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End of Retirement

02 Mar

My blog “Dealing with COPD,” is a forum I use to write about the zillion of things that go on in my head regarding COPD.  I use this forum in the ways I want, saying things that I feel need to be said.  I talk about my health, the medicines I take, I talk about specific words and phrases, I talk about what the disease is doing to me, my family and my friends.  I also spend a great deal of time talking about my symptoms, my daily battles, and from time to time about the depression it sometimes brings.  Rarely do I actually say that I am dying, or that my death is pending, because as strange as it may sound, death and dying rarely cross my mind. Also I don’t bring it up because rarely do dwell on it, and I don’t want my readers to either. 

The last thing in the world I want to do, while talking about myself, while encouraging others to be strong, to be their own advocate, is to be a downer, and bring the “D” word into the conversation. Because I don’t need to, I don’t need to be that reminder, because one thing we all know is that in time the disease will win. My readers who have COPD or some other terminal disease deal with their illness and the fact it is terminal in a way that is comfortable for them.  Some take comfort in what I write; some have given me comfort and strength in how they deal with it.

Many of you have gotten to this point in the post and are saying “Jesus Bill, for something you don’t think about, for something you don’t dwell on, for something you don’t want others to waste a lot of time and energy on you sure have yapped enough about it today!” LMFAO (for the abbreviationally (made up word) challenged figure it out), I will get to the point soon.  Many of you already know if it can be said in 200 words, I will find a way to say it in 500.

On to the point, recently my wife has been concerned with her financial future after my departure.  I retired after working for 40 years.  I have a defined retirement benefit plan that includes a defined benefit for my wife when I die.  Laughing, I remember when we had our 20th anniversary how she bragged that she was fully vested in my retirement.    Indeed she is, for a million years (at least 20) I have been telling her that she would be fine, that she had no worries, that between my retirement and her SS, she was pretty much set.  But, I am just a husband so what do I know.  So anyway we contacted a Financial Planner (David), to whom we provided a bunch of numbers.  After David at an opportunity to review those preliminary numbers we had a teleconference.  Many many many things were discussed, David was advised of my health situation, and then we talked some more.  At some point we were discussing where we needed to go (financially) and how/what needed to be done to get there. But David started to verbally dance, he had a question he needed to ask, but didn’t know how to ask, before he could start making a final analysis. Finally after a lot of soul searching on his part, he said “Bill, I have to ask you, just how much time do you have left?” David did this as delicately as he could and I responded.  “David I will tell you what the Doctor tells’ me when I ask that question, he says 3 to 5 years.”  

The teleconference soon ended with David telling us he would have formal draft numbers to us early the next week. But David announced that he had to say one important thing before he hung up.  He said, Mrs. Hamilton, you don’t need to worry, between the annuity Bill’s retirement leaves you and your SS, you are set. To which I looked my wife dead in the eye and said “Told You!”  BTW I have said “told you” several times since that teleconference.  I think it is getting kind of old and I may have to shelf it for a while.

I am finally getting to the point.  When the draft document came in, my wife and I reviewed the potential options.  But as I was looking something caught my eye and just made me grin and even chuckle to myself.  There is a line item on the financial documents that addresses me, and the shift in financial structure upon my death, it says “Bill Hamilton – end of retirement,” at the three and five-year points.  That my friends is one of the coolest ways I have ever heard dying addressed “end of retirement,” of course it doesn’t work for everyone, but it sure works for me.  So I am just warning you now that from time to time, I may refer to my “end of retirement.”

I had shared this “End of Retirement” with a blog friend, her immediate response was, that is a good euphemism! 😉 (the smiley face is from her), which as you can tell I completely agree.  I threatened to write about it, and I just did. 

Folks I hoped you enjoyed this little story it’s one of the few I have written recently that didn’t focus on me being under the weather.  If you have any questions, thought or concerns pleases feel free to send them, and as always your comments are always welcome.  Take care, Bill

 
22 Comments

Posted by on March 2, 2014 in Grandpa Stories, Humor, Observations, Ramblings

 

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22 responses to “End of Retirement

  1. Chatter Master

    March 2, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    Bill, you are pretty awesome. We will all end our retirement’s at some point. No one promises us anything different. I admire you and your wife being prepared. And as a wife, I can warn you, there IS a point where one too many “I told you so’s” does NOT get a smile any longer. 😉

     
    • FlaHam

      March 2, 2014 at 9:13 pm

      Colleen, Thank you my friend, your kind words are always appreciated. Smiling I know we will all end our retirements at some point. I just like how he said it, it was the 1st time I heard it that way. Oh I know I have worn out my welcome with my “Told You” remark but damn it feels good. LOL LOL. Take care, Bill

       
  2. Clanmother

    March 2, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    A doctor told me once, with a smile, “none of us get out of the world alive.” So it is important to live with joyful expectation,which you continue to do beautifully. 🙂 🙂 🙂

     
    • FlaHam

      March 2, 2014 at 9:14 pm

      Clan, Smiling, I had heard what your Doctor told you years ago, and I like that then, LOL I like this better now. And I will continue to live life to the fullest extent possible. Take care, Bill

       
  3. Helen Devries

    March 2, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    My husband has made sure that I can live in reduced but comfortable circumstances after his death,
    Very good of him,,,,but I don’t look forward to that moment.
    .

     
    • FlaHam

      March 3, 2014 at 6:33 am

      Helen, I am so sure you don’t, and I suspect my wife doesn’t look forward to it at all either. But both your husband and I are extremely proud of ourselves for leaving you both in the financial position you will be in. Take care, Bill

       
  4. jmgoyder

    March 3, 2014 at 9:23 am

    OMG you are so hilarious in the face of such difficulties – bloody hell, Bill, I salute you! BTW, Ants was given 3-5 years nearly 10 years ago so here’s hoping. Jxxxx

     
    • FlaHam

      March 3, 2014 at 5:23 pm

      Julie, 3 to 5, sounds like a sentence for some sort of petty crime doesn’t. It also sounds like the go to answer for a variety of doctors. Smiling, Julie, I am all for hoping. Take care, Bill

       
  5. The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap

    March 3, 2014 at 10:09 am

    Bless you sweet friend. You’re one hell of an incredible guy. The more I learn about you the more I appreciate our friendship. U R a gem. My hubby and you are on the same page with him taking care of me. It won’t be the same as now and I hope we both go out blazing together but I don’t need much and it’s relationships that are important to me, not stuff. Along the line of what Jules wrote, I second that with many many examples of terminally ill patients going on way way way beyond expected prognosis. I join her in hoping! xoxox

     
    • FlaHam

      March 4, 2014 at 8:42 am

      Paulette, LMBO I am an open book, if anyone asks me a question I will be probably more honest in my response than they want to hear. I really don’t know how to shutup LOL. I like being favorable compared to Terry, that makes me smile. Taking care of the spouse has been a life time goal. I had mentally made that commitment to my 1st wife, but I am so glad that relationship didn’t pan out. And because Steph doesn’t read much of my blog I can say again how wonderful it felt when I could say “Told You.” But as Chatter has warned me, I need to shutup with that already. Hey I am good, I have already outlived the 1st forecast. Take care, Bill

       
  6. benzeknees

    March 3, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    When I first got my diagnosis, I thought “Now I know, at the age of 58, what I’m going to die of.” For a while, I was very depressed about it because I knew my life would probably be shorter than I hoped. For a few more days, I was very angry (at myself) because I didn’t quit smoking earlier! But in the end, I had to accept I had an incurable illness that was going to kill me, sooner rather than later & think about what I wanted my last few years to look like, what I wanted my death to look like & help to prepare my family for the inevitable. I loved the video you posted a while back because it made me think about what I wanted & allayed some of my fears.

     
    • FlaHam

      March 4, 2014 at 8:48 am

      Benze, I believe I have been quite lucky, my depression about being given an end date for retirement lasted no more that a couple days, I was over it, and began to make plans proving the doctors wrong. That has worked pretty well so far. Benze, it is extremely important you come to terms with your end of retirement, that you have put your ducks in a row, and have done what you can to be happy during the process. I believe if we all had our choice we would want to go in our sleep, without a clue the end was upon us. And many are indeed lucky in that manner. For the rest of us, we do what we can to support each other, to offer a shoulder, a warm hug, and the encouragement we need. I am glad the video helped you, that was the intent when I shared it. Please take care, Bill

       
      • benzeknees

        March 4, 2014 at 3:12 pm

        Dearest Bill – I think what is helping keep me in a depressed mode is the frightful amount of paperwork to be done trying to apply for disability benefits, only to get rejected & now have another mountain of paperwork to get through to file for an appeal. If I weren’t presented with having to explain to others how this illness is effecting my life every day, I think it would be easier to move on.

         
        • FlaHam

          March 4, 2014 at 7:33 pm

          Benze, I completely get it, the paper work is daunting and never ending. I was denied disability because the disease had not progressed far enough. They knew it, but it was basically tough shit next case. You have climbed the paperwork mountain once successfully. You have experience and know how on you side. I suggest you put that to good use, and put your appeal together. If you don’t you will be blaming yourself in years to come about what you could have and should have done. Besides you have the support of a zillion bloggers sending you good wishes. Take care, Bill

           
  7. huntmode

    March 3, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    Dear Bill, bless you for your humor, your pugnacity and your “I told you so.” x 12 or what have you. Benze mentions the film, “A Good Death,” you posted a while back. I finally girded my loins to the sticking point and watched it – alone (not recommended for COPD’ers, but there I was.)

    I instantly started a post to spread the word and then saved the draft. I don’t know if it is because I was told back in 2010 and worked my way through that diagnosis – “this is what you will die of” if I don’t get hit by a bus or whatever – I think I’ve accepted it and just keep on moving forward, knowing if a bad cold comes along, I could be hospitalized or poof, be gone. It’s a bit like a California earthquake – there is no warning, it just comes – yes, we can prepare, but then you get on with living as best you can.

    I salute you and your getting on with living, Bill!

     
    • FlaHam

      March 4, 2014 at 8:55 am

      Hunt, Oh I can be a PIA but then “I told you so” LOL LOL. But I am glad you got it. End of Retirement is such a smooth term, it hardly has any impact, and you can read it, and not pick up on it, if your not careful. But I have decided that will be my go to statement when I am talking about me. LOL “A Good Death” is an extremely good film. Like you I watched it alone, and your right it is not at all pleasant for us COPDers. But it is something we need to see, it is something that we need to have available to share with loved one or friends that really want to know. I know I play this record to often, but when I was 1st given my end of retirement notice, I decided that I was going to live as full a life as I could. Nothing has changed that is still my intent. And it is what I will stand on my soapbox and preach about, every chance I get, to whomever gathers. Please take care dear friend, Bill

       
  8. Wanda

    March 4, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    I’m glad it turned out you were right about your financial predictions because, knowing you, the validation that all will be well for S is a big relief for you. One less thing to worry about, leaving you more time for more important things like self-advocacy and blogging, among others.

     
    • FlaHam

      March 4, 2014 at 7:37 pm

      Wanda, There is no doubt it is a giant relief, and it was so good to have the “I told you” for a few days. But being honest I suspect I have worn that out. LOL Yes on to bigger and more important things. Take care, Bill

       
  9. Marlyn

    March 6, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    LMSAO…..:) Six years from now I will discuss the next retirement plan with you! Your selfish stalker!

     
    • FlaHam

      March 6, 2014 at 3:07 pm

      Smiling, I have missed my stalker, I hope your feeling better and things have calmed down in your world. We will talk later sweet stalker. Take care, Bill

       

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