Tag Archives: Social Security

Taking Steps

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20170128_163723_hdr-2On January 2nd, I posted that I am determined to break the rut that I’m in and get started accomplishing something other than punching a time clock every day.  I’m happy to say that it has begun.  Not a huge amount but a start.  So I want to share my plans so that my followers will see progress and understand what it’s about.

I’m going to be opening an Etsy store soon.  Right now I’m getting supplies and making patterns, getting ready to make my “projects” that I’ll be selling.  I’ve given this a lot of thought and the idea that I came up with is making “props” for therapists, Behavior Assistants, teachers, and even parents.  Since I’m a Behavior Assistant, I have spent a lot of time creating these props for my own visits while working on coping skills, emotions, and anger management.  I’ve had to create brief “lesson plans” for these 2 hour visits, incorporating play, crafts, videos, and games, and usually have made most of the props myself in order to save money.  I also have a good resource for purchasing children’s books that deal with these issues so will occasionally sell the book along with the project.  The projects can be used as patterns but for those who don’t feel “crafty”, the price will be low enough that they can be repurchased for each new client, and of course, these would be a tax write-off for the purchaser.

Idea number 2 is as a clothing reseller.  I have huge amounts of clothing that has been given to me by friends who don’t want to be bothered holding a yard sale, and clothing that has been sitting in bins and boxes as it has become too big or too small to be worn.  I also have fun searching thrift stores and have one particular store that sells by the pound, where there are many items that are new with tags, barely worn but used, from jeans to coats to gowns, men and women, children, and many of the purchasers who frequent this store, are purchasing for resale also. The thrift store search is something I enjoy with my friend Kathy and we spend the day being silly, eating, and hunting for bargains. We went yesterday and had a great day, stopping to take pictures along the Delaware River on the way home. I’ll be posting these items in local Facebook pages and will meet locally for sales but perhaps will ship items as time goes on.  I see this as a way of recycling as well as a profit center, mindful of what happens to unwanted clothing as it ends up in our landfills, and also as a way to work on being more environmentally conscious.  20170128_164814_hdr-2

I’ve decided to forgo the Masters program due to the uncertainty surrounding Social Security and Medicare as I’m not interested in accumulating debt that I’m not able to pay off but I can continue to work as a Behavior Assistant and am also looking into Life Coaching classes on Udemy.

You might be thinking that I’m crazy and doomed to fail at these plans but I’m looking forward to being able to quit the full time grind but still have money coming in, and working at things I enjoy for many years to come.  I want to travel, take classes that interest me, have time to paint and do crafts, perhaps make jewelry again, and so many other things that I don’t have time for now.  It’s not that I mind working; it’s that I mind the schedule that is so rigid that I can’t miss a day.  And as you might remember, I never did much retirement planning so work is also a necessity; I would like it to be as much fun as possible.  I’ll be posting links and you’ll see some of it on Facebook but I’ll also be marketing in other ways. As an extra note, I have to stay busy so as not to be thinking about the condition of our country now and my fear for the future.  It’s very scary to be in this position at this age and health condition so I’m being as proactive as I can.  I just ask that you wish me success!

The change has begun!

 

 

Who Will You Choose?

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This isn’t the blog post that I had intended to write but I feel compelled to write this after reading several posts on Facebook this morning.

Every one of us has a different reality.  When I left high school, head filled with dreams for the future, I didn’t envision the life I ended up with.  Some of my choices were spot-on, some could have used improvement, and some should have been discarded before I acted on them.  But, it is what it is, was what it was, and here I am now with my life.  It’s not a bad life but definitely could be better.

Here’s my reality now.  I’m almost 67 years old and due to several circumstances, had to start over with life at about age 60.  No great detail needed and if you’ve been reading my blog posts you have somewhat of a picture of what I’ve been through.  But, for those of you who haven’t, briefly, I was downsized out of a job I loved, managed to find another one almost as good, lost that one due to health related issues, had my right hip replaced twice, dislocated it, found out my husband wanted a separation from our 30-year marriage, used up 2 years of unemployment and could only find a part time job paying 8.75 an hour when it ended, divorced, almost lost my house, lost my Medicare, and used up all of my savings.  Fast forward to now, and I’m working full time, saved my house, have gotten back on my feet, well, sort of, got my Medicare back, and finally can take a breath.

So by now you’re probably wondering what this post is really about.  It’s about the election that is coming in November and why people choose whom they support for President.  We make our choices based on our reality, our life experiences, our needs, and choose the person whom we think will answer the needs that we have for our future.  In my case, I’m a woman alone, no financial cushion, no safety net, and I have no choice but to work until I can collect the maximum Social Security.  And will continue to work beyond that as long as I can.  I will hopefully make it to 70 but my arthritis is progressing and I have knee surgery in my future.  It’s getting harder to walk and sitting all day at work is worsening my knees.  I want to retire now but can’t.  And maybe never will.  I have pain, don’t sleep well because of arthritis, fight sleep during my hour drive to work and my hour drive home, and feel drained when I get to work and drained when I get home.  I loved my husband and never expected to be alone at this age; our retirement plan was for two and we would have been fine financially.  Well……. Surprise!

So, my needs might be very different from yours.  I am looking towards a future that includes Social Security, hopefully increased and expanded.  I need affordable health care which for me, Medicare plus another plan is not, and I need to know that I won’t end up living in a homeless shelter or a motel when I’m older.  So the person I choose to support is based on these needs and the needs of my family.  I need a president who is not dividing our country with racism because I have a Biracial son and grandson.  I need a president who understands how many Americans are in desperate need of Social Security and health care that works for us all.  I need a president who understands that we are a diverse nation because my family, friends, coworkers, and acquaintances are White, Black, Brown, gay, straight, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, old, young, fat, thin, here legally and illegally, intelligent, good jobs, crappy jobs, hard-working, doing their best….People.  I need a president who will unify us, help those in need, make things fair for all, and who cares about WE THE PEOPLE. And I need a president who will not get us involved in constant war so my grandson will be safe.  We already are great.  Sure, we could be better. We should all be life-long learners, helping our fellow man, doing good for others, sharing our knowledge, not judging, living in harmony with others, sharing bathrooms, etc.  This part definitely needs improvement, especially lately.

So my friends, when you disparage someone for their choice for president, keep in mind that you don’t know their reality, their needs, their past, their present, or their future.  And you don’t know who they feel safest about choosing, the one they feel understands their needs for their life.  Our choice for president is a very personal one.  I get that you may not like my choice but if you care about me at all, you owe respect for my choice as I owe for yours, even if I think you’re crazy for choosing that person!  And if you don’t care about me, that’s OK but hopefully you still can respect my choice as I will respect yours.

So, I’m off my soap box and need a cup of tea.  I’ve been up since 5:00 and need that shot of caffeine right about now!  Have a good day and remember to be kind!  And when November comes, VOTE!

Catching you Up!

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A lot has gone on since my last posting so I’m going to make some tea and then briefly tell you about it.

Ready?…….OK.

First would be work.  I have three jobs necessitated by the full time one paying so little.  The good news, I guess, is that I work four 10-hour days, leaving me time to work somewhere else in the off time.  I have four more years before I can collect my maximum Social Security so I’m using the time to get out of debt, put money aside, and mostly keep up with my living expenses.  Thus, one full time and two part time jobs.  It tends to suck the life out of me, working like this, and I have to add two hours of travel daily to those 10 hours.  I get home by 9:00 PM and want to do nothing. Just veg.

Summer 2015...Life is Good!

Summer 2015…Life is Good!

My retirement plan definitely did not include divorce but I’ve managed to stay financially afloat, with the help of my son.  We’re getting ready to have a huge yard sale so I can finally get rid of a lot of crap that has been hanging around for many years.  When I’m done, I hope to see only necessities, which will of course include books, craft supplies, and more books!

Next, my husband filed for divorce and I just opened the notice today.  I’ve been carrying it around unopened for about a month; couldn’t open it.  Sad, scared, angry….you name it, I feel it, or felt it.  It came about a month before our 35th anniversary, which just passed. But the good news is that I’m OK, pretty much.  I’ll be honest and tell you that there was a brief pain in my heart.  After all, I’ve known the man since I was 21.  But, time has dulled the ache, the tears are mostly over, and I’m fine without him.  Cheers for me!!  Let the “other woman” deal with his habits now, cause he hasn’t changed and is doing his usual, out running around all the time.  So, I’m free and happy to be!

I’ve also been exploring online dating, not my favorite thing, but when all I do is work, how else would I meet someone?  I’m not quite sure what I’m looking for, meaning do I ever want to marry again?  I guess I’ll see how it goes and who does the asking.  The funny thing is that the guys look so old to me, but who am I kidding?  I’m the same age!!  I’ve met some nice but dull guys, written to a bunch, had a lot of phishing since my age group is targeted as old, desperate, and stupid, (do I want to send them money for whatever scheme they have in mind? HA!) and surprisingly have had a lot of really young guys wanting me to fulfill their sexual fantasies of young guy-older woman.  Dare I say Mrs. Robinson?  But I look at my 65 year old self and say NAH to that.  Really not interested.  I recently had a guy start writing to me and after several weeks of messages that sounded really promising, he decided that I live too far and called it off before we met in person.  This was the first time I saw any possibilities but in typical guy fashion, he would have just disappeared with no notice but I called him on it and at least got a message saying “not going to work”.  But, did I tell you that my sister met a great guy online, after several years of looking, and just set the wedding date!  Happy for her.

The next step will be changing jobs to one that pays better so I can work less, join the local Y and begin working out and swimming, save for a cruise to Italy (God knows when I’ll have saved enough for that!) and move onward and upward.  Since I have to work four more years until I’m 70, I want to get the most out of it.  Starting over has been hard, but not impossible, and I’m proud of myself for staying the course.  I’ve gone through a lot since 2008 and will surely go through more, but I’m up for the challenge.

Until next time!

Shelley