I come from a financially lower middle class family, but with very high morals. We used to live in a small, metal roofed 10X10 home. We had our kitchen, living room, dining room, bathroom, everything jumbled up in the same 10×10 home. We were struggling to make money for our daily living; we had a very small family business and nil savings.
Life is so unpredictable; I had to see a disaster in my family when I was just 14 years old. My father, who was earning bread for the entire family, went medically ill and my mother got mentally disturbed due to my father’s heath condition. It was a time for me to concentrate on my studies to have a better future but I could make out, looking at my mother’s eyes, the need of me getting into some job and earning money for our survival. I started with tutoring in the early mornings, evenings and weekends to make some money along with my siblings. I also concentrated on my studies and did my Masters in Accounting and Advocate in Income tax and Sales tax.
After my studies I got into a job in a private company as a typist, but I used to do all the work assigned to me. My role in the company included Customer Service, Personal Assistant, Income Tax Assistant, etc. I never had any complaint on the salary paid and work assigned to me. I just wanted to show my ability to the company. I was financially zero.
The Bombay bomb blast that happened in India in 1993 changed my life.
I started thinking about moving to a new place and looking for a new job. I got my visa and I landed on the land of the United States on 7/11/1993.
I got a job offer as a Front Desk Assistant in a Comfort Inn Hotel but I could not take that job as it was very far from the place where I was living. I found another job in a nearby Motel in Housekeeping, which was not my desired job, but I accepted it and started working in Housekeeping to earn my daily bread.
Education and degrees I had in India do not transfer the credits in this country but I did not give up. I knew that my knowledge did not go anywhere and that one day I was going to use it again. I had trust and a strong belief in myself and I continued to work in that small Motel and learn about Motel business by involving myself in handling the Front desk, bringing in supplies, Managing the Motel in the absence of my Owner, etc. I also got to learn how systems work in the United States.
I worked in the Motel for 2 years, got married and started my family life with my own Motel business. I got divorced when my kids were just 18 and 6 months old and again the entire responsibility came on me in raising my kids and I did it successfully and happily.
I ran my Motel business for 10 years but I was always thinking about doing something different that gives me satisfaction and gives justice to my education so I started learning about how Tax plays an important role in the life of people in the United States. I also learnt about Tax-Free Retirement, working at H&R Block for some time.
In 2008, the country was under financial crisis and many had lost their jobs. A single mother with two kids came to me to file her tax returns; she had lost her job and was struggling to get another job. It was very difficult for her to pay the rent, car insurance, gas bill, etc. She did not have any other choice than pulling out her 401K. The economy of the United States in 2008 had gone down by 38% and 401K’s had turned into 201K’s. She had lost her job, had a 38% loss in her 401k, early withdrawal of 401K, and penalty and tax on early withdrawal of 401K. I can’t forget the day my eyes had gone wet seeing her crying for her situation and this made me think about doing something new to HELP PEOPLE. I started educating people on how to have a ‘Tax Free Retirement Life’.
It is been 13 years. I am in the Insurance industry now and I am very happy and satisfied about my working area. It has given me the Name and Fame in my community. It gives me satisfaction at the end of every day having helped the people in planning their financial future. It is a dream come true having great earnings.
I am very grateful for Harvard Club for inviting me here and very grateful to the Harvard Club for making this event possible for me and I thank you all for listening to my story.
Thanks to the land of opportunity, the land of success- the United states of America – for giving me shelter and making me the person I am today.