Roland approaches retirement with what a healthy nest egg: three houses, a seven-figure retirement account, and a pension that covers most monthly expenses.
Rosabelle just sold her retail business, after two years of coming to realize that, “This is not where I want to be.” A combination of increased competition and her own disinterest lowered the sale price and she faces bankruptcy. She owns nothing except a used car, a few clothes and some odd bits of books and furniture.
Roland rarely talks about his future. He talks about saving fifty dollars a year on his car insurance by spending 8 hours listening to a “safe driving over 60” class. He spends hours negotiating with a real estate agent to save a few hundred dollars when he sells a house he inherited. He wonders if he will run out of money in his lifetime.
Rosabelle reminds everyone she will be free to do whatever she wants once the business is gone. She might get a scholarship to study in a natural healing program or take a few months to explore her options. She wouldn’t mind a job in just the right place. She knows she will bounce back.
Rosabelle smiles when she talks about her relationship with her current significant other. She doesn’t know where it’s going but she’s enjoying the ride. Roland’s friends have begun to avoid him: they don’t want another dose of financial doom-and-gloom.
Most of us fall somewhere between Rosabelle and Roland. We’re not ready to be as free as Rosabelle and we tell ourselves we wouldn’t fret if we had Roland’s money. We can all be owned by fear, no matter how much money we have. And there’s no way to buy the gift of waking up with a feeling of anticipation: “Another day to do what I want!”