Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Depressing Financial Discoveries

I have had growing unease about the expense of our grand year-long trip and so this morning I revisited all of our cash, investment and retirement accounts and tallied what we have left after the last devastating six months. And it was bad...real bad.

We sold our house in Forest Grove in April 2006 and walked away with our home equity. At the time it seemed smart to put about half of it in cash (state bond funds and treasuries) and the rest in the stock market. That was clearly a mistake, looking back. I guess we should have known better since we realized we were in a bubble. But there was really no "safe" place to put it and we expected to buy a house by now. I wasn't about to pull it all out of the banks and stick it in our mattress.

Anyway, we have basically lost the money we took away from the Forest Grove house, when you take in to consideration all of our losses, including all the retirement accounts. Oh well. Looks like we'll be working for a lot more years than we had hoped. And with safe savings accounts paying 0%, there's not much chance what we have left of our savings will grow anytime soon. I guess all our years of responsible financial behavior was a mistake. We should have been spending it all, and then some, then the government would be bailing us out right now, so we could keep our McMansion from foreclosure, instead of screwing us over.

Maybe we need to rethink this trip plan.... Luckily, we did stick a fair amount of money in cash, but if we go and blow it on this extravagant vacation then we won't have much of anything left for a house when we're done. And there's no guarantee that we'll be able to find jobs either. (Oregon's job market is crumbling along with the rest of the economy.)

So, now we're debating about what to do, again. Believe or not, we are as tired as all of you of our constantly changing plan. Sigh.

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