Wednesday, February 01, 2012


BigD has been home since November 3rd. That's when he had his s.tress test, from there we went to h.eart cath, then on to triple by.pass. Today, in case you aren't near a calendar, is Feb 4th. Don't bother getting your calculator it's 92 days. 92 days.

He has been talking to all his buds at the office and hearing about all the political crap going on, people with stellar records being transferred to different divisions on a whim, grievances being filed for blatant disregard of union rules, the general pulse of the department being total shit and while he has been sharing all this with me I never expected what was about to come.

He walked in my office two weeks ago and told me "I am retiring". Okay, on the surface you would think that's not all bad. He has been in this job for over 30 years so he deserves to retire.......but this is a man that has absolutely no concept of money. I took over our finances many years ago because he never had a clue that when you get a bill it needs to be paid by a certain date or the service is discontinued. We actually had our heat turned off once. Humiliating, stupid and really hard to explain to the kids without telling them their college educated dad is a doofus. I didn't suspect the cause was lack of payment so I called a furnace guy who came out and checked the furnace and couldn't find anything wrong and jokingly asked me if we paid the bill. I got that sick feeling in my stomach but laughed and said something stupid and sent him on his way. Yep, BigD said he *thought* he paid it. It wasn't that we couldn't afford it, he just never got around to it. The man is actually two different people. The professional who is always on spot then the guy that lives in my house.

So when he tells me he is retiring I asked him what they told him at the S.tate R.etirement Board. He hadn't called them yet. I asked if we will have insurance through them. He didn't know. (reminder.....he just had a $97,000+ surgery so you never know when you will need to tap into that insurance reserve). He simply doesn't think about any of this stuff. *Someone*(another clueless individual) told him that he will get 80% of his pay for r.etirement then asked me if that would cover our expenses. Sure. But you mean after taxes right? Blank stare "I THINK so". UGH. So I called the r.etirement board, had the info sent and found out the facts.

He will get 60% of his pay of which we will be taxed at a high rate because he is still too young to retire. (before age 59 it is higher). As for health coverage, sure they will let us into the retirement group policy for a mere $1200 a month. This will kick in after we pay the first $10,000 of any medical expenses every year. (People I have been saying this for years, if you have medical coverage given to you by your's gold....say thank you and quit bitching that it doesn't cover a few little things here and there).

So needless to say BigD and I have had many discussions the past couple of weeks. Firstly I told him he shouldn't be making any life altering decisions right after a life altering surgery. Then I had to sit him down like a ten-year-old and explain addition and subtraction. Here are our standard monthly bills. Here is what our income will be. Lets see if it works. Nope. Doesn't.

He then looked at me with puppy eyes and welled up. It was heartbreaking. This is a guy that is in the dictionary under the words "man's man". Sure I have seen his soft side many times before but the last couple of years it has really been evident. He is finally telling me how much he appreciates all that I do, manage, control, organize etc etc. It's so nice to hear. Now I am wondering if I have made things too easy for him. A little like giving an alcoholic *just one* drink. I have allowed him (though as stated before--out of necessity) to skate through without a care. I get all the checks, take care of everything, and have probably given the illusion that it's easy because I am not a wavemaker. (Really :-). Well the boat is capsizing and the only thing that will save it is enough cash to plug the damn hole in the starboard side.

He has spent this last week or two putting out feelers. His pedigree is amazing. I knew he was smart --he picked me after all--but once we put together his resumé and listed all of his continuing ed courses (everything from fb.i sw(a)t, to pr,esidental sec.urity for the first George (bush, not washington) when he was in our area....BigD looks tremendous on paper. In fact, he was called back by a company that offered him $15 an hour to sit and watch a security monitor. He looked at me with those eyes that said 'should I take it' and I slowly shook my head. While he needs a j.o.b. he doesn't need to go backwards 30 years. Apparently my little math lesson made an impact.

Because of my financial queen-ness I have been able to stash away a few bucks for an emergency. I am not sure we have reached emergency status but if we do, BigD may yet be looking at a monitor.

(For those of you sitting there thinking that I am a bitch and why don't I get a better job....I actually start on Tuesday for a great team of docs. I spent the majority of my post college years raising humans and have recently found out there isn't much available in that job market so I take what I can get....also, just so you know...he has completely recovered from the surgery, so much so that he should be the poster child for by.pass surgery. He had NO issues with recovery and the doc said he is blown away by BigD's health and expects him to live another 30 years----unless I kill him of course).