Friday, March 27, 2009

This Economy

I work for a state land-grant university. I have over 20 years at this institution so have been through several economic downturns here. This one is particularly nasty. The state is planning on cutting our budget by nearly 20% (worst-case scenario) and that’s including the 7% tuition increase that is recommended. So the students will, once again, carry the burden of the entire state. This state is making a good college education available only for the very rich or the very poor – the middle-class is SOL – AGAIN. Story of my life! “Your parents make too much money” but they can’t afford to pay for my college education (not that I wanted them to). But I digress….


So the budget for 2009-2011 (which begins July 1st) is supposed to be drafted by next week (yes, we know – senate, house, compromise). After the compromise budget it will go to the governor for signature. There are rumors galore; however, the plain, hard truth is there will be jobs lost. How can there NOT be jobs lost? Hopefully a lot of individuals will be enticed to retire a bit earlier than they planned but this will not compensate for all of the layoffs that will undoubtedly occur after the budget is released. I, unfortunately, cannot retire yet – about 10 more years before that can realistically happen. However, if the unthinkable happens & I get laid off, what will I do?


I haven’t a clue actually. Probably cry and then once I’ve calmed down, organize a big garage sale, sell off everything we don’t need & pack everything else……we’ll either end up in Austin or Pensacola. I know we can’t stay here – no jobs, no income, & I will not suck our landlord (my dad) down with us. We’re hoping to get the cattle sold off soon anyway, so it will be just us & our two dogs to worry about. Maybe we’ll go to the Tri-Cities & see if there’s work there (we have family there, too). Basically, I guess, we’ll become vagabonds. But we will never be homeless). We have 5 grown children and one mom (my mil) and one dad (my dad) – we won’t be homeless. Houseless? Maybe. But we’ll still be happy & together.


My dh tossed most of his retirement $$ into an account with Edward Jones. We lost a bunch of $$ when the stock market crashed but these people know their business because we’ve started to add money (not a lot but adding instead of subtracting is good) back into the account. When the stock market crashed, we felt our best investment was the Victory Vision that we purchased last year – it’s still worth a great deal & the enjoyment we’ve gotten from it has been incredible (well worth every nickel we paid). As my dh is so fond of saying “we’re in it for the long-haul” so we should be able to regain most of his retirement fund before we start drawing out money.


Speaking of my dh – he is turning the big 5-0 next week!! I hit the big one last year & he was kind (that’s the day we bought the Victory motorcycle) so I will not be mean. He’s a good man but I will have a little fun with this one (who could resist). If you see him online or in the street, wish him a wonderful birthday (or tell him how old he is..whichever you prefer)!! Half a century feels pretty darn good actually!! I’m closing in on 5-1 and am still feeling great (after a birthday discussion with myself about how silly it was to be depressed about a birthday! Now I embrace it – love it!!).


God bless and if I don’t get a chance to write before, enjoy the rest of the Lenten season and have a very Happy Easter. Until next time……

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