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New homeowners commit ‘cashtration’

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The Washington Post newspaper holds a competition every year in which readers are asked to supply new definitions for dictionary words that have been altered by one letter. Among this year's winners was this gem: "Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period." "Cashtration" is only a wacky made-up word, but it's also a sign of the times and a hint of possible trouble ahead for some homeowners. The vast majority of the nation's debt-burdened people can make their mortgage, credit card and auto lease payments, but can they also insure themselves against catastrophic risks and get ready for their retirement and end-of-life years? The ability to leverage capital through debt helps many people buy real estate and achieve greater wealth than they otherwise might never have imagined. But like all good things, even debt has its limits, and some people have piled their plates with more of it than they can chew and swallow....