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h/t Ann Barnhardt

From Market-Ticker:

The Recognition of Reality

It would be a good idea to become grounded in it folks, because it’s coming, and it’s not going to be fun if you’re not well-grounded in the facts.

Let’s take a few examples, some of them from the forum and some from my own personal experience, and flesh them out.

Take many if not most allegedly “middle-class” and “upper middle-class” business owners and managers.  They live in a nice 3,500 sq/ft house in the suburbs with a manicured lawn and the service that comes once a week.  Their home is immaculate and full of granite counter tops and Viking appliances.  There are two $50,000 automobiles in the driveway – and perhaps another one, or some sort of recreational vehicle (a boat or RV) in the garage or a nearby storage area.

Now look at how much actual wealth they have, on a balance-sheet basis.  Their home is likely underwater or has limited equity – 10 or 20% of the current market value at most.  Their vehicles are not owned outright, they all have notes on them.  There’s $100,000 or less in their retirement accounts, but they’re middle-aged – in their 40s.

On the spending side they have a $200/month cellphone bill for themselves and their kids ($2,400 a year), spend $300/month on utilities ($3,600 a year) and pay $5,000 or more in property taxes and hazard insurance.  Between these there’s more than $10,000 that goes out the front door, plus their income tax burden.  This family also eats out a couple of times a week ($200/month or $2,400 a year) and in general treats money and credit as though it’s something they have access to and thus will use.

You really do need to read the rest of it.  But brace yourself.  A shot of Scotch might help.