My forced retirement at age 44, because of disability.
by Sharol Rasmussen
In July 1997 my husband became paralyzed. It was the hardest time of my life.
We never had a good, solid relationship, we spent nineteen years in relative misery, with a 23 year age difference, I gave up my youth. I took care of him for three years after his mishap, and was screamed at every day, "what in the hell do you do for me."
After three years of ongoing emotional abuse, I was looking at my reflection in the bathroom mirror and started counting pills. Not for a headache, but to end my life.
After counting the contents, I realized that it would do the job. But a sudden flashback to my near-death experience that happened in 1987, where I died and came back to life, changed all that. Jesus told me it wasn't my time yet, and I had to go back to earth and help people. I had to help kids.
I became a teacher afterward for eight years until I became disabled. During my near death experience I was also shown hell. Jesus told me telepathically that if I killed myself that's where I was going to do. I saw Dante's Inferno, and realized he was right in his vision.
In July, 2000 I left my husband to live in a small condo in Palm Springs, CA. with my eight year old daughter. I worked until 2002, had many prior years subbing, and got disability. I have an income of $25,000 a year, from teaching and a small disability income from the VA. The VA has been taking care of my medical needs, which I'm very grateful for.
When we divorced we split the assets. I received $300,000. This is a lot of money for most people. Being an inexperienced investor at the time, I quickly with the help of a greedy stockbroker invested $200,000 in tech stocks at the height of the market in 2000. I lost $130,000 because I eventually took the money out after so many losing years. I was stupid.... I stayed on the sidelines when the market went up and cursed myself for being so afraid to invest.
I was very lucky for a while, however, when I bought and sold several houses during the housing boom. I did have one big housing loss, but am deducting that loss from the $200,000 I have made in gold, and gold stocks the last year or so. My net worth is now at: $800,000. I don't have a house at the moment because I'm paranoid about owning right now.
When I first became disabled, I thought my life was over. I had the boss from hell, a complete control freak, alcoholic, who would park around the corner of the school and drink during school hours, and would come back to school and harass a few teachers he didn't like.
I was so scared emotionally I couldn't function. I thought back then, in 2002, I wouldn't be able to make it. But after leaving that job, investing in the homes, reflecting on my finances, investing in gold, I made some really good decisions.
I finally have an empty nest and have decided to move to Phoenix area to be a roommate with a retired nurse. It will be great if things work out and we can share expenses since my income isn't that high.
My 28 year old son just got married, but still needs my help financially, and my daughter age 19, is a senior in college, studying pre-med, and is in Spain for the year. I have a hole in my heart because for the first time I feel free to focus on myself, and I don't know how to do that.
I'm now 53, and would love to find my soul-mate, if he exists? I plan to keep up with my investments, paint, hopefully write, and try to enjoy life, since I had so little enjoyment in the past. It's a struggle, but I know I can do it with God's help.
I'm trying to live on $35,000 a year, minus the $25,000 pension, I only need to come up with $10,000 a year extra, which can come from that $800,000 net worth, or perhaps a little part time job? I just thank God for saving me that day, and always. I'm so very lucky for coming out of my situation and look forward to a bright, and happy future.....