security in economic uncertainty
debt, interest rates
There are those
who consider our budget deficit - which just shot past the eight-trillion
dollar mark - as a sign of prosperity. This doesn't include the controversial
"unfunded liabilities" of Social Security and Medicare - which
currently stands at $53 trillion!
There are, of
course, several options we could use to reduce this staggering deficit.
We could raise taxes - an unpopular strategy.We could decrease spending.
We could rely on inflation, stalling on debt repayment so we could repay
our obligation in "cheaper" dollar. None of these alternatives
are easy, and all carry a tremendous economic, and political price. As
the deficit mushrooms, the future becomes less and less secure.
What about interest
rates? As a general rule, when the stock market is heading up, interest
rates are falling, and vice versa. When the rates are low, it is an opportune
time to borrow money, and at the same time a poor season to invest. When
the rates are high, the opposite is true. As interest rates shift, many
questions abound. Where should I put my money? How long should they be
tied up. How often does interest rates change? The budget deficit, inflation,
taxes, and stock-market swings are just a few factors that complicate
our planning efforts.
are real estate deflation, the declining dollar and a string of bank and
business failures. With so much uncertainty, how do we maintain financial
In light of your long-term goals (which
may include retirement, college educations for the kids, owning your business,
or special giving), how close are you to where you'd like to be? Perhaps
you haven't really thought through your goals. Even so, try to locate where you'd like to be financially on those
charts when you hit retirement. What would it take to get there?
is a financial tool that helps us manageHis resources responsibly.
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