My last post was over a year ago — a year that passed pretty quickly. Time speeding up seems to go with the territory of being double nickels now, as someone recently told me I was. I hit 55 a couple months ago which makes me old enough to recall when that was the national speed limit…at least for those states that couldn’t wean themselves from the federal highway funding feedbag. Oh so long ago.
I’ve been frustrated recently by those usurious bastards that go by the all-too-respectful name bankers. So I got motivated to vent a bit here.
Throughout my investing life I’ve often carried large balances on credit cards/lines at low interests rates in favor of leaving assets in investment accounts that were gaining more than I was paying in interest. I think it was really just a bit of a convenient justification for living beyond my means. But, it actually sort of worked. I saw my net worth climb and climb….the unsecured debt did as well – but, my finance background told me that was not necessarily a bad thing.
Recently I’m not sure it was the most excellent strategy I thought it was. I’m not sure yet. But, I’m facing some challenges that were not foreseen and I’ve been trying to decide on next steps…all the while also trying to figure out who to blame. In the spirit of most in our consumerist society, I’ve decided it’s not my fault I’ve racked up some serious debt that’s becoming less and less economically wise.
Here’s the dilemma. Upon retiring, and divorcing, my income dropped significantly. Not unexpected of course. But, how to make it match up with expenses is the trick that I found myself becoming less and less able to perform. I’ve always readily met my obligations albeit by leaning on easy money from willing bankers. It’s funny that I always naively thought in some warm and fuzzy way that they were loaning me money cuz I was a smart and reliable guy. I mean…top secret security clearance, 25+ years serving the nation..etc. I deserved it… – when I thought about it long enough….what the hell – deserved it?…. – to pay those crooks even the low rates I was paying when they were getting virtually free money from the fed on the back of our taxes… — ok, let’s leave it at I participated in the system.
So, where was I?
Ah yes, unable to readily perform the tricks. Well, I found my credit score – and credit lines creeping downwards due to increasing debt to income ratios. And, too, my previously friendly interest rates conversely began to creep up.
When this began to occur I thought to myself that they surely simply didn’t understand.
I have significant retirement assets, life insurance and equity in real estate …but, my banks could care less and are uninterested in loaning me money although I have a 35 year history of great credit.
So, I’m about to start tapping my retirement assets and incurring penalties because I’m under 59 1/2. I’m frustrated because although I’m willing to pay these usurious bloodsuckers they’re no longer willing to make loans to me.
Just out of spite I’ve even considered filing bankruptcy. Although I’ve never considered that an honorable thing to do — it seemed like a reasonable weapon against the stacked system. The rub is that the courts only let you keep a modest amount of equity on your home. That whole line about getting to keep your home when you go thru bankruptcy…. – well it’s only if your home has little or no equity. Ironically, I found the equity is less liquid than the retirement accounts….you can’t borrow against it unless you have income to pay the loan back….using a portion of the loan proceeds to make the loan payments seemed perfectly reasonable to me – but not to the UBs (usurious bastards)……heavy sigh.
So, at the end of the vent…all I’m left with is drawing on the retirement income and paying the penalties…. – or going back to work. Which I’m giving thought to…not any type of serious job with real responsibilities….just something to keep my poker habit from forcing me into liquidating my savings. I was thinking Walmart greeter—but, I just saw today that Walmart parking lots are where Trump is more and more often stopping by to stir the folks up….I just couldn’t take that.