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In An Uncertain Economy, It's Crucial to Defend Your Financial Peace of Mind

By Bob Stokes
Mon, 29 Nov 2010 17:00:00 ET
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Debt and bankruptcy filings are increasing among people who are close to or have begun their retirement.
 
The sad financial statistics speak for themselves:
 
"From 2000 to 2008, the average debt for households headed by people 55 or older nearly doubled to $66,000...From 1991 to 2007, bankruptcy filings by those 65 and older increased by 150%, while filings in the 75-to-84 age group soared 433%..."
USA Today Money, Oct. 25
 
Note that those facts don't take into account the worst months of the 2007-2009 financial crisis.
 
Millions of people count on their (or their spouse's) pension. Yet even though the stock market has trended mostly upward in 2010, the number of pension plans failures is higher than in 2009:
 
"The federal agency that insures the pensions of one in seven Americans said...its annual deficit increased 4.5 percent to $23 billion.
 
"The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. also said it paid $5.6 billion in benefits to participants in company pension plans that failed in its fiscal 2010 that ended Sept. 30. It noted that 147 pension plans failed, up from 144 a year earlier."
Associated Press, Nov. 15
 
If Pension Benefit Guaranty's deficit increased and more pension plans failed during a rising market, what's going to happen if the stock market tanks big again?
 
Can you count on the government to protect you? EWI's Robert Prechter answers the question this way:
 
"Government is rarely prepared for national financial calamities or economic depressions...People are often prepared for the past but rarely for the future.
 
"[Governments] spend and borrow throughout the good times and find themselves strapped in bad times, when tax receipts fall.
 
"When the bust occurs, governments won't have the money required to service truly needy people in unfortunate circumstances."
Conquer the Crash (2nd ed., pp. 252-253)
 
 
If you can't count on government during a "financial calamity," what can you do?
 
Above all, think and act independently. The indicators we follow at EWI suggest that a deflationary depression is due; financial safety must be your first consideration.
 
Read "Conquer the Crash, 2nd edition" from cover to cover. Your financial peace of mind is worth far more than the modest investment you're making in this New York Times bestseller. Do understand: this book is brimming with financial safety steps, so discover how you can have this volume sent to your home by following this link.
 

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