About 35 years ago I fled the VA system in fear of my life. I never refiled a rejected claim and swore I would never go back. I dealt with various PTSD demons on my own nickel and discovered both my cervical and lumbar spine was disintegrating from a severe mine incident in 1968. I have been crippled on and off for the last five years.
I have worked and payed into the SS system since I was 14, rarely making more that $25K a year. All told I worked about 24 years in government service. When I retired early a couple years ago, I walked away from a early retirement bonus of $25k had I stayed another year. I cashed out my retirement accounts and payed a ton of tax penalties for doing so
At the urging of some crew mates from RVN I filed a new claim with the VA and they all helped in documenting what happened to me while there.
The VA is now addressing my problems, hopefully completed before the storm.
For the last year and a half I have received: SS retirement, Government pension, and 70% VA disability. It is a good income in my present situation. I paid for it all in one form or another.
Before I retired, I lived on the SE Gold coast of S. Florida in a high rise on the intercoastal water way. Working 50 hour weeks, nights, with long commutes, I lived ” La Vida Loco” and pissed away about $100K inheritance, one year on fast boats and booze. I had some expensive toys and my maintenance payment alone was over $500 a month. I managed to do a very quick under value sale on my condo having lost about $300K in equity, from the housing crash. I bought well so I still did walk away with a profit.
I moved to an undisclosed location in the country the day after my retirement and shortly paid off the mortgage on my new moderate property.
I now have chickens, a dog, cat, well water, aquaponics and am building an extensive solar system. I live in the sticks with good, simple, polite, God fearing people.
I have fled to the mountains, so to speak, because, I do not envision those three government checks to last very much longer. No matter who you are, individual or government, you can not long continue to spend $10 to make $5. The end has to come soon. I have devoted all of my energy and treasure to being self-reliant. Being able to step off grid with a few very close friends at a moments notice and be beholding to no one. The final step in my break from the “future” is paying off my final credit card, which is more than I care to think about. I have few other bills so I will make short work of that. I keep a minimum in the bank to cover bills (car insurance, electric, communications and all other expenses going on AM EX which is paid off every month). I have cash and some metals put aside for future real estate taxes. Those of you who have followed my past articles know also of the extensive supplies and preps I have made.
Due to the fact that I have planned better and longer (always been a prepper of some sort) than my friends, I have invested a great deal of my life’s profits in our retreat so that we have some hope of a comfortable survival, come the fall. I have long been the best friend and the worst of enemy.
I have had money and I have lived on instant potatoes and catsup packets.
If you are new to this, get involved. Don’t put it off. You have to really work at it. No one is going to give it to you.
Let it snow!