So...an encouraging headline from the Wall Street Journal: Debt Levels Lowest in Years! Then I read the accompanying article, whose first sentence attributes the happy news to a combination of defaulting on debt and saving more. Strange bedfellows? Or am I missing something?
Here's the vignette that most caught my eye:
Morari Shah, a 59-year-old Miami entrepreneur and real-estate investor, is among those taking a radical approach to reducing debts.
Since late 2008, he and his wife have slashed their total debt from nearly $1 million to zero by walking away from the mortgages on four rental properties and paying off two others, all of which lost about half their value in the housing bust. He's no longer taking up to $4,000 from his monthly income to pay mortgage interest that the rental income didn't cover.
Instead, he and his wife are fulfilling their goal of building a new $350,000, four-bedroom home in the Dallas suburb of Lewisville, where they plan to retire. "It's a big relief," said Mr. Shah. "We went through some rough times, but now I'm comfortable and don't have to worry about my retirement."
What a role model! I still worry about my retirement, so I seem to be doing something wrong.
Am I being too puritanical in my response?