Billy and Air heat man pretty much covered it.
There is an additional aspect however, todays labor rates are completely out of reach for many people earning minimum wage or even double that,
...or for a retired person getting a negative return on his or her investments, and 1/2 of 1% at the bank, with real inflation running approx. 10%..
....in 3 years these people (including myself) have lost 30% or our purchasing power on social security... no way can most of us afford $125/hr labor rates.... yet a contractor must charge that much to pay his expenses and over head (50%+ of that in govt required insurances, state and local taxes)
This tax situation is necessary to support our 100+ military bases over seas and to support the size of government, and govt worker retirements currently running 5x the average social security benefit... etc.
...a reading of history will demonstrate national life spans are in the 250 to 300 year life span, then these expenses of empire, size of govt cause it to implode. The implosion lasts 50 to 100 years... its a repeating cycle. We in the USA are headed into the teeth of it.
That said, there are always a fair sized contingent of people who survive and prosper during such a collapse.... it takes a close group of networked friends, and a very broad skills base, minimal or no debt, and learning to live on less for the majority of those who squeeze by reasonably well.
(and pure genius for investors, or a killer business model for others.. about 30% of the US population made it through the great depression that ended in 1941 unscathed.).
A darker side of this current situation is the USA's progressive loss of the US dollar as the world reserve currency (needed to buy oil from OPEC nations)....
...we are looking into the double barrel of extremely troubling economic times.. and because of our off-shored manufacturing, much fewer jobs to pull us out of it.
My advice... brace yourself.
What have I done? I moved to central America, and live with a wonderful Mayan Family in the jungle you might say... $700 a month allows me to live very well... I could squeeze by on $200 a month if I wanted to live like the average local.
I can hire in a skilled tradesman for $10 to $15 a day... why? Guatemala is not involved in holding and expanded empire, its taxes and regulations are almost nil. We will all get to see how this cookie crumbles over the next few years.
Cross your fingers. Expand your technical skills in concentric circles from the core of your current skills (I still study my range of skills, 2 or 3 hours a day.) Develop multiple streams of income. Avoid over head costs. Develop side income streams... plan on working 10+ hours a day.. you will get by.