Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The financial future..

It's one we all worry about and after reading this article just now: http://graphics.latimes.com/retirement-nomads/ I think it's important to write about my realities with finances and my future.

I worked long term at jobs until I went full-time to the university to get my B.F.A. in art. It was in school that I decided to focus on becoming an artist and image-maker but without having any business sense. I knew it was something that would not make much money but it was what made me happy, fulfilled and alive.

Becoming an artists' model was a wonderful extension of that goal and it was a bonus that I was able to make this an almost full-time job. Some schools even took taxes out of my salary so I could have some Social Security when/if I retire. To supplement that, I worked for 8 years in an art supply store further adding to my Social Security....That was when I was in the U.S.

Now I am in France and I had to start from the ground-up with working. I have started to finally re-gain a little bit of my modeling career,  slowly building contacts and regular jobs and gaining more as I persevere. I don't know what my future will hold in terms of me getting an actual supplemental, regular weekly job unless I somehow become fluent in French. That may happen, and it may not so I need to model.

I am 47 years old. It's not old but many people my age at least begin to think about retirement or at least what they can do to plan for. My job is a physical one and there are times that pain in my muscles and bones lasts for weeks. I have to take public transportation for work and I bring with me a rolling suitcase with all my modeling-related gear. I am going up and down flights of stairs while dragging this thing with me and sometimes the commute is over an hour to get to one of the ateliers. Sometimes I am tired before I even begin work. But it has to be done. And I think about how long I can go on doing this.

My husband has a very good job but that might be in trouble soon, due to downsizing/integrating employees after a company merge. Even if he stays on, we do not have savings or anything that would make us safe in the "golden years."

Economic crises have hit across the Atlantic Ocean. The US is not the only country affected by this. I chose this path in life, I know. However, I do have many worries. Bills, groceries and being able to handle going out once in awhile to enjoy life has become a creative balance. At times, it's become very difficult to stretch the euro and I know I am not the only one this is affecting. Many people that have chosen this unconventional life of multiple part-time jobs, freelancing and living week by week financially. Retirement is a thing of the past and I believe most of us unconventional folk will have to work until we die.

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