What can you do if you broke in your senior years?

There is a segment of society that doesn’t really get much attention, seniors with small or no pensions and little or no assets. It’s not that there wasn’t a plan for the future but life takes some turns that are just hard to anticipate.

I had done everything right. I started a business, got married, worked hard, paid off the house,  my warehouse and was ready to start taking it easy in my early forties. That was until my wife asked for a divorce. This was a crushing blow not only financially but emotionally as well. I felt like I had to start over again but that was OK, I was only 42, I had plenty of time to get up on it again.

I got remarried, sold my shop and started a career in real estate about a year before the biggest financial crisis in a generation. Needless to say the 6 years I spent doing real estate were difficult and stressful.

What else can go wrong?

At this time I was feeling the effects of what I now know was uncontrolled diabetes which really clouded my judgement (read my post about the effects of diabetes here). I made one bad decision after another including getting divorced again with even more dire financial consequences.

I started a Title loan company with an acquaintance that turned out to be quite a con man which led to legal battles and an unbelievable amount of stress. I managed to salvage a used car lot out of that mess which I was able to keep afloat for another 4 years. As I am not one to quit easily I did every imaginable thing to make it work until I had no money or credit left.

How to start over when you are running out of time

My health had deteriorated to the point that I was barely functioning (you can read about that here). I finally gave up. I hit rock bottom.  I was 55, I had no money left, no wife, I was sick to the point of death and I felt like there was no time left to try to start over. I felt I would end up homeless.

I finally took steps to deal with my health problems which is probably the best advice I could give to anybody. You really cannot deal with anything else until have the health, both physically and mentally, to move forward.  Health is wealth as they say.

Find Inspiration

After health, you need to find the wealth again which can be an intimidating prospect the older you get. I found inspiration in the movie “The Founder” which was about Ray Kroc who was not really the founder of McDonald’s but the one who made it into what it is today. What is inspirational is that after many years of trying many different failed enterprises he still went after opportunity and started working on McDonalds when he was 52.

The facts are that as long as you take care of your health you have opportunity if you want it, even when you are approaching or into your senior years.

I don’t have any advice here. I talk about what I did wrong and what I did right and what I think I should have done in hindsight. I hope to promote discussion and ideas and hopefully some success stories and some fails. Knowing what not to do is just as important as knowing what to do.

I also post quotes I come across that I think have some relevance to our changing world. These are just my opinions. Feel free to agree, disagree or just plain set me straight. Please be nice.