Unemployment is at record levels as job seekers continue looking for
work. Housing prices are down 30% of
their value since 2008. Govenment
programs continue to increase the
debt to record levels. This is the story
There are signs that our economy is slowly recovering. The stock market rose 6% in December and
shoppers packed the stores during the holidays resulting in an estimated 5.5%
increase in sales over last year. Yet,
the national unemployment figure remains close to 10% as President Obama
extended unemployment insurance benefits for another 13 months for many that
were about to lose their benefits this December.
The housing market remaIns weak with more foreclosures on the way as
banks release the properties into the market.
Home prices fell another 1.3 % from September to October. More people
that can afford to purchase a home are instead renting apartments with no
intention of buying anytime soon! This
is bad news for home owners that are waiting for the real estate market to
greatly improve so they can cash in their home equity.
The Healthcare Reform bill signed by Obama is already costing both
companies and individuals more money. Whether you support the Bill or not, the
reality is that insurance companies have raised the cost of coverage 30-40%
causing companies to reduce benefits and cover less of the cost of healthcare
for employees. The new Congress will be
evaluating and further debating the constitutionality of it next year.
The Bush tax cuts will remain in effect for another two years which
served as a compromise from the Obama Administraion and proved to be a popular
decision for most Americans.
Former President Clinton's "don't ask, don't tell" policy was
lifted this year after the Pentagon survey indicated that 69% of the military
polled had no problem with openly gays serving in the military. Both the Republicans and Democrats supported
this decision making it a unified effort for allowing openly gay personnel to
deficient is increasing at an astounding rate as many in Congress remain
determined to cut government spending. It will be a key issue in 2011 and
upcoming elections. The many programs that were put into place in both President
Bush's and President Obama's Administration has taxed the financial solvency of
our government. Taxes will increase at some point to pay for these programs.
We are still in a war with
and Afganistan as our country continues to fight terrorism. Our Troops are fighting for our freedom as
they wait for their duty to end, so they can join their families. The end still
seems to be a long way off even after nine years at war.
It's been a difficult on many levels this year. For those looking
for a job it has been and continues to be a difficult journey. Many will have to take jobs out of their
profession to survive and/or live on unemployment benefits. The equity in homes continues to drop as many
depended on this asset for retirement. The real cost of living is increasing
with gas prices steadily rising, food prices going up and utilities increasing;
all essentials for most people.
to cut spending and hold on to as much cash as possible to remain solvent.
Though I anticipate the stock market will do well next year, I can't afford to
take the risk in what will be a rocky market.
My advice is to spend less and save more and to be very careful where
you place your money. Save it for a
rainy day because our economy is still "raining".
and a massage! Good-bye 2010!