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previous paragraphs may not have had anything to do with anything. It may have simply been my thinking at the time; that Herb was a hotheaded son-of-a-bitch like some of the rest I had met over my working lifetime. I suppose there are those that would say the same about me, even. I can see a few people thinking that. I certainly wasn't without fault. Regardless, I suppose the straw that broke the camel's back or brought the matter out in the open, so to speak, was the time my boss asked me when I was going to retire. I suppose my age was showing; I let my eyelids droop when he was addressing me; I didn't fit in his plans; or he feared I would leave and didn't want to be caught without a replacement. But at the moment he made the comment, if that is what it was, I don't know. Either way, it didn't matter. Because I had not given it a lot of thought, other than to say that I knew the benefit would be available to me later in the year, if I chose to accept it. The time would have been early in 2005 and at the moment he said that it irritated me. It angered me to be put on the spot and be required to make a decision I wasn't ready to make. I wanted to make up my mind, on my own time, and approach him with the idea. I didn't want to be pressed into making the decision by him or anyone. Finally, I sent my boss a sarcastic e-mail and told him that he had won; that I was going to retire. But then tempered a second paragraph and explained that I would work with him to locate a replacement. Hell, if I had been in his place, I would have done the same thing. If my job was important and I left one morning without letting anyone know ahead of time, it would have put him on the spot. But it pissed me off to have it come down in that manner. I wanted to do whatever the hell I wanted to do, and wasn't thinking about the company at all. But then, as the time approached, I began to rationalize that it would not only be better for the company but for me as well. I hadn't planned to leave town or flush my phone down the toilet, cutting off all ties to society. Hell, the plant might start calling me for everything that happened and I certainly didn't want that. All that being said and etched into stone, I started working on all the necessities: my emotions, my vested retirement with the company, my social security and the ten years with the steel mill, also medical insurance and my 401k. But it wasn't that easy, even. I was told by the corporate office not to apply more than a month before the date I planned to retire. If I were going to retire on January 1, 2006, it would delay me turning in my paperwork until December 1, 2005. After peering under a few stones without finding anything, I was becoming antsy to say the least. Still, I continued to play the game and applied for my social security through the Social Security Administration. There I was told that I wouldn't be eligible to start receiving my checks until the month after receiving my final check from the cement plant. The representative said I made too much money. Anyway, a couple of months prior to the end of the year, I drove up to the community building in

Understanding Annuities For Dummies  

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