How has the financial crisis affected you?
The Local · 29 Oct 2008, 17:44
Published: 29 Oct 2008 17:44 GMT+01:00
- Parliament passes trillion kronor plan (29 Oct 08)
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- Eight in ten Swedes feel effects of crisis (10 Oct 08)
How has the financial crisis affected you?
It hasn't yet. I am on a sabbatical, so to speak, living partly on some savings and partly on my husband and a few freelance jobs.
He has a tourism company in Brazil which works mainly with incoming business travellers and those trips tend to be booked well in advance. So, the financial crisis has not caught up with him yet.
It seems that this crisis, unlike others, has hit rich countries harder than developing economies. From what I hear and read, things are under control in Brazil and people are not panicking like in Europe.
Anyway, I do not have debts, either here or there, or any big savings. We were thinking about buying an apartment is Stockholm but I guess it will have to wait now.
I'm in the process of looking for a full-time job. Applying, interviewing, calling, e-mailing, just pestering potential employers. Great timing on my part really.
And I have definitely noticed a downturn in the number of available jobs, especially entry-level positions. Other people my age have talked about settling, taking whatever pops up just to have that sought after full-time job.
I guess you could say I am on the brink of feeling the financial crisis. Not quite there yet but starting to feel the pinch in the job market. Starting to notice more competition.
Starting to notice fewer available jobs. Starting to question the decisions I made that
led to me searching for a job as the world enters the worst economic downturn of my generation.
But panic hasn't quite set in. Yet. Two months from now might be a different story.
The less you have, the less you have to lose. Considering I'm decades away from retirement, have no mortgage, have small investments, and a minimal student loan (compared to most), this financial crisis personally affects me very little. But, I see and hear the stress of it all around me.
Granted, I'm not too empathetic to the stock brokers who can no longer afford their SUVs. But, I do care about the school teachers at retirement age with 25% or more of their retirement sunk in the stock market.
With risky 401K plans and social security too small to cover basic needs, US citizens are in trouble.
That's what I see first-hand. As for the global economy, when one market crashes, the others aren't far behind.
On the upside for any Americans moving to Sweden, the US dollar is worth more krona now than it has been in years. I might be the only one who can say this right now, but lucky me.
The financial crisis is the hottest topic in Sweden right now. With every passing day, the Swedish krona is going down against all the currencies of the world.
The day to day things in the stores are getting expensive.
But the major effect, in my opinion, is the level of creeping uncertainty about the future. Like others, I am not sure about investing my savings in anything like buying a home or a new car.
No one knows whether he/she will have a job secured in future or if he/she will be able to pay back a loan or mortgage.
The way the Icelandic economy fell down makes the whole feeling even more horrible. If the same follows in Sweden, then people will think of investing in some other safer countries in Europe.
Gigantic companies like Volvo are firing people like autumn leaves, which will tempt skilled people to move to more stable countries. The Swedish market will shrink and shrink, which is really scary to think of.
Not a lot yet, but I am convinced we will all be affected in one way or another. I am not worried that I will lose my job, as many others are these days.
The market for flats and houses is in a crisis, with prices going down and few people selling or buying, but I wasn't planning on selling my flat for another couple of years anyway.
But inevitably, the crisis will affect us all, in the long run; if unemployment increases,
if the house market stands still, if mortgages don't go down again and if prices on food and other things keep going up. It depends on how long and how severe the recession is going to be, but that no one can tell just now.
At this point, I am not sure how the crisis has affected me personally. I am most concerned about how it will affect the interest rates on home loans here, as I am still renovating my home and have not locked any set interest for any specific amount of time.
I am also keeping an eye on the state of housing prices, as they seem to have leveled off or are sinking a bit, and that will affect my ability to borrow more money for future renovations.
I have not felt a large change in my daily life due to the crisis as of yet, but am enjoying the short-term fall in petrol prices.
I am more concerned with family and friends back home who are really getting hurt by this mess.
I came to Sweden to start over after my divorce. My backup plan if I were to have any trouble financially was to use my 401K plan.
I was going to cash out my retirement early because I planned on staying here in Sweden.
Once I got here and saw how difficult it was to get an apartment, I wanted to use my 401K money to buy a house or apartment. Then the stock market plunged so it's worth so much less and is not even worth taking out.