51 Years old Divorced at 39 Widowed at 47 Last GF cheated on me with a man half her age No job prospects Lost 90% of friends in split with GF Deeply in debt Childless only child That's the summary. I pissed away a unrewarding, but well-paying career in technology management 11 years ago. I was making almost $200k a year, had a three cars and a 5BR architecturally significant house, great life style. Hated the job. Had no real passions outside of it, but felt like I was being a "great provider" to my wife who I'd known for 20 years, since college. She was an artist, didn't make much money, but I was always very supportive, got her a studio and all the gear she needed, bought her an Outback to carry her stuff in, encouraged her to take classes. Etc. So she took a welding class, fell in love with the instructor, and left me. At that point I thought "Why the hell am I doing this job that I hate?" I had some savings, we sold the house and made a bundle, and around then I ran into an old friend from high school who just happened to work in the film industry. Films have always been my passion, and in fact I had been reading up on the techniques when I met up with this guy. Long story short, I changed careers at age 39. Started working as a props assistant, set dresser, and occasionally associate producer on some basic cable TV shows. Got into features -- you've seen my work, I can guarantee it. Big, big films. I met a wonderful woman. We were together for seven years. She believed in me, was my biggest fan and my best friend. Less than three years after we were married, she died of breast cancer. I held her hand while she took her last breath. She had hit the cap on her insurance, so when she was gone, I owed about a quarter million dollars to the health care system. I lost everything: Our house, our savings, what was left my 401k. Everything. As for work, ten years later, that work has dried up. The film biz left this area due to tax reasons, and I hurt my back on a production a few years ago. Nothing major, but I can't move furniture for 14 hours a day, which is what set dressers do, largely. I also don't have great skills, and since I came into the business late in life I was regarded as a dilettante. Reasonably so. Now all of my I/T skills are ten years old. I've picked up a smattering of production stuff, as in, I can work as a camera operator, I know some video editing, I can even put together a basic web site or local network. But my professional days are over. Without a masters, the chances for me to find a new technology management job are literally a million to one. According to a recent Newsweek article, the average worker over 50 is almost completely unemployable. I've been scrambling to get some certs in the tech field, but that's not enough, as it doesn't even put me on par with a recent college graduate. Last month, I stumbled across a job for which I was absolutely perfect, melding all three of my strong areas into one job. Got an immediate callback from the sr vp after submitting a resume, great phone interview. Went in for the face-to-face interview, and the HR person took one look at me and sighed -- I had deleted the first ten years off of my resume, so she was expecting early 40s. When she saw that I was 50+, her attitude was "Well, let's get this over with." I did not get a second interview. The person they hired was 26. I can't even get a retail job. No one will hire anyone over 50 for what is considered entry-level. I have a free place to live in another state. I thought about just doing that, and working a minimum wage job. But since my health insurance is $440 a month, and I owe about $55k in debt, mostly to pay off my late wife's bills but also some CC debt. I have to pay at least $500 a month toward the debt. Add those up, that's more than a min wage worker takes home in a month. Assuming you can even find a min wage job that gives you anywhere near 40 hours a week. Or find two that will let you work two jobs and be flexible on the scheduling. So. It's over. I have no family, no friends, no relationships. No money and no job. Unemployable. I see a therapist and take anti-depressants, but they don't change anything. I send out 20-50 resumes a week. My rent is month-to-month, so I can pick and move anywhere. I've given up on the idea of ever retiring, owning my own home, having a relationship with a woman, or driving a car that isn't about to fall apart. I've sold everything, my musical instruments, my art, my late wife's jewlery. I have about enough money to pay my rent for two more months. After that, I can probably stretch it out for a couple of months until I am evicted. And then I will be homeless. From $200k a year to living under a bridge in about ten years. A college degree, about half of a master's degree, a published writer with an IQ of 139. None of that matters. It's over. My advice: Don't change careers. It was the dumbest thing I ever did. The math on this works out. There is no escape for me, no hope, and no way out. I doubt anyone would disagree -- that's a wrap on this life. Thanks for letting me vent.