Year One: A case of lemonade’s

Tuesday, February 06, 2018 was a shocking day for us. Robert has to quit his high-paying job and take an unpaid medical retirement. His Ankylosing Psoriasis Arthritis was out of remission and brought his health down. His symptoms included Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Our financial picture was okay, or so we thought. Until reality sunk in. We cashed our savings and 401K in and final bonus. We paid to get rid of the truck and payment of $751.00 monthly. We bought a used truck for $7100.00 and had to make $2500.00 in repairs in September.

We were ushered into the world of Social Security Disability Insurance claim and hiring a good lawyer.   May met with approval for September 2018.

My prescriptions were $2,000.00 monthly, and Roberts was $900.00 monthly, no problem if you have insurance—now we didn’t. Discover Catholic charity organization that would help one time per year. They helped with mine but couldn’t with Roberts they used the amount that would have been allotted to him, and we paid the difference on the prescription bill.

We paid off credit card debt. Stopped the housekeeper, lawn care, dog walker, and pooper-scooper services. We made changes for the Internet/TV and cellular phone services $800.00 monthly became $300.00 monthly. Then my daughter helped shave $200.00 off the bill. We cut back on eating out and spa days. Mindless shopping was a thing of the past.

 Little did we know that in seven weeks he would suffer a heart attack and have heart surgery performed hours later on Tuesday, March 20th. The hospital required an $18,368.00 deposit ($61,000.00+ Surgery). Public health services were non-existent; I filled out two applications (1st was lost) and kept on them for three months only to be denied services because my husband made too much money in 2017. We have a huge garage sale fundraiser.

We began to search for medical insurance; what a sticker shock! $500.00+ monthly for basic and I do mean basic insurance through care.gov program; no prescription coverage, two annual checkups, and 70/30 copay with $1500.00 deductible and only pay the hospital $250.00 for any hospital stay greater than 20hours. In 2019, despite it using part of the name- our insurance was not Obamacare approved so guess who had to pay a $1100.00 tax penalty?

April rolls around an air conditioner/heat pump quit working.  We coast into May, hot temperatures force us to spend $2400.00 on portable air conditioner/heat units. Our electric bill doubles for three months until we take a personal loan out to replace the ac/unit in June.

July 1st rolls around, we pay our mortgage. No funds have been coming in from employment or any other source. We officially run out of money. SSDI does not start until September 15th.

Our pride is sunk. My daughters help with food and life insurances. We’re not out of the woods, yet.

December comes, we ask, and our church helps us out with utilities, and a community link helps with food once a month. Christmas giving is non-existent without the use of an online store credit card. We go into debt willfully; we don’t want the grandchildren to think we forgot about them. We spent $40k of savings & SSDI to survive the 1st ¾ of the year.

January 2019. Our real estate taxes increase, the homeowner’s insurance raises $400.00, and we have an escrow shortage that jacks our payments up.

February 6th, 2019 one year to the day, we list our house for sale.

March 11,2019. There are pitfalls with our credit score that have to be addressed so we can buy another cheaper place to live. We have learned to live frugally. I have been attending a Dave Ramsey Financial University workshop. We were cut to the bone. What turned out to be fair weather friends abandoned us, and true friends came forward to offer encouragement.

Our faith in GOD had grown. Our commitment to the church has grown in creating and developing a ministry and helping out other ministries with our time and talents. Our family dynamics have remained stable; we have each other’s heart.  We are over the foothills and are climbing the mountains’. God has been our strength, our refuge, an ambassador of our belief in him through Jesus Christ our Lord. Evil will always be among us, but so is good.

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