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: Recession? What recession.  ( 6307 )
kodydog
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« : July 15, 2012, 09:04:43 AM »

3 years ago my wife and I looked at our finances and decided we needed to do something. We were slipping backwards as far as income and building our nest egg.

We tried several things such as building a website and selling restored furniture with some success. We attended several antique shows and met hundreds of potential customers with some success. We bought a house in St Augustine and expanded our business there. I tried working for several different upholsterers but it just didn't work out.

Two months ago I was contacted by a former employer and good friend. His upholsterer was retiring and he needed help. I started working part time but the hours have gradually increased to where last week I worked 44 hours. I've been flat out busting it and they reciprocate with good pay and bonuses.

Two weeks ago I about worked myself out of a job and they weren't sure where the next piece of furniture would come from. I told them if they want me to keep making money for them they need to sell the jobs and get some furniture to do. They did. Their now stacked to the rafters with work ready to do. (Law of attraction? Maybe)

Their well established and have a showroom with about 500 bolts of fabric. I've been sending all my customers there to buy fabric.

At the same time my wife got a part time job bookkeeping for a veterinarian. We still work weekends for our treasured customers. So basically working 7 days a week. And if everything goes as planed we will have one of the best years in about 5 years.

I think what helped the most was changing our attitude from everything is the economy and governments fault to one of screw the economy were going to figure out a way to dig ourselves out of this hole. And no were not making gobs of money but its a start. It sure feels good.
« : July 15, 2012, 04:33:45 PM kodydog »

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
http://northfloridachair.com/index.html
JuneC
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« #1 : July 15, 2012, 09:32:37 AM »

You know, I think the negative news about the recession is a self-fulfilling prophesy.  Bad news makes people stop spending which begets more bad news.  I live in foreclosure central, and hopefully people have learned a lesson about spending more than they can afford, but the signs are everywhere that it's getting better.  Just yesterday the project manager who's handling the resurfacing of our pool says they're slammed.  They've never been so busy and not all repair work like ours.   

June

"Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people."

     W. C. Fields
byhammerandhand
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"By hammer and hand, all arts do stand."


« #2 : July 15, 2012, 10:48:26 AM »

I get depressed when I drive around town and see all the empty commercial property.   Storefronts, restaurants, and 40000 sq.ft. factory/warehouses.  There was a high end furniture store just down the street that closed.   The building was occupied for about 5 years, then sat vacant for five years.  Finally tore it down and put up a new bank building.  Right next door was one of my first customers that closed that store and that property sat vacant for three years looking for a new tenant.  Just another step down the street was a fitness center that closed, remodeled as office space and still sitting vacant.  Another quarter mile down the road is a car dealership that's been sitting empty for five or six years.

Keith

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." Thomas A. Edison
sofadoc
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All types of upholstery.....except cars and boats.


« #3 : July 15, 2012, 12:02:33 PM »

Around here, there are a lot of buildings occupied that were empty 5 years ago. But it may not necessarily translate into a better economy. I think our society is at a crossroad. Businesses that were viable in the past aren't viable anymore. Circle of life.

My income peaked about 15 years ago. After that, it declined a little, and has been holding steady ever since. Mostly because I don't work as hard as I used to. 40 hours per week is plenty for me.  Unlike the 60-70 I used to put in just to make ends meet.
My spare time is consumed by spoiling my 8 year old step-grandson, and my new 15 month old grandson. Soccer, baseball, swimming lessons, and frequent trips to the game store for the latest Nintendo offerings.

My wife's job takes care of the insurance, nest egg, and a nice vacation every year. My kids are grown, and are doing better in their early 20's than I was doing in my early 40's.

I don't work faster anymore, just smarter. I pick and choose my jobs, as well as my customers. And I make easy money fixing cheap crap for local furniture stores.

If there is, or was a recession.....I missed it.   

"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
kodydog
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North Central Florida


« #4 : July 15, 2012, 05:59:51 PM »

I pity those who live in one of these states.
http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20483493,00.html
And if you do live in one and can't find a job my advice is to get the heck out.

I think the recession weeded out the businesses that were barley making it anyway. Maybe even mine. A correction of sorts. I have a cousin who lives in Michigan. One of the hardest hit states. Hes a CAD operator for an architect. They cut his hours in half. He can't find another job doing the same thing and wont work a second part time job to make up for his loss. Time to move to another state cuz. Look up CAD operators on a job search and find lots of companies hiring.

The K-Mart in Live Oak took a hit during their downsizing. The owners split the building into 4 stores. It took several years but now has 4 thriving businesses. We went to a Toyota dealership in Lake City last weekend. They were so busy we had a hard time finding a salesperson to help us.

Sofa I will be in your situation in 2 years. Working 40/week and taking weekends off. Something I haven't done since I was 30 years old. Can't wait.

The way I look at it is you can either stew in your misery or you can pull up your britches and do something about your situation. I hear Texas and some other states barely felt the recession. My prediction is Florida is going to come back stronger than ever.
« : July 16, 2012, 06:11:31 AM kodydog »

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
http://northfloridachair.com/index.html
Mojo
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I'm Always In Trouble


« #5 : July 15, 2012, 06:37:14 PM »

I guess I am a bit of a nut case. Hell I never said I was right in the head anyways.

I do not have to work as I have already had my career, put in my time and walked out with an OK pension. Nothing big but enough to get by on. I also walked out with health and dental insurance for life as part of my retirement package. My wife makes decent money as a Math teacher at a private catholic high school, not nearly what she could make in public schools, but she does OK and is extremely happy with her position.

So why do I work ? Some may not understand and others may think I have completely lost it but I am afraid that if I quit working and take it easy the demons of this disease will catch up and take me away. Seriously I have a phobia that if I start enjoying retirement I will die.

I have been a workaholic since I was a kid. That continued throughout my adult life where I always held down a minimum of 2 jobs. It drives my wife and kids nuts and it drives my friends bat sh** crazy. All of them are on me all the time about slowing down and start pursuing hobbies. A few have even suggested I need to seek professional help to get over my fears.

I guess as long as I am happy then what the heck. For the most part I am happy when I am in my Up Shop. Is that not what life is all about ? Being happy ?

Chris
Mike
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Marine canvas & upholstery SWFL


« #6 : July 15, 2012, 11:43:08 PM »

I took a trip down to Naples  florida today and was surprised st the new construction insaw yes it is a ritzy town but insaw two large condo buildings one strip mall expanding and a new gated home development.

bobbin
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« #7 : July 16, 2012, 04:56:26 AM »

Interesting observations from the Sunshine State.  Things have been chugging along here, too.  I know my brother was slammed in '08, lost a very good job and really struggled for a solid year and a half (MA).  We "trimmed the sails" here and kept strict control over household expenses but there is no way we'll ever be able to recoup the losses to our retirement savings incurred by the unbridled greed of Wall St. (but no need to reinstate any regulations there!).  We no longer have any health insurance; sadly, the choice is between retirement savings or health insurance since there is no "golden parachute" for either of us. 

Here, I still see boatowners whose boats are still unsold and remain on the hard for want of disposable income.  Others remain relatively untouched (deep portfolios are useful PFDs).  We do a lot of repair work on canvas that is marginal and may've been replaced before the '08 crash and it was the repair work that kept me working, although my hours were cut significantly in the winter mos. (hence my move to get more coming to my own shop and caution in "rocking the boat" too much at work). 

sofadoc
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All types of upholstery.....except cars and boats.


« #8 : July 16, 2012, 09:58:30 AM »

We no longer have any health insurance; sadly, the choice is between retirement savings or health insurance since there is no "golden parachute" for either of us.
The whole insurance thing is such a "double edged sword".
On one hand, like we've recently discussed, doctors tend to overtreat when they see a big fat health plan on your chart. On the other hand, if they don't see any insurance, they just throw a worthless bottle of pills at you and send you on your way.
People who DO have some nice medical coverage tend to run to the doctor for every little sniffle just to assure that they're getting their money's worth. All those little sniffles raise the rates for everyone else.

My wife and I raised 2 kids with no insurance. She started having thyroid and gall bladder problems in her 40's, so she stopped helping me at the shop and got a job with health coverage. 2 surgeries would've financially devastated us had we not had insurance.
And that's if we could've even found a doc to do the surgeries without the money up front.

Insurance coverage will never pay for itself, unless you have a catastrophic illness. And if that happens, the hospital is going to get what little money you have left anyway.

The best health plan is "Don't get sick".

"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
JuneC
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« #9 : July 16, 2012, 10:16:26 AM »

What's happening on the SE coast of Florida is big-time foreign investment.  The wealthy Europeans and Asians are buying up the bargains.  Like this one...

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/business/real-estate/investors-from-norway-sweden-find-bargains-is-so-1/nPMf7/

Cash for 31 condo's?  Must be nice.  There's a fair bit of trickle-down into the general economy and that has softened the blow in this area. 

June

"Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people."

     W. C. Fields
kodydog
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North Central Florida


« #10 : July 16, 2012, 12:00:14 PM »

We "trimmed the sails" here and kept strict control over household expenses but there is no way we'll ever be able to recoup the losses to our retirement savings incurred by the unbridled greed of Wall St.

Wall Street like the government is constantly evolving. They will either have to fix their mess or they will go away. Who's going to invest in an entity that treats their customers so badly. We pulled some money out last year to invest in real estate. Some would say that is foolish. But after looking at Junes link I feel pretty good.

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
http://northfloridachair.com/index.html
bobbin
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« #11 : July 16, 2012, 05:52:58 PM »

Believe that if it makes you feel better, Kody..  But the reality is that commercial banking is out of control and has nearly driven the world economy off the rails.  It took 10 yrs. to bring about the crash that has cost average homeowners roughly 40% of their "wealth".  I have to wonder if you've followed the LIBOR issue now come to light in Great Britain? follow the money and you wind up at the same huge commercial banks that we, the taxpayers, bailed out. 

I well understand the foolishness of over-regulation, but when the Tea Baggers want to do away with SS and Medicare and tell us to "trust" that de-regulation and "free markets" will fix everything... sorry! I'm not buyin' it!  Not when they promise we'll be able to"invest" for our retirement in Wall St.(with the promise of greater returns!) at the same time the big boys on K St. (who are "investing" our hard-earned retirement money!) keep pumping undisclosed PAC money into their campaigns.   Buy that BS line if you want, I'm not!

No investment bank will ever go out of business and neither will a health insurance company.  Interesting that the people buying blocks of bankrupt condos are all from countries with strict banking laws and universal health care, huh?!
I don't think the "s" word is a bad word.  Frankly? since I'm picking up the tab for the worldwide police force I'd like some of the goodies they enjoy because they don't have to pour their taxdollars down the piss hole of our "military industrial complex"!
kodydog
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North Central Florida


« #12 : July 16, 2012, 08:54:12 PM »

follow the money and you wind up at the same huge commercial banks that we, the taxpayers, bailed out.  

I agree. We should have never bailed out the banks when Bush was President and should not have bailed the auto industry under Obama. Let them stand on their own. That's what capitalism is all about.

I well understand the foolishness of over-regulation, but when the Tea Baggers want to do away with SS and Medicare and tell us to "trust" that de-regulation and "free markets" will fix everything... sorry! I'm not buyin' it!  

I also disagree that we should do away with SS and Medicare altogether. Some people truly need it. But why does it have to be all in or all out. A lot of people don't need it. What burns my cork is paying 14% into the SS "investment" that, by the time I retire, will have a 0% return.

No investment bank will ever go out of business and neither will a health insurance company.  

Not as long as we keep electing the same yahoos we have been for the last 40 60 years.

I still stand by my belief that anyone can accumulate wealth in any economy under any government.

When the Dow Jones was rising to near 14000 economists were warning it cant last. And it didn't. And people lost money.

When housing prices were spiraling up real estate gurus were warning the bubble will not last. And it didn't. And people lost money.

Now gold is higher than it has ever been and everybody is screaming, buy more. Not me. Keep a balanced conservative portfolio and in the end you will be ahead.
« : July 17, 2012, 04:32:02 AM kodydog »

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
http://northfloridachair.com/index.html
Mojo
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I'm Always In Trouble


« #13 : July 17, 2012, 06:04:05 AM »

We can look to Canada to see if regulating the banks works. During our crisis and subsequent failures Canada who only has a few large banks and which are tightly regulated never failed. No economic crisis and no bank bailouts.

The entire problem with our society is greed. The fat cats on Wall St who buy their prostitutes ( politicians ) in DC actually run this country. So do other major investors and corporations. We the People no longer have a say. They spoon feed us BS, divide and conquer us through party politics and while we are fighting among ourselves these bandits do what they want.

I had someone ask me recently if I was a Republican or Democrat. I told them I am neither and would be ashamed to wear either title. There is no longer any pride in belonging to these parties as both have turned our country into one major train wreck.

Here is a quick video for ya'll : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4r7hIWln7Q

Pretty much sums up my feelings.

Chris
sofadoc
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All types of upholstery.....except cars and boats.


« #14 : July 17, 2012, 07:23:06 AM »

I had someone ask me recently if I was a Republican or Democrat. I told them I am neither and would be ashamed to wear either title.
It really makes my ass tired when I see people get so-o-o-o worked up over one party or the other.
When a Republican and a Democrat square off in a debate, whatever one candidate says about an issue, the other one has to take the complete opposite point of view. Just once I'd like to hear one of them say "Ditto what he said".

My favorite political commercial was Bush vrs. Dukakis. It had a split-screen pic of them. They did a freeze-frame of Dukakis with his eyes in mid-blink in order to produce the seediest possible image. While the pic of Bush looked like a glamor shot. He even had a heavenly glow behind him. People actually fall for crap like that.
It's got to the point where I try to pick the candidate that insults my intelligence the least.

"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
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