Thanks for the response. That makes sense from what I see on the other posts.
Here is what I learned today:
I have FTM 2012 installed on 2 home computers with data files on a server. My slow down started once the recent website issues started. I uninstalled and reinstalled FTM 2012 with no change. I thought then to check the other installed version on the second computer which is rarely used. The same issue is occurring; namely a very slow start-up and slow response time. It did work well up to a few days ago. I think I can rule out a specific local computer issue as the same symptoms occur on independent machines. I don't know if this helps you with your diagnosis, but I think the problem is deeper than just my hardware.