What the meltdown means to me, a married 25-year-old without a house

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Josh SmithEven though I don't have nearly as much to lose in my retirement account as my elders, the sad state of our economy has still had an effect on my life plans, but not all for the worse. I share many of the same concerns as they do regarding the strength of our economy and the overall health of our financial institutions but by virtue of my youth I see fewer immediate downsides and a silver lining inside the gloomy forecast.

Since we didn't get caught up in the fever of home ownership that swept America recently, my wife and I aren't in the position to lose our home because of the rising interest rates that many others were hit with. Even though we dodged the subprime bullet, one of my biggest concerns is that when we are ready to purchase a home in the near future we won't be able to get a mortgage with favorable terms thanks to constricting credit.

As far as retirement goes, I'm still socking away as much as I can in the hope that I make out well when the upswing happens, but I'm worried about being called upon some day to finance the retirement of my older coworkers as well as the remnants of the bailout package. Speaking of employment; I'm not losing sleep over my livelihood as a result of the current crisis because two of my three jobs are in higher education, an industry which I think will fare better than others.

While I am concerned that it may be harder to get a mortgage in the near future, the current housing slump means that we may be able to purchase a house sooner than we had anticipated. With sinking housing prices and several forms of government incentives, it's likely that we'll be able to purchase a home that fits both our needs and wants without overextending our reach.

All things considered, I'm concerned but not distressed by the current financial crisis. At 25 I have plenty of time to build my retirement savings and have multiple sources of income, none of which are attached to the banking industry. I have my worries about the financial well being of my older family members, the overall health of the economy, and the leadership of the country; but I am confident in myself and my generation's ability to cope with the current situation.
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