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Retirement Anxiety

  • Thread starter Alexander Ypsilantis
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Alexander Ypsilantis

Former member
Joined
Mar 3, 2020
Messages
1,703
Location
USA
I'm getting ready to retire after 46 years as a Researcher in a high tech industry and I have periods of great anxiety. I've been working or going to college-or both-for 50 years. Down shifting to retirement is kind of scary, at the same time it appeals.

I'm in USA and work for a private firm. Our Pension plan was frozen several years back when the company went through bankruptcy, but I still get about 75% of a full pension. Ok, fine. I want to take a lump sum rather than a monthly pension, so the company administering our Pensions sent me an estimation based on several termination dates. I had to guide the person I spoke with through the process of estimating my lump sum, because they didn't have complete knowledge of our plan. Really irritating they were that lacking in knowledge, but we got there-and they sent me an estimation of the full amount I'm entitled to. Fine and good.

So, I give them a call two weeks ago and tell them which last working day I want to go with and receive my Lump sum distribution. They told me with that date they would have to provide a new estimation due to 'policy', but that it would be almost identical to what they already provided me. Ok, fine. I waited two weeks (way too long!) to get the new estimation and it was incorrect-they didn't add in an additional $ 75,000.00 I am entitled to based on a new corporate policy-they had correctly added that amount in their prior estimations. Now I have to call in on Monday morning and figure out what they messed-up, and naturally I am anxious.

It seems like these days a lot of these people you get on the phone to discuss service questions don't know what the hell they are doing. When I have to tell a Pension Administrator what I am entitled to after 46 years-I mean how appalling can it get? Never mind I'm 67 1/2 and don't need the stress of someone's messup like that.

Is expecting competence from a Pension Administrator too much? After 46 years of busting my a-- in industry, the least I can expect is someone at that office providing me with good information without screwing it up too much. And never mind all the other things I have to do getting ready for retirement are already stressing me out-I didn't need this incompetence to accent it.

Sorry, I had to vent on this. Getting this bad information on Saturday wrecked my whole weekend.
 
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Alexander Ypsilantis

Former member
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Mar 3, 2020
Messages
1,703
Location
USA
It seems like whenever you have to rely on somebody else you're at risk for foul-up. Another example-I'm trying to get all my prescriptions filled before I retire and go onto our national health care-Medicare. So, I put in for a prescription refill on one of my medications and it is denied. I call the pharmacy and they tell me to call my private health care plan. I call them and they tell me my physician (my old physician retired last year and I have a new one now after 25 years) didn't provide enough information on the Medication Authorization. So I give the doctors office a call and have to leave a message-as they were out all Friday afternoon.

I never had these problems with my old Physician, ever. He authorized whatever I needed. Now I have to follow up on Monday with the Physician's office to see if she provided the additional information my Health Care Plan company needed. As usual, if they have no skin in the game they don't seem to care.

Our service industries-both public and private-are going down the tubes. You're lucky if you get somebody on the phone who knows what they are doing-and cares. Competence is a disappearing commodity.
 
lilbit

lilbit

Well-known member
Joined
May 3, 2018
Messages
104
Location
London
It's just as bad if not worse here in the UK. I'm a long way off retirement and would not ever rely on our government services to keep me going. I'm lucky that I have a good job and manage my finances very sensibly (I'm an accountant so it's built in anyway!). However I worry about my parents who are on state pensions and I would dread to think how tough it would be for me when I get to their age if I didn't plan ahead now. For many in this country, pension age will be a very, very difficult time.
 
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Alexander Ypsilantis

Former member
Joined
Mar 3, 2020
Messages
1,703
Location
USA
I hear what you're saying, lilbit. This is when you realize what all these endless overseas wars cost-when people can't retire because the social safety nets are unfunded. In America the war mongers in both parties have gotten the USA involved in Trillion Dollar wars on the other side of the world where we have questionable interests. People used to retire at 62 in the USA, today that's not possible for most folks. I'll be 67 1/2 and it'll be challenging then. We're spending money on endless wars and ridiculous political programs and leaving nothing to people who have worked all their lives and want to enjoy a few years before cashing in their chips. I have nothing but contempt for both political parties, they both share in the responsibility for impoverishing elderly Americans.
 
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Fancyharm

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Joined
Sep 7, 2018
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975
Location
West Midlands
Hi Alexander, you've done well to detail your struggle, that's a first step to dealing with things I feel.

I'm not retired, but I am at home all day after working full time. So I understand what you mean. It is scary, the thought of not going out to work.

It's nothing more than getting used to it basically, but at first it might feel like a weight on your shoulders. I like being at home as I like my housework and I like to tend to my garden.

Try some visualisation exercises, when you feel that weight increasing as you think about the retirement, just visualise yourself feeling enjoyment.
 
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Alexander Ypsilantis

Former member
Joined
Mar 3, 2020
Messages
1,703
Location
USA
Hi Alexander, you've done well to detail your struggle, that's a first step to dealing with things I feel.

I'm not retired, but I am at home all day after working full time. So I understand what you mean. It is scary, the thought of not going out to work.

It's nothing more than getting used to it basically, but at first it might feel like a weight on your shoulders. I like being at home as I like my housework and I like to tend to my garden.

Try some visualisation exercises, when you feel that weight increasing as you think about the retirement, just visualise yourself feeling enjoyment.

Thanks Fancyharm, I also have been working at home for a year and a half. It really doesn't make things any easier, in fact we're expected to be available at all times. Since the suppliers I work with are in the Far East, my hours start early in the morning and go to late at night. Ostensibly things open up during the middle of the day, but the reality is that's when all the product engineers want to have 'internal meetings' without suppliers to talk issues. 12-14 hour days are not unusual.

I'm paid well and as long as I'm cashing my paychecks I can't complain, but that's a major reason I'm retiring. I physically can't take the grind anymore at 67 and my eyes are shot-sitting with my laptop in front of me and doing conference calls all day is no longer possible.

I've done my bit for my company and for Uncle Sam-paid my taxes for 46 years. It is time to retire, all I want is to head into that with as little stress as I can. I will talk to the Pension Administrators tomorrow and they better straighten out the mess they created very quickly. They can do incompetence on their dime, not on mine.
 
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