There’s an old joke that went something like, “If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, then it’s possible you don’t fully understand the situation”.
With the wild ride the world markets took this past week, I hope you were able to keep your head and I also hope it’s not as bad is things look.
Markets go up and down. Economies ebb and flow. And as long as you think and plan long range, I don’t see any reason to lose your head.
Maybe that’s easy for me to say because we got out the stock market entirely in April ’08. And we’re still out. Partly because of my age and partly because I have doubts about the fairness of the markets, we’re focused on real estate and silver.
That, and getting completely out of debt—even our home.
I have serious concerns about our government’s ability to be good stewards of the many resources we have.
Personal economics aren’t much different from national or world economies.
The simple adage of “Spend less than you take in” is something most people—and almost all governments—have not heeded.
The two things that concern me the most in terms of politics is our continuing to spend far more than we take in and the fact that half of the voters in the U.S. pay no taxes.
Drowning in debt. Not good. The ability to vote yourself entitlements without shouldering any of the expense. Also not good.
As George Bernard Shaw wrote many years ago, “A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.”
But most of us have little if any influence on how our government responds to the great challenges we face. Although I do think people are waking up to how dire things could become if we continue on as we have.
What we can do is get our own house in order. We must focus on those things we can do something about.
And in our own finances we do have a lot of control.
Our great grandparents would be appalled at the amount of debt we have today. They borrowed but mostly to get started. The idea of perpetual debt on our homes was not part of their thinking. And unsecured debt on non-appreciable assets was unheard of.
But not today. Most Americans don’t spend twice what they take in (like the government) but they often spend more.
I think one of the best things we can do is to get out of debt. Not just credit card debt, but mortgages as well. Recent history has shown us that real estate does not ALWAYS go up.
And when you own your home—REALLY own it, with no mortgage—no one can ever take it from you, except by force.
Imagine yourself completely free of debt. Not owing anyone anything. Not having any of your income going to interest or principle payments. Being able to CHOOSE where your money goes instead of having it predetermined—by creditors.
Make your plan. Set an example for your children and stop living paycheck to paycheck.
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