My Retirement Dream
by Sharol Rasmussen
(Rocky Mount, MO.)
My retirement dream has changed along with the rotten economy. Here in the United States, things seem to get worse and worse every day. It gets harder and harder to live on a fixed income.
I had a forced retirement at age 44 with health problems from teaching. I had only worked for eight years as a teacher, having come into teaching at an older age than most. I loved working with the kids, but couldn't handle all the stress with my health issues, and the administrator from hell.
Since I didn't have years and years of working behind me, my income is very modest, $22,000 a year, which is fully taxable.
I'm a disabled veteran, and get free health care from the VA, which helps, along with an increase of income of $9,500 a year. Total income equals $31,500, less $4,500 for taxes. The total net amount is $27,000 a year. I help my daughter with some college costs, and my son, who is bi-polar, and gets $700 a month from SSI, and is newly married. His wife works, but has major back problems.
This whole situation really scares me because my net worth keeps decreasing rapidly. I have to put a plug in the jug, and try and sell my beautiful lakefront home on 21 acres in Lake of the Ozarks, MO., and downsize to a smaller home.
This situation has given me much grief, because I have put all my blood, sweat, and tears, plus tons of money to remodel the home. I wish I had a soul-mate to share this burden with, but I don't. Everything is on my shoulders, and it's not fun....
At this point, my dream is to pay my bills, enjoy the simple things in life, and continue to help my son the best I can. He wants to move here in six months or so, and of course I said fine.
It seems that there are two United States, one for the rich, and the other for the poor. The middle class is rapidly decreasing.
There is more and more unemployment, and much desperation for the lower class. I find myself sinking lower and lower into despair, but know so many people have it much harder than I do.
I have faith that I'll find a way to make more money, somehow. Perhaps blogging about my plight, perhaps helping others learn to take care of themselves first before it's too late.