By Allan Chernoff, CNN Sr. Correspondent
NEW YORK (CNN) - Bennett Goldworth thought he was set for life when he retired three years ago at age 50. He bought a waterfront apartment at the high-end Four Seasons Condominium in Fort Lauderdale, and said goodbye to New York and his job selling real estate.
"I felt I had everything I wanted in life, which was great," said Goldworth.
A decade of investing with Bernard Madoff had given Goldworth the financial security to enjoy the "good life" in Florida, until Madoff's arrest last Dec. 11. "I didn't just have money stolen, I had my whole life stolen," he said.
Today the condominium is in contract to be sold. Goldworth is living with his father in Manhattan and grateful to be back at the Corcoran Group selling homes again.
He's also among the first to receive a full half-million dollar insurance settlement from the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), which insured direct accounts of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities. "I'm one of the fortunate ones," said Goldworth at his office where fellow realtors all were trying to sell million-dollar apartments. "I was very happy, very pleased."
But, other Madoff victims - like Judy and Don Rafferty, senior citizens who've had to come out of retirement - have gotten nothing.