Now I'm worried.........

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cato
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Now I'm worried.........

Post by cato »

For anyone who lived through the 70s and 80s recession, the GDP and employment numbers don't look all that bad. 7.2% is nothing compared to what we had in '82-'83.

However, I just discovered that the endo/dental practice my wife works for has had a massive slowdown.

That's right, people in Silicon Vally are actually opting to suffer through major pain rather than paying for a root canal. This is this first bit of economic news that has me genuinely concerned.
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Gekko
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Post by Gekko »

"You know my problem with 'gut' feelings? Once you have them, the only evidence you see is the evidence that reinforces your gut feeling. Human nature." - David Breckenridge - "The Sentinel"
Rose21
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Post by Rose21 »

A lot of companies defer layoffs until after Christmas, so I'm not sure I'd place too much reliance on December's numbers. January could be a real doozie.
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spangineer
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Re: Now I'm worried.........

Post by spangineer »

cato wrote:That's right, people in Silicon Vally are actually opting to suffer through major pain rather than paying for a root canal.
Are you sure it's not that fewer people are coming in for regular checkups?

Look on the bright side, maybe they're waiting for January to roll around so they can have their root canals done with FSA money =).
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Christine_NM
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Post by Christine_NM »

Unemployment is calculated differently now, so the numbers aren't comparable to the 70's-80's.

Someone on CNBC suggested last month that we were already at 9-10% unemployment (not counting December) by the old standard.
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Kenster1
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Post by Kenster1 »

7.2% unemployment may not be that bad but what is bad is the swiftness and rate with which the job losses are happening.

2008 turned out to be biggest job loss year since 1945 !!!

And we've already seen some Jan '09 layoffs continue to roll...

e.g. Alcoa will cut 13,500+ jobs, Cigna Insurance cutting 1,100, Walgreens cutting 1,000, EMC cutting 2,400, Boeing chopping 4,500, Teck Cominco chopping 1,400, etc, etc, etc....

Businesses are also freezing salary increases, freezing 401k matching and some are even reducing or cutting medical/drug benefits.
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cato
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Re: Now I'm worried.........

Post by cato »

spangineer wrote:
Are you sure it's not that fewer people are coming in for regular checkups?

It's an endodontic practice. They don't do checkups -- just root canals for acute cases. It's not really elective care. You get a root canal or an extraction.....or you suffer like h***.
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Kenster1
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Post by Kenster1 »

Interestingly....here's a look at 7 people (including a former Goldman Sachs VP) who were laid off and what they're doing now and how they're coping....

http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2009/pf/ ... index.html

Michael Antidormi - 82% pay cut
Old Job: VP at Goldman Sachs, $160,000
New Job: Representative, Disabled Veterans' Outreach Program, $36,000

"I used to help my just-married daughter and college-age son with things like car payments, but now my wife and I are struggling ourselves. That's a bit of a pill when you've worked for 43 years to make it up the ranks. I've had to drain a big chunk out of both an IRA and my 401(k)."

=====

Lisa Brake - 55% pay cut
Old Job: U.S. Air Force captain, $83,000
New Job: IT specialist, $36,000

"After suffering health problems, I separated honorably from the U.S. Air Force. I was a captain, making $83,000 year.

I thought I'd find a job easily. I have three degrees, and I live in Colorado Springs, a town with a large pool of government and military-related jobs. But after an 11-month search, I was offered only one job, as an IT specialist. It was a great job with great benefits, but it only paid $36,000.

===

Charles Dybala - 25% pay cut
Old Job: Detroit maintenance technician - $29/hour
New Job: Maintenace technician - ~ $22/hour
Hardest thing to give up: The familiarity of life up north, where my family is. I had to uproot everything.

We tried to keep paying our mortgage up north, but it didn't work. We filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

It was great for us to file bankruptcy and start all over again financially. It hurts your credit rating, but then you can move on. When I suggested it, my wife was all, 'We won't be able to buy anything!'

I said, 'Well, sweetheart, we couldn't anyway.'"
Last edited by Kenster1 on Fri Jan 09, 2009 4:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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HomerJ
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Post by HomerJ »

Kenster1 wrote:Michael Antidormi - 82% pay cut
Old Job: VP at Goldman Sachs, $160,000
New Job: Representative, Disabled Veterans' Outreach Program, $36,000

"I used to help my just-married daughter and college-age son with things like car payments, but now my wife and I are struggling ourselves. That's a bit of a pill when you've worked for 43 years to make it up the ranks. I've had to drain a big chunk out of both an IRA and my 401(k)."
These stories are such B.S.

He got laid off 10 months ago, with a 10 month severance package, and yet he had to drain a big chunk out of an IRA and his 401k?

Plus, that this guy is 61 and was planning on retiring at 66.... with what?
livesoft
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Post by livesoft »

Many root canals are not that painful. It's just a nagging feeling in your jaw. I've had folks wait until the next year because they had already spent all their FSA money. Or didn't want to take any drugs while pregnant.

Kidney stones are another pain, but they usually pass within a day or so and only require painkillers for a short time.
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cato
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Post by cato »

rrosenkoetter wrote: He got laid off 10 months ago, with a 10 month severance package, and yet he had to drain a big chunk out of an IRA and his 401k?

Plus, that this guy is 61 and was planning on retiring at 66.... with what?
I'm curious about the pay too. I had a buddy who *started* at a higher pay rate at GS, and that was 20 years ago.
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tdhg566
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Post by tdhg566 »

I agree some of these stories sound fabricated, esp. the Antidormi story (VP at GS). Why he would be in that position at age 61 is beyond belief. And a VP at GS making $160k? Maybe that's why they laid him off. I thought the good performers at GS made more than that.

I also appreciated the mortgage broker saying he was finally learning how to budget. In the 70s we budgeted with cash in envelopes. When cash in the grocery envelope was gone, grocery shopping was over. Our son, now grown and married, remembers those trips well. I hope so, but also hope he never needs to use that skill.

We do such a disservice to our young people by not teaching them solid money skills.
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AnotherCFP
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Re: Now I'm worried.........

Post by AnotherCFP »

cato wrote:For anyone who lived through the 70s and 80s recession, the GDP and employment numbers don't look all that bad. 7.2% is nothing compared to what we had in '82-'83.

However, I just discovered that the endo/dental practice my wife works for has had a massive slowdown.

That's right, people in Silicon Vally are actually opting to suffer through major pain rather than paying for a root canal. This is this first bit of economic news that has me genuinely concerned.

Of course. January is ussually slower as people race in Dec in order to use FSA $'s or because the have met their deductable
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Kenster1
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Post by Kenster1 »

tdhg566 wrote:I agree some of these stories sound fabricated, esp. the Antidormi story (VP at GS). Why he would be in that position at age 61 is beyond belief. And a VP at GS making $160k? Maybe that's why they laid him off. I thought the good performers at GS made more than that.
I'm not sure what you mean by some of these stories fabricated -- you mean their past background work? Their past pay? He wasn't an investment banker -- he was in Help Desk and moved up the ranks. He could've been just a VP of Help Desk Operations for all we know.

There is a Michael Antidormi that works at the NY (Veterans) Labor Dept located in Patchogue, NY -- found on their website. Can't vouch for his background at GS though.
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SkylightMT
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Post by SkylightMT »

Rose21 wrote:A lot of companies defer layoffs until after Christmas, so I'm not sure I'd place too much reliance on December's numbers. January could be a real doozie.
I agree with you on this.

Also, using the method of calculating unemployment that was in effect post WWII, we're at 16% unemployment (current rates don't count people who have been looking for work for over a year, among other types of unemployed people).

Our health insurance has gotten so expensive that we discontinued the dental portion of our health benefits package, trying to reduce costs without giving up medical. Maybe a lot of people are in the same boat? Lost their dental coverage and that's why you're seeing fewer patients? We have employees waiting until the tooth is bad enough they have to go to the ER, which is then covered by medical benefits instead of dental.
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