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Advisor

New American Dream?

Of all the financial advisors on TV, my favorite has been Suze Orman for a few years now.  I have especially respected her focus on women and money, and her philosophy of of "people first, then money, then things."  I record her show every Saturday and watch it usually on Sunday while catching the alarm test calls while Mike is doing his weekend chores on the farm. 

Suze has been talking for quite a while about how people need to have a "new American dream.":  She showed up on "Morning Joe" this morning, promioting her latest book on this subject: The Money Class.  It's basically a set of nine lessons on managing momey for families in our new economic condition. 

She says that the middle class has basically dissolved...that people need to learn to have new goals, and live by new values.  The discussion this morning on the show dealt a lot with how parents for the first time feel that their kids will not inherit greater opportunity in our country.  This makes me truly sad...but I think it is true. 

I will probaly pick this title up with some of my remaining gift card credits this weekend.  I think I need to absorb this possibility - which has been my general feelgin of things for a while now - and think of how I will alter my own management, as well as my advice when the kids ask for it going forward. 

The old rules seem to have been set on their ear.  I may need to form a new philosophy, or, at least in some respects, significantly alter the old one.  This is not because of one TV advisor's position, but I think her new position is merely reflecting what I've felt for a while now...it is like verification of my own observations.  Suze is just one in a fairly long line of financial advisors I've heard in the past few months who are saying it is a new game from here on.  

Have any of you thought about this weather change in the American Dream?  Do you think it is real of not?  Do you have a different dream than you had just a few years ago, or is everything pretty much on track for your vision of the future as it has always been? 

Do you think our children will have it better or worse, at least foinancially speaking, and would a less-stellar financial picture mean we will replace those concerns with other, more spiritual and social ones? 

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Senior Contributor

Re: New American Dream?

I understand the middle class is shrinking but I have not heard that the middle class it gone. I think everyone will have to adjust their expectations in the near term and their futures, especially union members. But I won't go there. Maybe the focus will change to more social things instead of shopping for recreation or spending hundreds of dollars for sports events or hopping on a plane for the week-end. Whatever happens, I have no doubt there will be major changes ahead.

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Senior Contributor

Re: New American Dream?

I have read that the high end and low end stores are getting more sales, but the middle-priced ones (Gap, Macy's) are behind the rest. For me, Macy's is high end. Heaven forbid if I would walk into a Nordstrom's.Smiley Surprised This may a reflection of the shrinking middle class. For those left, they may pay for quality items and pass on the rest that "filled" their lives. The hoarding and organizing shows are becoming more prevalent on the tv. I think people want the freedom and flexibilty that a stuffed house doesn't bring.

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Advisor

Re: New American Dream?

The hoarding fascination will probably pass, but I think enough people identify with the possibility that they may harbor some of these tendencies to keep the shows on air for now.  I' ve been intrigued with it for a year or so, but rarely watch the show more than once or twice, before getting the urge to get up and clean out a closet. 

I am seeing so many things that make me worry about our country and my children.  Myaeb I've just been too busy for fiften months with school and now just have tiem to dwell on it.  Still, I had hoped things would be picking up better than this by now.  The longer this recession drags out, the more it concerns me, truly. 

I had a talk with a friend after TKD tonight, and I think that shed some light on what's really bothering me, too.  I have always in the past been able to shake off an illness, power through exhaustion, and keep making progress.  This bout of lung problems, and noiw Mike's injury, whcih would have both seemed so minor in our youth, have set us both back further than we'd like to admit. 

It is like we are having to admit we are not what we used to be...and I guess I am afraid we will need to be tuogher than ever, just to hold our ground now.  Do you ever feel this way...like you maybe can't cut it anymore? 

 

Tonight was only my second training session since January, and although i am nto 100%, I am coming back in strength and stamina.  My wind held up at least.  Not a hardcore cardio load in this session, but I didn't have to bow out to breathe.   It will take many months to get back to my former level of stamina at this rate, but I can't let that discourage me.   I hope that as I get my fitness back, my outlook on things will improve...and some warm sunshine couldn't hurt, either!

I think my dream is just to stay here with Mike and enjoy some peace and quiet for a while.  Challenges ahead, but we've gotten through a lot of those in our lifetime together, haven't you? 

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Senior Contributor

Re: New American Dream?

Are you coming to terms that you can't bounce back as quickly as you could 20 years ago? I see many older people around town and think how much they've aged since I started working or graduated from high school. You can tell it you compare the current image to that of your memories. Those that keep active seem to live longer than those who have taken to the rocking chair for retirement. I applaud you and Mike for staying active, but your physical limits may be more noticeable than they were 15 months ago.Taking the nursing college gave you knowledge of signs that you aren't that young chicken jumping off hay wagons either. Don't let "maturity" be rain on your day. Enjoy every minute that you have on this earth.

I included the last sentence because some of my relatives died young. Like Gena, lives can be cut too early. I intend to live life to the fullest each and every day possible. That may mean ticking off some older people that believe everyone is going to live to a ripe old age, but so be it. Some days I feel that I can't cut it, but I remind myself that this may be "the last day." You just never know. Sorry for my dramatics.

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Senior Contributor

Re: New American Dream?

We do  need to hear that message periodically. After a certain age each year brings changes, we just have to keep a positive attitude.

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Honored Advisor

Re: New American Dream?

No apology...it's about what I tell myself, too.  I've been very frustrated with being unable to breathe well enough to train in TKD since way back in January...to be honest, not much since September, compared to the past five years of regular sessions. 

Mike and I had that conversation about how my health seems to have declined, and he said, "I didn't want to say anything, because I thought you would feel I was undermining your school plans."  I have lost strength, gaine a few pounds I could not afford to gain, and he said my personality had gotten more negative, too.  I felt I needed to apologize for that. 

Second session of the week yesterday afternoon, and it felt great to break a real sweat again.  Got to help a friend prepare his poomse for the belt test coming up next Saturday, which I try to help everyone with when they ask me to get them tuned up in time.  This guy tends to rely on me for that and really appreciates it. 

The instructors will hand me a student, and ask me to go over their form and some other material wiht them, to see if I can get them ready.  It is an honor to be asked, but i feel so rusty right now, I need to get back up to speed before I am of much use to anyone, including myself. 

I think part fof my frustration is seeing how fast my condition and even skill slides when I am out of practice for a while.  This makes you doubt your memory, which feels like one more sign of aging.  I am fighting the microscopes in lab, too...hard to see! 

Then agian, when I sat down on teh mat to stretch out yesterday, my range of motion is still as good as ever.  My kicks are as high, and my speed was not bad, even compared to the guy training next to me, who is the age of my son.  So, maybe I am being too hard on myself...seeing the negatives instead of the positives.  I would not do that to someone else who was trying to bounce back...why do I do it to myself? 

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Senior Contributor

Re: New American Dream?

You set yourself a high standard. When you don't meet it, you tend to beat yourself up. I'm like that and have even had high expectations of others. That has gotten me into trouble when we show our faults. It's hard to beat a habit that has won praise from others. Just remember what effects that habit has on your life, good and bad.

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Advisor

Re: It is like we are having to admit we are not what we used to be...

Kay said "It is like we are having to admit we are not what we used to be..."


We have a neighbor who is saying something like that.  He says he just doesn't bounce back as fast as he did 15 years ago when he was only 80 ...

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Senior Contributor

Re: It is like we are having to admit we are not what we used to be...

Yesterday I helped grandaughter with her tap routine.  She's missed so many lessons due to strep; she's really behind.  Thought my knee was in good shape, been walking a lot with no problems, but boy could I tell it this morning.  I really enjoyed doing the routine-good to be back at it-but my knee is a reminder of why I quit teaching! 

I've noticed even tho I'm in pretty good shape, I'm not in the shape I used to be in.  Got a pilates tape thinking it being based on dance technique I would do well at it.  Simple things I used to do every class was a shadow of my former shape!  Oh well, as long as I'm healthy that's the bottom line.

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