"Taking care of number one..."
Taking care of number one....
My name is Sharol, and I'm 53 years old. I have been retired for nine years. When I first started my forced retirement (see my previous story "my forced retirement at age 44..."). I didn't know what to do. I was very young and hadn't met many people, at that time like myself. These days, this situation is becoming much more common if your over fifty, but in those days it wasn't very common.
It was also very difficult for me because I was newly divorced with a seven year old daughter, and a sixteen year old son. My son decided to live with his dad, who had become paralyzed a few years before, and my daughter stayed with me for a few years, until she too, feeling guilty about her dad's situation, took over some care from my son. The reason why we split up had nothing to do with him being disabled. It was a long time coming.
I had never taken care of myself in the past. Other people were always more important than myself. No matter what the needs were, my kid's, my, family, whoever, came first. I put myself on the back burner, which was a huge mistake...
I find many women are in the same situation, never taking care of themselves until it's too late.
My new roommate is one of these women. She's a very sweet, 66 year old retired nurse, who still is at the beck and call of her kids. I can relate, because I only moved away from my family a couple of weeks ago, so I've been in this same situation.
She was married for twenty five years, and helped her ex-husband start up a very successful business in Las Vegas. They became multimillionaires. She refused to take her fair share of the assets. In fact, she took nothing....She is now living with me, renting a beautiful home in a wonderful retirement community, with absolutely no money saved, except social security. It' heartbreaking to see her struggle, but she agreed, against her lawyers advise to put herself last.
Fortunately, I was smart enough to take half of the assets that I was entitled to, although, not having a good lawyer, and thinking about the tax situation, my portion of the assets were all taxable. But that's alright. At least their mine, and no one can take them away from me. I use the money I have now to help my kids, and my ex-husband, since he burned through his, and lost all of it in the stock market, even though we all begged him to get out of the market, he lost it anyways.
I'm so glad my kids begged me to finally get a life. They actually told me to take care of myself, which I'm now doing. I no longer give money like there's no tomorrow. If I do help out, I think about it carefully. I have given way too much of my retirement money away, but now, I realize, if I don't take care of myself, no one else well. It's freeing and wonderful. I do matter to myself. What a new concept.
I hope this article will wake up those women and men out there who don't think about themselves until it is too late. It's never too late to change. If I can do it, so can you...