The secret of the grace period
Have you ever been late on a house payment? Boy, I have and was so grateful for the mortgage company’s grace period. If I miss my payment on the first of the month, I have until the 15th to make my payment without paying a penalty.
I love the concept. Grace period. It’s that little bit of time past a deadline in which you aren’t punished for your forgetfulness, foolishness, or empty wallet. You have a little more time to make the payment, get the money together, or just gather your wits.
In a recent interview with the Outback Doc, he made a passing comment that we are living in a grace period. I couldn’t agree more. A Day of Reckoning is coming, but until then, we can prepare, prepare, prepare and do our best to mitigate the impact that Day will have on ourselves and our families. How do I know that day is coming? Consider these stats:
- During 2011, U.S. debt surpassed by 100% our GDP (Gross Domestic Product) for the first time ever in history.
- The unemployment rate for young people is downright depressing. Depending on where you live, it’s more than 20% and in some places as high as 33%.
- The poverty level in the suburbs has climbed:
In the wake of the Great Recession, poverty rolls are rising at a more rapid pace in the suburbs than in cities or rural communities. Between 2000 and 2010, the number of suburban households below the poverty line increased by 53 percent, compared to a 23 percent increase in poor households in urban areas, according to a Brookings Institution analysis of census data.
- The official unemployment number in the U.S. hasn’t been below 9% since 2009, and unofficial numbers say it is now well over 15% since the official number relies on how many people are receiving unemployment benefits. This article states that most of those who are unemployed are no longer eligible for benefits.
But the best indicator of what is happening with our economy is your own observations. What do you see in your part of the country? Are you seeing “Help Wanted” signs everywhere and full sections of jobs available in the classifieds? Are new businesses and restaurants opening or do you see one after the other closing their doors? What is the vacancy rate in the strip malls that you drive by every day? Are families dropping out of costly extracurricular activities for their kids or is business booming for music teachers, dance studios, and tutors?
It’s not a hurricane, earthquake, tsunami, or blizzard that will take down the United States. It’s the oncoming and irreversible economic disaster, the likes of which have never been seen. So, until that Day comes, we’re enjoying a period of grace, to prepare or not. It’s our choice, and our blessing.
It is urgent, so very urgent, that we utilize this period of grace to prepare. No one knows exactly what the penalty will be, except that it will be unlike anything we have ever known before. Even in the tightest of times, I’ve never had to go out to local parks and look for dandelions to pick, cook, and serve to my family because there was no food in the house. Since the unknown remains unknown (imagine that!), we just prepare. Stock up on things you know are vital to survival, such as food, medicine, water, good quality tools, fuel, seeds, and even clothing. Learn how to make things, fix things, and do things that will help your family survive. Consider your safety when most of the people around you have nothing and will do anything to get what they need. How might you actually earn money during a time like this?
And be grateful. Give thanks to God if you’re a person of faith, for this period of grace because when it’s over, it’s over.
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