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