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I know several once-comfortable, highly educated, highly salaried, middle-aged folks who are caught in today’s perfect storm of deep recession, real estate bust and offshore outsourcing. If you follow their demise over time on Twitter, here’s what you might read:

1.     Fit and 55, married 25 yrs, 2 grown kids, mortgage almost paid. Life is good! 

2.     Will work another 10 years, then semi-retire to sunny condo life.  Ahhh!  

3.     Lost 1/3 of IRA on Wall St but can recoup over time. Must be careful w/$.

4.     Boss promises big raise this yr. Got 30-yr pin @employee recog dinner tonite.

5.     Important project at work so cancelled vacation, but big $$$ ahead.   

6.     This just in: Company lost contract/was sold/went bankrupt. Job went pffft! 

7.     How can I compete for work against 30-somethings w/0 mouths 2 feed? 

8.     Signed up for unemployment today. Job prospects still dim. Spouse blue.  

9.     COBRA gone so bought lousy health ins @$1,000/mo/pp! Don’t get sick!

10.   No more vacations, motorcycles, condos, tennis, dining out but still hopeful.

11    Our neighborhood turned chic so taxes sky high. Still, home value dropped.  

12    Taxed out of my home + underwater!  Can’t believe this is happening.

13.   Took early SS at reduced rate. Stuck w/lower checks 4 life, but need it now.  

14.   1 yr on SS, so can go on Medicare. $ will be taken from SS check, thank god.

15.   GOP rattling sabres over “entitlements.” Spouse worried.

16.   Biggest fear: 75 yo + eating dog food. Please, let SS keep up w/COLA! 

17.   Is all of this just a bad dream? Can I wake up now? 

18.   Look on bright side: more time w/kids, etc.  Spouse miserable.  

19.   Took kids/grandkids 4 pizza + walk. Learning 2 love Monopoly.    

20.   Not what I had in mind 4 “golden years” but will adjust. Still healthy.  

21.   Thank goodness, college kid will finish + married kid got great job nearby.

22.   Kid graduated but NO jobs. He’s stuck w/huge college loan. I’m stuck w/him.

23.   New grad lands Tokyo job, other one transferred to Brazil. Spouse walked. 

24.   I’m looking for a little space on a passing ice floe.