Diabesity Challenge Day #29 – A Worried Mind and Retirement Responsibilities

no-retirement-savingsWhy am I up at 3:00 AM? I only slept 6 1/2 hours and I am wide awake. It’s Mom. That wonderful women who raised me in ways that certainly can be questionable as far as parenting is concerned. After my alcoholic of a dad left our home when I was at the ripe age of 12, Mom found it difficult to bare the fact that there is another woman in her man’s life. Although she managed to get by with returning to the work field our lives had changed. I certainly didn’t miss the midnight beatings Mom took when Dad returned home after a hard night of drinking, nor the lack of attention I received from him. What I did miss was the fact that there was always food on the table and although we lacked in other ways we weren’t hungry. After dad left Mom would cry herself to sleep at night for what seemed like years. She tried desperately to discover love once again and I watched man after man move through our lives. She even took a chance and simply took off to California to marry a man who it turned out was already married.

My younger sister has lived with Mom most of her adult life as they have always leaned on each other to make ends meet in this challenging world. Mom loves to cook as it is here way of showing love to all she interacts with. She took on breast cancer last year and met it head on with a relentless attitude that it would not kill her. She won that battle but now faces a new one. As a simple soul she has never been good with handling money at all. It seems to leave her life as quickly as it comes in. Being retired she is on a fixed income and has no other choice but to handle it frugally, but I just don’t believe she knows how and if she does she simply refuses to do so. My sister is struggling herself with the loss of a job six months ago. Without a waitress job that provided her so well she finds herself now working in construction until another job appears for her. She is almost 50 years old which is close to the age many get out of the field of construction. They are both struggling and it is breaking my heart.

As a young man I found myself in a position of both father and big brother. I worked and provided for our family even while still in school. It was difficult to take on such a roll but what other choice was there. Even beyond my early days there were so many times I found that there was a need and I always managed to find resources for Mom. Today as I am fighting to provide for retirement myself I have too become a very simple soul. I have put a plan in place to ensure that I can count on self reliance in retirement and maybe leave behind an inheritance for my grandchildren. It takes hard work and dedication at this time in life but I am determined to make it happen.

85I wrote a check out this morning and sent it Mom’s way once again. I am a good man and try to help out, but at the same time I have my own dreams and aspirations. I have my daughter’s wedding to pay for this fall. I feel guilty for not being in a position to lend better support for mom. Am I being greedy or responsible? I want to help but at the same time I don’t want to help.

Sometimes I want to scream out about the life Mom has lead as through the years she could have simply put just a little bit on money aside each week and found herself in a much better place today. She always took on the attitude that life was about so much more than that. Her lack of planning is a direct result of the position she is now in. Even today she has no direction and takes on each day with the attitude that everything will be OK. It was this same attitude I saw in her when we were younger and found ourselves moving from apartment to apartment year in and year out. Each time it was my grandfather who stepped forward with anger and a check in hand. My Grandfather ended up passing away in debt and many of the dreams he had for retirement were washed away through the cost of living that his own retirement could not support.

Throughout life we all lend ourselves in the act of helping other’s. It’s what we do and family is always in the front of this line. On the other hand each one of us bears the responsibility of not only taking care of ourselves, but also putting aside enough for the future. I thoroughly believe that all it takes is just 10% of your earning throughout your lifetime to provide for 100% of retirement. Learn the ways of minimalism and simple living and find a way to putting away that 10%. I learned that just by giving up smoking I could accelerate my rate of getting out of debt. There are so many other ways and avenues to investigate in your own life.
Yesterday was a good day in the life of this 55 year old battling Type II Diabetes. A protein shake for breakfast followed by a bowl of assorted berries, a salad with my favorite blend of Virgin Olive Oil and Balsamic with a burger cut up on the side, and dinner with a plate of cooked garden fresh spinach and a crab cake all shined through for providing me with a wonderful fasting glucose test this morning. Taking the day off from working out yesterday was a good decision as my body needed the rest. With my lack of sleep last night I am taking it easy with my leg workout this morning.
Blood Sugar- 102, Body Weight- 186.0

Bowflex – LEGS
Squats- 220- 15, 15
Calf Raises- 220- 15, 15
Leg Extensions- 200- 15, 15

About SimpleLivingOver50

At 53 years old I am starting to realize how life changes both physically and emotionally. I strive for a life of simplicity. I am winning the battle with type II diabetes, created a plan to have all debt paid off in 4 years including the house, taking advantage of every opportunity to live life to it's fullest through adventures in nature, hiking, biking, loving and learning.
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16 Responses to Diabesity Challenge Day #29 – A Worried Mind and Retirement Responsibilities

  1. New Journey says:

    Heart felt post….Its so hard when our parents are in need….Ii am sorry for you mothers earlier years of abuse….I couldn’t imagine….but she does have the love of her children, and as you know that is a lot….when I was married to my second husband, we supported his mom and brother in El Salvador….we sent 300$ a month to them….it was all they had….we were thankful that it was enough to put food on the table and pay the electric….we didn’t even think twice….just something kids do, however we took care of own family first…….your a good son…your a caring person and I really love that you are keeping your and Sharon up front and in your financial mind….good for you !! How wonderful she beat breast Cancer…good for her, that had to be a very hard time for her…sending good thoughts to your family, I know what it was like to be 50 and looking for work…not easy…..you had a good day, and I ate most of the day….aghhhhh – 3 days forward then one day back for me….back at it this morning and throwing the frigin coconut peanut butter away….I can’t put it down once I open it…….I have sworn never to buy it again..,,,,,, have a fantastic day… xxkat

  2. kkeevins says:

    Heartbreaking post. Here’s something g to think about: We all have choices; we reap what we sow. That probably sounds cold, but I do believe that God has a plan for all of us. The result may be based on our choices.

    Congratulations to you, Bill, on your choices — you’re a great example to your children.
    Praying for your mom. We all do the best we can.


  3. Gosh! What a bare-the-soul post! You made we well up – big hug to you. While my parents are financially independent, they are retired and old now and live in another city. I constantly feel they need me even if they dont need my money – and since I live and work in another state, they are always on my mind and the trade off between physically caring for them and living my life is seldom a straightforward one. Thankfully communication technology helps. Your mom raised a good son, a good human being. Hope you work out something mutually beneficial for every one in your family. My respect for you grew in quantum jump today after listening to your back story.

  4. suzewannabe says:

    You are not alone.

    You did not cause it
    You cannot cure it

    While I would help if my family were starving, I refuse to enable them They are their choices and I can love from a distance.

    I pay for my mom’s phone because giving is part of our budget. Whenever I give, it’s me directing God’s money. I’m merely the manager.

    My dad has less but he chose to always live in the moment, buying toys and things for the boys- hunting, fishing, camping.

    If I helped everyone with poor judgement, money would not flow to causes of God’s choosing.

  5. ahitchon says:

    I get how stressful that can be. My husband and I constantly worry about his parents, who are in debt and almost at retirement age. We are worried we can’t help them without hindering ourselves, but also deeply want to help them because they are such warm and loving people, and family to boot!

  6. MinimalMelody says:

    I’m glad you wrote this post and I know how very hard it was to do so. My abusive father left when I was 12 too and I’ve always been the one my mom relied on. I am thankful she was frugal all of her life but even still, she struggles financially because of her health problems and the numerous medications that she must take. As the “responsible child” I often feel that I should step in to pick up the slack and then I’m frustrated when I don’t reach my own goals because of it. Your post makes me feel less alone in the struggle. Thank you! I hope we both find a happy medium between helping family and securing our own future.

  7. geekkat says:

    It’s hard to see anyone suffer especially if it is your family. We all make choices that put us where we are. Sometimes those choices put us in such a position that we keep making bad choices even though at the moment they are made they seem like they are the right one because we don’t see the consequences. You feeling obligated is normal…it’s your mom. But does this mean you have to destroy what you have so hard worked for? Not necessarily (that probably sounds mean) but you should try to help with what you can. That does not always mean money…it can mean anything. It will work out the way it is supposed. I wish you the best because it is tough to make that kind of decision.

  8. Nina Trema says:

    My parents lived frugally all their lives and after they gained more stability with their retirement – and the selling of their farm – they still continue to live that way. They both were children during WWII, in Italy, and both their families were poor, so simplicity became their way to be. Luckily my father recovered last July, after two years of a mild depression, associated with Parkinson’s like symptoms. When my husband and I left Italy to move to England, he was still in bad conditions and I felt the worst of the daughters. But we had no other choice. We were going to face bankruptcy, while now, in England, with his salary alone we do better than working both in Italy.
    So I am telling you that working hard is right, is the best way to set a straight cruise on your life, but sometimes you also need to believe that things are going to be better because all of you struggles alone won’t do it. Sometimes is up to you to decide what is wrong and what is right and is the hardest thing to do. It is the greatest gift and the hardest duty. A big hug and sorry for all my blabbering 🙂

  9. Jenn Prime says:

    As much as it goes against our wishes to help our family members, whoever they may be, we also have our own lives to live. You’re a good man, Billy. You still help when you can, but those we love can sometimes drag us down, and you would do them no more good if you gave it all, and lost everything. Be proud-you’ve been a ‘do right’ man, all along.

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