February 20, 2008

HousingPANIC Stupid Question of the Day


If you lost your job or source of income today, how long could you go before you'd have to break out the ramen?

Are you worried about losing your job in this housing-caused downturn?

65 comments:

Salt Lake Mortgage Guy said...

I learned long ago never to place all my eggs in one basket. If my day job goes bye-bye I have several alternate sources of income.

Dependent upon my spending, I could go several years based on my backup income and savings.

Anonymous said...

4-5 years.

Unless I cashed out the 401K. Then add 2 years.

But we can live pretty cheaply...

Anonymous said...

have 20 months left of a contract gig (for what that's worth). but incase it falls though, my housing cashout will last 5 years easy

Anonymous said...

About six months but I might break it out earlier to conserve cash.

I do not have concern over my employment.

Theodore said...

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I'm self-employed, but if my business ceased to be profitable, I would probably 'break out the ramen' immediately since I'm already accustomed to living below my means.

Ed said...

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I "lose" my job every few months as I'm an independent contractor. I have enough saved up that I could go 2-3 years without working and not even have to think about money.

I work with a lot of guys (and it's almost all guys) like me at the various clients. Same situation, same income. And yet it's amazing how we (contractors) are the highest paid people there, yet almost without fail, we drive the 10 year old Camry while the $50K a year employees drive Acuras and Infinitis. We bring our own lunches, while the rest is out blowing $10 for a sandwich at every day for lunch.

And yet it's the guy with the Lexus lease, ARM, $600 phone that complains about the lack of "AFFORDABLE" health care and will vote for Hillary/Obama to give him "FREE" health care. Hey pal, drive a Chevy, buy a $49 phone and bring a sandwich from home instead of spending $10 for one at Panera Bread and health care becomes a hell of a lot more affordable. But that is asking too much. A lot easier to demand government take care of you than make a sacrifice here and there.

Anonymous said...

many.. many.. years... unless inflation gets me...

Anonymous said...

Already lost mine with the bank I worked for. Had plenty of money saved, went 6 months on savings and no income to find the right job/career. It is not fun to burn any amount of savings though so always have a plan and a good network of contacts.

Anonymous said...

npr.org — Sometimes, walking away from your mortgage makes economic sense, especially for homeowners who find themselves "upside down" — that is, they owe more on their mortgage than their house is worth. In those cases, "voluntary foreclosures are not by themselves evidence of a newfound irresponsibility on Americans' part,"

Anonymous said...

You WILL be able to stay in your home for up to 8 months or more without having to pay anything to your lender!

me said...

1 week, happened already, I've learned to like reamen, I eat it three meals a day.

Anonymous said...

Worked for Toll Brothers for 8 years. I was laid off in January. It actually felt good.

The Bum said...

I've actually lost two jobs (with law firms in Miami) that I believe were pretty much the result of the real estate clients disappearing and/or not paying. I did not, fotunately, have to resort to Ramen, but it has certainly been stressful, if not downright terrifying. Just got a new job yesterday (after I finally got around to filing for unemployment), but I'll tell you, the job market in Miami right now is tough, tough, tough. I've got 25 years of experience, a great set of skills and have worked for some top law firms and I had a hard time just finding anyone who was hiring. And, yes, I accepted slightly less money than I had been making. It's not a seller's market for working folks these days either.

Anonymous said...

You need to RESET once in awhile! WTF?

Anonymous said...

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Oh, I don't know... Fifteen minutes or so. It's weird, I was middle class about four years ago, but the longer I stay in this job making 3% raises every year, the farther behind I fall. Weird.

straw man said...

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First?

If you lost your job...

What do you mean if? I can outlast the maggots baybee!

Quentin Daniels said...

With savings, I could probably last a year but that would include doing away with unnecessary luxuries such as cable, lawn-care, restaurants, vacation, etc.

borkafatty said...

Nope..I am positioned very well...I have my Anti-Crash kit already in place..I started preparing back in 05 when i found this blog...and have not looked back since.

Can goods and other shelf life foods..check

Cash...check.

Bottled water...check.

Batteries...check

Wood...check

Debt free....check.

yup bring it on.

Anonymous said...

I bought my home in 2001, didn't treat it as an investment (i.e. I didn't suck money out of it or sell it in 2005) and could pay it off today and live on a couple million I have stashed away. I did contemplate selling in 2005 and even listed my home for sale, but ultimately I decided that my home is where I live, not an investment.

Anonymous said...

I have a job but I still have to break out the Ramen. Dollar for Dollar it is the best food deal out there.

Anonymous said...

Yes, we're worried about job loss. We live in Seattle.

Stretch savings out to 9+ months before it would zero out, then hit the credit cards. If it came to deciding between being homeless and starving we'd tap the 401k's (what ever's left of 'em). Prob at least 1.5 years before being completely broke (and further indebted).

Otown Homeowner said...

About 6-8 years if my wife and I both lost our jobs didn't work.

Anonymous said...

I lost my job a while back but planned and saved for these days. (Enjoying the time off actually!).

As for breaking out the Ramen it depends on how far $1.5 million will go in this economy?
Minimal inflation 30 years. Hyperinflation, I don't think it would last 15.

Guess I could take out a few loans on my owned home if it got too bad.

Anonymous said...

I am moderately worried about my job due to the housing bubble induced recession and corresponding drop in the equity markets. I work in equity research. But I rent, very cheaply in Brooklyn and have close to 3 years of living expenses saved in cash, mutual funds and some stocks.

BubbleGirl said...

I could go 6 months with savings and my husband working but then I would have to get employment because I don't want to live off my husband, although it's tempting... ;)

Anonymous said...

Headline from CNBC:

Inflation Gathers Steam as Housing Slides Further

geekgrl said...

I have a year's salary in the bank now and live on 1/3 of my income. Assuming we never get a run on the bank, I probably live a 1 1/2 years unemployed before I start worrying.

Anonymous said...

These people could never afford their homes in the first place!

Quote:
Subprime loans defaulting even before resets
It turns out that massive interest rate spikes aren't the problem -- many borrowers couldn't afford these mortgages even at the low, introductory interest rates.

By Les Christie, CNNMoney.com staff writer
February 20 2008: 10:40 AM EST

Even after government relief, some homeowners still fear being squeezed out of their homes.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- For months, we've fretted about the Armageddon that will hit when subprime adjustable rate mortgages start resetting to much higher interest rates.

What's happening is even worse: Many of these loans are defaulting well before their rates increase.

Defaults for subprime loans issued in 2007 - none of which have reset yet - hit 11.2 percent in November. That represents perhaps 300,000 households, and is twice the default rate that 2006 loans had 10 months after being issued, according to Friedman, Billings Ramsey analyst Michael Youngblood.
...

http://tinyurl.com/2jse3p

rich in fl said...

It happened to me!

Arlene said...

I don't have a job to lose but if I were looking for one, I would definitely expect the competition to increase because of the unemployed former REIC'ers....all of whom, don't forget, once had other work to which they'll now want to return.

If the banks don't fail (big "if") and the stock market doesn't collapse (ditto), we'd be OK. For awhile.

I'd probably do preemptive ramen to make what's left last longer.

Anonymous said...

If I were to lose my job today I would go immediately to a Ramen/Mac n Cheese diet even though I could afford to eat better.

People get into trouble when they refuse to adjust their lifestyle to fit the new realities of their income.

Jymkata

pwnd said...

2 years, but I'd have to drain my 401K

Anonymous said...

Conservatively about 10 years, and no unfortunately I don't expect to loose my job (though I'd gladly take the severance and walk.)

Anonymous said...

Well, from the get go I would try to spend as little as possible and look for like employment here in DC Metro. If I did not find anything within that time, I would move to a lower cost area where I could probably live for a year off my savings. Oh, and I can do this because I am renting month to month.

DOPES said...

A BETTER QUESTION.

HOW LONG CAN YOU CONTINUE TO EAT YOUR RAMEN OFF OF GRANITE COUNTER TOPS???

DOPES!!!

Paul E. Math said...

I would break out the ramen immediately. Not because I had to but because it would be tough for me to assume I'll get another job quickly at the beginning of WDII (World Depression II).

I could live this way for about a year or so. Yes, I worry about it. Everyone should be worried unless they are already set for retirement and have a diversified portfolio of gold, commodities, blue chips and shorts.

I'm just not there yet.

Anonymous said...

ONE MONTH!

Anonymous said...

That's not a stupid question. This happens all the time. In California there is more of a Corporate Housing Crisis!

http://blog.bizzflip.com/bizzflipcom/2008/02/corporate-housi.html

MarkIFC said...

I'm a Mortgage Broker.
In Ohio-- one of the hard hit foreclosure States.
My income actually went up 10% in 2007 and so far YTD 2008 I am on par with 2007.
The thing is, I have built a respectable business over 19 years. I do no advertizing, no phone canvassing, no mailers, I work strictly from referrals from past customers and a few select Realtors.
I am actually seeing my business increase the last 2 years because all the slick schisters that jumped into the business for the "Gold Rush" are now departing. It was hard being an honest Loan Officer when all these newbies were telling borrowers whatever they wanted to hear and then ripping them off. Putting people into Option ARMs and other "toxic" loans. I'm proud to say I never did an Option ARM loan. All these new Mortgage Brokers would tell the Realtors anything they wanted to hear too and pay illegal kickbacks.
Now that times are tough and the Realtors need to make sure every deal counts, they are calling me again for my experience.
I have always believed that I am not working to make big money, but to make lots of referrals. When you get lots of referrals the big money will come.

Markus Arelius said...

A lot of remarks about Ramen Noodles on your blog, Keith, and frankly I'm concerned about the health of any and all Ramen eaters.

Do these people have any idea how much sodium is in just one pack of Beef flavored ramen noodles? 861 grams! Jesus, why not just buy a salt lick?

Talk about contributing to high-blood pressure and feeling bloated.....sort of like a bubble ready to pop! Oh God, the irony!

http://www.nutritiondata.com/facts-C00001-01c224h.html

Anonymous said...

never.

i'd buy a few live chickens to lay eggs and some seeds to grow.

a greenhouse would help too.

ramen... never.

Anonymous said...

i have 2 years of salary set aside in my emergency savings. I could cut back and make this last ~4 years if I had to. after that I would have to dip into other investments and I could get another 5+ years out of those. then I would need to go to my retirement savings.

Lady Di said...

2 years. Much longer if I deplete other sources of income or move to Greece.

However, I would immediately go into hunker down Ramen-eating mode. I've never understood the people that don't adjust their lifestyles when income sources dry up. To me, that is just plain stupid.

My job is fine right now, but anything can happen with this economic crisis. I am under no illusion here.

Anonymous said...

>> Nope..I am positioned very well...I have my Anti-Crash kit already in place..I started preparing back in 05 when i found this blog...and have not looked back since.

>>Can goods and other shelf life foods..check

>>Cash...check.

>>Bottled water...check.

>>Batteries...check

>>Wood...check

>>Debt free....check.

Tin foil hat and stack of porn...check

Believing I'm posting semi-anon and no one can find me and my stash...uh, that's how this anon interweb thingy works, right? Right? Right?

james said...

2.6 years, assuming 2000 in expenses per month.

Joe said...

Have not worked for 18 months and doing fine, thank you. It is amazing the flexability one has when you don't have the debt chain hanging on your neck.

BTW, I fixing ta git me one of dem dere new fangled 24" LCD computers monikers.

Frank@Scottsdale-Sucks.com said...

If it came to that I'd move back to Arizona or somewhere equally cheap like Nevada and then I'd be fine for a good 10+ years while maintaining my standard of living (well, except for the Arizona part... lol)

Anonymous said...

"""
Do these people have any idea how much sodium is in just one pack of Beef flavored ramen noodles? 861 grams! Jesus, why not just buy a salt lick
"""

Wow, over 1000% (by weight) salt. Must be tasty...

Happy Homedebtor said...

Forever - because education is the one investment around the world that never depreciates.

My contract ends in Oct or Feb, and my company will have paid for 2 certifications, an MS, and 60-90% of my MBA (depending on timing). So if they don't keep me, that's their problem. I'll go elsewhere and make more - *alot* more.

This lack of common sense/vision amongst pseudo-investors (see: gamblers) is why I'll always be fine wherever/whenever.

In all honesty, I'd love to lose my job temporarily because I would have total and complete leverage with my bank about my mortgage. Outside of our emergency fund, I'd never touch any savings/investments that are earmarked for retirement - those are gone until I retire, they don't exist.

Anonymous said...

Well, I already got a stock of Linguine so for me, it would be a higher quality pasta.

I suspect if I stick to that lean diet then I'd be able to survive for years between stints.

devestment said...

160 years

Anonymous said...

I don't think anyone knows because of the inflation factor. What you saved up the past seven years could be wiped out in one year or one month.

Anonymous said...

No mortgage, no debt, assets equal to 20 times my current early-six figure income, wife working, inheritance on the way, shit, I should quit!!!

Joe said...

If I lost my job and couldn't get another one? about two years. Add another two if I raided my 401K.

tater said...

I could probably last between 2 and three years. If inflation keeps ramping up, then it may cut closer to two years. I'd rather eat pine roots than Ramen noodles. Ramen noodles is REALTOR food. YUCK!

Anonymous said...

I retired in late 2004 when I sold all my properties in california to suckers. Sorry i had to say it. im now 50 and have really enjoyed the last 4 years. Im traveling to asia this year, going to visit some of my money hehe. I have to say that 46 really was too young to retire , you have to have something to do or you will end up going mad and spending your hard earned dough on stupid things.

One thing i learned is that retirement is a lot cheaper then working, you spend almost nothing if you dont travel a lot.

Also, not paying 20 to 30k in taxes a year is incredibly satisfying.

regards to all

Anonymous said...

ramen trivia lesson of the day.

ramen is a japanese term; derived from the chinese characters/kanji for "pulled noodles", in reference to the method of stretching the dough in traditional oriental noodle making. the korean term is "ra-myon" . in china they are referred to as "sushimian" (pronounced like soo sure myen) which means fast-eat-noodles. also in chinese "fangbianmian" (convenient noodles).

if you're not in the habit of washing your ramen pot, you get the added benefit of not needing to add the spice packet after awhile.

the japanese, bless their hearts, have taken ramen cooking to great heights. a japanese comedy movie, Tampopo, has a plot about dueling ramen restaurants.

Macaca

Anonymous said...

7 years back

Anonymous said...

all i gotta do is write...adneosine....adenosine ... and you will be back on the google search top 100 again and again......hows that for rag job.................. pity such misinformations! a..g...c... t..... thats all she wrote...

Anonymous said...

confuse the two in your quest for the electrochemical, electromagnetic cure for 90 percent of the diseases and a mechanical fountain of outh and cure via age reversals and cell order strengthening by spelling alone,.....adneosine, and google answer number one may say it all.......

Anonymous said...

stranger than fictions.......

Big Cheese said...

Depends on 2 factors:

1. Inflation

2. Bank failures

If inflation is a true 5% per year and no failures of where my money is then I'd be able to survive about 10+ years off savings. But I'd have to move back to the US & rent.

This is a depressing thread for me.

-BC

Anonymous said...

I have about 860,000 in mostly gold stocks, which I'm not selling. I could live quite nicely on 25,000 a year, and if it got that bad I'd likely just move into my parents basement with my girlfriend, they'd love to spend time with me, and I don't really have to save up anymore.

It's kind of nice to finally start to see the people living high on the hog suffering....I'm in the top 10% (or greater) of earners in my country, and I rarely eat out, drive an old vehicle, don't have a great wardrobe, rent an apartment. It's been depressing for the last 5+ years being able to see what is inevetable in our future and preparing for it to the best of my ability, all the time getting laughed at by my peers. So now when my predictions come true, I'm supposed to keep my mouth shut and show sympathy for people who are reaping what they sowed, even though they were told exactly what will happen to them.

Thank god for sites like this where people like this can (somewhat) communicate with each other, otherwise I swear I would have gone insane by now.

Anonymous said...

no luck storing food, i just eat more.....

Anonymous said...

Ditto except I have a lot less bank. My wife and I are probably top 2% household income for our area and age group. However, we look like poor schmucks driving vehicles costing less than $30k new and eating on formica countertops.

I look at my yearly tax statements and wonder how the hell everyone else lives so high on the hog...

Oh yeah, we save 15% of our incomes and don't pile on debt. In retrospect its stupid because once Obama is elected he is going to tax the beesjesus out of me. Too bad they don't realize that being part of the 1% connected class and actually have to work in a cubicle are miles apart.