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It's not looking good for 2009


Benjamin

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A survey from Halifax, the country's biggest mortgage lender, showed house prices fell a record annual 16.2 percent last month.

Blimey a whole year passing in only one month, that certainly is a record [:)]

If it is a credit crunch why is it hurting me so much when I dont owe anything and dont want to borrow anything?

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The problem with all these press reports is that for the most part it is speculation. If you open the Daily Mail every morning then it would be very easy to become pretty depressed. I do not know anyone who has been hit by the "credit crunch" and for me 20008 was a very good and profitable year. I always look at my cup and find it half full not half empty. So lets have a bit of optimism for 2009.

Happy new year and may it bring happiness to you all.

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[quote user="JMB"]

 I do not know anyone who has been hit by the "credit crunch" and for me 20008 was a very good and profitable year.

[/quote]

Well there are plenty of us on here that have been severely hit through no fault of our own. If you haven't, well good luck to you.

It probably will be 20008 before it gets sorted though...........[:D][:D]

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[quote user="JMB"]

 If you open the Daily Mail every morning

[/quote]

I always think there's a bit of a difference between the Daily Wail and Reuters.

You may have had a good 2008 financially but for those of us whos' pips are starting to squeak it's best to be forewarned. If you have an idea of what's likely to happen then you  can make plans accordingly.

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[quote user="sweet 17"]

I agree about "making plans accordinly", Ben.

Only problem is, as the old wallet shrinks, the choices (and therefore plans) get somewhat restricted, don't you think?

[/quote]

I agree Sweets, wonder if JMB will let me have his old daily mails so I can keep warm.

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On a recent visit to Bournemouth we noticed that our old house ,sold 10 years ago and on the market again for the last year,has dropped in price from 425k -395k-375k and now 340k/? I think we sold it for about165k and I note the only improvement inside and out is a new garage door, about £300.When it gets back to that price it might be worth buying back, however I note the Council Tax is £1800 a year, I wonder how long it will be before it is in line with the drop in value or as I suspect,increased?

Regards.

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It appears to me that most of the problems for expats are that they have retired and moved to France with an inadequate income that is tied to a different currency. Over the 23 years I have lived in Europe I have seen some pretty wild currency swings and taken a few nasty knocks and had a few nice gains. If you choose to try to live in a country with a different currency to your income then you should allow a reasonably margin to allow for fluctuations. You have to learn to take the knocks, that’s one of the reasons I am glad we were made to box at school, and not adopt that very socialist attitude of blaming someone else and expecting to be rescued. So Bugsey you do carry some of the responsibility for your predicament so you have to find a way of dealing with it until the next cycle of a strong "great British pound" comes around. If indeed it ever does 

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One of the effects of the drop in the pound has been to put up prices for those on a sterling based income.

For example if the pound drops from being worth 1,50 to being near parity that is a drop of 30% (50/150)   but the effect is that prices rise by 50% (150/100)

A pension of £100 a week now brings only 100 euros instead of 150.

I would suggest that that is more than a 'reasonably' (sic I quote JMB's error) margin.

Whether a pension is 'adequate' depends on the lifestyle one chooses to lead.

Poor comfort is that the rise in prices will effect people living in the UK a bit later.

For the moment the same UK  pension pays the same UK  bills, but as the cost of European imports rise by 50% price rises are inevitable

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Could anyone have foreseen last years events? Obviously the Exchequer and the Banks mananged to keep all the problems quiet untill too late and I believe most at the top end seemed to have been bailed out. The general idea now seems to be to make anyone who has any capital to spend it as interest rates are now virtually nil. The only people unaffected are those living on benefits and those with pension schemes bolstered by the taxpayers.

I note with amazement that people seem prepared to spend fortunes watching football matches.

Regards.

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[quote user="JMB"]

 

It appears to me that most of the problems for expats are that they have retired and moved to France with an inadequate income that is tied to a different currency. Over the 23 years I have lived in Europe I have seen some pretty wild currency swings and taken a few nasty knocks and had a few nice gains. If you choose to try to live in a country with a different currency to your income then you should allow a reasonably margin to allow for fluctuations. You have to learn to take the knocks, that’s one of the reasons I am glad we were made to box at school, and not adopt that very socialist attitude of blaming someone else and expecting to be rescued. So Bugsey you do carry some of the responsibility for your predicament so you have to find a way of dealing with it until the next cycle of a strong "great British pound" comes around. If indeed it ever does 

[/quote]

[:D][:D][:D]

What a load of condescending twaddle............................[:@]

I, personally, have never asked for, or expected to be , in your words, rescued so I'm not sure how you have arrived at that conclusion. We will survive, as we have always done, by honest hard work and no handouts. That doesn't prevent me from expressing my views on the greed, cheating and corruption of the few, that has brought about this latest situation. The  "I'm alright jack" attitude you are trying (badly) to express would be quite funny if the situation many now find themselves wasn't so serious.

The day I really look forward to is the day when people, like you,  who sit in their ivory towers looking down on others, get their true comeuppance.

Have a nice day..............................

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[quote user="Bugsy"][quote user="JMB"]

 

It appears to me that most of the problems for expats are that they have retired and moved to France with an inadequate income that is tied to a different currency. Over the 23 years I have lived in Europe I have seen some pretty wild currency swings and taken a few nasty knocks and had a few nice gains. If you choose to try to live in a country with a different currency to your income then you should allow a reasonably margin to allow for fluctuations. You have to learn to take the knocks, that’s one of the reasons I am glad we were made to box at school, and not adopt that very socialist attitude of blaming someone else and expecting to be rescued. So Bugsey you do carry some of the responsibility for your predicament so you have to find a way of dealing with it until the next cycle of a strong "great British pound" comes around. If indeed it ever does 

[/quote]

[:D][:D][:D]

What a load of condescending twaddle............................[:@]

I, personally, have never asked for, or expected to be , in your words, rescued so I'm not sure how you have arrived at that conclusion. We will survive, as we have always done, by honest hard work and no handouts. That doesn't prevent me from expressing my views on the greed, cheating and corruption of the few, that has brought about this latest situation. The  "I'm alright jack" attitude you are trying (badly) to express would be quite funny if the situation many now find themselves wasn't so serious.

The day I really look forward to is the day when people, like you,  who sit in their ivory towers looking down on others, get their true comeuppance.

Have a nice day..............................


Honest hard work won't get you very far




[/quote]
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[quote user="NormanH"]One of the effects of the drop in the pound has been to put up prices for those on a sterling based income.
For example if the pound drops from being worth 1,50 to being near parity that is a drop of 30% (50/150)   but the effect is that prices rise by 50% (150/100)
A pension of £100 a week now brings only 100 euros instead of 150.

[/quote]

Norman, I was going to argue your maths as untill now I had told myself that things (mainly building materials for me) have risen by 50% with the fall in pound and the suppliers increases (which alone have been between 20 and 30%).

However you are absolutely right (150/50) which is really depressing. With that knowledge I have redone a few calcs that I have only recently done

A few examples of what I buy at todays prices now at 1.03 compared with the prices 3 years ago at 1.48

2005 1m3 sable riviere €35.32ht @€1.48 = £23.86, now €42.62ht @E1.03 = £41.37, net increase 73%

2005 35kg cement £4.66ht @€1.48 = £3.15, now €5.90 @€1.03 = £5.72, net increase 81%

2005 R48 montant €1.35ttc @1.35 = £1, now €2.80 (actually last years price) @€1.03 = £2.71, net increase 101%

I should also point out that these are basic materials (and for my investment in France essential) not luxuries where I have a choice, my builders merchant also raised all of his prices by 5% on the first of January.

As for food and drink:

Price of menu de jour in local brasserie up to €13 from €11, net increase 70%

Case of 24 demi's at Aldi up to €4.85 from €3.85, net increase 81%

And on a final depressing note my limited sterling income from my dwindling capital has reduced by half in the last 6 months not even taking into account the fall in the value of the pound, I darent factor that one into the above calcs [:(]

I no longer drink alcohol or eat out but must continue to buy building materials.

No complaints though it was a risk that I took and accept the consequences, in hindsight if I had realised that the £ was overly strong against the Euro I should have doubled again my already used up 100% contingency fund.

Still as Tony Blairs election anthem said "things can only get better..........."

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[quote user="Bugsy"][quote user="JMB"]It appears to me that most of the problems for expats are that they have retired and moved to France with an inadequate income that is tied to a different currency. Over the 23 years I have lived in Europe I have seen some pretty wild currency swings and taken a few nasty knocks and had a few nice gains. If you choose to try to live in a country with a different currency to your income then you should allow a reasonably margin to allow for fluctuations. You have to learn to take the knocks, that’s one of the reasons I am glad we were made to box at school, and not adopt that very socialist attitude of blaming someone else and expecting to be rescued. So Bugsey you do carry some of the responsibility for your predicament so you have to find a way of dealing with it until the next cycle of a strong "great British pound" comes around. If indeed it ever does [/quote]

[:D][:D][:D]

What a load of condescending twaddle............................[:@]

I, personally, have never asked for, or expected to be , in your words, rescued so I'm not sure how you have arrived at that conclusion. We will survive, as we have always done, by honest hard work and no handouts. That doesn't prevent me from expressing my views on the greed, cheating and corruption of the few, that has brought about this latest situation. The  "I'm alright jack" attitude you are trying (badly) to express would be quite funny if the situation many now find themselves wasn't so serious.

The day I really look forward to is the day when people, like you,  who sit in their ivory towers looking down on others, get their true comeuppance.

Have a nice day..............................

[/quote]

Come on now Bugsy!

Don't sugar coat it mate, you tell him straight!
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I agree with JMB.  A lot of those who have got themselves into a mess are those who have not considered worst case scenarios, cutting themselves too tight a margin, borrowing to their limits, living off paper equity and cheap finance /  fixed rate deals etc.  Having experienced the 15% interest rates, plummeting pound and redundancy in the past we learned the hard way.  The good times and parties don't last.  Economies are cyclical. 

How many posters on here have asked 'could we afford to move to France?' - and how many have replied 'depends how frugal you are'.

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What about those that work for their living?  Who have lost their jobs through redundancy, or face losing them due to fall in trade, how could that have been factored into the "worse case scenario"?

Or should we expect everyone to have enough cash stashed away to see them through to the end of their days, no matter what?

 

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[quote user="Scooby"]I agree with JMB.  A lot of those who have got themselves into a mess are those who have not considered worst case scenarios, cutting themselves too tight a margin, borrowing to their limits, living off paper equity and cheap finance /  fixed rate deals etc.  Having experienced the 15% interest rates, plummeting pound and redundancy in the past we learned the hard way.  The good times and parties don't last.  Economies are cyclical. 

.

[/quote]

Are you talking about people who live in France, having sold a house in the UK and bought mortgage-free in France?[8-)]

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[quote user="Cat"]

What about those that work for their living?  Who have lost their jobs through redundancy, or face losing them due to fall in trade, how could that have been factored into the "worse case scenario"?

Or should we expect everyone to have enough cash stashed away to see them through to the end of their days, no matter what?

[/quote]

There is such a thing as mortgage protection insurance - so yes.  Although both of us work, we have never taken on more debt / commitments than we could manage on one income.

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Bugs, Jonz, dear friends, don't waste your breath on the likes of such as these people.

Are they really now pretending that they themselves forsaw that the exchange rate would change this drastically, this quickly?  If they are then, not only are they superior beyond belief, they are also inveterate liars!

Not only that, exchange rate is one thing, the fall in interest rate on savings by about 50 - 80% is something else.  How many of us thought that the steady income from our savings (accumulated over a lifetime of "being careful" and putting something aside for a rainy day) would suddenly be zilch?

Who amongst you oh-so-clever-and-so-knowing sods could have even guessed that interest rates in the UK are heading for ZERO?

As for Scooby, I really object to your assuming that some of us never asked ourselves whether we could afford to move to France.  For your information and speaking purely just for the OH and myself, we did nothing but ask ourselves that very question for at least 5 years before moving over.  Also, I took on an extra job for 3 years and OH worked beyond his 75th birthday to be sure of building up a contingency fund for coming here.

Now, we're OK (at least for the moment) but who can tell how bad things might get?

It's offensive and downright nasty that some people on this thread are positively gloating at the very real worries and anxieties of others.[:@](And this is probably the first time ever in my months of posting that I have felt obliged to use this emoticon)

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No gloating, simply stating facts.  The exchange rate has only fallen drastically over the last few months, major spend can be deferred so the impact is on everyday expenditure.  If you have cut things so tight that you are already unable to cope then, sorry, you didn't do your sums well enough.

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Well, if you're "simply stating facts", you might consider doing it in a gentler tone.

And no, we haven't "cut thing so tight" that we are "already unable to cope" as you have so charmingly and directly put it.  On the contrary, I haven't yet had to change my lifestyle. Nonetheless, I dare say we will not be immune forever.

Also, I do have a thought for those who are genuinely suffering (whether it's "all their own fault" or not).  With that, my disagreement with you is over as I grudge the spending of this glorious afternoon in appealing to those that are so blind that they will not see.

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