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When joblessness hits close to home

WASHINGTON - While conducting a workshop this spring, I asked how many of the participants had lost a job or knew someone who was unemployed.

The Color of Money will not appear June 2.

"We are in our mid-40s with young kids and my husband was laid off several months ago for the second time in five years. I work full time and we can probably survive the layoff for another eight months or so by dipping into some savings. Having been through this before, it may take another several months to a year or maybe longer for my husband to find a similar-paying job. Our current mortgage payment is slightly over that 30 percent of net income threshold when we both worked. We have $100,000 equity in our home despite the fact that it is worth less than what we paid in 2005. I am thinking that maybe we should sell our home and either rent or buy another home with a mortgage that can be covered with just one income from my fairly secure job, which will free up money and allow us to survive layoffs and save better over the next 15 years for retirement and college. Does it make sense to sell our home to ensure long-term stability?"