It has become painfully clear that the sudden gut-wrenching drop of the economy is making it impossible for my husband, Ed, to get work. He was laid off, after 14 years with the same company, in October 2007 from his cabinetmaking job. He started up his own company, without any financial cushion, thanks to that layoff. Despite that, his business has done very well for the last 9 months. His clients are the usually-recession-proof wealthy of the Hamptons on Long Island.
But now that the bottom has suddenly dropped out of the stock market and many large banks and investment firms are failing, none of those people are clamoring to have custom work (new furniture or cabinetry, new kitchens, refurbishing of existing kitchens, etc.) done, or if they are wanting anything done, they want it done at half price, which Ed can't make any money on. We suspect some of them are now losing their high-paying jobs. It is now likely that we won't be able to make our November 1 mortgage payment, November 1 health insurance policy payment (through his company), his business loan payments, or several other payments.
I'm not a person to panic easily, but I'm fairly panicked now. I spent the weekend scrambling, with Ed, to find ways out of this problem. One thing we do know: Though my business is doing very well, it won't support a family of 4, plus his parents (who live in our house, have a fixed income, and pay us a small rent) and Ed's business expenses. He is out now looking for jobs, but no one's hiring in his field at the income level he needs to make. He'll likely end up with a Home Depot–type job, which won't begin to pay things off.
We'll talk to our accountant tomorrow (we hope; we've left a phone message for him) and to our banks (personal and business). We may end up pulling all of our funds out of our IRAs to give ourselves a temporary cushion.
I suspect that there aren't enough antidepressants in the world to ease the anxiety of everyone in the same position as Ed and me.
economy recession fear EditorMom