I make no secret that after lupus stole my offline career (selling homes for almost two decades) that I had to shift and find a new way to earn. There are good and bad things about spending most of your life as an entrepreneur. Over the years, I have ridden the roller coaster of earning and the changing of laws. (When the market went bad in 2008, it was brutal.) But it’s not like others, who find some sort of security in working for others, being told what they would earn per hour, month or year. For me, it depended on how hard I worked.
Many who will work perhaps two decades for a company will retire with a pension. For me, I had to make smart investments and make sure to save. The nice thing about it was that I was a high earner and was on track to retire at 50, which was a goal that I worked very hard to achieve. What I didn’t count on, what none of us takes into account, is our bodies turning on us and stealing everything it can in the process. My retire-at-50 plan turned into my fight-for-life-at-46 plan.
I’ve shared in another column that lupus always seems to be doing its best to find new ways to beat you up, and this is not limited to your body. This leads to your bank accounts as well, because medications, tests and potential hospital stays must be paid for somehow.
Not being able to work full time and not having a traditional pension plan created a new challenge for me. I still had to figure out how to earn, but also how to keep money coming in for those times when I can’t work. It never occurred to me that I am building a pension plan with my online business until I shared something on Facebook about working from home. Someone came over saying that she thought passive income strategies were scams.
As I explained how they work, she was enlightened and, quite frankly, so was I. I said to her, if you worked for a company for 20 years and now you are retired, but they still pay you, it’s the same thing. You put in the work upfront and reap the benefit over and over for your hard work. Yet, that’s not considered a scam. I never had to explain passive income before. I just shared that it is how I am currently setting up my business, so when I am in the hospital, I can still pay my bills.
Lupus causes us all to shift our thoughts, our schedules, our attitudes, our lives! It keeps us constantly processing what is happening to us and it removes the ability to do a lot of things that I am sure many of us took for granted before. When we were younger, not many of us considered retirement planning, we were starting families and buying homes. Lupus cares not the least how old you are or what your plans are, it will take all it can.
I am doing what I can to keep as much of my ability to fight it with all I have, and that means I have to find ways to keep earning, even when it tells me I can no longer work. I work on what I want to and when I have the strength because I am still creating my pension plan.
Note: Lupus News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Lupus News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to lupus.