After a hard day’s work throwing things away, there’s only one thing to do: savor what was saved.
Steve had just invested in his tried-and true, low-risk restaurant and gone back to school. The decision had been so painstaking, but after much deliberation we had come up with a good plan. The hours he put in tending bar, creating his signature cocktails, and acting as beverage director and manager would be severely curtailed, because Hunter’s Physical Therapy program was so intensive. But if he invested a little, we figured, he’d receive a steady weekly income that would get us through even on the weeks his studies prevented him from working a shift.
So—we borrowed money, dipped into our savings, and invested. In the years Steve had worked on his prerequisite courses, he’d picked up extra shifts and after my school year was over, I had found some part time summer work so we could put away money little by little for his City School tuition. No loans! We were still paying off a school loan, and we didn’t want another.
We had it all planned out. No loans—that’s funny now. 🙂
There were so many life changes all at once, even before the storm, both in progress and in the planning stages. I was looking into buying a preschool/daycare/camp with a friend even as I continued to work as a public school teacher on Long Island. I would work all the time. I figured Steve would be studying, anyway. If the deal went through, the money we’d saved for his tuition would be invested in my preschool, which promised an immediate steady income. Then while Steve was unable to work shifts we could live off my teaching salary, my preschool hours, and the steady incomes from our two investments.
Between us in the end, we’d have two businesses, a teaching job, and a physical therapy degree! This all but insured that we’d be comfortable enough to buy that west coast bed and breakfast when we retired. We were excited, but scared. After all, we’d heard—and knew from experience—that the best-laid plans often go awry.
The restaurant is gone. The ocean engulfed it, and churned the kitchen equipment into a twisted mound of metal. Steve’s bar inventory was run through the spin cycle in six feet of salt water. Unrecoverable. Underinsured. Over. All of it.
Steve missed three weeks of his first semester of school, and had to drop out of this exclusive PT program that only admits 28 students per year. He was invited back for September, but had to decline. Work on the house has not even started, and he will be helping with construction full time. All the savings that was to put him through school is already spent on the house.
The best-laid plans! You do not think about losing your house, job, savings, car, career path, and major investment all at once—but that is what happened to Steve. What do you think about this? Any words of wisdom? We’ve heard plenty but we want more! Please comment, or if you don’t have time to elaborate, perhaps you could answer the survey question below.