Timing is Everything
Let’s set the scene, shall we? My wife and I are seniors in our late 60’s. We have a limited budget as we depend on pensions. We do not have a great deal of disposable income. (But, I’m not here to bemoan this fact: it’s just a fact of life, these days: there’s never enough…)
I’m in a bit of a more fortunate situation than most: I lived and worked in the UK for more than 22 years. That means that I contributed as a British taxpayer. When I returned to Canada in 2007, I thought I would get ‘credit’ on the Canada Pension Plan for those years, but it turns out that Canada and the United Kingdom do not have a reciprocal agreement. The positive side of this situation is that at 65 years of age, I applied for and began to receive the UK Pension, in addition to CPP and Old Age Security payments.
In April, I contacted the Newcastle Pension Centre, asking them what money Susan would receive after my death. I was told that when I die, the pension stops. There is no survivor benefit. I thought to myself, “Oh-oh, we need to see if Susan is eligible for a UK Pension in her own right, based upon the amount that I am getting. That way, when I die, she will continue to receive something.”
On the 28th of April, this year, I downloaded the application form and Susan and I filled it in. We sent it off the same day.
Within two weeks, Susan got her original documents back, but no decision.
Fast Forward Three Months
Before I continue with this story, let me backtrack to another sequence that started on the same date: I had a dream that we had ‘lost’ our car of seven years. At the time, I wasn’t sure what had happened to it, but I noted it down in my daily blog.
Then on the 31st of July, our car had a mechanical failure which resulted in the engine catching fire and the car being written off.
Now we were in a slight panic: how can we afford monthly payments for a new car?
That was on the Tuesday, last week. On the following Friday, Susan got notification that her UK Pension application has been successful. Wow, talk about prayers being answered. Now we could get a new car and still be able to afford to live as we have been doing for three years.
It is still surprising when these things work out. One can have all the faith in the world and still have niggling doubts. The fact that we instituted our own resolution three months ago seem incredible, but I guess that’s what the old saying means when is says:
The Lord helps those who help themselves.