Daily Archives: December 6, 2011

Are You Better Off Than You Were A Year Ago?

Are you better off than you were a year ago?

Record numbers of Americans are not.  Rasmussen Reports, the top polling agency, says 32% of us owe more than last year.

Not coincidentally, confidence in banks is at an all time low.

And the government doesn’t poll so well either.

With unemployment staying high, home prices not rebounding, incomes stagnant, there is no justification for owing more than last year.  That is, we do not have more equity in our homes to borrow against, and we are not making more money with which we could pay back more debt.

(image credit: dreamstime)

Seems to me there is only one conclusion:  HELL, NO!

Each case is individual, of course.  In Michigan, home values are down further, unemployment remains high, and economic growth is uncertain.

Across America, credit card delinquencies are increasing.

The end of the year is fast approaching, traditionally a time to take stock of where we are, spiritually and financially,

I will stick to the financial side.

I think one of the most difficult things we can do as humans, is to look in the mirror and see what is really there.  Hey, scares me sometimes!

Sooner is better than later, if you have a balance sheet from last year, that is, your assets, property and its value, and your liabilities, debts, you can compare where you are now to where you are then.

Better yet, write down your expectations for the next year.  Then you can review and see if you hit or missed.

I hate to hear from clients, and it happens all the time, that they borrowed against there 401ks, cashed out IRAs, just to make up the shortfall for a decline in income.

A client told me last week that she read most people do not file until two years AFTER they are actually bankrupt. Nobody wants to, nobody likes it, we do  not do things until we are emotionally ready.

Not that there is a right or wrong, it is not my face you see in the mirror, but, do the cold, factual analysis of where you are now financially, and where you will be in a year.

Talk to me for free if you have questions.