October 27, 2008
The Domino Effect
We have some family friends who throw a bonfire party on the last Sunday of every October. Yesterday we spent the day with them and about 25 others at their hilltop property, enjoying the sunshine, food, laughter, and the fire.
While the kids ran over every square inch of the property, we adults sat around the fire and discussed a wide range of topics, from the weather, sports, politics, and the state of the economy. I quickly sensed an underlying anxiety with most everyone gathered there.
Our hosts own a construction company here in town. Their oldest son is a foreman for their company. The father asked the daughter-in-law when they were going to finally build the garage they've been planning for years. She said that unless there was a big bonus coming that they didn't know about, those garage plans had been laid to rest for the forseeable future. Business just wasn't good enough to think about laying money out for anything but the essentials.
Another friend of ours was talking about his family's plans to drive to eastern Montana for Thanksgiving. I asked him if they were going to make a mini-vacation out of the trip. "Drive there, stay with family, drive back," was his response. There simply wasn't any money in the budget to throw in any 'funtime' along the way.
Yet another person there lamented that the commercial leasing market is drying up. A little activity, but nothing close to what she's used to seeing. She said if her spouse didn't work, they would be shifting from 'anxious' to 'scared to death' about now.
The stories are everywhere. My wife met with a friend of hers last week who expected her husband's job in information technology to be eliminated before the end of the year. She is a stay-at-home mom and they don't have a rainy-day fund for this situation, should it come to fruition.
Everything mentioned above can be traced back to the mortgage meltdown and the subsequent loss of confidence in the markets. The point I'm trying to make is that there are so many people being affected today that likely assumed this mess was someone else's problem. Many Fortune 500 companies are cutting payroll left and right. Some workers who were on the brink of retirement are now looking at another 8-10 years of working just to get back to where they were financially just twelve months ago.
Are you feeling the pinch, or staring at a looming layoff or salary cut? Do you hold a real estate note? Give us a call to see what your options are. Maybe you just need some cash to hold you over in the short term: We can provide a partial option that allows you to get cash now and retain payments on the back-end of your note.
It seems everyone is looking for other options these days...how about you?
Make it a great day.
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