Saturday, March 16, 2013

Hey! The stock market is at an all time high. It is the first time we approached 14,500 since the year 2007. If you are able to get a hold of any of the profit money from that how should you spend it? What should you be doing with any of your money these days? Well, the fact of the matter is that most Americans do not have any money to play in the stock market anyway. In the President’s State of the Union speech recently he mentioned that the minimum wage should be raised from $7.25 per hour to $9.00 per work hour.
Sure, bring it up to nine bucks but is that going to solve the problem of poverty in this country? NO. Right now there are 50 Million people in America according to the Census Bureau living in poverty. There is an additional 100 Million people on the brink of poverty yet our President claims that we are the wealthiest nation in the world. That is one out of every two people in serious financial trouble. A $1.75 raise per hour is not going to save anyone. People need real jobs not minimum wage jobs.
The stock market only went up because there is no where else to put your money. Banks are paying only one percent on your savings now so, at least with a rise in the stock market, if everyone buys shares in something, you can get 5% for your investment. Is that helping the overall economy? No, because there aren’t any jobs being offered in this country. Since the Bill Clinton days jobs have been encouraged to go overseas for manufacturing. The only good careers being offered to our college age kids are in the field of engineering where our kids can learn how to build more robots and machines to take the jobs that people would have held in manufacturing.
Mortgage rates are really low now where you can get a low 3.5% rate. So, should we all go out and buy some property? Yes. Just make sure you are buying the cheapest property in the best neighborhood so that the property will still be worth something ten years from now. Where else can you keep your money growing? Money Market accounts are terrible now, they are only giving you back half a percent taxable so don’t invest there.
Forget bonds now. You used to be able to buy the EE bonds at your local bank and you were sure they would double the face value someday. Now bonds are fluctuating all the time . They go up and down in value. You can even loose your principle or initial investment if they default. Many bonds have defaulted recently. Even Municipal bonds have defaulted. Last December the unforgivable could have happened. Treasury bonds would be worthless in that month and you wouldn’t have gotten your money back if we went off that financial cliff in Washington.
People who make money are being hit way too much lately. Increases in Social Security took money immediately out of your pay check. Obama Care took hundreds of dollars out of your pension checks. Income taxes and a lot of cuts eat up any money we have. We are not able to take off certain deductions anymore. When are they going to tax the rich?
If you are faced with unemployment you could possibly expect not to work for about two years in your job search. So, with that unknown factor of when the cash will be flowing again into your pocket, you must cut down on all your spending. No more eating out at restaurants, or vacations or anything you have been spending on that is not purely an essential expense. All this not spending also makes the businesses cut back on jobs because you are not spending money on stuff. So, it is a viscous circle of the entire slowing of the economy. If you have some money try to put away about 8 months worth of expenses as a safety net for you and your family.
Do you think you can retire soon? Forget it unless you are between 62 and 67 years old. Your Social Security increases about 6% per year. If you wait until 67 to 70 years old it will increase about 8% per year. Remember your life expectancy is longer now and you will need those checks to last. If you are in good health work as long as you possibly can. Even though we are back to where we were in the stock market we do have to make up for our losses in previous years.

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