The Dog and the Rocking Chair

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The Dog and the Rocking Chair

Postby RiverDog » Mon Dec 14, 2015 4:19 am

I turned 61 last October, as did my wife. On her 61st birthday, my wife decided that she could no longer continue working at her job as a nurse. I am in full support of her decisions as she's been diagnosed with MS and rheumatoid arthritis for about 15 years. It's amazing that she's been able to continue this long. She has filed for disability, and we haven't a clue whether or not she'll be approved. 65-70% of first time applicants for disability are denied, and of those that are approved are no brainers, like amputees and terminal diseases, but MS is a huge red flag and my wife has an armload of MRI's, specialists opinions, and prescription medications, so who knows. We should find out sometime next month.

If my wife is successful in getting on disability, I might hang it up, too. I have severe arthritis in my left knee to the point of having to get steroid injections to manage the pain and stiffness, and we are desperately thin at my place of employment, requiring me to take on more responsibilities and be more physically active than I normally would. I've told my employer about my limitations, but there's not a lot they can do about it, at least not within the next 6-8 months. I have to apply heat to my knee before work, ice it afterwards. My doctor told me that I'm about 5 years away from knee replacement. My wife and I are in very good financial shape, shouldn't even have to touch my social security until I turn 70, allowing it to grow out to its full amount. But no matter how much money you have socked away, you always wonder whether or not it will be enough, what would happen to us if the stock market crashed or if we had another 9/11. It's a big decision, in my case bigger than the decision to get married as it is an irrevocable decision as once I pull the plug they will not hire me back.

The original plan was to stick it out until the end of 2016, pay off the wife's new car and replace the heat pump HVAC system before we punched out. But it's going to be difficult to go on given my work requirements.

Anyhow, I wasn't necessarily asking for suggestions or opinions, although I would welcome both. I'm just spilling my guts a little bit.
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Re: The Dog and the Rocking Chair

Postby Seahawks4Ever » Wed Dec 16, 2015 10:09 am

Our prayers are with you and your wife. One thing, even if she is turned down at first what ever you do don't hire one of those lawyers that promise that they can win your wife approval. They will, but they will also take thousands of dollars in fees that you and your wife will need.

If your wife has had the same doctor for a long time that will help because her illness will be very well documented and that will be the key. A very well documented disability will go a long way toward getting her claim approved. It should especially stand out how long she kept working despite her illness.

For your self, try and hold out if you can to 65, you will take a huge whack out of your Social Security check if you retire at 62. We all get those letters from the Social Security Admin. telling us what our yearly and monthly check will be if when we retire. If you are going to get a decent chunk of change and can still retire at 62 by all means do so! You and your wife should enjoy your retirements as much as you can while you both still can. Live your life NOW, from what you have posted before I believe you and your wife have done some decent retirement planning and you both should be alright.
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Re: The Dog and the Rocking Chair

Postby RiverDog » Wed Dec 16, 2015 11:17 am

Seahawks4Ever wrote:Our prayers are with you and your wife. One thing, even if she is turned down at first what ever you do don't hire one of those lawyers that promise that they can win your wife approval. They will, but they will also take thousands of dollars in fees that you and your wife will need.

If your wife has had the same doctor for a long time that will help because her illness will be very well documented and that will be the key. A very well documented disability will go a long way toward getting her claim approved. It should especially stand out how long she kept working despite her illness.

For your self, try and hold out if you can to 65, you will take a huge whack out of your Social Security check if you retire at 62. We all get those letters from the Social Security Admin. telling us what our yearly and monthly check will be if when we retire. If you are going to get a decent chunk of change and can still retire at 62 by all means do so! You and your wife should enjoy your retirements as much as you can while you both still can. Live your life NOW, from what you have posted before I believe you and your wife have done some decent retirement planning and you both should be alright.


Thanks for the suggestions, S4E. My wife has had the same MS doctor, a specialist in the field, for over 10 years, and she's had annual MRI's done, so your comment helps buoy our optimism. But nevertheless, they deny 65-70% of all initial claims, of which includes within that 30-35% of those approved no brainer cases like amputees and terminal disease victims, so we are not going to be shocked if it is denied on our first attempt. I agree with you about hiring a lawyer. Some out there will only get paid if your claim is approved, but there is no evidence I've heard that hiring one increases your chances of a successful outcome.

FRA, or Full Retirement Age, for Social Security is no longer 65 for most of us. For me, it's 65 and 10 months. But I'm going to try not to touch my SS account until age 70 as the benefit grows 8% per year (plus cost of living increases) up until a maximum of 132% at age 70. My SS is the larger than my wife's, so that's the one we'll try to obtain the maximum benefit for as if I die before she does, she gets the higher of the two. I have a pension pan, an annuity that I can start up at any time, and a 401K and self directed IRA, each with 6 digits in them, that I can buy some bonds with to provide us with a sustainable income until age 70 where we'll start drawing my SS (assuming I live that long). With no house or car payments, we should have enough funds to live comfortably and not have to alter our current lifestyle.

Anyway, thanks for responding. It's a big decision, perhaps the biggest of our lives as it's irrevocable. My employer won't hire me back once I retire, at least not at my current position/salary, once I pull the plug.
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