One of the saddest parts about being a Cleveland bankruptcy attorney is when retirees come to my office to file bankruptcy. I might never have the luxury of retirement. Not that I won’t slow down, but what I do is something that can keep me in the swing and on the cutting edge of technology. Your job, or perhaps your health might not offer the same options.
Maybe I am a bit naive. I look at you and see the over used term, “greatest generation.”
- You built the world as we know it.
- The cities, buildings and factories…all yours
- How about freedom? You took on and defeated dictators and emperors who threatened the world.
Most mornings I meet with a group for breakfast and coffee. They are retired judges, lawyers and a gang of World War II and Korean veterans. These guys really impress me. So much so that I now listen to the big band channel on satellite radio to get a feel for what still makes these guys tick. They are sharp as a tack and one can still wear his Marine uniform.
Now you are in a bankruptcy lawyer’s office, often with your one, responsible child, desperate for help with bills you can never hope to pay. You weren’t raised to do this. You made the bills, you should pay them. That’s just how it is. There’s right and wrong. How could this have happened?
I have a few suggestions about how you came to be one of the retirees ready to file bankruptcy. Some are from Conscious Prosperity by John More.
- Social security and government programs are not enough to live on.
- You over-estimated the rate of asset growth.
- None of us ever expected to live this long. What did the comic say? “If I had known I was going to live this long I would have taken better care of myself.” Goes for the money too.
- Over estimating the amount you could take out and spend. The market crash didn’t help.
- The devil is in the details. You forgot to look at all the costs. Transaction fees. Long term care costs.
- Not diversifying your investments. I have a friend, a former stock broker, who had a sculpture in his office. It was a cart with no donkey. It said, “I lost my ass in the market.”
- Forgetting Uncle Sam. Remember him? He was the guy on the war bond posters. You did it all for him. Willing to give everything. Well, he still has his hand out. Had a million dollars put away? 40% belonged to him, your state or commonwealth, and the city you live in. You actually had only $600,000. Now it’s gone.
- Where did it all go? You wanted nothing but the best for your family. They needed. They begged. They even promised to pay it back. You loaned, and loaned, and loaned, and maybe even borrowed. Nobody repaid a dime. Now you need help.
Being among retirees who need to file bankruptcy is not a bad thing. I know it’s against everything you stand for. You need help. You fought, you worked, you sacrificed, and you saved for this nation. The bankruptcy law is in place for you. You are entitled to it. It’s yours. Use it. I can help. I will remember who you are, what you did, and how you came to be here.
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