Fill Out Your Profile to share more about you. Learn more...
Webinar: Corrective Breast Reconstruction: Getting the Results You Want Join us July 9, 2024 at 6pm ET. Register here.

Quitting work in my 40's?



  • kris_2000
    kris_2000 Member Posts: 93

    laun, ParakeetsRule referenced a Roth IRA, not a regular IRA, so there wouldn't be tax on that since the contributions were taxed at the time they were made.

  • margaritams
    margaritams Member Posts: 183

    Hi there. Thought I'd jump into this conversation with my experience for what it's worth...

    I was diagnosed at age 48 and immediately went on STD when I started chemo and then LTD/SSDI and eventually Medicare. It's been great to have some financial support available - I couldn't not work without it - but it still represents more than a 50% pay cut so it isn't without some hardship. In my case, I really loved my job and was super disappointed to be unable to return to it but it required long placements overseas and lots of international travel etc so with regular infusions and other treatments and side effects, it was impossible to continue doing it. And, frankly, at the time of diagnosis with Inflammatory MBC, I was devastated at the thought that I only had a year or two left to live. (How glad I am that I was wrong about that...)

    Now, nearly 7 years later, I'm doing well on my treatments and I'm still on disability. I really miss working (though not during COVID), I miss the camaraderie of my co-worker/friends, I miss the intellectual rigor and sense of accomplishment from doing my job well and I miss my old salary and the fun and comforts it afforded me. Sometimes, I fantasize about going back to work but at the same time, I'm pretty confident that I wouldn't be a good employee anymore. My mind wanders, my fingers have neuropathy, my back aches from post-radiation compression fractures and I get easily fatigued. Also, and most importantly, I don't think I'd ever be willing (or able) to work the hours I previously worked or commit the mental energy required to do the job well. I find other things to exert my energies on and when I feel sorry for myself, I console myself by thinking about how on bad days at work, I used to dream of quitting to become an artist. The grass really is always greener...

    I wish you the best of luck in whatever you decide to do. In some ways, it was easier for me that I didn't have to make a choice - it was made for me by the nature of my work.

    P.S. You can't imagine how many of my friends (now mostly in their 50s like me) have said things along the lines of "you're so lucky you don't have to work" or "I can't wait until I can retire too" People really don't get it !!!

  • parakeetsrule
    parakeetsrule Member Posts: 605

    I think it was somebody else who mentioned it but my IRA is also a Roth IRA, so I won't have to pay taxes if I withdraw from it. Since I'm still working and can afford it, I thought emptying my 401k would make more sense, even though I'd have to pay taxes, because it's the newest and smallest account, and it's linked to my job. So if I ever quit and went on disability I'd want to close it out anyway because all my other investments are elsewhere. And I could then pull from my IRA without having to worry about taxes. Just thinking out loud here, it helps me to write things out!

    Katyblu, I don't know how I missed your post before! I was 12 months from retirement when I found out about my cancer. I'm currently a reservist and while I was distracted by my diagnosis, I was involuntarily dropped from my unit into the inactive reserve (it's a long story but partly my fault and partly not my fault. And I didn't know they were going to drop me until after they'd already done it). Now I don't know if I can get back in or not, and a prior service recruiter told me that to retire I have to be in a reserve unit. I don't know what to do. I'm planning to reach out to someone I trust who is still in the unit and see what she thinks. I'd hate to lose retirement after all this time. The good thing is I don't have to worry about health care because I use the VA!

  • olma61
    olma61 Member Posts: 1,025

    about taxes, the whole point of the traditional retirement account where you pay taxes on the withdrawals is that you will probably be in a lower tax bracket when you retire, so the bite is less than it would have been had you paid the taxes while still employed

  • katyblu
    katyblu Member Posts: 221

    Oh Parakeet that’s awful! I hope you can figure it out and get your retirement. It’s awful to have put in all that time and not get anything in return. I’m still not sure how my situation is going to rollout

  • exbrnxgrl
    exbrnxgrl Member Posts: 4,957

    On a mildly humorous note, as I quickly scan active topics here is how I inevitably read the thread title:

    Quilting work in my 40’s?

    Why not take up quilting in ones 40’s 🤣 ?

  • kris_2000
    kris_2000 Member Posts: 93


  • nkb
    nkb Member Posts: 1,561

    I took up quilting - very nice hobby when there Is a pandemic.

    I wasn't as young as many of you are, but, I retired early- actually before I was officially stage 4, but, with a grim prognosis- it is a gut wrenching decision on many levels other than money. My MO wanted me to, he said people work too long and then don't get time to enjoy retirement. But, mostly I was really tired after a year of treatment, bald, mother dying during treatment and my job was really stressful and long hours. I did get state disability during that year of treatment- I think it varies state by state- I missed making money, being with friends I had worked with for 20 years, purpose etc. When I felt well we did lots of travel and eventually I came to enjoy not going to work or maybe I got used to it. I was on my DH's insurance, so that wasn't an issue.

    when DH retired he had to choose how to get his pension (for his life, lump sum, for my life (I am 5 years younger) if for my lifetime it would be less. he said that he would take it for my lifetime, because otherwise he would be "betting against me" - since people do die of other causes- I will be ok if he dies first.

    I am still alive - so you never know. There are treatments available that were not when I was first diagnosed. It is a crapshoot it seems- Get the facts, try to protect yourself financially and then try to live your best life- it is hard to do when it seems so provisional. Your best memories will probably not be from work- so try to make some good ones now.

  • bmpntherd
    bmpntherd Member Posts: 24

    I was questioning my decision to not work after my initial diagnosis of recurrence with metastatic breast cancer to eye, bones, skull, lung,liver and now brain. But the brain mets locked it in. I’m a pediatric subspecialist and wouldn’t want me caring for children! Still miss it. But on LTD, SSDI , and my own LTD, Financially I’m currently fine but COBRA will tap that.

    It’s a hard decision- but it is nice to be able to schedule ongoing scans, treatments and focus on managing side effects for now. Also gives me time to work on my art. However, I feel like I’ve gone through retirement, changing physical/mental capacities in the blink of an eye- a lot to adjust to