08 March 2009

Mail from Home. Or, How The Economic Crisis Affects Us

ONE OF THE many challenging aspects of living overseas is dealing with our 'regular' mail -- the mail that is still going to the house we own in the United States. Where possible we have tried to notify the post offices/banks/utilities/magazines/etc. that we need mail to be forwarded to another address while we are here (in our case, Kerri's parent's house). When her parents came over last week they brought a handful of mail that has been collecting since our trip back to DC at Christmas. Because of the season, most of it deals with the upcoming tax filing deadline (April 15 in the US). But the one piece of mail that caught my attention was from AIG, the struggling insuarnce company that also happens to hold my retirement information (401k, 403b, and a few other odds and ends). What made this piece of mail stick out was the number at the bottom of the page indicating the total value of my retirement portfolio. I won't divulge the total sum here, but I will let you know that the December 2008 total is down 29.4% from the December 2007 total. *

Boy am I glad I'm not retiring any time soon. I'm sure Kerri's is on a similar trend. It just goes to show that the global economic crisis hits a lot of people in a lot of different ways. It's not just the big banks and car manufacturers. What about the people who are hoping to retire in the next couple of years.

We'll work our way out of this mess, let's just hope we do it quickly.

* of course, since I'm not contributing to that portfolio now, that explains some of the downturn. But still, geez!


angus said...

Funny that you should mention this. I was looking at our year end statements this morning and calculate that our are down 28.3%


The Telfers at Warragal Park said...

My husband's self-managed investments are now less than HALF what they were this time last year. (we're in Australia, so yes it is global.)
This does not look good for an early semi-retirement and more time in France!!