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Spoiled Or Smart?

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We are all upset over our 401K that is now a 201K. The economy is iffy at best. We have spent too much money and believed there was always a lot more where that came from. We were ignorant and naïve about what the people “in the know” and our leadership is telling us. For those of us who remembered the days of 20%/10% down to purchase our homes and if we were not in the market to buy a home in recent years, we were shocked to find out that thousands of people bought homes with nothing down. I, for one, have always been practical and responsible, so no one was more surprised than me to find out that I am “upside down” on two properties. I ask myself, “How could this happen to one of the greatest countries in the world? How could my professional friends be losing their homes and condos and life savings?” Never mind the Madoff’s of the world who made off with millions, probably billions of our dollars. Some people say we are in this mess because of greed. But some of us thought we were doing all the right things and we’re in a mess too!

What is the answer? I don’t know. But I do know one thing. We still live in the greatest country in the world (never mind China buying us up). We have the greatest entrepreneurial spirit and we will come out of this. We just have to get “from here to there” and we will! There are lessons to be learned, which our forefathers knew:

1. Never spend more than you have.

2. Save for a rainy day.

3. Never a borrower or a lender be. Especially if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

4. Pay cash; never pay major interest on a credit card. As my Dad says, “If you don’t have the cash, you don’t need it.”

5. We all need to tighten our belts.

All of us need to be reminded what our parents tried to teach us – “Money Doesn’t Grow On Trees.”

Like many things in life, we needed a major wake-up call to get our attention. We have all grown too complacent. The global pain caught all of our attention whether we liked it or not. The best news is that we are being forced to re-prioritize what is important in our lives and believe me…it’s not about acquiring more “stuff.” The richness in our lives is truly about having one or two people (if we’re lucky) to love and who love us. Yes, it’s about getting back to the basics, which is one of the lessons our forefathers tried to teach us.


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