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Solving my retirement problems(1)
Posted: Saturday, October 21, 2017 3:27 PM
Joined: 2/26/2016
Posts: 292

I have read a lot about people retiring and not having enough money to live on. I retired from the federal government at 60, giving up my federal health insurance for myself and my wife. I figured that I was in great shape, running everyday, and I could make it until 65, when medicare kicks in. My wife still had her insurance from her job, so I thought we would be OK.


Within a year after my retirement, my wife was diagnosed with cancer, and we found out that her insurance only paid a small part of the treatment. I had to cash in my retirement savings and refinance the house. Sadly she passed away two years later, and I was left with a $1200 house payment with no equity and getting only $1600 a month in social security and retirement. Not wanting to be dependent on my children, I moved to Ghana, where I had lived for two years when I was in the peace corps in the 1980's.


I have been here for 8 years now and I love it. I live in a nice modern three bedroom house on the coast in Takoradi. The plot is completely walled around with a very long driveway that I use to go jogging on 2 miles every morning. I am only paying 100 dollars a month rent.


I don't have a car, but unlike in the states, I don't need one. I share a taxi every time I want to make the 5 mile trip to town, and it only costs 50 cents, and taxis are every where, so I don't have to wait. Food is cheap. I only pay about $40 a month for electricity. Satellite TV is only $30 with 50 plus channels including the popular American ones. Even imported goods are much cheaper here.

 After moving here in 2009, I married a wonderful Ghanian lady, and we have two beautiful girls, age 7 and 1. As you might guess, she is quite a bit younger than me, about 30 years. Her family really likes me and I know I won't end up in a nursing home, because my wife and extended family will take care of me.


I have only been seriously sick one time since I have been here. It was a kidney infection, and I spent 3 days in the hospital taking IV antibiotics. I completely recovered and my bill for 3 days with no insurance was $60. The hospitals here can handle most medical care and surgeries, but if I need, I can return to that states and use medicare.


About 3 years ago, I began experiencing extreme mental fatigue and occasional confusion. I went to the hospital and all tests came back negative and after a process of elimination, the doctor said he thought I had early stage dementia, and there was no treatment for it. After some research on the internet, I started taking the anti-inflammatory drug, montelukast (Singulair), which is FDA approved for the reduction of asthma attacks. My mental fatigue was gone within one week, and I have continued to take it for 18 months, 10mg twice a day, with no bad side effects. I don't have that mental fatigue anymore and I also sleep much more soundly.


I've had some problems but I have always been able to work them out. I always try not to lose hope and keep looking for a solution, and so far, it has worked well.



Mimi S.
Posted: Saturday, October 21, 2017 9:03 PM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 7027


What a fantastic life.  I'm so glad things worked out so well for you.

Posted: Sunday, October 22, 2017 2:53 AM
Joined: 1/23/2017
Posts: 1328

Thanks for the interesting information, Larry. I'd like to see you posting more often. You have a unique retirement perspective.
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