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Old 03-06-2009, 09:17 AM   #21
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You will need to check for yourself, but you may be surprised at what you are supposed to lose, but don't. I have the bare bones basic cable, at the price you mention, and have had it at two different locations - - an apartment before I bought my house, and my house. At both locations I was able to receive many/all of the extended basic cable stations without being charged for them, because when you have internet too it is easier for them to set up or something. I didn't question it, anyway.

I get CNBC, Fox, the History Channel, and many others quite nicely.
Thanks and I will check, be nice if the Food Channel was still there as DW loves that one.
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Old 03-06-2009, 09:19 AM   #22
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Thanks and I will check, be nice if the Food Channel was still there as DW loves that one.
I get the Food Channel too, though I never watch it because I am (constantly) trying to lose weight and it makes me hungry. Also I get HGTV, Discovery, A&E, the Travel Channel, and many more. It may just be a local thing but there is at least a chance that you might get the Food Channel.
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Old 03-06-2009, 09:21 AM   #23
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Please don't get me wrong--I am in no way saying I expect a catastrophic melt down (at least not much more than the catastrophic melt down we've already experienced). I suppose you just never know how bad it could get.

My own view is that a decline of that magnitude doesn't happen without a reason, so it would be accompanied by widespread unemployment and financial distress. Everyone would suffer severely and I would expect some element of social unrest.
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Old 03-06-2009, 09:28 AM   #24
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To me the unthinkable is nuclear holocaust. Oh yeah - losing family members is also unthinkable.

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Old 03-06-2009, 09:31 AM   #25
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Please don't get me wrong--I am in no way saying I expect a catastrophic melt down (at least not much more than the catastrophic melt down we've already experienced). I suppose you just never know how bad it could get.

My own view is that a decline of that magnitude doesn't happen without a reason, so it would be accompanied by widespread unemployment and financial distress. Everyone would suffer severely and I would expect some element of social unrest.
The social unrest would be a huge problem here in New Orleans, as crime is already out of control. Crime is much less in my planned ER location in Missouri, but to get there I would have to be able to sell my present home and that would be unlikely in a doomsday scenario. Like many southern men, Frank is a great shot and would protect me. I seriously doubt things would ever get that bad, though.
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Old 03-06-2009, 09:38 AM   #26
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My DW always complained in the past about how conservative (read miserly) I was about financial planning. I chose a federal gov't career partly for the pension and health care benefits. We lived below our means and saved at least 20% of our incomes. We own our home outright and have no other debt. When DW questioned whether we could both really afford to retire at 55 I explained that, even if the stock market went to zero, our COLA'd pensions and her social security would cover 100% of our regular living expenses. Well, now our investment portfolio is down over 40% from its peak. She will start collecting social security in December of this year and other than the paper loses, the economic downturn (read depression?) has had no effect on our lifestyle. If the S&P falls to 150 and stays there for a long time, our plans to fully pay for college for our grandchildren (none as yet) might have to be cut back and we may travel less and hold onto cars longer but that's about the only impacts.

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Old 03-06-2009, 09:46 AM   #27
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To me the unthinkable is nuclear holocaust. Oh yeah - losing family members is also unthinkable.

Audrey

I'll one up you. If you listen to scientist and not politicians, which can be hard to distinguish nowadays, you will really get scared when you hear about a possible magnetic reversal on earth along with the lack of sun spot activity,...wait for it.....wait for it,.... ice age. Ice ages happen abruptly and on a very predictable cycle and guess what, we are due. 95% of glaciers have been growing for the past 10 years at a rapid pace. Al Gore just happened to focus on the 5% that aren't. A convenient lie......

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Old 03-06-2009, 09:52 AM   #28
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Dex: I agree, this is the perfect time to give the USA a stress test.
Economy in shambles, military spread out,new untested administration.
Watch N Korea they have racheted up the tension in the past week, but of course
they may just want more aid.
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Old 03-06-2009, 09:55 AM   #29
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... "investment class" (which I believe is now about 60% of Americans) ....
Wow, 60% of Americans qualify as "investment class"?? A little googling came up with this, dated 9/18/08 but could be today's news:

Investment Class : Clips & Comment

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The financial markets are no longer the playground of just the investment class. The financial markets add to or detract from the bottom line of nearly every American who has anything socked away for retirement.... If you have money in a 401k or IRA or other investment vehicle, there is less in that account than there was a week ago.
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Old 03-06-2009, 10:23 AM   #30
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The funny thing is this: with all the talks about great-depression lately, I realized that I have been preparing for years for bad economic times.

When I was younger I learned from my great depression-era grandparents how to stretch resources and be self-reliant (recycle everything, grow food, make bread, etc...). I bought a plot of raw land with my first pay check on the advice of my grandparents: their thinking was that, with raw land you can farm, you can't go hungry. I have saved a good chunk of my income since 2000 (for rainy days). I started hoarding gold and silver in 2003 (for fun at first). I started buying books about the great depression in 2004 and survival guides in 2006 (I can't remember what compelled me to buy such books at a time when the economy was striving). In the past 3 years I have learned valuable skills (that could become critical in a crisis as it turns out), such as growing vegetables in tight, urban spaces and curing mild ailments with natural remedies (I have started a small medicinal garden in my backyard). Somehow I had never connected all those dots until recently.

No, I am not crazy. I didn't lock myself in a bunker for Y2K (I was so confident it was a bunch of fluff that I was actually flying at 35,000 ft over the Atlantic Ocean on 01/01/2000 at 12:00 a.m.) and I don't have boxes upon boxes of freeze dried food piled up in my garage. I don't stockpile guns and ammo and I do not expect civilization to end or even break down any time soon. I certainly wouldn't consider myself a survivalist. And I remain hopeful that we will avoid another great depression.

But looking back on this, it just wish I had better prepared my portfolio...
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Old 03-06-2009, 11:51 AM   #31
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Dividends will continue. Just like in the Great Depression. You do own stocks that pay dividends, don't you?
I keep seeing stuff like this, finally have to butt in refute this (at least to a certain extent). According to Value Line data, the DOW stocks had $12.8 in dividends in 1929. This dropped to $11.1 in 1930, $8.4 in 1931, $4.6 in 1932, and $3.4 in 1933. It wasn't until 1949 when dividends on the dow stocks returned to 1929 levels. In percentage terms, almost three quarters (73.4%) of the dividends were lost by 1933.

I own lot's of dividend stocks, but please don't believe that the dividends are sacrosanct.

(In comparison, the dow stocks earnings went from $19.9 in 1929 to a low of -0.5 in 1932, while book value didn't have nearly the same drop... $91.3 in 1929, $80.5 in 1933.)
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Old 03-06-2009, 12:12 PM   #32
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Since 2/3 of Wellesley's holdings are bonds, I'm hopeful the impact of all the cuts to stock dividends will be small. The yield is still showing at 5.6+% and that is encouraging.
I did a quick analysis of Wellesley's stock portfolio. In the top 30 holdings, I see 5 companies that have cut dividends (all banks + GE), 15 companies that have maintained their dividends and 10 companies that have increased their dividends (whut?!?). If you take into account the great yields that can be found currently on corporate bonds, I think there is a good chance that Wellesley's dividend will remain substantial in the near future. But there is a risk if the economy worsens markedly and for a prolonged period of time.
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Old 03-06-2009, 02:44 PM   #33
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I think the one of the saddest things we humans face is the death of expectations. DH and I always dreamed that when we retired we would be able to winter far away from these awful northern winters. Some place warm and beautiful. I realize now that that will never happen. Oh, not that we couldn't manage a week or two here and there, but certainly not a whole winter. Now we will have to do more with less money like most of the people here.
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Old 03-06-2009, 03:05 PM   #34
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I keep seeing stuff like this, finally have to butt in refute this (at least to a certain extent). According to Value Line data, the DOW stocks had $12.8 in dividends in 1929. This dropped to $11.1 in 1930, $8.4 in 1931, $4.6 in 1932, and $3.4 in 1933. It wasn't until 1949 when dividends on the dow stocks returned to 1929 levels. In percentage terms, almost three quarters (73.4%) of the dividends were lost by 1933.

I own lot's of dividend stocks, but please don't believe that the dividends are sacrosanct.

(In comparison, the dow stocks earnings went from $19.9 in 1929 to a low of -0.5 in 1932, while book value didn't have nearly the same drop... $91.3 in 1929, $80.5 in 1933.)
Well, I feel much better about the situation having read the above...NOT!
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Old 03-06-2009, 03:27 PM   #35
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DH and I always dreamed that when we retired we would be able to winter far away from these awful northern winters. Some place warm and beautiful.
Well come on down to my neck of the woods...we could be neighbors! Very nice homes to be had without spending a lot of money.

It's warm, but not beautiful....unless you have a few Shiners; then the atmosphere can be quite lovely.
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Old 03-06-2009, 03:33 PM   #36
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...unless you have a few Shiners; then the atmosphere can be quite lovely.
And not only because your eyes are swollen shut...
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Old 03-06-2009, 03:41 PM   #37
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Thanks for the invite bbbam1! What do you mean by Shiners? Black eyes?
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Old 03-06-2009, 03:44 PM   #38
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This thread makes me want to re-read "The Road". It will seem uplifting ... (I do love Cormac McCarty and have read all of his books.)

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Old 03-06-2009, 03:45 PM   #39
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Thanks for the invite bbbam1! What do you mean by Shiners? Black eyes?
Beer. It's a Texas thang.
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Old 03-06-2009, 03:54 PM   #40
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