My Dream retirement
by Sharol Rasmussen
(Rocky Mount, MO. USA)
Little did I know, one and a half years ago, that I would finally find my retirement place, a place I call home.
I had been on a disability-retirement from STRS, in California, retiring from teaching at the ripe old age of 44. I knew I couldn't handle the stress of working with special education students any more, gang members who threatened to kill me every day at my school....I knew my time at school was over, when I had horrible nightmares almost every night....It was time to leave.....
It's very difficult to retire at such a young age for anyone, especially a teacher, and, with only half of my former salary, not only had I retired, but I managed to thrive as well.
It was very fortunate that I got divorced a couple of years before my retirement. My ex was stupid with money, and ended up going through his cash at an exorbitant rate.
He was also very deceitful with the money, lying constantly about how much there was, and where it went. I know I didn't spend it, because I'm very conservative, and don't buy anything, unless I have the cash to buy it.
We were a mistake to begin with, and I'm so glad I finally saw the light, that he was taking me down with him, and this time, I had to protect myself.
When we divorced, we split the assets. Well not quite, he got the big house in San Diego, CA., I got the small condo in Palm Springs.
We both split the money evenly...Unfortunately, I was younger and dumber in those days, and didn't think of the tax ramifications on the assets he forced on me, having to pay major taxes when they sold, unlike his assets, which were tax exempt. But the ironic thing was, he had hundreds of thousand's more than I did, but he still lost it, and is now penniless.
I still help him financially, when I can, and I don't owe him, I do it because I'm a good person, and have a good heart....
Instead of buying the big house, getting fancy cars, and wasting my money on things that don't matter, I saved, invested in some real estate, buying, fixing up, and re-selling, I managed to increase my net worth three fold. It would have been much more, had I not had a problem saying no to relatives, people in need. I'm working on that now, however...
One and a half years ago I found a lakefront home in Lake of the Ozark, MO. area. It has 21 acres, 3,100 sq. ft. It's really beautiful here. I'm on the lake and I have my own fishing pond.
My son and his wife came to visit me last summer and instantly fell in love with it here. It's hard to make it financially for a young couple in San Diego, so we've decided to live together, and help each other out.
They're coming to live with me in July. It will be a welcome change from my quiet existence now, hanging out with my sheltie dog, Rusty. But, I'm ready for the challenge.
It's time for some of us Baby Boomers, who can, help those in need, perhaps even our own children get through this economic depression that the whole world is enveloped in.
I'm glad I'm doing a small part myself, to live within my means, and to try and make this world a better place....