The credit crunch will hit all of us.

Even somebody in my position, who pays off their credit card each month and has had a zero balance for years. Even somebody in my position who has no mortgage, and has not a penny owing to anybody. Even somebody with a free travel card who lives two minutes from an underground station who has sold their car and therefore is at least £3,000 a year better off.

You may well ask, what is my problem? But I am a retired person, living on my pension. The petrol and food shortages mean that just about every vital item we need to purchase to keep body and soul together to exist, including gas and electricity, are rising at a phenomenal rate.

In addition, the government are printing money as if there was no tomorrow, and this is going to affect all our savings. Even as I write this, I am investigating a safe haven for my savings and investments. Certainly not America, and the only reason the Euro is strong is that their economic cycle is opposite that of the USA, Eire and the UK. Believe it or not, I am seriously looking to the Australia and New Zealand currencies. Even the South African Rand is rallying against the Dollar and Sterling. But that, I fear, is only because the northern currencies are depreciating at such a rapid rate.

My message here, to each and every one of you is, you will be affected and you must take steps to protect your household.

If I were working, for example, in a company with many employees and I expected a large cull of the workforce, I would let it be known to my boss that I would be prepared to take a salary reduction to help the company out until the hardships are behind us. Of course, there is no need to put a time scale on this as once the economy recovers, companies would be hiring again and you could always change jobs if the company were slow to increase your salary to the previous level. But in return you could negotiate perhaps a couple of hours off once a week, or a longer lunch hour. Or to go on flexitime. And you could always justify this by reminding your boss that there is no such thing as a free lunch.

Whatever we do, we must all plan, well in advance, whatever strategies we must put in place to survive. Keeping our present status quo is not important, survival is.


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