Topic: Did you retire before you had planned to as a result of cancer?

Forum: Employment, Insurance, and Other Financial Issues — Employment, insurance, and financial concerns are common. Meet others here to discuss and for support.

Posted on: Nov 21, 2019 09:40AM - edited Jun 23, 2022 02:53PM by moderators

Posted on: Nov 21, 2019 09:40AM - edited Jun 23, 2022 02:53PM by moderators

moderators wrote:

Many people in the workforce look forward to retiring one day, and most of us try to do our best to plan for retirement. But some of us encounter medical issues that might force us to consider an early, unplanned retirement. Did you make the decision to retire before you had planned to as a result of your breast cancer diagnosis? How did you come to the decision? Were you prepared? What have you ended up doing in your retirement? Share your story and we may include your voice in a new article on Breastcancer.org about facing an unplanned retirement due to breast cancer.

Thank you!

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Jun 16, 2021 03:20PM notascalmasilook wrote:

I’m thinking about my options so deeply right now! It’s been about a year since DX. I’m 10 years from full retirement, 7 years from early retirement. The pandemic and Cancer have me thinking about why I’m working, what I’m doing, who I am doing it with, and all that goes with it.

Financially I am in a good place. We can pay all the bills on my husband’s income IF we pay off the mortgage. (Paid off the car earlier this month). Mortgage should be able to be paid in the next 6-18 months .

We work for the same employer, so we can switch health insurance to him in November during open enrollment. Same policy. Same coverage. Same price. I just need to stay in place till January 1st for that switch to take place

I can separate my payroll deductions for life insurance and Aflac Cancer and Short Term disability to direct payment. Employer never subsidized those payments anyway.

I have a separate retirement account that I can withdraw from as soon as a leave this employer, without penalty, regardless of age. It can serve as a safety net of sorts.

Maintaining Aflac cancer plan means they will keep paying me monthly for my AI and Verzenio. That will pay for health insurance premium and life insurance and Aflac premiums.

I’m not feeling pushed out, like so many of you. I have all the choices in front of me.
  • I can stay in my position.
  • I can take a different position with same employer for less money, less responsibility, less hours, ormore/new challenges, whatever
  • I can take a job with another employer
  • I can stop working all together.


Looking at the calculators my odds of survival for ten years (when I’d be full retirement eligible) is about 80%. It drops for 15 years. I want to enjoy my retirement!

I think about this a lot!

Dx 7/2020, DCIS/IDC, Left, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 4/12 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery Lymph node removal; Lymph node removal (Left): Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Left) Chemotherapy AC + T (Taxol)
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Jun 26, 2021 10:25AM Emily21 wrote:

I'm retiring early I think. Im on half pay until Sept 1st and then I have to decide what to do. I can retire on disability grounds and not suffer a penalty so I think I will do that. Not keen to go back. I'm a medical scientist.

Dx 9/4/2020, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 3/31 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-, Surgery 9/22/2020 Lumpectomy Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 3DCRT: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Chemotherapy AC + T (Taxol)
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Aug 6, 2021 04:20PM Rosiesmum wrote:

I have had a very phenomenal career (advanced degrees, published research, teaching, mentoring) and still have lots to offer, but I lost my last position as it was eliminated due to COVID-19. With the multiple side effects I still have from all the breast cancers and treatments I’m not able to work 40+ hours per week in an entry level job. They are too physically demanding.I’m afraid I may have to go on disability or retire. While I’m completely confident that I can do my job 100% remotely, or even 80% remotely, those options evaporate now, when before cancer I was able to get pretty much any position I applied for. Now I need ongoing or repeating Lymphodema and myofascial treatments and they are so helpful but really take a huge emotional toll. If there are resources available to help, I’m interested!


Dx 3/18/2013, DCIS, Right, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 3/23/2013, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/31/2015 Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap, Tissue expander placement Dx 9/3/2015, ILC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy
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Aug 6, 2021 04:22PM Rosiesmum wrote:

Emily, what did you decide? I’m in a similar career but not old enough to retire. How’s it going

Dx 3/18/2013, DCIS, Right, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 3/23/2013, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/31/2015 Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap, Tissue expander placement Dx 9/3/2015, ILC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy

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