Saturday, June 4, 2011

Retirement Observations - Crazyville

The end of this week finds me worrying that we relocate to Crazyville around the time we reach retirement age. Take for example the news item about the 73 year old man from Southern Arizona who was so insane over the terms of his recent divorce that he went on a shooting rampage.

At the end of it, his ex-wife and her lawyer were both dead, as were three bystanders and the man himself. His death was a suicide. Apparently he built up his courage by practicing on the other victims. He had certainly practiced the divorce part, having been through four of them before calling it quits with the wife he shot. It’s unclear whether he tried to shoot any of his other exes.

I know what you’re thinking: “It must have been a hell of a divorce settlement.” Actually, the main issue was who got custody of their mobile home. The article did not specify whether it was a double-wide. The marriage lasted from 2002 to 2007, which made the shooter 64 to 69 during the union.

So, what made him go berserk this time around? And why now, if they split in 2007? Was the trailer that fabulously tricked out? Perhaps by the time he reached 73, this man from a farming community near Yuma had inhaled too much fertilizer. I think he simply moved closer to Crazyville as he got older.

Here’s another news item from the New York Times. A former Wall Street trader took his own life just a few days after one of his secretly taped conversations had been played in court. It supposedly implicated him in insider trading and the tape had been used to secure his cooperation in spying on his peers for the FBI.

His wife said he was “conflicted about his cooperation,” “worried about entrapping his friends” and depressed over losing his job; (his employer had found out about the spying.) This alone could explain why a 50 year old would hop on the train to Crazyville, but wait—there’s more.

Before agreeing to turn snitch, the man sought legal advice. His attorney counseled him to cooperate, but to tell no one else (again per the Times) except his rabbi and his (nonexistent) therapist. His attorney is now a chief assistant DA. Yet another example of a lawyer who helped punch the ticket to ride to suicide.

At least the trader didn’t kill his wife or others before he hung himself. Had he been ten years older, he would have been a lot closer to Crazyville and it would have ended with a lot more mess. The assistant DA should say his "thank you" prayers that the trader was fired and not retired.

If you read my Wednesday post, you’ll know I was dangerously close to reserving a seat on that Crazy train. The week ended better than it appeared it would. The second Realtors I interviewed came in with figures extremely close to the ones I’d put together and they had considerable data to support their proposal. That was the good news.

The bad news is their laundry list of things to fix. Beyond the financial consequences, there’s the net result that I won’t be able to list the house for at least two more weeks. Say goodbye to any buyers who want to close before their kids’ school terms begin.

On top of that, the agents brought their stager to tell me what more I need to thin/rearrange before anyone sees my gem of a home. Once again, the good news: I feel we’ll work well together. The bad news: I have about one third more furniture than he envisions being here when the house is ready to show.

Obviously, I plan to sell/donate a fair amount before we move, but I can’t stop my prepping to hold a tag sale. Where do the entertainment unit, tall curio cabinet, small TV cabinet, second sideboard, six high chairs and four doll carriages go in the meantime? (And that’s just the larger items.) I’m sure I’ll figure this out, but for the moment, it leaves me in a very precarious state of mind.

This is a dangerous place to be when one’s real estate agent says this about the listing process: “Once you put your house on the market, it no longer belongs to you; it belongs to the public.” Public indeed.

Fair warning to my husband: next stop Crazyville. Though I haven’t been dealing with any attorneys (yet), I have a feeling real estate agents will face the same risks once I get on that train.

Unless of course there’s a bar car that serves good quality red wine.

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