It’s O.K. to Be Afraid About Your Retirement!
… but then you’re going to pick yourself up, give yourself a good pep-talk, and you are going to tackle your problem head-on and start to improve your situation.
I’m not saying it will be easy, or that things will miraculously improve overnight, but I am saying that you can start to improve things immediately and you can begin to feel more optimistic beginning with your next positive step toward your situation recovery.
My name is Dick McEvoy and I am starting this blog RetireCreatively.com for everyone who is afraid that:
· You’ll never be able to retire,
· You’ll never be able to get out-from-under,
· Life has been unfair, and you’ve never gotten any breaks,
· Your day-to-day pressures seem so difficult that you don’t even know where to start,
· You don’t think you have the energy to do more than you are doing today,
· You don’t know the first thing about “Investing”, or about the Stock Market, and you haven’t a clue about Dividend Stocks or Corporate Bonds etc.,
This blog, RetireCreatively.com is a blog whose purpose is to help its Readers to successfully move on to the next happy and prosperous stage of your life.
First things first, realize that absolutely everyone faces challenges in their lives! You aren’t alone, and while your challenges may at times appear to be unmanageable, I want you to take a minute to look around to see others whose problems dwarf yours; and I want you to take a breath and be thankful for all that you have.
Next, I want you to start to adopt a positive outlook and tell yourself that “you’ve got this!” It may take time and perhaps even some herculean effort, but you are capable, and you are going to find a way to improve your life situation.
The first time that I realized that life was going to be quite challenging was when I was 12 years old and was about to start eighth grade. My Dad had lost his job that spring, right about the time that my Mom had delivered twins (my sixth and seventh siblings), and my best friend came up to me and said; “My Dad says that you guys are going to lose your house! My parents saw it in the newspaper.”
That evening, when the younger kids had gone to bed, I asked my Mother about what Mr. B. had said and when her eyes teared up, I got a whole lot older pretty darn quickly. Fortunately our bank was somewhat patient (and more compassionate than some banks are today) and they allowed my parents to take a short term second-mortgage until my Dad found work, but I realized then and there that we were in a very precarious financial position.
As a 12 year old there wasn’t a whole lot that I could do but I started staying up late at night to give my Mom someone to listen and to vent her fears to, and I asked a friend if his dad might hire me as a part-time dishwasher at their family restaurant. From that day forward I started buying all of my own clothes.
This is not at all a “woe is me” story! I just did what I had to do, and I knew that I still had it better than a ton of other kids. Being the second oldest of eight (and later to be nine) kids, I had always loved babies and so I happily pitched in to help with the twins. The bedroom I shared with my older brother was directly over the twins make-shift bedroom, and when I would hear (through the heating vent) one of the twins begin to stir at around 2:00 a.m., I would go downstairs and put two formula bottles on the stove to warm. I would begin feeding whichever twin woke first so that my Mom could get a few extra minutes of sleep before she had to get up and feed the other. I was simply trying to help, and I was taking a few positive steps to address my/our situation.
Not that I ever needed to be reminded of our financial situation, but two years later when I started asking my parents about some target colleges I wanted to apply to I was told, “Dick, we can’t afford to send you to college.” I naively, yet confidently answered that I realized that, and I wouldn’t be asking them for any help.
I buckled down and got decent grades while doing quite well in sports, and I was rewarded with an acceptance to a university that wanted me to play soccer. Everything went smoothly until the school told me that I was on financial probation at the end of my freshman year. The letter that I never let my parents see stated, “Your son cannot return to the university until you pay both the freshman obligation that you were to have paid, AND until the financial obligation towards his sophomore year is prepaid.”
I knew my parents hardly had enough to feed and clothe my siblings, and I knew that the university had to stretch their loan and scholarship dollars, so I needed to find a way to make $2000 in order to return to school. This was at a time (1970) when the minimum wage was $1.60 an hour so I was looking at a daunting task.
Worrying wasn’t going to help me to pay the bills so I worked to find a job cleaning and setting up a restaurant 7 days/week (for 72 straight days that summer), and then a second job parking cars at that same restaurant 7 nights/week; and at the end of a long summer, I paid my $2000 university obligation and returned to school in September.
Like everyone else, I have faced other challenging times in my life but I have managed to get the needed education and experience to succeed, and now during my own retirement, I would like to help others who need a little help and guidance.
I welcome you to follow my RetireCreatively.com blog and please feel free to contact me with questions that you would like to see me address.
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