I know, I know, the economy is showing signs of life. Wake me up when it's dancing around the block! Until then, remember these words, reposted from last July, when the future looked especially bleak: 

Several once-comfortable, highly educated, high-salaried, middle-aged friends of mine were caught in today’s perfect storm of deep recession, real estate bust and offshore outsourcing. If you have followed their demise over time on Twitter, here’s what you might have read:  

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justcruisin
Late 50s, still fit, married 25 yrs, 2 grown kids, mortgage almost paid. Life is good!   

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

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

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Boss promises big raise this yr. Got 30-yr pin @employee recog dinner 2nite! 

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

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

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

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

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COBRA expired. Bought lousy insurance @$1,000/mo/pp! Don’t get sick! 

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Goodbye vacations, motorcycles, condos, golf, tennis, fun. Trying to stay hopeful.  

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How long can this go on?

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UI ran out. Took PT job at less than ½ usual pay, but working, at least.  

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Our neighborhood turned chic so taxes sky high. Home value tanked.  

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Taxed out of our house + underwater!  Can’t believe this is happening. 

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justcruisin
Almost 65, so going on Medicare. Never thought I’d really, really need it.   

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Finally old enuf for SS. Medicare $ taken from monthly check, thank god. 

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GOP rattling sabers over entitlements. Spouse worried

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Biggest fear: 75 yo + eating dog food. SS hasn’t kept up w/COLA. 

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

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Trying to look on bright side: more time w/kids, simple pleasures, etc. 

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

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justcruisin
Not what I expected for my “golden years” but will make do. Still healthy

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

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

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justcruisin
New grad landed job in Tokyo, other son transferred to Brazil. Spouse walked.

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