Some advice please?

Discussion in 'Welcome' started by themutiny, Jan 1, 2015.

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  1. themutiny

    themutiny New Member


    I'm 51 years old, and a former "professional", earning £75k pa

    2 years ago, I was made redundant, and have been unable to get a job since. My outgoings are significant, and the last of my resources were transferred to my bank today, which will see me through to the end of January. At the end of this month I will start defaulting on my obligations, which will effectively seal my fate as I was in Financial Services, and bad credit will bring an end to any (diminishing) hopes I might have had to regain employment. Of course it is not that simple.

    I have just "celebrated" my 30th wedding anniversary. I have 5 children, and have worked constantly for 33 years prior to redundancy. 10 years ago, my spouse started playing around and as far as I can tell continues to do so. I realised this about 7 years ago and made a consummate effort to resolve. I considered that my constant striving for a job that would allow me to provide for them all was largely to blame, and cut back on my hours back to the contractual obligation and spent many hours and thousands upon thousands of pounds making amends. It didn't work. Unfortunately after 4 years of this I gave up, and slid into semi-alcoholism. This, combined with (as my employers saw it) my 'work to rule' led to me losing my job, which was exacerbated by my drink problem. Even working to rule I was working 80+ hr week once the daily 4hr commute and weekend working as a musician was factored in (all to try to make things better for every one). Since being made redundant, I tried to shorten my life with alcohol, drinking in excess of 1ltr of vodka per day. Unfortunately it seems that despite Asthma and Diabetes, my constitution is far stronger than I thought.

    6 months ago I started trying to sell the house for a fair price, but despite a few time wasters have not been successful. I could reduce the price, but then I wouldn't have sufficient equity to buy another property, despite my willingness to move to a much cheaper area.

    I finally gave my wife an ultimatum, which seemed to shock her out of her complacency, but too little, too late. If she had come to the party a few years back, I doubt we would be in this predicament.

    I have now run out of money, and will no doubt lose everything I have worked for - and as an added issue my (well actually her) 4 dogs will likely be euthanised as a result.

    i know that I am shortly to face a s**t storm, and I simply can't face it. I am a proud man who has dragged himself up from abject poverty and simply cannot face a return to it. My mother is now relatively wealthy and could easily help, but due to her nature I know she will not (she owns two properties and is sitting on about £300k liquid in addition). I have not spoken to her since the redundancy - not because she wouldn't help,(which she wouldn't) but because she lied about her situation, but then she put me in care when i was 12 for primarily fiscal reasons.

    Whoops - too much information.....

    I have suffered from depression from my late teens, but it has become unbearable now. if i don't drink, I shake badly and cannot sleep. To put it bluntly, I want out, but I'm something of a coward.

    Thanks for looking,

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 1, 2015
  2. Freya

    Freya Loves SF Staff Member ADMIN SF Author


    Welcome to SF. I am sorry to hear that you are at such a low ebb, but it is good that you are reaching out for advice and help. I understand what it is to go from a good, respected, well paying job (albeit I was not making half what you were making) to nothing. I understand how depressing and traumatic it is. I think, though, that if you want out of this situation you need to now accept it for what it is and start to think differently.

    I do not wish to seem blunt or harsh, but the reality here is that you are going to have to do some difficult things. The first is that you ARE going to have to sell your house. If you can't afford your mortgage anymore and have run out of financial reserve, you are going to lose it anyway. Your choices at this point are to a) wait until the bank takes it and face bad credit and all the things that come with that or b) sell it, use the proceeds to clear whatever debt is possible and move into rented accommodation.

    If you use the equity in your house to clear your debts then your outgoings are reduced to cost of living for yourself and your family. You need to pare back - I don't know what your outgoings are - I suspect your mortgage is a large part - perhaps two family vehicles... I don't know and I am not a financial adviser. I do know that at this point, if the prospect of work is not forthcoming, selling your house and clearing your debts is the most sensible thing to do at this point.

    • STOP DRINKING. Seriously. Get help and put the bottle down. 1 litre of alcohol a day is not 'semi' alcoholism, it is a full blown problem and you cannot resolve your problems half cut. Not to mention that alcohol is a known depressant.

    • Get to the citizens advice bureau and have them calculate your Local Housing Allowance. With 5 depended children it will be significant.
    • Sell your house and clear your debts
    • Move into rented accommodation at the price of your LHA - once you get below 16k in savings/assets the government will pay for this (assuming your wife is not working)
    • Make sure you apply for any and all benefits you may be able to claim for your children (again, this will depend on whether or not your wife works)

    You cannot do the things you need to do to move forward successfully while you are constantly drunk, nor while you are hanging on to the past. I am very sorry that your life took this turn, and I understand having dragged yourself up from poverty to what I assume was a very nice standard of living, you do not want to go back to it, but living beyond your means until someone else takes it away from you is not helping you any. It is just removing your options. You need to take control of it now.

    Once you have pared back your cost of living to a manageable level and started to deal with your alcoholism, you can start to look properly for a new job. I assume you were hunting for jobs that would replace your previous wage without having to lose your standard of living - I understand that but it is unrealistic. By paring back and shucking the chains of debts/mortgage/outgoings etc, you can far widen the net in your job search - without the weight of bad credit - and hopefully be more successful.

    I wish you well - I know that the chances are you already knew all of this and it was less not knowing what to do as not wanting to do it. I hope you find the strength to do what you need to do before it is completely out of your hands.

    Take care and stay safe,
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 2, 2015
  3. JmpMster

    JmpMster Have a question? Message Me Staff Member Forum Owner ADMIN

    Sorry for the situation you found yourself in - it is easy to let our ideas of what is important get in the way of what is really important. While we cannot turn back the clock, you can use what time is remaining to stop compounding the mistakes. All of the above advice was spot on. As an added precaution, immediately look into a short sale on the property to a housing liquidator so you know the fastest possible way to turn the property and the last day you can choose that route. It will be 70%-80% value, but that is still more than a foreclosure sale will bring and more importantly it will give that money to you rather than the bank.

    Scale back the resume to to start looking for any employment vs equitable employment. If you are presenting as a £75k employee then you will not ever get offered a £25k job. While it may hurt, the fact is the market has told you that you are not a £75k employee anymore, both in lack of job offers and losing the previous job. What you made in the last job has little bearing in what your value to the job market is now, but it can easily be a reason they are not hiring for anything at all so adjust the CV completely and downplay experience.

    The alcohol clearly make sit impossible to work and function - a liter of vodka a day means too many hours a day you incapable of making responsible decisions. The belief that your tolerance allows it is wrong - and the fact is long term abuse reduces your tolerance to the effects of alcohol, not increases it like it does for a 20-something learning to drink- you just do not know it but you are the only one that does not think you are showing the signs of drinking. Get help in anyway you can with the drinking. It is not a good situation, but it is a situation that you can prevent from becoming catastrophic.
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