Patricia and George A.

Miramar, FL

My name is Patricia and I worked for a large national firm in the northeast when the merger took place.  I thought that it would not be such a good idea to stay.  I decided to take an early retirement since the house that my husband and I had built was paid for in cash. I had a great pension and a 401K that would be able to give us the lifestyle that we were used to having.

My husband George worked for a well know Wall Street firm and was asked to join their operations in the mid-west. He was set with his pension.  Between us life was good. A major illness caused George to have to pay for some out of pocket healthcare insurance costs which had a little impact, but were not devastating just before our move to Florida.  He was not able to go back to work again. 

We officially retired in 2002.  I was 54 and George was 57.  Our sons were grown and married.  We were empty nesters with a very nice house, good health insurance, pension and 401K.  All was well, or so we thought.  

Then in 2008, my 401K took a hit from the market crash, dropping the value by almost 50%. My husband’s pension which we had been collecting was not enough. We decided that it would be necessary for him to collect social security and a job at a local hardware store to make ends meet until I could collect my pension this fall.  I was told that due to the merger, I would only be guaranteed 88% and only if I began collecting in 2010.  I was also told that there would be no guarantee of any funds if I waited until I was 65 years old.