Sunday, October 19, 2008

How are we 'Surviving the Squeeze'?

Last year, the Bradenton Herald published a series of stories that examined "Manatee's Money Squeeze." As the housing crisis gripped Florida, as insurance costs spiraled out of sight and property tax increases crippled the average homeowner, we wanted to know what was happening to the middle class of our community. Topics included housing, employment, insurance, retirement, disposable income and consumer goods.

Today, as the economic tailspin continues to affect every sector of our community, we are taking what we explored in last year's series and launching "Surviving the Squeeze." As I wrote in today's Editor's Note:

The roller-coaster economic meltdown is causing many of us to reconsider major life decisions.We're finding ourselves, friends and families faced with huge choices: "Should I take that job instead of going to grad school? Should I postpone that dentistry work and make sure I can pay the mortgage? How will I pay for my kids' college tuition? Should I delay retirement -- or do I even have a choice?"

We're looking for smarter ways to ride the storm out. Today, the Herald starts an occasional series, "Surviving the Squeeze." These stories will examine real-life dilemmas, seek advice from experts, and find tools to help our readers learn to cope, react and change. And, we hope, find a touch of hope and humor along the way."

In today's story, reporter Sara Kennedy examined the dilemma faced by many baby boomers: What about my retirement? She explored this through some real-life situations in traditional story form.

She also found several useful web sites, but the list didn't make it in print. They are:
Suncoast Workforce Board:
Social Security:
Service Corps of Retired Executives:

As this coverage evolves, we also plan to use more alternative story-telling forms. The goal: to build a stronger network throughout the community and help put each issue in perspective.


No comments: