Stress and Sleepless Nights

And so begins another week of uncertainty. I feel utterly exhausted by the lack of sleep and worry about our future. In all probability I will only know where I stand by the end of the week and it’s a busy week with lots of meetings through which I will have to smile and behave as normal whilst inside my stomach is cramping and churning like a cement mixer. The dark rings under my eyes are not doing me any favours either.

I prepared a worst case scenario budget and even by eliminating all voluntary savings we are going to be in the poo.  An aspect probably not thought through by my client is that to a large extent my operating costs will remain the same so every printer cartridge I have to purchase, every ream of paper, every telephone call will still eat into my fee reducing my income even further.

My once a week char lady will have to be let go, our twice a month gardener who has worked for us for the past 16 years will have to be reduced to once a month. Our holiday home which we own as part of a syndicate may have to be given up altogether although our son and DIL have indicated that they would like to pick up at least half the payment due. The holiday home was meant to feature hugely in OH’s retirement years and to be passed on to son and DIL who love it as much as we do. Losing it will be a bitter blow for the family.

Saddest of all, is the knowledge that there will be no chance of seeing our daughter and granddaughter unless they come to SA.

The ridiculous thing about all this is that we are not talking about a huge amount of money, just what would qualify as a very average SA salary, one on which you would be lucky to get a mortgage on anything more that a small apartment in an undesirable location. We have never lived extravagantly, and that is how we managed to afford our share of the holiday house. We have been through tough times before so I know how to budget and make food go further. OH will never give up on repairing something that has broken until he has tried everything he can. The difference now is our ages and the fact that our future earning potential is not good whereas in our younger days we had the hope that things would get better.

In September last year we sat down with our Financial Advisor and worked out a five-year plan that was sensible and somewhat frugal to try and add to retirement capital instead of depleting it too soon.  That five-year plan did not have a chance …


19 thoughts on “Stress and Sleepless Nights

  1. I’m hoping with you that the decision at the end of the week is a favourable and workable one, Optie. It’s normally the wait that so difficult and causes so much anxiety. Sending you strength to cope in this stressful time.

  2. I don`t think anyone can really prepare for retirement from an early age as most problems are unforeseen at that time in life. I certainly didn`t think I would still be in such good health at 73. I think my financial status now is a lot worse than I expected. Stress is definitely the worst thing at this time of life so it`s much better to smile and not take things too personally. All problems have a solution if approached in a stress free environment.

    • It’s good to hear that you are enjoying such good health Leo, 73 is not old by my standards. However it’s hard for me not to take this personally especially because of the way it has been handled.

  3. The whole thing is utterly immoral.
    Then, when one looks at the squandering done by the individuals who have allowed matters to deteriorate to this sort of scenario, one could simply SPIT!

    • You are so right Col, too many people just think that someone else will look after the details and that’s how I have ended up in this situation. People I had so much respect for have been seen in a whole new light and it’s not pretty.

  4. My heart goes out to you Optie. Only suggestion I have at such a difficult time is to see your doctor for something to see you through such an anxiety filled time. Even a course of St John’s Wart helps in times of huge stress.

  5. Again, my thoughts are with you. Such incredibly hard times and I understand exactly what you are saying in terms of when you are younger, blows like these have more of hope with them as the future still seems unlimited in its potential. I wish I could be of more help than simply saying I’m sorry and am thinking of you. Staring blankly at the screen trying to figure out something…..

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