5 On Your Side

Missing money makes retirement dreams possible

Posted June 1, 2009 12:36 p.m. EDT
Updated June 1, 2009 6:17 p.m. EDT

— Henry Schwab got an unexpected retirement treat after he found out he was one of 1 million North Carolinians who own a portion of about $700 million in unclaimed property held by the Department of the State Treasurer.

Schwab's travel appetite got whetted on a recent solo road trip from his Cary home to Washington State.

"The thing is, there's just so much country out there," Schwab said. "You see the snow-capped mountains in Montana and then the plains, which are, you know, just really beautiful."

After getting a call from 5 on Your Side, he found he is getting enough money to be able to make those retirement travel dreams come true.

"I'd like to go everywhere," he said. "I think I'm going to get an RV and just ride around for a while."

Schwab found out from 5 on Your Side that the state of North Carolina is holding $28,352 that belongs to him.

"It is a lot of money. It's probably the biggest chunk I've gotten," he said.

The money entered the state's unclaimed property fund from an investment that Schwab's wife made long before she died of cancer four years ago.

"I really thought I had gone through everything and resolved whatever she might have had in investments or whatever, so yeah, this was a surprise," Schwab said.

Schwab said that he and his wife never took the time to discuss retirement. But now that it's almost here and he has the unexpected cash, he plans to get that RV and hit the road.

"I'm thinking now, maybe seeing the United States may be a pretty good idea, so I'm going to do that," Schwab said.

Schwab's missing money brings the total found by 5 on Your Side to more than $292,000.

The missing money also comes from forgotten accounts and refunds with banks, insurance companies and doctors who couldn't find its rightful owners.

You can check for unclaimed money in-state or nationally. You can also call North Carolina's Office of Unclaimed Property at 919-508-1000.