… namely, the Pension? post and the Back to Work one from about 5 years ago, it seems like a bit of deja vu to be writing this one.
Late last year I decided to take the tax-free part of my pension pot as a lump sum payment. All went well, and the remaining part – the not inconsiderable sum of £10,000 – was placed into a new Self-Invested Pension Plan, or SIPP, with Standard Life. Apparently that is their policy when cashing in a works plan. Great, I thought, I get to see how it all works, and so I went for the low-risk/low return version of the SIPP.
You can imagine my surprise when it started to lose money… In fact, after just 3 weeks it had lost nearly £250 in value drops and charges! Of course, my next move was to cash that in as well, and use the funds raised to clear all of my short term debts. So by the end of November, my only outstanding debt was the mortgage. Excellent! Means I won’t have to wait until my mid-90s to get my dosh…
Just before Christmas I had a stroke. Nothing massive, I’m not a drooling wreck, dragging one side around, but it was enough to leave me with some life-long issues.
Reading the above-mentioned posts was a bit weird as I have just had about 4 months off work (on full pay) but have not claimed my full holiday entitlement for this year. In fact, I’ve waived the last 8 days I was due rather than forcing the company into giving me even more time off, unlike those mentioned in the prior post.
The back-to-work interview for this was a bit more straightforward than the last one –
Boss: “So, why were you absent: Stroke. Pretty much covers it. Are you now fit for work? No – phased return until fully fit.” and so it went, throughout the form, with me hardly saying anything.
The other thing was the whole thing about spending time at home with Sandi. The first few weeks were a bit of a trial (for her, I might add – I was too busy panicking over the slightest twinge to worry about that) but she’d just got used to having me at home all day and then suddenly, or not, I was gone all day again.
It’s now approaching 6 months since my attack and all of the results and measurements have come back from the various tests I underwent, with the final verdict being I should live…
I now know that I have a weak heart, but not so bad that it’ll cause me any problems unless I smoke or drink too much… I need to lose a bit of weight, though fitness isn’t really a problem as I wasn’t exactly unfit beforehand, and I’ll be on various medications for life
One thing though, if you do have any kind of sudden illness like that, DON’T LOOK IT UP ON THE ‘NET!! According to many sources, for my type of stroke and at my age, less than 50% of victims survive the first year… Scary shit. My doctor said that was rubbish and not to worry myself into a further, fatal attack. Fun times, eh?