Sunday, June 10, 2012

Don't let DEBT be the end of the story

There are a number of practical reasons for getting and staying out of debt.  Among them are:
1. No more interest paid.
2. Maximize all earned funds.
3. Preparation for living on a retirement income.
4. Etc.

The greatest reason is one that cannot adequately be put into words.  As I pondered it every choice though accurate did not seem complete.  Even the word freedom has been so overworked that we cannot appreciate the extent of it's meaning.  How can one describe something to another that they may have never experienced?  What does being out of debt really mean, especially to one who has been encumbered by it for years?

This is the closest I can come -
I was almost there.  Only $15,000 to go and the home and all debts would have been paid off at age 40.  It was a time I had worked, sacrificed for, planned, and been anxiously awaiting for years.  Once that was done it would only cost me $500 per month for my basic living expenses including property taxes and anything I earned over and above that amount could be saved, used to upgrade the home, given to others, or whatever else seemed important.  So close...

Then through circumstances that are not part of today's post I was thrown backwards with unexpected force and debt was again part of my life.  It was kind of like when you get a home spotlessly clean and the tribe comes home, or the snow off the driveway is cleared only to watch the snow come down.  Yes, but 100 times worse. 

Have you ever seen a real life ant hill?  There used to be a few of them on my grandpa's place.

When we would visit my uncle would run over them with his truck.  My brother and I would jump out and watch with fascination as the masses of ants would scurry out and immediately work on rebuilding.  It was a black mound of activity working to restore that which was overrun. ( I admit in retrospect it was somewhat cruel but in defence of my uncle they would have taken over the whole place.)

Apparently I am not the only one working on rebuilding or at least has rebuilding to do.  According to US News over 70% of Americans are in debt, 40% of those have monthly obligations greater than half their monthly income.  If that were not bad enough, 60% those over 50 years old in debt.  Wow, not a very desirable position to be in so close to retirement where the years seem to fly by even faster.

To make the reality even more clear the Associated Press have provided some clear visual portrayals with their charts:

Makes one wonder what the real cause of middle age crisis is doesn't it? 

You know, I don't like where this story is going!  I for one am not happy or contented being an AVERAGE AMERICAN.  I have smelled the ocean air and already taken off my shoes and don't want to put them back on.

Let's just purpose to run the story in reverse so we can get back to where we need to be.

It's up to us to write the end of our story.  We should not allow anyone else to do it for us.  Isn't that really what FREEDOM is all about?


Olivia said...

Go for it. We all want to see you succeed.

Carol Schultz said...

Thanks Olivia. Don't know if you will see this comment but I did my first public speaking event. Another is in the works. Branching out.