This morning my daughter reminded me that they say one has to begin saving for retirement in their twenties. I reminded her that when I was in my twenties I was just trying to make ends meet and sometimes not able to do that. I think that is true of many people. We all have dreams. We all want to stash a bit for a rainy day or even a bit of pleasure yet life sometimes takes a different direction and just to live day to day, takes all we have.
If we own a home, the taxes take a huge chunk of our money. Insurance another big chunk. Those natural disasters we pay for one way or another even if we do not live in the area. We pay. And even if we don’t have children in school, we pay. Then there are the utilities that even if one keeps the thermostat high in the summer, low in the winter, the bills are outrageous. Owning a car takes a lot as well. Especially if one has an older car and even though long ago paid for, it is costly.
So I wonder how we all make it. Some of my friends on facebook are taking big trips to Europe. Others are standing in front of new cars with beaming smiles. Good for all of them. Maybe they saved in their twenties. Maybe they were not a single Mom trying to make ends meet. Most have had nice inheritances which help tremendously and make life a lot easier. Some have shared a life with another and able to share the burdens.
So the joy of owning a home vanished out the window with the manipulating of the value by the appraisal district to raise the taxes to an outrageous amount for such a tacky little country village. The homes around me are tattered. Most unkept. I added a new fence which I guess the district thought was worth bumping the value of my home. I mow the grass which didn’t happen by the previous owner. I planted a few flowers to try to make it look better so I guess that added to the value and thus taxes on the plants as well which were already taxed through the sales tax. And nourished with the expensive water from time to time however mostly collected from any source I can other then the faucet.
Really how does one live. How does one afford to cover everything that needs to be covered. How does one avoid the gloom of no joy, no pleasures just to have a roof over their head and to pay the taxes to support a county, a school. What benefit does it all bring. There isn’t any security, not really in owning one’s home. I thought there would be yet I am learning there isn’t. If one does not have insurance and a storm blows through, well you are homeless then. And sometimes even if you have insurance the company may not pay fairly for the loss. And if you need to skip all pleasures and maybe cut back on food to try to pay the taxes, well then there is the burden of perhaps being ill. And if you can’t pay the taxes then you loose your home.
So what is the answer in this ever expensive world we live in. Really how do those of us without inheritances, high incomes make it and how do we hang onto what little we have worked so hard to have. There are so many after it all. So many just waiting for the shoe to fall so they can rush in and seize the day. They feed off the older people on fixed incomes. They ravage their savings, their income for their own benefits. The local government may have deductions supposedly to protect them, however they find a way to increase the value to create a higher amount due. So there is no benefit, not really. Workers manipulate the charges and do shoddy work knowing that older people or single women have few alternatives but to accept and pay.
There are others who on the basis of false caring manipulate to gain ownership of property. Manipulate the change of wills to their gain. It is dicey growing older and it seems all of us are sitting ducks at the arcade. The stock market takes a dive and our life work and savings disappears overnight.
It is difficult to find peace of mind and happiness. To find joy in the day. To laugh. All that we think we will have in a day vanishes with a letter, a bill, a call. And then a family member reminds us that we were suppose to save back in our twenties when every dime went to live. As it does, once again.
More and more I understand why there are so many older people who commit suicide. It is overwhelming at times to exist. To try to stretch the dollars covering the high cost to live which increases almost daily. Everything goes up…sometimes ten cents on a food item within one day. Sometimes dollars on other items in a week. Sometimes like property taxes more then double in a year. The same with insurance.
So what does one do. Some people I know have sold everything and live in small apartments just to be able to have a bit of joy. Of course rents will increase and perhaps eventually displace a person. Yet another dilemma to address when the time comes.
It is unfortunate to be so slammed with constant increases that take huge bites, not nibbles, big bites out of one’s world, one’s pleasure, one’s property. It makes one want to simply pack up everything and walk away. An RV is looking more and more desirable with each tax increase, each person who needs something, each work man who does shoddy work for big fees.
Maybe roaming is the answer. Yet friends would be missed and perhaps the quality of life would be even less then struggling through the strings that bind the joys of ownership of anything in this country. To be twenty again without responsibilities, that would be the thing to solve it all. Turn back the time. Change things. Change circumstances. Change characteristics…so it is to plan for the next life. To come back next time with a better plan. To shirk the strings. To find the pleasures of life. At least that is something to look forward to if this day is burdened with the high costs of living then look forward to the next life….Something to look forward to indeed.
Meanwhile we must find a way to cut the strings. To find joy in our day. To shirk the reminders that we should have worked three jobs when we were in our twenties to live freely today. We must just soldier on, ignore the binds of the strings. Ignore the dreams that pop into our heads. We must just go with each day knowing that eventually we will have a better path where there are no burdens to endure. Where there is joy and plenty. Where the strings of ownership vanish.
And then back to life today, perhaps it is indeed time to sell everything, pack up the felines and roam. Feel the breeze. Yes feel the breeze of freedom.