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lehrski
lehrski Member Posts: 68

Right now, things are going well and I'm thinking about traveling to Alaska this summer. However, a trip would be pretty expensive. It's definitely an individual decision, but how do you balance spending now and making memories versus saving for future disability If I put money away now while I'm working, it will be easier later if I need to hire caregivers etc. or to be able to afford copays.

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  • divinemrsm
    divinemrsm Member Posts: 6,079
    edited April 2021
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    lehrski, great question and here's my advice. Plan that trip to Alaska and go.

    I, too, worried about money issues after diagnosis, wanting to travel. What worked for me was to push myself out of my money-spending comfort zone somewhat (and I have always been responsible with money) but not go full throttle break-the-bank kind of thing. It's very doable. You can find ways to keep expenses reasonable and still have some great travels.

    I am 10+ years since being diagnosed with mbc from the start. I had no way of knowing I'd have such good response to treatment, but in hindsight it's easy to see that blowing all my money at the beginning wouldn't have served me well. Neither would a timid, cautious approach to travel have been a good choice, either. In the past 10 years, I've had memorable trips to the Grand Canyon, Mt. Rushmore, the top of the Empire State Building and more.

    Yes, the trip is an adventure, but so is challenging yourself to stretch your money-spending boundaries to get more of what you want. Go for it!

  • tina2
    tina2 Member Posts: 757
    edited April 2021
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    Lehrski,

    I second DivineMrsM! In the nearly ten years since I was diagnosed with metastases, my spouse and I enjoyed trips to France, Italy, England, Spain and Greece.

    We are pretty practical with money and prefer to spend it on new experience rather than possessions. As soon as we feel comfortable traveling, we will. You should, too.

    Tina

  • divinemrsm
    divinemrsm Member Posts: 6,079
    edited April 2021
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    I will also add I’ve never regretted any money I’ve spent on any of my travels. Not a penny.


  • aprilgirl1
    aprilgirl1 Member Posts: 768
    edited April 2021
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    lehrski - I agree with Divine and Tina. I know when I was dx as stage IV I thought "why am I saving for retirement ?!". I was 55 and still working. I am self employed but have an owner only 401k that I still contribute to as it does give me some tax benefits. I am planning trips , of course Covid delayed some travel for sure. Go to Alaska and continue to make travel plans. If you feel good and are responding well to treatment, I think it's time to take the trips you've been dreaming of, make memories and enjoy!

  • illimae
    illimae Member Posts: 5,607
    edited April 2021
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    I say go. I keep day to day spending under control but I balance that with planned spending for big things and I’ve learned (far too late, as a workaholic) to take all opportunities to have a great time.

  • sadiesservant
    sadiesservant Member Posts: 1,875
    edited April 2021
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    I agree with all the comments. Go for it!

    After I was originally diagnosed in 2001 I started "treating myself" a bit more but remained fairly careful with my money. As someone who is single, I have always felt the need to be careful and to avoid debt as much as possible as I wanted to ensure I had a good retirement. With the MBC diagnosis I had to give this a serious rethink but also find it a bit challenging given the uncertainty of our paths. I want to enjoy the time I have but don't want to end up eating cat food! LOL. I keep working (although I am now starting to scale back) as I like the extra freedom that the income affords me (although in reality, given my situation, I probably don't need the pay cheque but it's really hard to change one's mindset).

    In the four + years since my MBC diagnosis I have found a balance between enjoying myself and still making sound financial decisions.. just in case. I don't deprive myself. If I want it... I get it. The first thing I did after diagnosis was buy myself a new car. Happy A year later I took a trip to Britain.

    More recently my wings have been clipped by COVID and managing my aging mother but I do intend to start traveling again when I can. The only caveat is that it will probably be trips I can do at the spur of the moment. I do find paying out a ton of money in advance, not knowing how I will be doing at that time, is a big stressor for me. But there is nothing wrong with being spontaneous and hopping on a plane for New York! (Or Alaska... ) Enjoy!!!

  • ninetwelve
    ninetwelve Member Posts: 328
    edited April 2021
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    I'm with the others. Take that trip while you have the energy. I wish I had done more when I was in the earlier part of my MBC experience. Seven years out from my diagnosis, I'm a lot more tired.

    It is good to keep an eye on the future, and keep some money back for that, but remember your money won't have to last as long, and there may be financial benefits in the future, like the elimination of taxation on our social security income, possible universal basic income, and Medicare for all. There are reasons to be optimistic about what is to come, and every reason to live in the present moment.

  • Fitztwins
    Fitztwins Member Posts: 144
    edited April 2021
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    12 years with mets here...

    Go, be smart, but go....

    I have been to so many places since my diagnosis. No regrets. Enjoy now while you feel good.

  • tina2
    tina2 Member Posts: 757
    edited April 2021
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    Fitzwins! Great to "see" you!

    Tina

  • amontro
    amontro Member Posts: 184
    edited April 2021
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    Go and enjoy yourself now! After I was diagnosed with stage 4 almost 13 yrs ago, I continued being careful with my money and continued to travel. I was still working at the time. I've never regretted going away for around 10 days a year. I taught myself how to take advantage of less expensive ways to enjoy myself. When I retired in 2016, every year has been getting more difficult for me physically to get around. Since COVID, I've been a homebody and even long rides are tiring. I still have my wanderlust and sometimes it even hurts emotionally to remember the wonderful places I've been and how much fun I had (on a shoestring).

  • lehrski
    lehrski Member Posts: 68
    edited April 2021
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    Thanks all for the encouragement. I’m single so I won’t have someone to step in when things get bad. I worry that expenses such as paying someone to drive to appointments and caregivers could add up. But you have convinced me that it’s important too to spend (responsibly) too on the things that bring us joy.

    I see my oncologist next week to get a letter approving travel so I can get insurance. Then I’m putting a deposit down on a short and affordable small boat cruise among the glaciers of Alaska. Woohoo

  • 7of9
    7of9 Member Posts: 474
    edited October 2021
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    Great posts. Fretting about trip we just took where expenses got a bit over ( Las Vegas will comp you on rooms but watch out.. food is a rip off if you eat in any restaurant! Zion wasn't cheap either) and now home going through mothers paperwork. She has had health issues pop up in the last few months. It is so scary how damn much it costs to live. Just try to be frugal where you can but can't say I'm sorry for most of our travels. Too many guilty family trips with cousins, parents, even friends. Ugh. Cutting back on those. Loved every second with just husband and son as we've been doing national parks.

  • nkb
    nkb Member Posts: 1,561
    edited April 2021
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    definitely go! Alaska is amazing. They say people regret the things they didn’t do or buy- not the things they do. I have traveled a lot since diagnosis and the pandemic showed us that we need to travel when we can- who knows what is around the corner. I don’t know how many trips are left for me or when we can go out of the country- enjoy

  • lehrski
    lehrski Member Posts: 68
    edited October 2021
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    Thanks all for your encouragement. I had an amazing summer. I was diagnosed as stage 4 in summer 2020 and I never would have thought that a year later I would be out adventuring. I spent a week in Seattle/Olympic mountains with my brother, 3 weeks in Alaska hiking and kayaking and my first cruise (very small boat), a few weeks with my parents at their cabin in British Columbia and a week backpacking in the Uintas in Utah. Friends old and new were kind and generous. On the backpack, one friend carried my tent and another my food to keep my pack weight manageable and they were patient as I plodded. Stage 4 can be very challenging, but it can sometimes be a push to do those “someday” things.

  • nkb
    nkb Member Posts: 1,561
    edited October 2021
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    Lehrski- so happy to hear that you had a great trip and the photo is gorgeous!

  • tina2
    tina2 Member Posts: 757
    edited October 2021
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    Lehrski,

    Fortune favors the brave! Brava!

    Tina

  • moth
    moth Member Posts: 3,293
    edited October 2021
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    I'm so on the other end of things... I spent the summer in lockdown, essentially same as summer 2020. It's not the money, it's covid keeping me home... I'm amazed at others' adventures

  • olma61
    olma61 Member Posts: 1,024
    edited October 2021
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    LOVE this! So happy you went ahead and did it.

    Breathtaking photo too. Wish you many more great adventures!

    Heart

  • exbrnxgrl
    exbrnxgrl Member Posts: 4,843
    edited October 2021
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    lehrski,

    I’m so glad you went! Your trip sounds fabulous.

  • lehrski
    lehrski Member Posts: 68
    edited October 2021
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    The adventures were in the wilderness away from people (except for people I’m bubbling with)to minimize Covid risk. Still some risk with the travel bit, but all those required a vaccination and twice weekly Covid tests.

  • nkb
    nkb Member Posts: 1,561
    edited October 2021
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    I took a 6 day trip to Vermont at beginning of October. I had to fly from California and was scared - was going to put off this dream for another year- but, felt that I really had no idea if next year would be any better or I would be phycapable of going. I went to see an exhibition of a quilt that is only shown 6 weeks a year due to its age ( 1863) that I have been making for the last 7 months. It is a major and difficult quilt to make and I really wanted to see the original. It seemed like a “flimsy” excuse to take risks - wore n95s , only did outdoor dining, stayed in a small B&B and was able to socially distance quite well. So glad I went and it was a nice change of pace- made me realize how isolated I really have been!

  • lehrski
    lehrski Member Posts: 68
    edited October 2021
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    Nkb - it is hard to make decisions about risk for self and others, and more sowith an unknown future. Sounds like the chance of a lifetime for you. And what a project with the quilt!

  • divinemrsm
    divinemrsm Member Posts: 6,079
    edited October 2021
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    I love hearing of your traveling adventures, lehrski and Nkb! It is wonderful to know that they were a great success. Here’s hoping you…we…are able to enjoy even more in the near future!


  • finallyoverit
    finallyoverit Member Posts: 133
    edited October 2021
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    @lehrski - your trip sounds wonderful. I’ve actually been looking at Alaskan cruises to see the northern lights lately. Mobility is an issue for me (full leg neuropathy) so I think a cruise is a better and safer way to go. I do plan on booking and placing a deposit as soon as I find one that moves me. I’ll be traveling alone so I need to go ahead and do this while I’m anle

  • lehrski
    lehrski Member Posts: 68
    edited October 2021
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    I did a small boat cruise. We only had 24 people on the cruise and everyone had to be vaccinated and same-day Covid tested the day of boarding. We didn’t stop at any towns, just uninhabited coastline/islands so we were self-contained and felt relatively safe Covid wise. I went alone and felt included and really enjoyed it. It was a very active cruise but we hada couple in their 90s with limited mobility who mostly stayed aboard and didn’t do many of the activities, but they seemed to enjoy the scenery from the boat.

  • aprilgirl1
    aprilgirl1 Member Posts: 768
    edited October 2021
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    Lehrski - I am so happy to hear about your travels! I would love to know what small cruise or cruise line you took in Alaska, that is on my list of places to visit. I live not far from the Olympic Mountains and we had a beautiful summer. I did some traveling, too - kept it low key but had a great time and felt safe from covid and was able to stay away from crowds.

    NKB - your quilt exhibit sounds like a great vacation, too. I made it to Vermont in September - first time in that state and it was beautiful. Fall had not arrived yet but we enjoyed Woodstock immensely.

  • lehrski
    lehrski Member Posts: 68
    edited October 2021
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    I went with Uncruise adventures. They can be expensive, but they had very deep discounts post Covid

  • 7of9
    7of9 Member Posts: 474
    edited October 2021
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    thanks for sharing! I wonder if using part of retirement is a good idea or not but just plunked down on Yellowstone and grand tetons for next summer. It has been 5yrs since recurrence, 9 since original.... and part of me says hurry...so....booster covid shot on Friday and off to Orlando next month too with hubs and 12 yr old. Like the Tim McGraw song...Live like your dying...cuz we all are anyway someday. We are still on track to retire in our early to mid 60s but that is another decade away. :/ Please keep encouraging each other. Lets do it!!!

  • sadiesservant
    sadiesservant Member Posts: 1,875
    edited October 2021
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    7of9, I’m not sure if you realized you are posting on a stage IV thread. It puts the Tim McGraw song in a somewhat different context.

  • nopink2019
    nopink2019 Member Posts: 384
    edited October 2021
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    sadiesservant, Can't beat C&W lyrics. MBC puts whole new perspective on life. I wanted to skydive or paraglide last year on birthday (to dismay, but not objection of DH). Still considering it for next b'day!