Sunday, April 13, 2008

I made it!

Friday night, at 8:42pm, I had the hours I need to retire with credit for 30 years. I couldn't figure out why they were adding up quicker than I expected, as I had printed a calendar and counted days in February when this all began. As I looked at the monitor with my hours the other night I realized I counted "straight" time not "time and a half". I got the "first draft" of my retirement papers, a first draft because I didn't realize when I spoke to them the first time that I could continue the optional life insurances I have on myself and Dottie; they are much cheaper than hunting down new policies at our age!

So as long as everyone's math is right, I no longer have to fear the axle strike, etc.. Hopefully the 2nd draft of those papers will come in on Monday and I will sign everything on Tuesday.

I have spoken of my Dad dying and my Mom ending up with only his Social Security. Since he had 17 years in the meatcutter's union before he went supervision, he should have been "vested" and had Mom gotten a lawyer like I begged her to, I think she would have gotten something from them, but at the time he died it was all my fault (that he got cancer) and she wasn't listening to me.

Her Dad, a Santa Fe engineer after he came home from WW2, passed up "62" for "65" and put in his papers the first of January, 1971. He mentioned to me more than once that he hoped he wouldn't regret it. That not only got him "max" Social Security back then, but gave him a full 25 with the railroad. He was set to retire the first of February that year.

The 3rd week of January he had a massive stroke; he was paralyzed on his left side. His left arm never worked again; it took almost 18 months for him to walk slowly with a cane unassisted. His speech was (frustratingly for him) never "right" again, either. For someone who was literate and well read it was terrible! He lived 10 more years, unable to do any of the things he loved except travel and read...

Just one more of many reasons for me to make this break now!

Someone at work claims to have figured out the average length of retirement for the autoworkers that "get out" of our plant. Since the death notices are in the union paper each month, it wouldn't be hard to go through the records and figure it.

They say it's 4 years...

I haven't told Dottie that number yet. I'm also hoping by getting out at 52 instead of 62 or 67 I'm adding some years to that!

__________________________________________

The weekend is escaping rapidly, and shortly I have to figure out whether just Bill is coming to dinner, Bill and Laura, or Bill, Laura, John and his family. Makes a big difference in how much comes out of the freezer, lol!

So for the moment, I'm going to go finish my latte before I get on the phone...

May the rest of your weekend be kind, and may the coming week be as well!

alan

14 comments:

No_Newz said...

It's never guaranteed is it? I'm hoping this will be the best time of yours and Dottie's lives. :)

ZILLA said...

Here's to making the break, and here's to the many years you're adding by doing so!

ZILLA said...

PS: Thanks again for allowing me to pick and pester your brain earlier!

kath said...

congratulations!

I am very happy for you, and and for Dottie!

Barbara said...

Lise's dad, who was an auto worker, ran a farm and a law-care business (with 6 kids he had to work extra), got sick and died within 3 years of retiring at 65.

You are smart to get out now. That pretty gal of yours deserves to have her man around for a long time to come. So you take that pension and run.
Hugs, Barb

von Krankipantzen said...

YAY! Freedom! I am so happy for you.

And THAT number? Doesn't apply to you! Just doesn't.

fineartist said...

My dad retired at fifty four and lived until he was seventy nine, a good twenty five years and he enjoyed every minute of it until the last nine months when the damned cancer got him.

He stayed very active, with the Shrine and he gardened in earnest, heh, he really always gardened in earnest when I was a kid we always had a huge garden, I hated it back then, but yeah grew to love it later.

You are gonna be just fine, I'd say you've got a whole lotta good years to do what ever in the heck you wanna do! Lord knows you are active as two men, yep, you're gonna do retirement with glee, I just know it.
xx

robin andrea said...

When it comes to retirement and math, it's always good to get everything in writing from management. They have their own way of interpreting things. I'm just glad that you are so close to being out that door for good.

Puffer said...

can u come 2 my house and cook dinner?
missing u
if u retire a trip to canada is in order right?

KellyNerd said...

This blog made me sad and then happy and then sad and then happy ... lol
here is to MANY MANY MANY MANY more years ....

congrats on getting out so early!

KellyNerd said...

This blog made me sad and then happy and then sad and then happy ... lol
here is to MANY MANY MANY MANY more years ....

congrats on getting out so early!

Deb said...

CONGRATS, Alan. This is a life changing moment.


So happy for you, my friend!

HAR said...

Alan- You soo deserve to be retiring! It must be so exciting for you and Dottie.

I can't picture you relaxing though. You will probably be as busy as ever.

Enjoy every day !

MB said...

I'm glad to read such good news here, Alan. I'm very happy for you. I'm sure you have many years ahead to enjoy fully with Dottie and the rest of the crew!