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LinnieT

It could happen to anyone

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LinnieT    1

I have read almost 3/4 of this book and I am struck by the fact that what happened to this family could have happened to mine in 2008 when the market crashed.

My husband worked at an investment bank that went belly up.  Thank goodness that he was one of the 2 1/2% of employees that got to keep his job.

I have no idea what would have happened if he'd lost his job as it would have been his third job loss in six years. There's nothing scarier than having done really well on one's job and reached a pinnacle of success and then poof it's all gone. I know what it's like to wake up in the middle of the night and wonder how you are going to pay the bills after a job loss and after the paychecks stop coming. Most of us at that age are paying off college tuitions for our kids. At the age that my husband had his first layoff he thought he would have at least another 13 years left to work. Unfortunately at the age of 50 a lot of people in financial services get axed in order to make way for someone younger whose salary is quite a bit lower than someone who has worked 30 years.

I found this book very believable and frightening because it can and did happen to millions of people across the country. Some of those people never recovered from their losses and I cannot think how they were able to manage when they could not find another job.

And yes, I could have lived in a cabin and did whatever it took to survive. But I would have to say that we'd have made terrible farmers. My grandfather owned a farm and had chickens. I do remember going into the chicken coops to gather the eggs but that was over 60 years ago.

 

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CharleeM    3

I've just listened to the first chapter. What resonated with me is how they made decisions about their kids' education that they thought were good - ie they did their best at the time. How often don't we look back and see the things we should have done differently, now that we have the wisdom of hindsight. I have to remind myself that we did our best and forgive ourselves for the things we now see we should have done.

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LinnieT    1

I know how you feel.  I've been married for 47 years.  Both my girls are in their 40's with kids of their own.  I know that both my husband and I did the best that we could.  I have no regrets but I'm sure when they were young that I second guessed my decisions often.  

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Granny SNIS    2

Life has a way of grabbing hold of each of us.  Decisions that we make always seem to be second-guessed as we grow in experiences.  As in our author's book, some experiences are traumatic enough to freeze us in a repetitive cycle of denial, putting head down and pushing forward into daily life without concrete info to plan ahead.  Hindsight can give an illusion of 20/20 vision of what ifs, but one needs to be reminded that the past decisions are made by the information one had at the time not what one has now.

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Jayne P.    0

The only thing constant is change and it intrigues me how this couple addressed each challenge in their life through the twists and turns of raising children and approaching middle age with family losses.  I am reading chapter 7 and I am hoping that things turn around for this family!  I agree that hindsight can be 20/20 but emotions can derail us when making important life decisions.  Having a positive outlook while putting one foot in front of the other helps to get through tough times. 

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Granny SNIS    2

Thanks Jayne  I agree emotions do put filters on a;; things that happen in our lives that is why I called hindsight's 20/20 an illusion   This is a good read and so very human  

 

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It could happen to anyone. My family crashed when I got breast cancer (and we had medical insurance! Plus we went through all our savings). Cost of not being able to work again ... wow. Fortunately we paid our taxes. I had a hard time relating to main character. My concern was husband and kids; not me. Anyway we made it through the other side and our family is stronger than ever. 

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Michele    9

I appreciated her relationship with those who had come before her and how she wished she had paid more attention to her grandmother, asked her more questions. The role that seniors, the elderly, older adults play in our personal lives and the larger community is an issue we have not managed well. We are young countries in North America and have much to learn in this regard. In the European and Asian countries and countries such as India and Israel, the elderly are revered and are cared for by family. The wisdom of lived life experience is valued. The family extends beyond the immediate and the extended family celebrated.

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Judy Elam    1

So many of us are going through economic struggles because of taxes that can't be paid in order to live on the wages we are earning. This story is a "guide book" as to how to overcome the negative effects and flourish in some different and creative ways that let us continue to have " joy in the journey".

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SEC    2

Yes anyone can lose their job at any time that why responsible people live as much as possible within their means and save up for that possibility; the characters in the book didn't actually lose their jobs, but at the start of the book were quite happy spending more than they earned every month when they could have easily paid their taxes had they not wanted a big house or private school for their kids.  The sheer lack of common sense (i.e. live within your means...if it is possible to do so) really annoyed me.

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I agree financial devastation can happen to anyone - health problems, loss of job. However, an accountant who doesn’t pay his income taxes for three years and keeps it a secret from his wife is not excusable or understandable on any level to me. If I had been her I would have filed for divorce and moved back with her family. Instead, she tries to be a farmer although she finds all of it icky. Now, she is used to it. She seems whacky and flighty to me (not a crime, though) but he is a liar and completely untrustworthy. What else might he hide as things go bad?

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BethK    7

I'm with aPriL and SEC. Financial troubles can happen to anyone, yes, but tax troubles of this level, no.  I've done taxes for people for years--low income people who don't own country houses, or pay for private school, and probably don't buy craft beer--and when they owed back taxes, it was never like this. I was especially disappointed that McGaha's attitude toward paying the tax obligations was so blase, almost as if she and her husband didn't really owe all the money and wouldn't need to pay it.  As if it was the government's problem, not theirs. I was also disappointed that sometimes she seemed to feel like it was all her husband's doing and problem to fix. Unless he had her signing dummy returns that made her believe taxes were filed, she shares the blame for not making sure taxes were done right. It's not like she was a kid who had never filed taxes before. So much irresponsibility in this book. 

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