Financial trouble often is beyond one’s control

On Feb. 11, The Herald published a letter to the editor from Carla White of Lake Forest Park that moved me deeply. It was titled “Values seem lost on business side.”

Ms. White wrote about how her personal finances were directly impacted by reoccurring cancer, inadequate health insurance and a volatile job economy for the past five years. Then, despite being a responsible person who was making minimum payments on her hospital bill, she was harassed.

That type of story illustrates the point of a book I just read called “Pound Foolish, Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry” by Helaine Olen.

Olen says that when you really look at the numbers and research why Americans have financial instability, it’s not because they were going to Starbucks or buying an RV.

It’s because instead of losing their job for three months, they were unemployed for two years…

Or maybe they were diagnosed with cancer and their health insurance was lousy…

Or maybe they didn’t have any insurance at all…

Or maybe their adult child became paralyzed and they had to provide care…

Or maybe they ended up having to raise their grandchildren…

Or maybe their salary is actually lower than what it was 10 years ago, but the cost of food, gas and everything else is higher…

So I’d like to say to Ms. White of Lake Forest Park that I think your letter in Monday’s paper showed courage, perseverance and eloquence. You have my sincerest wishes for a better day tomorrow.

I bet there are thousands of people across Puget Sound who would agree with me.

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