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Old 09-21-2008, 09:48 PM   #21
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Actually, I'm surprised that looking everyday at your pseudo-net worth has not inured you to the fluctuations and the actual meaning (or lack thereof) of the numbers.
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Old 09-21-2008, 09:52 PM   #22
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I've "lost" a million bucks since the peak. Sucks but I'm just glad I didn't buy in at the peak. Probably be jumping off a bridge if I had.
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Old 09-21-2008, 09:58 PM   #23
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I count the house value from what is on Zillow from the all time high
A couple things - one, if you look at your investments from the all-time high, the ONLY time you WON'T be depressed is when the market is going straight up-up-up-up. And it does not always do that. So STOP it!

two - why be so concerned about the market value of your house? Stop and think a minute - were you planning on downsizing, selling it and renting? Probably not. So what difference does it make? If you were to sell, and buy the same size (or bigger house), you are better off in a down RE market. The house you go to buy will be as cheap (or relatively cheaper) than what you sell. Commissions will be less. This is a good thing. Only bad if you are downsizing or getting out of RE ccompletely.

Good job, bonuses, etc. Take the long term view, look at 3, 5, and 10 year periods of your net worth. It sounds like that will look pretty good.

Break out the champagne!

-ERD50
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Old 09-21-2008, 10:10 PM   #24
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Lower house price is mostly a good thing as ERD50 points out. Lower home owners ins., lower taxes in most cases. If you're staying in the house a lower price is all good.
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Old 09-21-2008, 10:34 PM   #25
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You definitely need to call your doctor and discuss your feelings. Everyone is anxious right now but you do seem to be much more worried than you should be about your personal situation. And what if the economy gets worse? You can learn some stress coping mechanisms that will help you and also perhaps get medication.
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Old 09-21-2008, 11:03 PM   #26
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I look at it this way: I still own the stocks whose value has dropped, so I haven't really lost anything. Some of them have dropped for good reason. Others have dropped because the fundamentals have changed. Yet others have simply moved south with the market. I still own every share I have ever bought. I believe that the value (of most) will come back at some point...may take a year or so, but it'll be back. Most of them pay dividends, and only one (WaMu) has been cut (to the best of my knowledge). I will stick with them (unless the fundamentals change) and re-invest dividends and interest, and add more by DCAing into issues I already hold as well as by buying into other issues. If the fundamentals of a particular company have changed so much they spook me, I may sell out and buy into something that is high(er) quality, but at a bargain price.

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Old 09-21-2008, 11:10 PM   #27
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I count the house value from what is on Zillow from the all time high and my investment on the calendar year.
Well, thats a losing proposition. Count them from your first investment. Whats your gain from your first rolled forward real estate investment? Whats your core gain on investments from your first dollar?

$20 says both are extremely positive.

Backing up into the offered advice, I've rarely found pills to be the answer to the 'problem'. Find out what the problem is and solve it.
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Old 09-21-2008, 11:15 PM   #28
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two - why be so concerned about the market value of your house? Stop and think a minute - were you planning on downsizing, selling it and renting? Probably not. So what difference does it make? If you were to sell, and buy the same size (or bigger house), you are better off in a down RE market. The house you go to buy will be as cheap (or relatively cheaper) than what you sell. Commissions will be less. This is a good thing. Only bad if you are downsizing or getting out of RE ccompletely.
Precisely. I'm glad that I'm not in Zillow territory and can't look up the "value" of my house constantly. I really have no idea what the current value is because I'm not in a neighborhood and doing comps would take lots of effort and wouldn't be very precise anyway. Being in semi-rural Missouri I'm sure it hasn't gone up much during the last 8 years and therefore hasn't gone down much lately either. But I don't really care either.
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Old 09-22-2008, 01:40 AM   #29
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This is the worst financial year in my life.
Me too!

27 months into RE and now having to come to grips with the fact that I retired into a recession. Yuuuch! That's bad! But, WTF. like goes on.......

1. Despite being mid-teens% down in my net worth the past few months (ref peak), a re-do of Firecalc says I'm still OK (with a slightly tightened budget). That's good.

2. DW and I are feeling pretty good. That's good.

3. We're having fun and finding a bit of camaraderie with retired friends as we all economize by inviting each other to our homes instead of meeting at restaurants, etc. That's good.

4. The kids and grandkids are doing OK so far. No layoffs, etc. That's good.

OW, you mentioned several pluses going on for yourself too. That's good!

Try not to let difficulties in reaching a tough goal (RE) blind you from appreciating and enjoying all the things you have and have accomplished.

As Mom used to tell me" "Youbet, you're gona be dead a long time. Try to have a little fun now........"
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Old 09-22-2008, 06:05 AM   #30
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This is the worst financial year in my life...
I told my boyfriend it is a good thing my house isn't taller so jumping out the window would only injure me...That is what is so depressing I don't time the market so stay fully invested, I made 50K in 2007 but lost 85K this year but made 15K in the last two days...I made money in the market and my house value went up so my net worth was soaring it was really fun. ...I count the house value from what is on Zillow
zillow has my inherited house down $45k in the last 30 days while it values my next door neighbor (house directly next to inherited house) as up $78k in the same 30-day period. there's your $100k difference. so much for swillow.

more to the point. does every check you deposit make you happy and every check you write make you sad? whether working or investing, you're not making money, you're letting money put the make on you.

when i was young and innocent, you know, right before my mother died two years ago today, money didn't affect me. only now it does. pay too much attention to it and consider yourself seduced & corrupted. this very forum, with all due respect, not withstanding. i never liked finance and i do not like this money. not that it doesn't help to have some knowledge of it. but just like you need to know not to put your hand into a boiling pot, doesn't mean you should keep reminding yourself by continually scolding your fingers. learn it once and move on.

i'm guilty of letting money so affect me but i recognize that this is not a good way to live. hadn't i an inherited house to sell i'd be furious at that 700 billion dollar bailout. but motivated by money, i could care less what it costs to stabilize the housing market if it gets me off this hook. had i taken any action to create this mess, i'd feel even more shame for having let money determine not just my emotional state but what moves me. since when in my life have i ever let an outside force move me in a way that i would not move on my own. this is disgusting yet everyone is so proud of it. they flaunt it so. money money money money.

if it was real, how is it that it can disappear when you don't even spend it or appear when you don't even work for it. you might as well let spirits move you. these phantoms, these ghosts, this illusion. this is not real. find your happiness elsewhere.
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Old 09-22-2008, 07:11 AM   #31
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You haven't lost it money until you sell your investments or your house.

Sounds like the way the investment banks total up their balance sheets. Failure to recognize or disclose your losses may lead to some bad decisions followed by even worse decisions.
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Old 09-22-2008, 07:11 AM   #32
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My 401K started in 2003 and after maxing it every year I have put in 119K counting company money of about 8K and this week it was worth less than the total put in. But it went up about 9K the last two days so it is worth more than I paid for it. But still most people didn't put 119K into a 401K in 6 years so I am ahead of most people.
How are you putting that much into a 401K in 6 years with the IRS limits being what they are? Catch-up contributions? It sounds to me like you are trying to build your nest egg over a very short period of time. That doesn't allow the normal amount of time for compounding. Plus, the market startedgoing up at about the time you started investing heavily. It sounds like you have only seen growth and now a bear market comes along and it's a shocker (I know, I feel your pain, for sure!). It's been hard for us, too, because although we have been invested since about 1998, we didn't start watching our portfolio closely until 2002/2003. It's been greating seeing it go up, up, up, up. When that's all you are used to seeing, well, it's tough to see it go down, down, down. However, listening to the wisdom of this board and reading about past bear markets is helping us stay the course, realizing we are still relatively new to investing and "this too shall pass".

I think you are grieving the loss of your goal to retire by a certain date. Perhaps you need to acknowledge that date was an aggressive goal, and achievable only with all stars aligned properly. My advice would be to allow yourself to be sad about that for a little while (as I think that is a normal response), but then accept the reality for what it is and focus on all that you have to be thankful for. The attitude of gratitude always puts me back on track. Hang in there! (and perhaps review this thread, too, for similar viewpoints: ER is NOT the goal!)
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(49, married; DH 53. I am fully retired as of 2015 (well ok, I still work part-time but only because I love the job and have complete freedom to call off if I want to travel with hubby for work), DH hopes to fully retire 2018 when he turns 55 to access 401K penalty-free...although he may decide to do part-time consulting)
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Old 09-22-2008, 07:29 AM   #33
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How are you putting that much into a 401K in 6 years with the IRS limits being what they are? Catch-up contributions?
(That is about what goes into a 401K if someone over 50 is contributing the maximum. The money going into my account has been roughly the same. This includes match, the rest of what I will contribute but haven't yet in 2008, and the absolute maximum contributions including over-50 catch-up. This year my contributions will be $15,500+$5000 = $20500, for example. Anyway, her figures sound quite accurate to me.).
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Old 09-22-2008, 08:17 AM   #34
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Can I make a small suggestion? Change your posting name! It's kind of depressing!
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Old 09-22-2008, 08:35 AM   #35
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There are only two times when the market value of your house (or anything else for that matter) has any meaning. The day you buy it and the day you sell it.

I still sometimes have a hard time convincing DW about that. And we have to live someplace. This one is as good as any and better than most.
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Old 09-22-2008, 11:15 AM   #36
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[quote=Walt34;718386]There are only two times when the market value of your house (or anything else for that matter) has any meaning. The day you buy it and the day you sell it. [quote]
And the day you pledge it as collateral.

Ha
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Old 09-22-2008, 11:19 AM   #37
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Sounds like the way the investment banks total up their balance sheets. Failure to recognize or disclose your losses may lead to some bad decisions followed by even worse decisions.
Accounting rules determine how & when a balance sheet item is valued.
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Old 09-22-2008, 01:56 PM   #38
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I count the house value from what is on Zillow from the all time high and my investment on the calendar year. I have spreadsheets I update 5 days a week but start the totals new Jan 1. But I can look at where it was the last few years too. March of 2007 I hit investments totaling 400K but now after putting in more money they are only worth 360K. I am done for this year so starting the first of Jan I can quit looking at this mess. Then I will put in another 26.5K of my money in the first half of next year and the company will put in about 8K so someday I will get back to where I was in March 2007 except I got in debt about 26K on my home repairs.
My 401K started in 2003 and after maxing it every year I have put in 119K counting company money of about 8K and this week it was worth less than the total put in. But it went up about 9K the last two days so it is worth more than I paid for it. But still most people didn't put 119K into a 401K in 6 years so I am ahead of most people.

I don't think you mentioned how long until your retirement. If you're all in equities, I assume you were not planning to retire in the near future.

So what you might want to consider is that the Stock Market is having a SALE! And as someone mentioned, you might want to track it a little less often. (I actually update mine weekly - but only save the values at the end of the month - and some folks say thats even too often).

In any case - hang in there - and if you can't shake the blues - go see a doc.

Rick
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Old 09-22-2008, 02:14 PM   #39
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Hmmm - it helps to be an old phart.

1966-1982 was chewy - AND I was young and working.

Now it's been kind of laughable for the last ten yrs or so.

At last after a few Bear markets under the belt - I can smile and say:

Pssst - Wellesley. Or the the Norwegian widow is smiling cause she doesn't have to go out in the rain to get her dividend checks from the mailbox - she now has auto deposit.

Heh heh heh - now being a Saint's fan for thirty plus years - some might find depressing. But hope springs eternal. Also the neighborhood sports a few Chief's flags on the lawns. Balanced index - soldier on! .
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Old 09-22-2008, 02:32 PM   #40
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I have been in my house since 1992 so it is worth more than I paid for it and more than my mortgage. I have allocated my investments all in equities mostly mutual funds pretty high in international. That is what is so depressing I don't time the market so stay fully invested, I made 50K in 2007 but lost 85K this year but made 15K in the last two days.
2007 I made money in the market and my house value went up so my net worth was soaring it was really fun. I was hoping the balloon would stay inflated and my net worth would get so high I could retire in style maybe wealthy. Another couple of good years and I could sell my house and pay cash for a new one and have more money to invest. Now I just have to keep working and home it changes back.


When this rough spell passes I would re-evaluate your asset allocation and increase your bond exposure as your current asset allocation is probably too high for your risk tolerance.
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