Thursday, January 10, 2008

The World is “On Sale”

Local economies/communities fluctuate in relative value to one another -- and so when one becomes overvalued, there are other places relatively undervalued -- and where those looking for the best value in the cost of living (opportunities) migrate to, if they can and are willing to.

At no time in history, has that been more true, as the world anticipates the retirement of the post-World War II baby boom generation -- that has pretty much dominated life as we know it for the last 50 years. With an outsized and accelerating generation bump looking to spend their retirement years in a desirable location of their choosing, if not fantasy, it should be obvious that certain destinations will become too popular for their own good -- while many will languish despite being more optimal places for those living on a retirement (limited) income.

Some places become prohibitive for that purpose because by design and intent, attracts only the wealthy, who could afford to live anywhere they want to. Many, undoubtedly, will choose the remote islands of Hawaii, as well as the popular destination of Honolulu. The competition for resources, particularly housing, quite naturally will drive up prices so that only the wealthy (retired and independent) can afford them, and so the less established people have to move on and away.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Not all things that happen in life, turn out as we would hope they would. People get divorced, disabled, die, gain and lose fortunes, change jobs, and just plain change -- especially if they’re healthy and open to changes and challenges.

Many people will find it incredulous that Hawaii was tremendously underpriced relative to most places in the United States in the 1990s until a definitve response to the overhanging threat of terrorist uncertainty was halted by President Bush at the dawn of the new millenium, but few thought that could be true because in the ‘70s and ‘80s, they were famously overpriced. Economies and communities are like stocks: they boom and bust, are at the top of their game, and bottom out too. That’s happened everywhere, and with virtually everything

The astute, shop the opportunities of the world as their personal supermarket -- limited only by their knowledge of relative values, and how they can assess them meaningfully to their own sense of values. Cheap is not everything -- if there is no quality of life, so paramount, is one’s own ability to determine “quality” even when everybody else can’t. Such people are also first to realize when things no longer are worth the price people are asking for what they are willing to exchange of value.

When everybody is on the side of demanding “something for nothing,” nobody will get a fair exchange because the only criteria is finding somebody to exploit -- until they all move away. Slowly, people come to realize that they have to offer a value as great as they hope to obtain to effect an exchange.

But merely complaining that the cost of living is too high, is meaningless, unless one is prepared to do something about it -- like living and shopping elsewhere where the bargains are plentiful.

The worst thing is fearing to find out.


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