Monday, March 31, 2014

The Retired R

R retired from full time work a year or more ago. He took up a part time job working reduced hours five days a week. He was struggling. The work was quite physical. He reduced his work days to three days a week, but still, after some time he decided he could not do it anymore. To quote, I just can't do it anymore. My hips and knees hurt. Stop, I said, we will manage. Thanks, he said, I will.

Yes PM Abbott and Treasurer Hockey, some people are worn out by working their whole lives before they reach the age of 70.

Matters at The Highrise of late have been busy but R has been making plans to do some voluntary work after we return from our UK/Euro holiday.

Fruit Cake is going through a tough time at the moment, and along with her sage retirement advice in the  past, she has also divulged the nightmare of a the Centrelink experience. R experienced it after he retired from full time work and was un-employed. Lordy, how stressed was he by the experience.

Now R is about to reach pension age, we have hired someone to do the hard yards. She is a middle class woman in her late fifties and she is just brilliant. R was not sure about hiring her, but I insisted and said I would pay. We have found out R does not have to visit Centre Link. She does all the work. $90 per hour or around $500 a year. She assured R it was not problematic and the hourly fee would be best.

R was in bed by 10pm last night and did not wake until 9am. He slept for two hours this afternoon and then fell asleep on the couch at 8pm. I've seen it before, as you would after 34 years with someone. He is mega stressed and sleep is his help. I think he feels a lot better after seeing the pension expert woman.

Never have I ever felt like a comfortable working class person that when I learnt that for $90, R does not have go through the Centre Link process in person. Yes, there were forms to fill in and documents to scan, but so easy, as the woman did it all and attended Centre Link on his behalf.

This was written a few weeks ago. R has quickly adjusted to not working and has been busy with various things. He is much happier.

30 comments:

  1. It sounds like Centre Link must be your version of our social security system, and you can hire someone to do the process for you?
    Here, social security was a breeze. You just fill out one form online and wa la there it is coming though like clockwork. Same with Medicare--turn 65 and there it is. The hard part is choosing which plan on Medicare.

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    1. Rubye, yes Centre Link is a fancy name for the social security office. Hiring someone was news to me too, but our situation is not straightforward.

      I was with you until you said, choosing a plan on Medicare. You have a choice?

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  2. Interesting. I stop sleeping when I am stressed and my partner essentially falls into a coma when he is.
    When I was thrown out of paid employment (health related) I took up voluntary work - and love it.
    I hope that R finds a niche to make him happy when you return from your holiday.
    I had never heard of someone to do the liaising with Centrelink for you. I hope it goes well.

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    1. EC, it is odd how different people react. I do not sleep if I feel stressed.

      The woman was confident that there would be no problems because she would smooth the way and be persistent with them.

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  3. I retired a while back and I love it no complaints at all, I never dreamed much when I was working now I live a whole life when asleep.
    Merle..............

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    1. Merle, that is interesting about sleep. You now have restful sleep, rather than exhausted sleep perhaps.

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  4. I'm into my third year of retirement and just can't believe how much I'm enjoying it. Some mornings I just have to pinch myself to be sure I'm not dreaming. No more work. Bring it on!

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    1. Agreed. Retirement can be a wonderful period in a person's life as long as a] he/she is still basically healthy and b] there are plenty of satisfying activities to participate in. There would be nothing more soul destroying than spending retirement watching daytime tv... alone.... in pyjamas.

      When I turned 60, I reduced my work load to 2 days a week and looked around for other activities I could get involved in. So far so good :)

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    2. Fun60, I am a little envious of these people out of full time work. So long as you have enough money to do a few things, I think it is a good situation.

      Hels, yes, while I may watch something recorded during the day, I never watch daytime tv. I like the radio or silence.

      Two days a week is very nice for you, I'm sure.

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    3. Andrew is right, "as long as you have enough money to do a few things". I don't, so I spend quite a lot of time online, watching dvds, or reading. In my pyjamas. When I'm not going to Tai Chi or walkabout with my camera.

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    4. River, I suppose paying your bills and eating is the main thing. You can do so much without it costing much money if you are mobile.

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  5. Retirement is the time of your life when you wonder how you ever managed to have time to go to work!

    It's a new one to me also - having someone (paid or otherwise) be your agent at Centrelink. I suppose if Medicare allow it I don't see why they don't. Luckily for us we struck lucky in all of our contacts with c/link - not too many problems at all. Do have memories of requests for forms already produced tho' Not sure whether they had a dept of form munchers or they genuinely 'mislaid/lost, them or one dept could't/wouldn't let another see the information. annoying to say the least. .

    Once you set off on your trip all these worries will disappear - Oh, just don't forget to inform them of the date you are leaving the country and the date you return. Nosy parkers want to know everything or they can stop payment of various benefits,
    Take care
    Cathy

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    1. Cathie, I hope mine is like that when I finish work. I don't see why not.

      Good tip about informing them about going overseas. Had slipped my mind.

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  6. Andrew, when I started reading this post I thought you must have engaged a cleaner!

    I suppose there must be lots of people who require assistance to deal with Centrelink but all the same I'm a bit taken aback with the idea that Centrelink has become so demanding to deal with (like the Tax Office) that a special breed of paid intermediaries has sprung up.

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    1. Marcellous, I don't understand the cleaner reference.

      Yes, it is interesting that third parties can get involved, for a fee. I am sure it is not the same for everyone, but I have heard absolute horror stories. When I started his partime job, before he received any money, he notified them. Then money turned up in his bank account. It took a huge amount of time in phone calls to stop the money. He would be satisfied it was sorted, then more money would go in, then an inappropriate form would arrive. I describe his experience as troubling. He describes it as a nightmare, plus he once struck a very nasty interviewer and was extremely upset by the experience.

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  7. I thought at first you had hired a cleaner too. "we have hired someone to do the hard yards" indicates someone doing the heavier household cleaning to save R's hips and knees. now I realise it is someone who does all the running to and from Centrelink and sorts out any problems. Does she do it all online? Or does she actually go to the Centrelink office? I did everything online and now that I am fully retired with only a tiny super pension coming in, I no longer have to submit fortnightly reports to Centrelink. My part pension is automatic.

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    1. I understand now River, thanks.

      The woman actually goes to the Centrelink office in person. She seems to go late afternoon, perhaps when it is quiet. Good that your experience was so easy.

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  8. Worth the money. Cennerlink liaising can make you sick. I Recal Copperwitch blogging her Alice In Wonderland experience just getting her mother sorted out, and another blogger we all know had a nightmare Age pension experience because he has only ever been self employed, living honestly by what he produced with his own two hands. That gave Cennalink a conniption fit.
    Good luck to you both.

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    1. Ann, yes I vaguely recall Copperwitch's experience, and her warnings to me about my mother. Yes, I can guess who you are referring to. They tried to knock a round peg into a square hole.

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  9. I can't imagine R watching daytime tv Andrew, from what I've read here I can see him out doing volunteer work when you get back from your trip.. he's so good with your Mum it wouldn't surprise me if it didn't involve working with people who retired much longer ago than himself, something that doesn't involve kneeling :)

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    1. Grace, he is quite good at laying on his bed and watching tv during the day, but yes he does productive things as well.

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  10. Retirement is a new chapter of your life, you have to reorganize yourself. I think a cleaning woman is not a luxury in this case !

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    1. Gattina, many we know have someone to come and clean, even my sister who only works 2.5 days a week. We may in the future.

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  11. Retirement sometimes is a difficult time espoecially at the beginning. It's necessary to organise your lifestyle in a different day. It should the main aim.

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    1. Gosia, he will get into some sort of routine and organised position after our big holiday.

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  12. I was going to make a lurid comment about the use of proxies or agents but decided not to out of respect for R.

    May it be a happy and long and healthy retirement R.

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    1. You have me stumped Victor. Lurid?

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    2. Of course you are stumped Andrew, your mind is not as warped as mine.

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  13. I'd be happy with retirement about now. *sigh*

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