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    Debt Time Bomb
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Your 2nd Half:  Making It Count!

The following topics regarding finances are covered in A Lasting Legacy:

  • Future Tense: Times of Economic Uncertainty
  • The Debt Time Bomb
  • The Storm is Here: A Crisis In Pictures
  • The Tipping Point: Bubbles Ready to Burst
  • Better Days: A Secure Financial Future
  • How to Achieve Financial Freedom
  • Your Financial Future: A Sound Plan—A Budget and More
  • Investment Strategies for Success
  • Prepare For Retirement: Retire Early!
  • Your Retirement Money: Saving For It and Spending It
  • Family and Finances
  • Protecting Your Investments: Preparing for Hard Times
  • Your Money: A Generational Mindset
  • Get a Global Perspective

The future is tense. The past was tense. The present is tense. Money issues and financial security are a concern for most families and every generation. Regardless of whether you are a boomer, a buster, a GEN- Xer, a GEN-Yer, or a Millennial, you no doubt are concerned about your finances. The recent surveys show that people are more concerned about their financial future than ever before. Financial fear is running high—both personally and nationally. Will I lose my job? Will I save enough for retirement? Will the market crash? Can I pay for the kids’ college? Will our country be bankrupt? Will inflation soon run out of control? Is another crash coming?

The good ol’ days are behind us. If you are paying for major purchases with saved cash, or if you are debt free, including your mortgage, or if you have your child’s education paid for in advance, congratulations! You are the few, the minority. The days of no debt, 10 percent savings rates, and early/full retirement seem to be far in the rear-view mirror. How do we gain that financial security for our families and our nation? As you have come to recognize (possibly painfully so), I like to peer into the rear-view mirror first and then assess our current situation before we look too far into the future.

We are Number 1!  We aren’t talking about your local NCAA team or the index finger you flash Momma-bear on national TV after scoring a touchdown. This is one area you don’t proudly wear the badge of Number 1. The United States is the world leader in external debt. As opposed to growth with little debt, like India and China, the United States is growing little and spending a lot.  The problem with publishing these numbers is that they are outdated as soon as the ink dries on the paper.  The numbers are spiraling out of control. Our world is debt addicted with zero chance of ever paying it off.  This is just government debt and does not include the multiple trillions of personal or corporate debt amassed internally, nor the staggering unfunded liability of future bills to come.

  External Debt*       Population Debt Per Person GDP    

Debt % GDP

United States $14.2 trillion 313 million $45,000 $14.7 trillion 95%
United Kingdom $9.0 trillion 63 million $143,000 $2.2 trillion 409%
Germany $4.7 trillion 81 million $58,000 $3.3 trillion 142%
France $4.7 trillion 65 million $72,000 $2.6 trillion 181%
Japan $2.4 trillion 126 million $19,000 $5.5 trillion 44%
Ireland $2.3 trillion 5 million $460,000 $204 billion 1150%
Norway $2.2 trillion 5  million $440,000 $414 billion 550%
Italy $2.2 trillion 61 million $36,000 $2.1 trillion 104%
Spain $2.2 trillion 47 million $47,000 $1.4 trillion 157%
Switzerland $1.2 trillion 8 million $150,000 $524 billion 231%
Belgium $1.2 trillion 10 million $120,000 $466 billion 255%
Canada $1.0 trillion 34 million $29,000 $1.6 trillion 63%
Sweden $850 billion 9 million $94,000 $456 billion 186%
Austria $800 billion 8 million $100,000 $377 billion 212%
Hong Kong $750 billion 7 million $107,000 $225 billion 333%
Denmark $560 billion 6 million $93,000 $311 billion 180%
Greece $533 billion 11 million $48,500 $305 billion 174%
China $405 billion 1.3 billion $300 $5.9 trillion 7%
India $237 billion 1.2 billion $197 $1.5 trillion 16%

*External debt includes government debt and corporate and individual debt to entities outside of their country.
Table:   Debt Statistics, Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook1


At some point, the debt will catch up with us. We are already “subject” to other countries around the world, with our paying out >$450 million in interest a year on our debt to the Chinese and others.  We are “subject” to many countries with our trade deficit.  This could only be the beginning—until the debts come due. 

Look no further than Deuteronomy 28:12–13, 44–49.  The Bible is clear that God’s blessings are upon a land that obeys God’s commands.  It is also clear that God’s cursings are upon a land that lives in disobedience.  I have shared with you the evidence in statistics concerning our debt. You have experienced terrorism and war on our domestic soil for the first time in our history.  We are already under God’s disciplining hand.  He is withdrawing some of His favor.  Yet, as a nation we do not fear His hand. God pleads for our obedience, and with it would come blessing, favor, and prosperity.   

Read Deuteronomy 28:12–13, 43–45; Nehemiah 5:3–5; Proverbs 22:7; and Jeremiah 17:4.

Read 2 Chronicles 7:14 and Joel 2:12–19.

Many tools to help you are available in A Lasting Legacy.


1 “Population comparison, GDP, External Debt,” available at www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook (date accessed?).

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