Friday, February 15, 2013

Making less and having more...

5 years ago I had a very good paying job and so did my husband.  We were comfortably middle class and living well within our means.  We had a nice house and nice cars and we did pretty much what we wanted.  It was not a bad existence.

And then the bottom dropped out, his MS progressed, in Oct 2008 he quit working without a plan and I had to scramble to find a plan while continuing to work full time to pay the bills.  I filled out the VA application for him for service connected disability in April 2009 and then we waited.  Until June 2009 when I was suddenly let go with no warning.

Now no one is working and I'm bringing home $430 a week from Unemployment.  I know people who live on less than that BUT they did not have my mortgage or my two car payments, or my bills.  Panic set in briefly until I figured out that thanks to the VA Pension that my husband WOULD be granted he would continue to be paid for his entire life.  And his IRA's were probably NOT going to be as necessary in the future as they were right then and there.  So we cashed them in a bit at a time and we lived on this to supplement my unemployment until he started getting his VA pension in November of that year.

I started working part time at waiting tables, and we were making ends meet.  Not too terribly long after his VA pension came through we applied for Social Security for him and he was granted that as well.  All of a sudden our finances are a little less scary.

Then right as my COBRA is running out and I am taking a job just for health insurance his unemployability rating comes through and I am now qualified for dependent health care through a federal program called CHAMPVA.  I still took the job but minus the health care deductions that would have eaten up most of my pay.  Still I feel panic that we are just waiting for the other shoe to drop.

And I get laid off from that job too after just 9 months.  In time to enjoy my summer greatly. And I do, and my winter too collecting unemployment and starting to build my consulting business.  I got called back to the job but after just 3 months I quit as it just isn't working out for me and the VA travel is not working out for my husband.

His mother had recently passed away and money from her estate and a car from her estate allowed me to sell my car and take on a car with no payment this allowed me to quit that job.  And yet all the time I am worried that I made some grave error.

And yet when I did my taxes this year and realized just how much I am making from my consulting and from waiting tables it suddenly came to me - we are pretty secure.  I can stop worrying about this from day to day.  It seems someone has been watching out for us, things happen just when we need them and we are not just comfortable, for people in our situation we are pretty well off.

I'm almost afraid to breathe a sigh of relief, there are still things we need to do (life insurance for a start) but for right now I can stop waiting for that other shoe to fall.  For right now we are pretty secure and in this economy that is saying a heck of a lot.

Just very thankful to have one less thing to worry about right now.


Jennifer Leeland said...

In the situation I'm in right now, I really appreciate this. It IS scary, but I think the right thing to do always is. I admire you so much for the way you've fought through all this.

Tricia said...

Glad it was helpful to someone. IT's just a load off to finally be able to say that it's okay and it's going to be okay.