Required reading for housing and retail investors
Think housing bubble's minor? Think that retailers catering to middle-agers (Chico's, etc.) are insulated? Maybe we all ought to think again.
And how about these "victims?"
During the boom year of 2005, the take-home pay of Dawn Shevlin's family reached $350,000. That year, she and her husband bought two pickup trucks and a boat, and started building a custom home on a handsome beachfront lot.
This year, Shevlin, a real estate agent, sold hardly any homes. Her husband's carpentry business is "dead in the water." They have been unable to sell a second home they own.
Every night, she said, "we fight over every dollar." With their income below $60,000, they have more bills than they can pay and have ruled out any big purchases. Even dinner at a modest restaurant is too great an extravagance.
Shevlin says she is trying to get a steady job as an airport security officer, but the competition is fierce. "I'm 45 years old and I feel like I should be going to a higher place in my career," she said. "Instead I'm taking 20 steps back."
I got news for ya, honey. You were never really ahead to begin with. You were lucky for a while, but, alas, not smart enough to figure it out. When you spend more than you make, you're only one economic ripple away from losing it all. Welcome to the real world. If misery loves company, at least you'll have that.