Friday, March 20, 2015

Where did it go?

Check out time
As tax time nears suddenly we're all
focused on money matters. Frankly,
there's nothing I enjoy about having
to account for one's shekels. In theory
I should be fairly adept at managing
budgets. After all professionally I've
been leveraging and maximizing mega
millions of other people's money for
years. My problem is on the home
front and therefore is highly personal.
Hence I'm rather ashamed to admit to
an inability to effectively manage my
finances. I'm just not very good at it.
The more the merrier
Throughout my life I was blessed
with marketable skills that enabled
me to hold fairly responsible jobs
and therefore live a comfortable
existence. When one starts out in
their adult life - funds are always
limited. After one starts a family
they become even tighter. Yet as
time progressed I simply figured
out how to make more money to
pay more bills. While at times it
wasn't quite enough, somehow
we kept our heads above water.
Here today, gone tomorrow
By the time I was in my early thirties
I'd theoretically made it. Life was posh
with two lovely homes, nice cars, club
memberships, and subscriptions to the
right cultural institutions. As the owner
of my own company, I had what I was
told was fairly good medical insurance.
However, when illness suddenly hit our
household - the harsh fact that it wasn't
good enough hit us hard. And soon that
delicate balance between success and
failure was gravely challenged. Shortly
thereafter it all simply fell apart.
Sicker than you think
You see, my insurance had payout
maximums within certain categories.
Unbeknownst to me said ceilings
were ineffective at best. Once said
coverage was gone - charges and
fees doubled or tripled. Quickly my
every financial resource evaporated
as I attempted to pay off the massive
debts. Meanwhile my marriage ended
and I exited my business for a secure
corporate environment with medical
insurance. Still in the end I lost it all.
And what could be sicker than that?
Rock bottom crisis
I must confess that I had to file for
bankruptcy. With high six digits of
medical debt there was no way out.
Slowly I rebuilt my life with Frank's
help. Years later when he became
gravely ill - my corporate medical
insurance covered the majority of
his expenses. Sadly since then I've
watched many friends hit financial
rock bottom due to medical crisis.
Like it or not we have a problem.
Yet many still argue that we don't
need to "fix" our medical system.
Much ado about nothing
How can those "with" be authorities
on those "without"?! Honestly, I'm
not talking to you about our medical
system unless you lacked insurance
BEFORE "Obamacare." The urbane
quote urban legends of wild welfare
moms going to the ER for aspirin.
Yet folks like me who fell in the gap
between corporate insurance and
Medicaid had to choose between
losing it all or living. Today they
have an equitable way to pay their
bills. So what's so bad about that?!
Show me the money
We all think we're invincible. For that
reason alone these years of financial
hardship since 2008 have taught us
all a valuable lesson. Watching people
who I deeply love struggle financially
can be humbling. While I can't take care
of everyone, it is my responsibility to
take care of myself. Therefore I'm
setting up an appointment with a
financial advisor. I'm certain it will be
a painful experience. However the
more bitter the pill the faster the cure!
Isn't it time for your annual checkup?