Annie’s Mailbox for May 9, 2011: Worried about sister’s night vision
May 9, 2011
Dear Annie: I’m worried about my younger sister, “Louise.” I recently retired, and Louise will be eligible to retire in four years. She is a full-time operating-room nurse who is required to rotate being on call at night.
The problem is that Louise’s night vision has become terrible this past year. Her optometrist says that it will undoubtedly get worse the older she gets. Every time my phone rings at night, I fear it’s someone calling to say Louise was killed in a car accident on her way to the O.R. She’s already had a few near-misses.
Louise has spoken to her supervisor about this, but their policy is “take it or leave it.” If she quits, she’ll lose a significant portion of her hard-earned retirement money.
Louise means the world to me. I always assumed our families would grow old together, but now I’m genuinely concerned for her safety. Maybe if her supervisor reads this in the paper, he will be more understanding and accommodating of their experienced, long-time senior nurses who simply cannot drive at night anymore.
— Scared Sister
Dear Sister: It might help if Louise brings her supervisor a doctor’s note saying she is visually impaired at night. Another alternative is to provide transportation on those nights when she is on call. Can a friend or relative drive her? Are there trains or buses? Can she carpool with another staffer or work out an arrangement with a taxi company? Please look into all the possibilities.
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Dear Annie: Mother’s Day has come and gone. My mother canceled our plans, so I went out for dinner with my husband and daughter. I paid the bill. I did not get a card or a gift from either of them — and it’s not the first time.
My daughter is 21 and a mother herself. It hurts my feelings that they care so little about me. I’m a nice person, the kind who lets others into traffic and throws parties for my friends on their birthdays.
Our 25th wedding anniversary is coming up, and I know I will be disappointed. For our 20th, I asked my husband if he would replace the engagement ring I lost. I gave him two years’ notice and got a card instead. This man does not have a romantic bone in his body. It would be nice if he put some kind of thought into one of these occasions. Any suggestions?
Dear Neglected: It will help if you stop expecting your husband to be what he is not. You will only remain frustrated by hitting your head against the same wall. Since romance is important to you, we suggest you take the lead and make the plans for your 25th anniversary. He’ll probably be relieved, and you’ll get what you want.
Dear Annie: “Worried Stepmom” said her husband wants to give his children equal amounts of money as gifts. However, her 33-year-old stepson, “Clark,” isn’t motivated to work, and she worries he’ll misuse the funds. Her husband can still make gifts to a number of accounts that restrict Clark’s ability to spend the money.
An alternative to an IRA would be an annuity that acts like an IRA for tax deferral, but restricts withdrawals until age 59 and a half, the same as an IRA. They could also set up a trust, using insurance or other vehicles to restrict access until the future. Please advise her to speak with a financial professional who is well versed in wealth preservation.
— Financial Adviser in Baltimore, Md.