I just read an article on CNN Money that basically predicts that it will take another 6-10 years for our economy to get back to "normal"...whatever normal means. It points out the main reason is due to private or "consumer" debt. So my hope is that those with high debt focus on paying it off asap instead of buying "stuff" like many are conditioned to do. So whether one is wondering about the value of their home or the value of their retirement investments, neither will make strong gains until citizens de-leverage their debt. If you believe spending helps our economy, it does, but only if you're not in debt. America's own 'Lost Decade' Lost decade: Debt fuels slow economic growth, unemployment - Jun. 8, 2011 "NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The economy is still struggling. And Americans are in for a long and painful adjustment period. One major reason: their own household debt. "I think we're in for a lot of disappointment," said Carmen Reinhart, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics and a leading expert on financial crises. "If historic norms hold, deleveraging isn't pretty, and it is not a smooth process. We're already four years into this. I don't think the next six years look great."