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Don't Get Caught with Your Skirt Down: A Practical Girl's Recession Guide Paperback – December 30, 2008
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About the Author
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
What the hell is going on? The housing market is in free fall. Grocery bills are through the roof. It costs me $70 to fill up my car's gas tank. I just witnessed a gas station attendant get bawled out by a caffeinejolted, stressed-out soccer dad. And is it me, or did the price of salmon just double?
Welcome to our new economy! This is not a test, and no, it's not going to go away anytime soon. It's time to hunker down, get smart, and make some decisions about the bumpy road ahead. Leave your fear at the door and join me in meeting the challenges of this recession, thriving, and coming out ahead. After reading this book, you will be a full-fledged "Recessionista," capable of withstanding any challenge this recession throws your way.
Yes, indeed, for most people, economics ranks up there with watching paint dry. But voluntary ignorance of it would be like not knowing how you get pregnant. Not smart. In either scenario, you end up frazzled and sleep deprived, with a crippling addiction to peanut butter.
- We could be headed into a situation worse than the Great Depression.
- Your expenses will be going up as inflation does. Don't like last week's $200 grocery bill? How about $1,000 per week? Yes, it can happen.
- Those who are unaware or ignorant of the impending economic collapse will likely face a huge downgrade in lifestyle. Think SoHo to HoBo.
- Those who inform themselves, plan, and adapt have an excellent chance of maintaining or improving their standard of living, avoiding loss of wealth, and even increasing their wealth.
Ladies, even if the man in your life (your husband, dad, boyfriend, brother, or boy toy) is rich, kind, and generous, you cannot assume that your financial destiny will be handled well. When it comes down to it, you are in charge of your money and your financial future. Nobody is going to take care of this for you.
- Only 52% of married people will reach their fifteenth anniversary.
- Only 61.4% of divorced single mothers are awarded child support.
- Of the single mothers who are awarded child support, nearly 53% do not receive the full payments that are due to them.
- Estimates vary, but women typically experience a 27% to 45% reduction in standard of living, and sometimes poverty, immediately following divorce; whereas men increase their standard of living by up to 15% following divorce.
Now, before you start squawking about how you and Mr. Wonderful will be married forever, consider the following:
- The average widow outlives her spouse by fourteen years.
- 80% of women outlive their spouses.
- The average age of a widow is 56.
- Widows are three times more likely to live in poverty than married women of the same age. And most (80%) of the impoverished women were not living in poverty when their husband was alive.
Make no mistake about it -- money is critical to your well-being. Cash might be cold comfort during tumultuous times, but it's certainly better than zero comfort. Money plays a crucial role in having a great life and achieving your goals.
Unemployment since March 2007 has gone up more rapidly for women than for men. In the same period, women have seen a sixfold wage decrease as compared to men and are 32% more likely to have a subprime mortgage, thus putting women at a disproportionately higher risk of foreclosure. To add insult to injury, women still earn only 77 cents for every dollar a man makes, and have significantly less in savings to fall back on.
Recessions arrive with their own rules affecting your money. Don't expect your financial adviser to be an economist. They are two very different things. You don't expect your gardener also to be your hairstylist, right?
Keep in mind that financial advisers are the street peddlers of money market accounts, mutual funds, and retirement accounts. They get paid regardless of what the economy is doing, so they'll do exactly what they've always done. They will undoubtedly advise you to follow the same rules they always preach: diversify and sit tight, because the market "always rebounds." As you watch your net worth wither away, they'll be touting the same story, patting your hand, and telling you that everything will be all right.
Since 2006, the inside players on the U.S. economy and political scene (for example, George Soros, Dick Cheney, and Jim Rogers) have been investing their assets overseas and removing/ selling assets tied to the United States. They saw the writing on the wall and they don't want their wealth to evaporate. Even George W. Bush bought a 100,000-acre ranch in Paraguay. Of course, Paraguay doesn't have an extradition treaty with the U.S.... hmmm.
Are you one of those doubters who believe that America is not already in, or going into, a recession? On the surface, it might not seem as if we are in any serious trouble yet. But take a lesson from history -- the stock market crashed in 1929, but Main Street didn't feel the full wrath of the Great Depression until 1931. Right now, the canaries in the coal mine are dying. As of October 2008:
- U.S. home prices are down 19.5% from peak and still falling (the U.S. real estate market peaked in 1927 prior to the Great Depression).
- U.S. auto sales are down 40% in one year (Ford and GM are on bankruptcy watch).
- Inflation is at a thirty-year high.
- U.S. dollar value is collapsing.
- Unemployment is at a seven-year high and up 159,000 lost jobs in September 2008 alone.
- Personal bankruptcies are at record highs.
- Home foreclosures are at record highs, and rising.
- Several international banks are warning their clients of a U.S. market collapse.
- Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the underpinning of more than 50% of the U.S. mortgage market, have been taken over by the government.
- Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy and Wachovia and Washington Mutual were forced to be acquired for pennies.
- Foreign retailers are refusing to accept U.S. dollars.
- The Dow Jones is down more than 25% from its October 2007 peak.
Being aware of the rules of the recession and planning accordingly might mean the difference between barely making it and thriving. Erasing your debt and growing your wealth during a weak economy can even set you up for major wealth later on, once the storm has passed. Yes, it's true, you might be financially better off after a major recession or depression than you are now.
So join us in implementing practical steps to protecting yourself and even coming out ahead -- some cases, way ahead.
Copyright © 2008 by Jill B. Keto --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Don't Get Caught With Your Skirt Down: A Practical Girl's Recession Guide is a mini-textbook to understanding the recession of the 2000's. This newly released financial guide was written with her husband as a contributor. Jill Keto is an entrepreneur and mechanical engineer - it is her husband who is the Harvard Business School graduate. This book proves to be a combination of Jill's been there and lived through it writing style and Dan's financial prospective.
If you're looking for a financial thesis on surviving the recession, this isn't it. If you're interested in understanding something about the current economy and what you can do as a woman to survive and maybe even thrive, then Don't Get Caught With Your Skirt Down is a book you'll want to read. The author has aimed her book squarely at today's women - probably women twenty to sixty.
The premise of the book is learning how to understand the current state of the world economy and its affect on you personally and professionally. Over half the book is an economics lesson. It covers how we all got ourselves into this economic mess, why we are going to be here for a while and how to proactively help ourselves out. The author has both economic and practical real-world tips to share.
The main lessons I came across were:
1. Be proactive with your finances - learn to handle your own money
2. Learn to understand the economics of recession and how it affects your life personally and professionally
3.Read more ›
Her message is: during a recession, it is not business as usual. It's time to foritfy your defenses.
I would call this a survival book. Jill explains in the introduction where the idea came from for the book. She and her economist husband explain what a recession is and how we got here in the first 45 pages. It's not a dry explanation either.
The second part of the book talks about managing expenses, paying down debt, and even starting a sideline business - especially in times of high unemployment. There is more "why-to" than "how-to" in regards to paying down debt. But, I think that's what makes the book timely. For a more detailed plan for paying down your credit cards, check out Mary Hunt's Debtproof Living. A nice companion volume to Don't Get Caught is the Your Money Or Your Life by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez which has been updated for the 21st century.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I've read lots of books on downsizing, un-cluttering, homesteading, and adapting to the new economy. Read morePublished on September 7, 2011 by Trudie
This book is so dreadful that one scarcely knows where to begin. I'd say about half the actual economic advice is outdated our outright wrong, and much of the rest is misleading. Read morePublished on March 14, 2009 by another reader
The book offers some interesting things to think about, like easy-to-understand explanations of economic realities of today.
The advice is nothing new though. Read more
What is very odd about this book is the author's counsel that married women should be, as she is, worried about losing their husbands. Read morePublished on March 2, 2009 by tumblingwater
I bought this book hoping to get some practical tips since it's called "A Practical Girl's Guide to the Recession". Read morePublished on February 24, 2009 by Sally Foster
This is an incredibly valuable book both in terms of understanding the big picture economics of what's going on and with respect to very practical, immediate, useful advice. Read morePublished on February 12, 2009 by T. Rosenblatt
Jill Keto's book was a timely and hotly discussed topic for my Seattle-based book group. As a diverse group of women, we are managing through the book's themes on a daily basis... Read morePublished on January 13, 2009 by C. Kelly