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 11:40AM - edited Jun 23, 2022 04:53PM by moderators

Posted on: Nov 21, 2019 11:40AM - edited Jun 23, 2022 04:53PM 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 about facing an unplanned retirement due to breast cancer.

Thank you!

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Apr 25, 2021 09:05AM LoriLee1967 wrote:

thank you for your response, I will definitely talk to a financial advisor before I decide for sure

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Apr 25, 2021 09:22AM ninetwelve wrote:

worked with cancer for six years. Retired at 61 from a combination of cancer plus pandemic. Struggling with the financial side of paying for my own coverage, which isn't nearly as good as my former company's healthcare coverage, so in addition to paying $600 premium every month, this month I'll have an additional $600 bill for my recent MRI. Getting SSDI, and in two years I'll qualify for Medicaid, if I'm still alive.

Unless the Biden administration lowers the age of eligibility. We can always hope.

12/15/20 - Progression to liver. Tx changed to Xeloda. Dx 9/12/2014, IDC, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 2, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 9/15/2014 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone), Zoladex (goserelin) Hormonal Therapy 10/1/2014 Dx 7/2016, IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to bone/lungs Hormonal Therapy 8/16/2016 Faslodex (fulvestrant), Zoladex (goserelin) Targeted Therapy 8/16/2016 Ibrance (palbociclib)
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Apr 25, 2021 06:24PM cookie54 wrote:

LoriLee your plan is absolutely not stupid or selfish! it sounds to me like you have a responsible plan for bowing out gracefully. I feel as though you did your time and when work becomes more of a chore it's time to change. I just turned 55 am I am dealing with a 2nd recurrence I am A CT technologist and always worked full-time however I just recently changed to part-time and I am happy with my decision. It was a difficult one to make being I carry the health insurance for my husband also and it's outrageously expensive! Also I don't get a mental break from cancer because I scan fellow cancer patients and somedays I'm just tired of it. I have decided I am worth it and I have no idea if this will return in a month or a year or hopefully never! So to me if you can financially swing it then go for it! You can always go back to full-time if need be. I do plan to retire earlier than later that's for sure. So I say do what makes you happy because you are worth it! Best wishes.

Dx 8/15/2016, IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 9/13/2016 Mastectomy; Reconstruction (Left): Saline implant; Reconstruction (Right): Saline implant Chemotherapy 10/13/2016 AC Dx 6/2020, IDC, Right, Stage IIIC, Grade 3, 5/8 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 6/28/2020 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Gemzar (gemcitabine) Surgery 10/18/2020 Lymph node removal; Lymph node removal (Right) Radiation Therapy 11/22/2020 Whole breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Dx IDC, Other, Stage IV, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy Xeloda (capecitabine)
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Apr 25, 2021 07:40PM - edited Apr 25, 2021 07:42PM by kbl

NineTwelve, I just saw this recently. They've been trying to get this passed for a few years. I will be eligible for Medicare in October, but I still hope this passes. It’s the Metastatic Breast Cancer Access to Care Act.

De Novo ILC - No primary found. Mets to full spine, femurs, skull, and stomach. Dx 5/1/2019, ILC, Stage IV, metastasized to bone/other, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 6/23/2019 Femara (letrozole) Targeted Therapy 6/23/2019 Ibrance (palbociclib) Chemotherapy 9/27/2021 Other
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Apr 25, 2021 07:45PM exbrnxgrl wrote:

So interesting to read everyone’s stories and reasons for retiring or not. I belong to a strong union so being pushed out was never a possibility. Most of you know how much I love teaching so after 3 1/2 months of medical leave, I came back to work, happy as a clam. After I hit the 8 year post dx mark, I began to think about retirement because I’d been a very lucky stage IV patient but knew it likely won’t last forever. With that in mind and turning 65 in September I made the decision to retire at the end of this school year. I am terrified of being bored butI have my grandchildren to spoil and I plan on subbing as well. I’m sure I would have worked a few more years if it weren’t for mbc but working for 10 years with mbc got me to 65 so I’m good with that.

Dx IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 6, 2021 12:47PM LoriLee1967 wrote:

thank you!!!

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May 6, 2021 03:50PM chaclarey wrote:

Had planned(LOL) to retire at 58 when partner was 65. Have a demanding fulfilling job I used to love. Breast cancer at 50, 18 months ago and I can’t seem to bounce back mentally or physically. I used to be very good at my job and now I’m struggling with focus, memory and chronic fatigue. I have decided to hold on and retire in 6 months . Healthcare insurance not tied to employment(Canada) and no medical bills so I am fortunate that way. My career was an important part of my identity and self worth and it’s sad to let it go.

Oncotype 16 Surgery 9/1/2019 Lumpectomy (Left); Lymph node removal (Left): Sentinel Surgery 9/18/2019 Lumpectomy; Lumpectomy (Left); Lymph node removal Surgery 10/1/2019 Lymph node removal (Left): Sentinel Surgery 10/23/2019 Lymph node removal Radiation Therapy 12/14/2019 Whole breast: Breast Radiation Therapy 12/17/2019 Whole breast, Radiation boost: Left breast Hormonal Therapy 1/1/2020 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Hormonal Therapy 1/23/2020 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Hormonal Therapy Liquid tamoxifen (Soltamox)
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May 10, 2021 08:13AM edwards750 wrote:

I was 60 when I was DX. I had a job working nights at Federal Express. My hours were 5-10 pm. It was a hike from my house but the pay was good and the benefits were too. I enjoyed what I did but prior to being DX I was having trouble concentrating, etc, I chalked it up to lack of enough sleep.

Fast forwarding after I was DX I had a lumpectomy and 33 rounds of radiation. Radiation brought on fatigue halfway through the treatments. By then I decided I didn’t want to go back to work.

When my treatments were done my husband I calculated how much we would lose/or not if I retired. With mileage, wear and tear on the car not to mention I was tired all the time we figured we could afford for me to retire.

It has worked out for the best since now I babysit my twin grandsons several days a week every week because of my son’s working hours. He’s a single Dad. So sometimes it’s the prudent thing to do although I know you just don’t know what’s in your future.


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May 14, 2021 05:53PM Frap wrote:

Hi Ladies

Thanks for shareing your life experiences as bits and pieces seem to resonate with my own journey and my heart goes out to each and everyone of you for all you're going through. I was dx in 2019 with MBC from the onset and still working trying to keep afloat as the stresses of job responsibilites increase, trying to keep up with the technology changes. Not to mention the endless hours at the computer that reck havoc on my joints from not getting up and moving around enough. I tend to put my job ahead of recommended lumpectomy surgery and appts for fear of my employer finding out my dx. We don't have sick leave so I have to juggle make up time for my appts. Fortunately I'm able to work at home but it seems the work is never ending with emails to respond into the night with little personal down time except on weekends. Emotionally it's just taking a tole.

I've heard with MBC there's the possiblity of qualifiying for SSDI through the Compassion Allowance Program but I'd need to be out of work for a period of time. Has anyone gone through this process? I think a few of you mentioned being on short or LTD, but doesn't your Dr need to approve and for what purpose, emotional stress and fatigue? My Oncologist from the start said there's no reason I can't work so I'm not sure I'll receive any sympathy from her.

Life is too short to live the last of our unknown years when we could be enjoying life and giving of ourselves to family and friends. Of course financially this could be a set back. So I'm hoping those who are on SSDI could share your processes. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Dx 7/5/2019, IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2-, Targeted Therapy Verzenio Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole)
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May 14, 2021 08:19PM kbl wrote:

Frap, yes, you can get SSDI under compassionate allowance. Here is a site in here that you can look at. It’s true, you need to stop working for five months, but I’m not the one to talk about how short-term or long-term disability work because I didn’t have that. I was self employed.

De Novo ILC - No primary found. Mets to full spine, femurs, skull, and stomach. Dx 5/1/2019, ILC, Stage IV, metastasized to bone/other, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 6/23/2019 Femara (letrozole) Targeted Therapy 6/23/2019 Ibrance (palbociclib) Chemotherapy 9/27/2021 Other

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