitude of older workers not being as comfortable with rapid change as younger ones.
Jonathan Rauch addressed this issue in a story for The Washington Post. It was also published April 22, 2018, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“If you wanted to design a society that exacerbated midlife misery and squandered the potential of later adulthood, you might deliver education in a single lump during the first two decades of life, load work into the middle decades and the herd healthy, happy and highly skilled older adults into idleness. In other words, you would do more or less what we have been doing for the past century or so,” Rauch writes.
That model, he writes, made some sense when people mostly needed a high school diploma, held one kind of job for life and died around 65. “But it offers nothing by way of guidance and support for the kind of midlife relaunch that today’s Americans increasingly demand, and that today’s America increasingly needs,” he writes.
It really hard to jump out of the lives we’d carved for ourselves by our 40s, he writes.
“How can I reinvent my life while meeting responsibilities and making ends meet? What are the options and how can I sort through them all? Those questions and many more clobber anyone who contemplates a midlife relaunch,” Rauch writes.
Midlifers need employers who want to hire and/or retain them, who find them not only useful, but valuable. They need employers who will hire workers who not only want some flexibility in their lives, but also can apply old skills to new ventures, the article points out.
If you are hitting midlife today, it’s a scary place. If you are still working at a job you like, or are using the skills you were trained for, you are indeed fortunate. However, beware. Companies today reorganize frequently, and without warning to employees. Younger managers are coming in, and may not view you in the same way as they view others in his cohort.
If you’ve been pushed out of your good job for one reason or another, and are not mentally, psychologically or financially ready to retire, you may have to think outside the box on what to do next.
Perhaps, instead of taking a job that pays much less than your old one, and underutilizes your skill, you can find a new way to earn an income without having the obligations, headaches and fear of what’s next that a conventional job creates.
There are many such vehicles out there, if you are willing to look for them. To check out one of the best, message me.
If you are middle aged and at a crossroads in your life, try to first see all the good that is in your life. Then, give some thought about what to do next.
If you are younger, say, in your 20s or 30s, you don’t know what middle age will bring. You, too, should start to consider what YOU will do if, or when, your good job – and potentially your career – suddenly goes away. You don’t know when or whether that will come, but it’s best to prepare for it.
Hard work and achievement can get you a long way. But it may not save you when that next reorganization, or bad manager, comes into your life.
Peter

FINANCIAL STRESS? YOU ARE NOT ALONE

#FinancialStress #ImprovingEconomy #FinancialStrains
We hear the economy is improving.
We also hear that companies can’t fill jobs, when just a few short years ago, they were laying people off in droves.
Yet, many are suffering financial distress.
“A growing number of low- and middle-income households are plagued by high debt and have little or no savings,” writes Paul Davidson for USA Today. “The financial strains have especially worsened for those near the bottom of the income ladder,” Davidson continues.
Davidson, whose article on the subject was also published April 19, 2018, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, quotes a UBS study that says some households could fall behind on loan payments, reduce their spending and slow or even undercut a buoyant U.S. economy for the first time since the Great Recession officially ended in 2009.
In other words, the economic news we hear isn’t telling the whole story.
Though the study focuses on lower-income households, other households, whose income was just fine prior to the recession, have yet to recover. The job they now have pays less than the jobs they lost. The manageable debt they had with the higher-paying job is less manageable now.
The article quotes a Bankrate.com survey that says rents are soaring. One in five working Americans aren’t saving any income, the survey says. Average rents have jumped 30 percent nationally since 2010, the article quotes RealPage.
In other words, paychecks have grown much more slowly than expenses.
What to do, if you’re in this predicament?
Perhaps moving is not an option. More than likely, if you are having trouble paying your rent, your search for cheaper accommodations will be futile, since the studies indicate that rising rents is a universal problem.
A second job? Chances are your first job already extracts too much from you for too little compensation, and the thought of getting a second job, even as a temporary measure, is unappealing. Besides, the second job probably won’t give you the extra financial cushion you need, and will just take more of your time away from your family, or things you like to do.
So what is the solution? Perhaps, instead of a second job, you could check out one of the many ways to make extra money without having to get another traditional W-2 job. To examine one of the best such vehicles – one that could also help you save money on some household expenses – message me.
It’s been said that a rising (economic) tide will lift all boats. It’s also been said that building an economy from the bottom up, is better for everyone than building from the top down.
However you look at things, be it the economy as a whole or your life in particular, you can’t count on someone, or something, to solve your problems, if you are having problems.
You have to look for things YOU can do to make your life better. It’s great to set goals, but they will not be reached without action on your part.
Sometimes, all it takes is meeting someone who can show you a way out that you hadn’t noticed, or thought about, before.
If such a person comes into your life, don’t ignore him or her. See what he or she is offering, and whether it is right for you.
Peter