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Old Yesterday, 02:52 PM
 
Location: Central NY
4,712 posts, read 3,278,488 times
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Thank you everyone who shared here. I admire how you have all weathered the tough times in your lives.

It has opened my eyes (and mind!) to the fact how very lucky I am. My problems certainly do not seem so terrible anymore.

Thanks again!
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Old Yesterday, 02:56 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
17,162 posts, read 17,478,115 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoByFour View Post
The far bigger problem is the tax hit if/when one of us dies - filing single will put the survivor in a higher bracket with less of a deduction. That is going to hurt.
The year after my husband died my income went down significantly and my taxes went up over $2,000. Ditto for my widowed sister.
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Old Yesterday, 04:17 PM
 
Location: ☀️ SWFL ⛱ 🌴
2,458 posts, read 1,690,302 times
Reputation: 8812
Quote:
Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
My pension must have been different. I do not recall my spouse ever being asked by my employer what he wanted with my pension or to sign any paperwork. I was the one given the paperwork and I was the one who designated and signed what I wanted to do with my public employee pension (in 2009).

My friend must also not have been covered by that act. He really, really wanted his wife to sign up for survivor benefits for him on her private company pension but she refused, even though they had been married 45 years at that time. This was about 2014.

I have never heard of a situation where the spouse of worker decides on the workers pension. I guess that you learn something new everyday.
The default on pensions used to be automatic annuity survivorship for the remaining spouse. That changed when lump sums became an option. Now the surviving spouse has to sign a consent when a lump sum is chosen or an annuity percentage is chosen. The same goes for changing the spouse as primary beneficiary for a 401k, a consent form agreeing to it needs to be signed by the spouse.

There are likely exceptions, but it’s what happened when DH’s pension plan offered a lump sum in lieu of an annuity several years ago. I was surprised to learn that my input was required on DH’s pension choice and any 401k beneficiary changes. It does make sense to be informed about any changes in a spouse’s retirement fund so there are no surprises.
https://www.dwc401k.com/blog/changin...nsent-required

As far as worst thing happening in retirement, mine has been losing both parents in the last three years. All the aunts and uncles were already gone and my parents were the last ones standing. They were the end of an era. My older sister died a few weeks before my Dad did, although we didn’t learn about it until after his death. She had broken ties with the our family years ago. We were reeling from Dad’s death and getting a phone call out of the blue about her death and estate details was hard.

Last edited by jean_ji; Yesterday at 05:10 PM..
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Old Yesterday, 04:18 PM
 
2,252 posts, read 773,293 times
Reputation: 5731
Quote:
Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
My pension must have been different. I do not recall my spouse ever being asked by my employer what he wanted with my pension or to sign any paperwork. I was the one given the paperwork and I was the one who designated and signed what I wanted to do with my public employee pension (in 2009).

My friend must also not have been covered by that act. He really, really wanted his wife to sign up for survivor benefits for him on her private company pension but she refused, even though they had been married 45 years at that time. This was about 2014.

I have never heard of a situation where the spouse of worker decides on the workers pension. I guess that you learn something new everyday.
The two small private pensions I have, when I signed up I needed DH's notarized signature if I chose anything less than a 50% Survivor benefit. I selected 75% on the first one but by the time I signed up for the second one DH was terminally ill and it was a no-brainer to elect no survivor benefit. My step-grandma was left high and dry with no Survivor benefit on her husband's pension after he died and she never saw it coming, but my guess would that he would have it pension age in the 1960s and was probably able to make that choice without her knowledge.

Since retiring I lost DH and my mother in successive months but I can't complain. They were good people who lived long lives and died peacefully at home with support from hospice care. I was grateful I was able to take care of DH in his last few months without trying to hold down a job. (Mom was several states away.)
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Old Yesterday, 04:19 PM
 
3,684 posts, read 1,440,945 times
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the worst, so far, has been the family and friends funerals.

just to mention an extreme example: a friend (65) retired
seven months before me. he died one month after i retired.

we have gone to 16 funerals in 3, going on 4, years.
all "natural" deaths. no car wrecks, or suicides, or anything.
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Old Yesterday, 04:49 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
17,162 posts, read 17,478,115 times
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I started to list the "worst things" that have happened to me since I retired and by the time that I got to number 10 I realized that I did not want to depress everyone.

So here are my top three.

#1. My husband, who had dementia and a traumatic brain injury (and needed 24/7 caregiving), died from nursing home neglect/errors. (He had to be there because of #2).

#2. I had Stage IV uterine/ovarian/colon cancer that had spread to my lungs. The good news is that it is currently in remission.

#3. I had multiple, severe complications from a major surgery (not the cancer surgery) and was in the hospital for almost a month (most of it in intensive care) and then recovering at home, with more complications, for another six weeks.

I have been officially retired for ten years and am still looking forward to the "enjoyable & relaxing part."

Last edited by germaine2626; Yesterday at 05:59 PM..
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Old Yesterday, 05:08 PM
 
Location: ☀️ SWFL ⛱ 🌴
2,458 posts, read 1,690,302 times
Reputation: 8812
Quote:
Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
I started to list the "worst things" that have happened to me since I retired and by the time that I got to number 10 I realized that I did not want to depress everyone.

So here are my top three.

#1. My husband, who had dementia and a traumatic brain injury, died from nursing home neglect/errors. (He had to be there because of #2).

#2. I had Stage IV uterine/ovarian/colon cancer that had spread to my lungs. The good news is that it is currently in remission.

#3. I had multiple, severe complications from a major surgery (not the cancer surgery) and was in the hospital for almost a month (most of it in intensive care) and then recovering at home, with more complications, for another six weeks.

I have been officially retired for ten years and am still looking forward to the "enjoyable & relaxing part."
I followed your saga in the Caregiving forum; it was eye-opening, informational and inspiring. That you worry about depressing others here says a lot about you. Wishes for continuing good health, and that enjoyment and relaxation are around the corner for you!
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Old Yesterday, 05:23 PM
 
2,636 posts, read 1,949,293 times
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Mild (lacunar) stroke, mistreated by doctor obsessed with blood pressure numbers, resulting in what was a little stroke (not related to hypertension) turning into bigger stroke. As a result, I'm now partly incapacitated. This has eliminated 80% of my usual pastimes/activities.
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Old Yesterday, 05:27 PM
 
2,252 posts, read 773,293 times
Reputation: 5731
Quote:
Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
The year after my husband died my income went down significantly and my taxes went up over $2,000. Ditto for my widowed sister.
Oh, yeah- that, too. Shoved into higher tax brackets, taxed as a Single, lower thresholds for getting nailed with IRMAA surcharges on Medicare premiums. Increased standard deduction in the last revisions to tax laws did me no good since deductions that I couldn't "bunch" in a year (Real Estate taxes plus Mortgage Interest plus State Income taxes) added up to more than $12K.

I love how all the tax thresholds for Singles are half or twice those for Marrieds- whichever increases the taxes for Singles. It would be nice if my mortgage, property taxes, utilities, etc, were halved after DH died but it didn't work that way.
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Old Yesterday, 07:04 PM
 
411 posts, read 163,624 times
Reputation: 1178
Quote:
Originally Posted by MadManofBethesda View Post
Mine would be being diagnosed two years ago with stage 4 cancer in my mediastinum, with additional tumors in three of the four chambers of my heart. My PCP recently informed my wife and me that neither my oncologist nor my cardiologist thought I was going to survive. (And it's a good thing that they withheld that info from me because I probably would have quit going through chemotherapy at my lowest point during my third month of infusions.)




After all my hair fell out, my dermatologist found an early (in situ) melanoma on my scalp. So, I guess that was good, lol.

The other good thing, is that I'm not taking any future for granted. Now that I'm in remission, rather than taking one or two international trips a year and saving certain locations for a "later" that may not arrive, we're going to travel as often as we can. Already, we have trips scheduled for Ireland in September and October, Copenhagen for two weeks in December for Christmas, Singapore in February, Dubai and Abu Dhabi in March, Florence for a month in May/June, and Montreal for a week in July. As we start working though these trips, we'll schedule more on the back end.
Good for you! I am sorry you have cancer, but do whatever your heart pleases.
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