With the holidays upon us and our country still facing a challenging economic crisis, many families are struggling with how to balance celebrating and spending without disappointing their children.
From news stories to Facebook postings, families are expressing clear concern for how to celebrate this year, what to buy for their kids and how much money to spend. They want to be honest with their kids yet shelter them from their adult financial concerns at the same time. Moreover, they feel guilty because this year was supposed to be different because last year they had the same stresses and concerns. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Dr Gwenn Is In*
I was traveling on an Amtrak train to a dinner meeting in Philadelphia. Two portly business men wedged in next to me and had an animated conversation about which companies do well despite a down economy. Hereâ€™s how the conversation went:
Businessman #1: You know, Iâ€™ve taken such a beating on the stock market, I just donâ€™t know where to put my money to protect it and grow it. But I was thinking – one thingâ€™s for sure â€“ lots of people are going to continue dying despite the recession.
Businessman #2: So what kind of business insight is that?
Businessman #1: Funeral Homes, dummy. Thatâ€™s where the action is. People still have to cremate or bury their loved ones, even in tough economic times.
Businessman #2: Nah, thatâ€™s not really scalable. I mean, you canâ€™t save on costs with more volume. Itâ€™s fixed â€“ a coffin costs what it costs. What you should really get into is Assisted Living facilities. Now THATâ€™s a growth market.
Businessman #1: No way, people canâ€™t afford to pay for assisted living after the market crash. Their savings wonâ€™t last long enough to make it worth my while to take them in. Then when it runs out, what can I do? You canâ€™t put them out on the street so youâ€™re stuck with them till they die.
Businessman #2: You donâ€™t have to be stuck with them, when their cash runs out you can transfer them to a lower quality facility. Then Medicare will pay for it.