A rags-to-riches story hit shaky ground as a man barely scraping by on a disability became a millionaire thanks to an old blanket. Now he discovers a lot of money doesn’t always go a long way, as taxes and family drama threaten to upend his newfound lifestyle.
Loren Thomas Krytzer had been unable to work after losing a foot in a near-fatal car accident, MSN reported.
But after managing to sell an old family heirloom for $1.3 million, he went from roughing it in a “shack,” to living in a stylish $250,000 home.
But with high property taxes in California, and relatives clamoring for a cut, Krytzer says he’s starting to feel the squeeze.
“It’s not like it was 40 or 50 years ago,” he says. “If I’d have gotten $1 million 50 years ago, I’d be rich right now. I would literally be rich.”
Krytzer was watching a television show about antiques when he saw an expert say that a blanket similar to his could fetch a hefty price tag—even $500,000, according to an interview on the JohnMoranAuctions channel.
He then approached several auction houses about selling his blanket before John Moran Auctioneers in Monrovia, California, agreed to put it under the hammer, according to CNBC.
The sale of the what turned out to be an original Navajo blanket from the 1800s “gave me a new lease on life,” Krytzer told CNBC. “It truly did.”
He bought a car, a motorbike, and two houses in Central California, which is taking its toll.
“We’re getting taxed to death here. I can’t afford it,” he says. “I’m from California, I grew up here, but without working, it’s just hard to survive.”
Krytzer has no income as his disability checks were cut after receiving the big windfall. He says he spends about $10,000 a year on property taxes and insurance.
He said he and his wife are thinking of moving to Idaho, where taxes and living costs are lower.
Krytzer also had to contend with family troubles, as relatives have come out of the woodwork asking for a cut of the take.
“I had people calling me and bugging me and stuff,” Krytzer says. “People you haven’t seen in years, family members that don’t talk to you. . . . You get some money and they’re like ‘Where’s mine?'”
He says his sister even threatened to sue him.
Krytzer says it’s also been a challenge explaining to his children that even though he received $1.3 million, he can’t afford to buy them whatever they want.
“When I first got the money, I helped them out,” Krytzer said. “But now it’s like I can’t do it, I don’t have it, and they are like ‘You have millions of dollars, you’re being selfish.”
He says aside from splurging on a few toys, he’s spent his money wisely, putting it in real estate, stocks, and bonds.
But now, with no steady income stream, Krytzer says he knows he needs focus and self-discipline to make it in the long-term.
“I tell people it’s a strong faith and a strong mind. Without those things you’re not going to make it.”