Friday, October 21, 2016

It Never Gets Any Fucking Easier, Does It?

I semi retired on June 2.

Feeling pretty good about myself. I had communicated with the Social Security Administration multiple times before pulling the plug, just so I knew what to expect, just so everything would be lined up all nice and neat.

It was an odd feeling at first, waiting for social security money to be direct deposited into my account. At least if you are working and your employer fucks up you can raise a ruckus and settle things quickly.

With the government I figured if something went wrong it would take nineteen lawyers, thirty seven months and 2,315 letters to sort it all out.

My anxiety was misplaced. Everything has been clicking along smoothly.

Until now.

Prior to retiring I had to supply SSA with a 2016 estimate of what my earnings would be while working full time at the liquor commission. This was months before I actually retired so I did not know what my vacation balance would be. I also could not predict intangibles, like working on Sundays and holidays, for which I would be paid handsomely.

Turns out I did work a Sunday or two in there, one holiday, and when I retired I had three weeks vacation on the books.

To make a long story longer I underestimated my income by $3000.

Got a letter last week from SSA telling me that because I earned $3,000 more than I estimated, I will not receive a social security payment in November. I will not receive a social security payment in December.

My next payment will be direct deposited in January of 2017.

Are you fucking kidding me? Not "please contact us so we can negotiate a reasonable resolution," not "we know this could present a hardship for you so........."

Nope. Just you will not be paid for two months.

Social security makes up more than half of what I was earning when I was working full time.

Fortunately for me and Carol, I had money in the NH retirement system, which I took as a lump sum payment when I retired and dumped right into our savings account.

We used a chunk of that to pay off a credit card that charged Mafia level interest; pretty much held on to the rest.

We were sitting pretty. Prepared to handle any emergency that came our way. Kind of like the way you are supposed to feel at retirement age.

Now we will be forced to eat up a good chunk of that money over the next two months. We'll probably end up with a savings account balance equal to what it was before I retired.

Re-introducing worry into the equation.

Goddamn lucky that we have the money in savings. What the hell would we have done if we had zero money in savings?

We would have been screwed.

This shit ain't supposed to happen.

When Sarge died it created a financial hardship for Cori. One thing she did was to look into receiving Sarge's social security benefits. She was told she cannot begin collecting that money until she is 65.

She is 50. Are you fucking kidding me?

Does the social security administration have a clue how their policies, how their decisions affect peoples' lives? Do they even care?

This shit ain't supposed to happen.

I stopped working full time on June 2. Had the whole month of June off, been working twenty hours a week since July.

I have really enjoyed it; really appreciated it. Have not taken it for granted. Still cannot believe how much my life has changed for the positive.

Except I was diagnosed with cancer in August, slammed by the social security administration in October and am suddenly out of my mind impatient with this job I am working.

The worm has turned.

As it will. As it inevitably will.

I am smart enough to appreciate how much better my life has been. For these five months. Five months.

That is the rhythm of life. Five good months, three years of hardship. Two good months, five years of hardship.

As I mentioned before in these pages, in some respects I really don't give a shit.

All I want to be able to do is to find ways for Carol and me to be happy. We will twist and turn and duck, counter punch and spit in the face of life to get what we want.

I worry differently today.

There are many things in my life now to which the following words viciously apply:  "I used to care but, things have changed."

1 comment:

  1. Don't let the bastards get you down...Bro

    ReplyDelete