Tom E. Milton

by Tom E. Milton
(Wasilla, AK, USA)

I am new to retirement(?) as a disabled veteran. In 2003 I was working on a homestead in Alaska, finding ways to go off grid and live successfully, when my body gave me a wake up call with heart problems culminating in open heart surgery; diabetes;degenerative joint disease, arthritis and neuropathy; and other more minor ailments that curtailed my wilderness dream.

Now, I live on a very limited income, and find several new and exciting points of interest to relate:

1) I am paying off a 19 foot camper trailer to live in rather than paying rent and will, within a few months, be free of the 'rent' hassles of most low-income bound elderly and disabled persons.

2) I do not use regular credit cards as I consider them to be quicksand traps, financially speaking, for low income recipients. And yet there is a need in today's society for some form of 'card' use to prevent elderly and disabled financial loss and abuse. So I have found the tenet of 'prepaid' credit cards. My main card charges no monthly fee with a limit of $10,000 which can be put on the card if direct deposit is attached, or $2500 if no direct deposit is attached. Only the monies put on the card will be available to the recipient and there is a $2.50 fee for ATM use, or a $.50 fee to get money back through vendors and merchants. No yearly or monthly fees are affixed however, so the account is basically worry free. I can access the account on the phone or on the internet and I don't have to worry about interest and penalties.

3) Food banks, thrift stores and the like are a way of life for many of us on low incomes, and the first thing I do when entering new and unknown territory is find the facilities which provide such amenities.

4) Many things must be let go of to live as I do, but there is no 'loss' or 'lack' because of my lifestyle; only adjustments. I have all I need and, for the most part, all I want in this lifestyle. My lifestyle also lets me go where I want when I want; though I am now looking at ways to see the world as well.

Life can be interesting and fulfilling at any level, but sometimes it becomes necessary to lower one's sights to see the flowers.

Live well, have fun, and laugh, at yourself and the world, and the sun will always come shining through.

Tom E. Milton

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