One always likes to think of the present state of affairs as one resulting from the systematic planning put in place years ago — as in the proverbial “comfortable retirement” that was set in motion through wise investments and retrospective prognostications which were presumably based upon sage advice.
But life rarely works that way.
Yes, the analogy of the treadmill, or of taking one step forward and two steps back, all apply. There is a famous line in a British rendition of “Emma”, in which the father mumbles beautifully, “Life is like going from one bowl of gruel to another”.
Those who come to a point of contemplating filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, often find themselves in a similar situation. One works tirelessly, thinking that such hard work will reward itself by growing one’s nest egg, where savings develop over time; where within-step-increases come because of meritorious behavior; and where loyalty to, and from, one’s agency is strengthened and established because of the time, effort, and hard work one has, and will, put in.
But then the unplanned event surfaces.
In the beginning, one can fool one’s self and say that it is merely temporary, that it will all go away, and that one needs only to survive for the next coming day. But the unplanned event can be just as effectively destructive as the planned one, and the results just as final.
In preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS, it is best to see the neutrality of one’s circumstances — for, it matters not whether one “planned” for a medical condition; rather, the point is that, once accepted as a fact, it is the extent and effort of planning after the revelation of an unplanned event, which will make all the difference in one’s life.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire