Retirement: Is that all there is?

by Cliff Rothband
(Coconut Creek Fl)

Health forced retirement 10 years ago. I also found out that since I was a Vietnam Veteran i was eligible for funds besides Medicare. It took a few years to get and some annoyance but the money makes it better than physical labor which is behind me. If you are a Veteran, try it. It does take time and effort.

I did most of my bucket list as i was told often enough by doctors to get my affairs in order, you might die tomorrow. Well I am still here thanks to the VA Doctors who could care less if you got enough insurance to pay them.

An interesting side, maybe a miracle. We live in south Florida and went to Texas to meet a still alive half brother of my deceased father. I cherished meeting someone from that side of the family, I grew up without any. An enlightenment to say the least.

We visited the Alamo and inside my wife and I get cell phone texts that there was unusual activity within our accounts. Shucks we been on the road for weeks using our credit cards. What is up? We go into a Wells Fargo bank in San Antonio's Mexican district, use there computer and where did all this money come from?

Our mail was sitting home and no one was checking it out, it was like winning the Lotto. Weeks later we found out the VA benefits finally went through and I was paid as 100% disabled Vet for the rest of my life. A pension of sorts.

Well deserved for some of the hardest times of my wife and I's early first 2 years of a 51 year married life. The military is a million dollar experience not worth 2 bucks, as told to me by a college instructor, one pure Professional man.

Now ten years later, my thought was to see America first. Visit every military installation, every museum, the White House and Congress. On the cheap! Every beach we could find.

Little did we realize that driving up the East Coast we were heading East, not North as Triple A maps indicated. Food is different in every city and state. Words have different meanings. Toilets aren't always available. In Kennebunkport Maine, we filled up for $75 and asked where the rest rooms were? The Cashier asked didn't we know where bears go? In the woods. Fools are everywhere it seems, but there are some real good souls out there.

One time we stopped to check out an attraction, Parked in a handicapped space. The price was beyond what we wanted to spend. When we went back to the car, someone gave us 2 tickets , no charge, Miracles are where we least expected.

Now, so much happened after the new years, possible cancers, unexpected life stuations, good and bad. A fool trying to steal our money. Be it known that you never have to pay anyone, compromise is the rule of order.

Still 2 old mothers in nursing homes or hospice.
Finding out what they thought had value is worthless as cash. Remember that all we can take with us are memories, so they better be good.

My problem now, anxieties and depression, lonely and isolated feelings inside . Panic attacks.

Oh how I want to be happy, I want friends, I want to have a conversation about things other than blood and guts. I am so lucky and feel empty and scared inside.

So things never worked out as expected. BUT, I am 72 years on this earth.

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Give it a whirl
by: Ed McCormick, Fulton, NY 13069

You must be interested in some kind of hobby, try a few, photograph can be cheap and give you enjoyable walks. Volunteer a few days a week give back to some needy people.

Get out of the house and do something, idle hands and minds give you way too much time to think about what you are going to do, just do something.

Maybe look into a part time job a few days a week, you can meet some new people and if it don't work out who cares find another one you have nothing holding you back, you sound like you don't need a job anyways. If you enjoy people visit some nursing homes, lot of these people are totally bored and would appreciate your time.

My god with so much out there to do and try give it a whirl.

I know just how you feel, too....
by: Steve, Bensalem, PA.

Before anything, Welcome Home, Brother! Believe me when I say, I've been down the road as well.

I am a Vietnam Vet, 100% P&T. It took several years to get my approval. Ran thru hoops, as you say. Been on retirement ever since (going on a year next month).

All the emotions go along with the journey, i.e., depression, anxiety, name it. There is help out there if you seek it.

You may not like my suggestion, but the VA is there to help. They have many groups available and you will find that we are not alone in the struggle. All we have to do is ask. Please do the same and don't take this on alone.

Like I've said above, I (we) have been thru hell and back. Now is the time to get you the help as well.

Hello Cliff - notwithstanding your challenges, you appear to be better off than some
by: Bernard Kelly, Australia

Hello Cliff -

congratulations on an inspiring and newsy post, however to be honest, and notwithstanding your challenges, you appear to be better off than some.



One vet to another
by: Larry/ South Carolina

Hello Cliff,

I spent time in Vietnam as well. I joined the Navy to see the world with a plan to return to college and avoid being drafted into the Army where I may have to carry a rifle on some front line. Well, my plan backfired. I ended up becoming a medic attached to the Marine Infantry!

Sent to Danang. Wounded in six months and sent home, fortunately still in one piece. Although I was serious wounded during an ambush attack, I was very lucky not to be disabled for the bullet just missed my spine.

Anyway, good to hear you found the VA and got the coverage I'm sure you deserved. Good luck with everything you're doing.

I am so lucky, but feel empty and scared inside
by: Nancy

That sums is up for me, too. I have an idyllic life now. I truly enjoy retirement. I spend all days on interesting hobbies I've developed. But I am scared of what comes next. I worry about my husband who has health problems. I don't miss work. I've been thinking about work, I had many jobs, and each and every job there was at least one mean person who made work stressful

I wish you all the best. Don't know if it helps you to know there are others of us who feel the same, but it helps me to know there are others out there.

I enjoyed reading your post and all the adventures you had. I appreciate your military service, especially that you are a Viet Nam vet.

Take care of yourself.

disabled fun
by: mildred/tn

I am 78. My mother in law taught me to always take my fun w/ me.

I have a sign posted in my bed room - NO MATTER HOW U FEEL,GET UP, SHOW UP, DRESS UP AND NEVER GIVE UP.

As long as I can do 1/2 of this I will survive. Today I planted 2 beef tomato plants, 1 green pepper plant,chives, rhubarb, picked a hand full of strawberries from my plants in flower pots, Keeping busy is my answer. I do admit that winter time causes me to have depression..

Love my life so far.

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