State of Affairs…

Last month I lost 1/4 of my retirement savings. That’s 10 years of savings, 25% gone. I had a heart attack when I opened the envelope. I wasn’t thinking. If I had been, I wouldn’t have even looked. I would have filed the statement in the envelope, like I will this months statement.

Then, I read Caroldee’s blog and I was sad. So, I looked it up and sure enough, it’s true. GM is closing the Wyoming plant, the oldest GM plant and the last GM plan in Michigan. If you know your history, then you know that this is also the old Fisher Body Plant No. 1, and that brings the tie right to me. My Grandpa in Michigan was a lineman at Fisher Body No. 2 “Baby Fisher”, in Lansing, Michigan.

It seems like lately, there have been lots of “it’s an end of an era” going on. I seem to hear something every day that something else that we’ve “always known” is going. I imagine that this was quite the way of it for those folks going through the Great Depression, which tells me that we are in a depression. Ironically, “Help!” by the Beatles is on the radio right now.

I’m sad and I’m scared. How far are things going to go. How are we going to recover? When are things going to change?

Normally I don’t talk politics here. It’s just a set up to get scorched. But in this case I have to say, yesterday, Obama said it right: “…one word that’s on everyone’s mind, and it’s easy to spell. J-O-B-S”.

He’s right, it’s just not about am I better off than I was 4 years ago or 8 years ago, it’s about if I’m even going to survive the next 4 with out filing for bankruptcy. Am I going to lose my house? Am I going to lose my job? Now me, I’m not going to lose these things (unless I get caught writing this at work like I am *wink*, *wink*)

We need American jobs. Americans now are paid 50% less than they were 4 years ago. And, the cost of living has gone up and the value of a dollar isn’t what it used to be. Michigan has lost over 500,000 jobs, just in the Auto industry. Now those folks are working in a job that pays maybe 1/3 of what they made before. They are taking on 2 jobs. Teenagers cannot find work because the adults are taking the Fast food, Pizza delivery, Grocery bag person jobs. I know this is true and CBS even did an expose on it. I remember watching the segment.

And, don’t even get me started on the value of my house. It’s not worth what it was even a year ago. By over 25%.

And all this because of the love of Money. I’m not surprised about what people will do for money. I’ve seen it. They will sell their father to the “retirement” home and take all his money. They will sell their friends out. They will sell their children off. Money is vital, necessary & causes just as much grief as joy. In times like this, its grief.

So I suggest we are sensible. Set goals. Save money, don’t buy everything in sight, even if you can afford to. Save. Save. Save. Because, you’ll never know when you’re the one looking for a job after hard economic times.

— Fizz —

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About Fizz

*I'm a Northern Girl livin' in the South. *I graduated with a BS in Geophysics from Michigan Technological University (MTU). *I have critters: 2 dogs & 1 cat. *I love thunder and rain days. Too much sunshine gets on my nerves. (How I survive in Texas I do not know!) *I'm trying to remove swearing from my vocabulary (Good Luck!). *I'm the last single in my group of friends. The rest of the turn coats got married. *Sadly, the above friends are now procreating. Now the world will have yet more strange and twisted individuals that will have to go to an Engineering School to survive. *Yoopers do exist. Look on a map. *Marvin the Martian and I have a lot in common. We're both cranky when crossed and generally like our own way. *I will never be a model! (Thank god, that starvation stuff has GOT to be painful!!!). *I am not Fat! (Even though that little voice behind my right ear might tell me that every single day). *I am normal. Whatever that means! *Yes, you can be smart and not be a geek. *I've been told I'm not boring. We'll see. *Much to my irritation, I have been described as Eccentric. *I cannot spell! *Being Single is a frame of mind. *Who said life was fair?
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17 Responses to State of Affairs…

  1. Joe says:

    Watching the market with it’s eratic ups and downs….a week down lower than ever in history followed by a single day with more upward movement than ever in history.  It’s absolutely crazy.  My problem is I don’t have much trust left for government.  I don’t believe in either Obama or McCain.  Talk has become so cheap that either of those two look like the losers choice to me.  I don’t need one more stupid political slogan or another empty promise.  I blame both parties for the mess we’re in now and am so weary of the finger pointing with no solution.  I don’t know for sure where we’re going at this point but I do know I believe in you my friend.

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  2. bamacatlover says:

    This is what I’ve been trying to instill in my family for years, learned as a child from smart grandparents.   hugs, Sidney

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  3. Cindy says:

    One silver lining for you is you won’t be drawing anything from your retirement fund for some years.  At least that’s what I tell myself.  This summer when things started to look really gloomy, I switched my stuff over to very conservative funds.  They’ve taken a hit, but nothing like if they were still in the other funds. You’re a smart cookie and people should listen to what you say. Good advice there at the end.  Hang in there, things can’t get much worse…right?

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  4. Mountain says:

    How true it is Fizz.  I got the e-mail notification to check one of my 401K’s and have been afraid to look.  I have two and they are not very large at all.  Maybe later today I will get my nerve up and check one of them out.  I am glad we bought the property in Chewelah.  If all fails we can move there to live as it is paid for.  I also switched my investments to some conservative ones and they rode out 9/11 so hopefully they will ride this out also.  Take care and I hope the rest of your week goes well.  Penny

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  5. Beth says:

    Excellent post!!!
     

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  6. Stephen says:

    Dear Fizz –
     
    I worry constantly about Ken’s plant, there was supposed to be some meeting (plant wide) today and I still haven’t heard anything as yet. I grew up a GM brat and now with Ken, GM and what goes on there really affects me. It’s not a sign of good times, that’s for sure.
    SO SORRY about all you’ve lost because of the stock market – I think the world has gone totally mad at this point.
     
    Warmly, Your Friend,
    Stephen

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  7. CAROL says:

    OH FIZZ I am so sorry to hear about your money.. so many are suffering so badly now.. money being taken from them.. Money they EARNED and just gone. so sad. I send you big HUGS and hope your heart will know it will be okay eventually. I was so upset to see that plant close I just had to post about it. (sigh) you ae so right.. we need JOBS!! SO hope things change in 2009..  Take care.. : )

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  8. Teri says:

    Fizz – first off – you have not lost the money – the value is down right now, but you own the same amount of shares.  As the stock market picks back up (and it IS), those shares will again increase in value.  If you are still funding your 401K, don’t forget you are now getting in on the sale of the century – buying shares for half-price – those shares will ALSO go up when the market picks back up.I know you know all this, but it bears repeating.  DO NOT GET OUT NOW!!!  The market can not go to zero, but if it did (play like), then money is a non-issue anyway, even cash will be of no good use.  Ride it out, buy into the funds (diversified / mutal funds – not individual stock) while the price is low.
     
    I KNOW that doesn’t solve the worlds woes but I won’t set my hopes on any politician.  My trust is and will remain in God to carry me through.  I do agree with your setting goals and saving!
     
    God Bless you!
    Teri

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  9. andrew says:

    hi fizz i find my self on holiday again and as the last time in july there will be an anouncement at the end of the month as to the plants future so am not sure if i will be going back to a job or a p45   but in britain we have a regulation that states" the value of shares go up as well as down" i know that in britain shares in most thing’s especially banks are taking a hammering but there is light at the end of the tunnel..i just hope the tunnel is not to long…xdrew

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  10. Kuskulana says:

    I lost that amount in the recent stock market crash, it is coming back now but who knows to what extent.
    People forget it was Bill Clinton’s administration that set the ball rolling for jobs to go overseas.
    Hillary Clinton was hoping everyone forgot when she accused Bush of it but when that fact was brought to her attention she conveniently shut up. OK there’s my rant.
    Hang in there

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  11. JoAnn says:

    Hang in there, hon.  It’ll get better – maybe not as fast as you want it too, but it will!  Hugs

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  12. Ronald C says:

    Hello from a stranger…
     
    I remember the good ole days when a (married) family could very well make do on just a one income standard. Then things made a turn when it became a two income standard. -And for quite sometime now… The average american worker now works in excess of some 45 hours a week- yet is still somehow unable to make ends meet. It’s not unusual to see the average American needing a second job. -And how many people actually end up working after (so-called) retirement?
     
    Those second jobs also actually take away from the economy and job market as well.
     
    Yes, for sometime now America has been in need of quality employment, and also a wage to match. I’d personally welcome a change back to the way things used to be in terms of employment.

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  13. Babblelot says:

    All ya need is love hon. Another Beatles song there. Save yes, diversify yes in cd’s. It’s going to be hard for many people. The effect is felt around the world. The auto industry knew 4 years ago they needed to make smaller cars and energy efficient. I wonder here if they will rebuild and save money by not having unions. Trimming back is what everyone has to do. But if people don’t spend we won’t get better either. Ying Yang. Girlie set yer sights high on a feller with money. Lol! Hey Moms had said that for many ah years! Material things are just that. Love and family is what counts. Don’t take on the worlds problems as it only will give you ulsers. One boss told me once when I was a supervisor, Don’t get ulcers….Give Them! Lol!

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  14. R U Serious says:

    Not that I’m an expert by any meansbut I have 4 thoughts:
     
    1. It’s way to early to worry about your retirement funds.  Things are improving daily and the Dow Jones only dropped 0.82% today.
     
    2. The banks are back on their feet again and that’s very encouraging.
     
    3. Long-term bonds were not affected at all by this mess.
     
    4. I liked what Obama said yesterday about increasing the top 10% of the rich by 25% and using that as a tax break for the rest of us, allow families to withdraw 15% from their IRA or 401(k), up to $10,000, without penalty and offer a 90-day reprieve on home forclosures.
     
    5. But, what we have GOT to do, is stop loaning billions of dollars to countries who hate us when they have no intention of paying us back.
    Off my soap box..  lol
     
    Today at the grocery store there were FOUR firemen walking side by side behind me in the parking lot behind me.  I would have taken pics for you but my wife has the camera with her in Italy.  Give me a few weeks!
     
    Take care and try not to worry…

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  15. Cynical says:

    I agree and am sympathetic with all who have lost value in homes or investments or jobs.  The same happened to me in the abrupt recession of the ’90s.  I had what I believed to be quite conservative mutual funds but was forced by family medical circumstances to sell at a time when they had slipped to less than 2/3 of their purchase value.  They would have come back and gained had I not had to cash out.  Today, when I read financial articles with titles like, "Is a million dollars enough to retire on," my response is somewhere between a maniacal giggle and tears.  Now all my assets are in CD’s, and my pension payments come from the State and Fed Governments.  What?  From whom?  Yes, that concerns me, especially because I just found out yesterday that there is to be a vote on whether or not IL should convene a constitutional reform convention.  From sources much higher than I was in the system, the word is that this, in part, may result in taxation of, reduction of, or the possible elimination of State pensions.  One does what one can and then whatever is going to happen, happens.  Hang in there if you can and it is quite likely that your investments will regain and pass their current value.Peace, Doc

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  16. Patty says:

    We have had many years  of hard tiimes because jobs up north are hard to find and they sure done pay very well.   We are living on SS.   I know  they say you can’t but you do what you must.  no retirement for us and it is sad.  Today so many have no idea what it means to do without  becasue they have everything.  thjey want  it they buy it.  well life is goiong to change fore them and I  sure hope they will survive. 
    I know we will be fine but I do worry about a lot of people around me.. they are going to find it very hard to change their life style. 
    Sorry sad about your and others I know who lost lots of money   but I feel times will be getting better and your and others will survice

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  17. Patricia says:

    For so long I have given little notice of the news, expecially politics…now, I want to know as much as I can…I’m learning it’s not very pretty…I hope for the best, but fear what might be ahead…I trust none of them…

    Like

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