Seniors hopeful about economy

Dorothy Tiley is one of the fortunate seniors who doesn't feel affected by the convulsions of the stock market. Tiley, a 70-year-old volunteer at the Sequim Senior Activity Center, says her conservative style of investing has done well by her thus far. "I worked too hard and too long to get it - not going to play with it."

"It really isn't affecting me but if I were to panic and cash out, it would affect me seriously," Tiley said. "You have to ride it out and you can't 'make a run on the bank.' You have to sit and wait because it will come back and most likely it will be better than it was."

Although not heavily invested in the stock market but instead in growth income and mutual funds, Tiley keeps a close eye on Wall Street. "For me personally, if the Dow (Dow Jones Industrial Average) is 10,000 points and the NASDAQ (National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations) is at 200, I'm in good shape. Below that, I have a problem."

Her financial fears, Tiley said, are not so much with the stock market. "I don't believe all the things (president-elect Barack) Obama promised on capital gains and taxes. I just really hope I'm wrong."

Overall, Tiley stays close to home in Sequim and shops modestly. "If I go to the store and I want something, I buy it. I'm good. Life is good."

Joni Hinkle, 75, one of the regulars at the center's pinochle game, doesn't have any stocks, but if she did, she said she would be "worried to death," adding that her sister-in-law has "lost a lot of money" and a friend told her she lost everything in a diving market. Hinkle said she worries most about maintaining her standard of living. Widowed when her husband died at age 49, she relies on a monthly $100 pension plus Social Security benefits.

"It's hard to go to the grocery store because everything has gone up so much. I don't buy anything unless it's on sale," Hinkle said. Yet she has hope in an Obama-Biden administration to turn the economy around.

Young retirees Jerry and Patricia Martin, 60 and 58 respectively, aren't in the stock market either. "It's not affecting us personally but it is hard to watch for people who are starting out or who are up to retirement age and depending on that 401(k)," Patricia said. Until "the government quits printing checks," Jerry said he'll have his pension as a former federal employee and with his wife's Social Security, they feel secure in these tempestuous times. However, they also feel concern for those who've worked hard only to see their annuities, money market funds and private pension funds become devalued.

Born in 1922, Virgil Williever has seen his share of depressions and recessions. "It's a scary situation for some people on a limited budget or who are retired. All the foreclosures are deplorable, just deplorable. The market has been down for me but I've stuck with it and I have hope for recovery. The country has gone through this before and with a new political

officer, it will get better,"

Williever said.

Thus far he and his wife, Merle, have limited the amount that they travel because gas prices had been too high, but he noted, "They're coming down, which is a step in the right direction. I think the economy is due to go back up."

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