I don’t want to belittle the condition of the economy currently. Someone who is close to retirement may have just lost a significant portion of their intended source of income if invested solely in stocks. If you listen to the media and politicians, you might get the impression that the American public is “freaking out” about their money right now and experiencing the downstream effects of high anxiety.
The Today Show’s Dr. Gail Saltz, a psychiatrist, recently appeared on this show and claimed that stress due to money has increased “hundredfold.” The video clip also describes people’s current attitudes as a “state of panic” and “intense fear.”
Dr. Saltz admits that “watching the media constantly is a terrible idea, like being stuck with needles.” That’s a great comment to hear on a popular television show. She also says that more people now will be seeking professional help for their anxiety due to the economic downturn.
I haven’t seen much evidence of panic in my daily interactions, other than what I hear on the radio from politicians. Long term prospects are likely to still be good. I can imagine that panic might set in when someone has their entire portfolio investments tied up in companies that failed or someone set to retire and rely on investment income, but that should serve as a reminder to have an asset allocation appropriate for your needs and reduce exposure to risky investments like stocks when you are relying on the money being available.
Are you panicking or anxious about money right now? Is your financial situation affecting other aspects of your life? Also, do you think the media are accurately portraying people’s attitudes? Share your thoughts, anonymously if you like.
If you want to watch the Today Show clip, it’s available inside this article. RSS readers, please view this article on Consumerism Commentary to view the video.
Again, today’s questions: Are you panicking or anxious about money right now? Is your financial situation affecting other aspects of your life? Also, do you think the media are accurately portraying people’s attitudes?
Published or updated September 30, 2008.