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Spo-fans prone to anxiety and depression may want to skip this one.

Several Spo-fans have recently asked me when it comes to retirement I am pessimistic about mine. I’ve avoided writing about this as it is a gloomy topic, a near-guarantee to make the readers feel bad.

Mind! What I am about to write is stuff I don’t totally believe in. I have enough wisdom to know my inner-Glum hasn’t a leg to stand on when it comes to the arguments for these jeremiad grumblings . After all, one cannot predict the future. My concerns are all speculative.  If I really believed these rubbish-like concerns were genuine, I wouldn’t keep up my health, nor would I keep contributing towards retirement – which I do on a regular basis. I am scribbling down my thoughts if only to get them out of my head. Perhaps on paper they won’t seem so dire. 

First strike against retirement is my health. I have high blood pressure, high cholesterol (both genetic) with creeping pre-diabetes and diminished kidney functions.  None of these are bad at the moment; I do what I can to keep these in check. As a lot, they don’t point to a long life. Then there is my baseline matter. I’ve had the miraculous fortune to have lived thirty years with ‘the bug’. The Good Doctor says I am now more likely to die from cardiovascular disease than an opportunistic infection.  All the same I don’t know of anyone with HIV to have lived long life. Apparently having it excels all things medical, and on the eve of turning sixty I might as well be seventy. With these conditions, the odds of seeing retirement are suspect. 

The second strike is the cost of staying alive. The meds I take a frightfully expensive, even with insurance. I feel obliged to work as long as possible to keep health insurance as without any I could not afford to keep them.  If Medicare (that’s at 65 is it not?) takes over I wonder how much these necessary meds would cost or even if they are covered. Who can say.

The final strike is cost: I’ve seen my funds drop from the sky like paralyzed pigeons. We bought our house at the height of the housing boom in 2005 only to watch its value drop in the housing crash to a fraction of its worth. The place needs many major repairs. I doubt we could sell it even at the cost. To retire and move means selling La Casa de Spo probably at a loss, a big one – taking another bite out of the retirement funds. 

Let’s say for the sake of argument I manage to see seventy. Will my Social Security still exist? Will my funds at Merrill Lynch still be there? I have the terrible intuition they won’t, given national and international upheavals and what’s to come. I’ve heard many assure me ‘social security can’t go under” but then I’ve been assured our government would never be overthrown or my marriage will be legally dissolved*. 

Retirement – should I survive and the nation/world does so as well- looks to be a meager time with little affordability other than medical bills to do any of the things I hope retirement would be. If this is the case, it doesn’t seem worthwhile to pursue really. It is probably better to drop dead while working and miss the horrors that are to come. 

 *After ‘Roe’ is overturned I predict marriage equality will be next. I wonder what happens to our combined monies?

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May 2022

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