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Early retirement

User
Posted 09 Jan 2019 at 14:20

Hi all,

I’m just wanting to hear about some of your experiences of living/working with this disease - and specifically in relation to working/retiring

I am a NHS worker - 50 in a few months with about 21 years of NHS pension (split between the old pension and 2015 onwards new one)

the old pension allows me to draw it at 60 and the new one at 67. it all confuses me though

anyway, back to the point, I had RP in November 2014, T2c, clear margins but unfortunately experienced recurrence nearly 3 years later. i had RT to prostate bed Feb -Apr 2018 and have been on Bicalutamide since Dec ’17 (plan is to stay on this until Dec 2019) Also on daily Tamoxifen

I have been back at work since July and thankfully my workplace has been supportive through all this.

however

I am finding life a struggle, work also. I worry about my mood and state of mind, I worry about my future and what’s ahead for me, my wife and 3 kids. increasingly I am feeling exhausted by everything and the HT probably contributes to this. More and more I wish I could win the lottery so I would not have to work but that’s not going to happen. Therefore my thoughts are increasingly turning to retirement possibilities. The future is uncertain, I may actually be ”cured” by the RT/HT, but I am not the same person I was a year ago and I don’t want to work and work until I die, I want to have some sort of decent retirement

I don’t know if retirement due to ill health is possible, I guess I will need to explore that with my workplace and my NHS pension provider. I will aim to seek out independent pension / financial advice on it all of course

has anyone here got experience if similar situations?

 

User
Posted 09 Jan 2019 at 17:00
Hi KB, I was in an almost identical situation to you. I was head of a large, busy Science faculty in a secondary school in Scotland (11-18 year olds). So many changes to qualifications, so many new demands. I had been working up to 60 hours per week (Paid for 35 hours!), had cut that back to around 50 hours but was exhausted all the time.

Occupational health advised me to go part time or retire.The job I did would have been almost impossible to split and I would have ended up being paid for 20 hours and still working 40 hours.

I was leaving home at 6.30 a.m. and returning anywhere between 4.30 p.m. and 7 p,m., 9 p.m. when it was a parents consultation evening. I was going to bed at 8 p.m. most nights and using the weekend to recover enough to face the next week.

In short I was existing, not living. My wife was going crazy, asking me to retire as she wanted me to have tome for the good stuff in life etc.

Having been through LRP, SRT and HT like your good self I decided to apply for early retirement on ill health grounds. My pension scheme changed in 2015 too but I was 55 by then so I remained in the existing scheme able to retire at 60.

I got the forms from the pensions agency, completed them plus forms completed by my oncologist, rheumatologist, GP and mental health doctor. The doctors were fantastic and completed the paperwork without charge.

I was successful in gaining ill health retirement but not on the higher level where my pension would have been topped up by 9 months or so. I am no longer deemed fit to teach but fit to do other non teaching work, I haven't gone down that road.

The upshot was I got the pension I had earned without the 6.3% actuarial reduction so 24 eightieths of my salary.

I retired 25/9/18 at age 58 and 7 months or so.

Despite the massive drop in income this has been the best decision for me, I don't have the stressful job, the long hours, the long traffic jammed commute.

It's not a bed of roses as my personality type is to push myself to limits so I still tend to overdo it but I can stop if I want!

I can go holidays out of school term time and help my aged parents out more. I cook the evening meal for my wife coming home from work and we have time to spend together.

Definitely the right decision.

I have joined a community choir, play pickleball (look it up!) with a group on Wednesdays, golf with my other retired buddies.

Hope this is of some help to you,

Ian

Ido4

User
Posted 09 Jan 2019 at 17:26
John didn't really believe it would be possible to retire early, although I had been banging on about it for a year or so. We took financial advice in March 2018 two days before his knee replacement - the advice was that with a prostate cancer that is likely to come back at some point there was little benefit to delaying retirement and accruing more pension rights when statistically, he is unlikely to need to worry about dying in poverty in his 90s. He saw the financial adviser on the Tuesday, had the knee op on the Thursday and 'retired' on the Sunday.

Some of his pension has been frozen until he is old enough to draw it. Some has been moved into a private pension (or perhaps we bought an annuity???). Some of it was drawn down as cash which we use to give him a small income of about £400 per month for running the car, going about with his bird watching, etc. He is more rested, less stressed (and I believe a calm environment can only help to keep you healthy), he is around much more to help me, when I manage to be working near home we have time together, we can go on as many holidays & trips as we like, he is getting more involved with the charities that we already support. If he feels like it at some time in the future he can always get some kind of part-time work or do a bit of consultancy but that would be without the angst and politics of the role he was in.

Basically, he is living rather than existing and, by association, I feel like we are making the most of what we have now rather than putting things off 'until we retire' since we are not likely to have another 30 years together. I have seen too many men on here robbed of their old age before they could really start to enjoy life after work - it seems a no brainer if there is any way of making it work.

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

User
Posted 09 Jan 2019 at 17:21
I was retired on mental grounds at the age of 46. By extreme luck I received a full medical pension which was identical to a final salary retirement at the age of 60. That worked out as 2/3 of my final salary. It was a massive drop and very worrying but we barely notice it now. I’ve worked as a healthcare assistant since and now as a school caretaker which I adore. Ok poor pay but it tops it up. And I can do what I want whenever. As above I love walking the dogs , being free and having dinner on the table. Sadly one year after retiring I got my cancer diagnosis and that is ongoing. I wish you well whatever you choose

If life gives you lemons , then make lemonade

User
Posted 09 Jan 2019 at 19:41

Good evening everyone

I'm 48 and have only ever taught, so I've built up a pretty decent pension.  I spoke to my union about early retirement and they said that even though I have had RP and SRT, as my bicalutimide is due to finish in August 2019, Teachers' Pensions would most likely take the view that I may well be cured and it would therefore be premature to grant early retirement on medical grounds.  The worst effect of the bucaltimide is fatigue, but as my employers have me on reduced hours as a reasonable adjustment, I'm able to manage.  My employers really have been saints.

Once I finish the bicalutimide, a more accurate picture of where we are with my cancer will emerge.  If at any stage I have to go back on to HT, I imagine it would be injections rather than bicalutimide and, at that stage, if fatigue or other issues were present, I would then look to retire early.

I'd like to work for at least 5 more years so that my two kids would have finished university.

Ulsterman

User
Posted 18 Jul 2020 at 10:42

I'm 56, sometimes I think retirement would be lovely. I have a few hobbies, I wouldn't have a lot of money, but maybe enough.

BUT I think it would be a bad idea.

I am lucky I work for myself, even with covid and hardly any work to do i still go in the office I do all the things at work I've been meaning to do. I talk to my colleagues.

If I retired I probably could cope, but plenty of people just can't cope with being at home alone. Once you OH retires I think getting back into work at his age and with his diagnosis may be hard (anti discrimination laws don't work). Now he could start a new business or do voluntary work, and he may have loads of hobbies, or enjoy the garden, so it may be a good idea, but think carefully what will he do with his time?

Edited by member 18 Jul 2020 at 12:54  | Reason: Added a year to my age I forgot I had a birthday this week.

Dave

User
Posted 09 Jan 2019 at 20:00
This is something I am contemplating. But the thought of a significant drop in income does concern me. We have had advice from a firm who my employer sub contracts to for retirement planning and based on my pension (not great) and other assets eg ISA’s I could do it. I may have to give some thought to investing better but would seek further advice on that.

I never thought you would get ill health retirement unless your condition was terminal etc

Anyway as others have said if you really are struggling with the work and you could get by ok then give it some serious thought. Work out your outgoings and what could be reduced eg switching utility providers, sim only phone plus a reduction in work related expenses etc. Then you will have an idea of what you need as a retirement income

Good luck

Bri

User
Posted 09 Jan 2019 at 22:40
Ido, that is unbelievably useful. I think John might be entitled to this ESA!
"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

User
Posted 09 Jan 2019 at 22:46
Good evening Bill,

Sorry to read that you are having to consider these sorts of choices. But at least you are here and able to make them, so that is a good thing.

Experience of these sorts of situations? Many of us are dealing with a similar situation, although at different stages.

Chatting to a recently diagnosed friend, he is in his own state of turmoil, reassessing life and priorities.

One thing that most folks seem to agree on is not to make any long term or irreversible decision whilst upset, stressed or unclear, or until it has been fully explored.

Is there any way you can make all the relevant enquiries about what options may be open to you without alerting anyone who might not react favourably to the idea you might leave?

Then could you do the maths, explore what that future may hold? Be that including retiring, part time working, job change, moving, downsizing or whatever?

And if you could put those calculations away for a week or a month? Then revisit the same options plus any new options that you may have come up with, recalculate the outcomes again, and see how palatable they are a month later?

atb

dave

Do all you can to help yourself, then make the best of your time. :-)
User
Posted 10 Jan 2019 at 18:19
Bill, I was once a Head of Personnel in local government before they called it HR! In my day, the NHS and local government schemes were similar. That would apply to the first part of your service, I guess. I recall a big difference in benefits between ill health early retirement and "normal" early retirement. Also inflation uprating of pension did not apply between ages 50-55.

I think you would be very brave to go at 50 with your limited service. You might find it tough going financially. The longer you can tough it out the better, I'd say. I managed to put off my early retirement to age 56 and I had built up a very good pension pot with Additional Voluntary Contributions to the maximum allowed. I planned to be and indeed was as well off in retirement after taking account of cost and tax savings as I had been in work. I was and am very happy that I retired early, not unconnected with the financial arrangements!

Think about it carefully and get over your treatment first, I'd advise.

Good Luck

AC

User
Posted 10 Jan 2019 at 19:30

Bill

I think what AC said makes a lot of sense.  I know a fellow head teacher who retired at the age of sixty.  He has found retirement to be too boring and is struggling to keep himself mentally stimulated.  It's one of the reasons I want to continue for a few more years at least, health permitting.  But at least we have a pension.  My brother in law doesn't have a pension scheme and at the age of 50 can no longer continue in work owing to his cancer.  Financially, they are in real trouble.

Ulsterman 

User
Posted 12 Jan 2019 at 13:44

Originally Posted by: Online Community Member

On the treatment at work situation my head teacher told me she thought i should be retiring!

 

🤦‍♀️ I can imagine the conversation in the HR department afterwards, and most of what was said about that HT is probably unprintable! 

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

User
Posted 08 Jun 2019 at 23:56

David

Ido4 (Ian) is the teacher who got early retirement.  Hopefully he’ll be able to help.

i’m 48 now and am just about to complete my course of HT.  I’ve already had a prostatectomy and SRT.  I teach just outside London. 

I’d be interested in your progress with teachers pensions as I think I might like to retire and get a less stressful, part time job to supplement my pension.  The issue is, I may be cancer free so I think I’ll have to wait until it is confirmed that the cancer has returned before applying, which I obviously hope it hasn’t

ulsterman 

User
Posted 09 Jun 2019 at 18:36

Just picked this up. I had a mental health doctor complete a form, also had forms from my GP, oncologist and rheumatologist plus a report funded by my council employer from occupational health.

 

Ido4

User
Posted 10 Jun 2019 at 21:01

Originally Posted by: Online Community Member

That’s a tough one Bri. Hope you didn’t mind my more detailed response.

 

 

no not at all 😉

Show Most Thanked Posts
User
Posted 09 Jan 2019 at 17:00
Hi KB, I was in an almost identical situation to you. I was head of a large, busy Science faculty in a secondary school in Scotland (11-18 year olds). So many changes to qualifications, so many new demands. I had been working up to 60 hours per week (Paid for 35 hours!), had cut that back to around 50 hours but was exhausted all the time.

Occupational health advised me to go part time or retire.The job I did would have been almost impossible to split and I would have ended up being paid for 20 hours and still working 40 hours.

I was leaving home at 6.30 a.m. and returning anywhere between 4.30 p.m. and 7 p,m., 9 p.m. when it was a parents consultation evening. I was going to bed at 8 p.m. most nights and using the weekend to recover enough to face the next week.

In short I was existing, not living. My wife was going crazy, asking me to retire as she wanted me to have tome for the good stuff in life etc.

Having been through LRP, SRT and HT like your good self I decided to apply for early retirement on ill health grounds. My pension scheme changed in 2015 too but I was 55 by then so I remained in the existing scheme able to retire at 60.

I got the forms from the pensions agency, completed them plus forms completed by my oncologist, rheumatologist, GP and mental health doctor. The doctors were fantastic and completed the paperwork without charge.

I was successful in gaining ill health retirement but not on the higher level where my pension would have been topped up by 9 months or so. I am no longer deemed fit to teach but fit to do other non teaching work, I haven't gone down that road.

The upshot was I got the pension I had earned without the 6.3% actuarial reduction so 24 eightieths of my salary.

I retired 25/9/18 at age 58 and 7 months or so.

Despite the massive drop in income this has been the best decision for me, I don't have the stressful job, the long hours, the long traffic jammed commute.

It's not a bed of roses as my personality type is to push myself to limits so I still tend to overdo it but I can stop if I want!

I can go holidays out of school term time and help my aged parents out more. I cook the evening meal for my wife coming home from work and we have time to spend together.

Definitely the right decision.

I have joined a community choir, play pickleball (look it up!) with a group on Wednesdays, golf with my other retired buddies.

Hope this is of some help to you,

Ian

Ido4

User
Posted 09 Jan 2019 at 17:21
I was retired on mental grounds at the age of 46. By extreme luck I received a full medical pension which was identical to a final salary retirement at the age of 60. That worked out as 2/3 of my final salary. It was a massive drop and very worrying but we barely notice it now. I’ve worked as a healthcare assistant since and now as a school caretaker which I adore. Ok poor pay but it tops it up. And I can do what I want whenever. As above I love walking the dogs , being free and having dinner on the table. Sadly one year after retiring I got my cancer diagnosis and that is ongoing. I wish you well whatever you choose

If life gives you lemons , then make lemonade

User
Posted 09 Jan 2019 at 17:26
John didn't really believe it would be possible to retire early, although I had been banging on about it for a year or so. We took financial advice in March 2018 two days before his knee replacement - the advice was that with a prostate cancer that is likely to come back at some point there was little benefit to delaying retirement and accruing more pension rights when statistically, he is unlikely to need to worry about dying in poverty in his 90s. He saw the financial adviser on the Tuesday, had the knee op on the Thursday and 'retired' on the Sunday.

Some of his pension has been frozen until he is old enough to draw it. Some has been moved into a private pension (or perhaps we bought an annuity???). Some of it was drawn down as cash which we use to give him a small income of about £400 per month for running the car, going about with his bird watching, etc. He is more rested, less stressed (and I believe a calm environment can only help to keep you healthy), he is around much more to help me, when I manage to be working near home we have time together, we can go on as many holidays & trips as we like, he is getting more involved with the charities that we already support. If he feels like it at some time in the future he can always get some kind of part-time work or do a bit of consultancy but that would be without the angst and politics of the role he was in.

Basically, he is living rather than existing and, by association, I feel like we are making the most of what we have now rather than putting things off 'until we retire' since we are not likely to have another 30 years together. I have seen too many men on here robbed of their old age before they could really start to enjoy life after work - it seems a no brainer if there is any way of making it work.

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

User
Posted 09 Jan 2019 at 17:30
PS - are you a front-line practitioner? Is there any potential (assuming you left rather than taking ill health or early leavers) for doing some bank work when you feel like it?
"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

User
Posted 09 Jan 2019 at 18:18

Originally Posted by: Online Community Member
PS - are you a front-line practitioner? Is there any potential (assuming you left rather than taking ill health or early leavers) for doing some bank work when you feel like it?

 

yes Lynn I am front line worker so I think that would be possible

but to be honest, I feel like I’ve had it with the health care job area, doing something different like driving seems more attractive  

User
Posted 09 Jan 2019 at 18:35
My view would be get the advice and then just do it (unless the adviser was full of doom and sure warnings) .... once you are away from the toxicity and politics you might start to remember what motivated you in the early days :-/

I said for a while that I might give all my career up and go work for Asda, but then someone on here pointed out that Asda expects staff to be smiley and nice to customers.

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

User
Posted 09 Jan 2019 at 19:31
I was just going to say Lyn....... the customer is always right yeh :-))

If life gives you lemons , then make lemonade

User
Posted 09 Jan 2019 at 19:33

Lyn - I've been to Asda and met people like you!

That's us even for you calling me a freak of nature.

Ulsterman

User
Posted 09 Jan 2019 at 19:41

Good evening everyone

I'm 48 and have only ever taught, so I've built up a pretty decent pension.  I spoke to my union about early retirement and they said that even though I have had RP and SRT, as my bicalutimide is due to finish in August 2019, Teachers' Pensions would most likely take the view that I may well be cured and it would therefore be premature to grant early retirement on medical grounds.  The worst effect of the bucaltimide is fatigue, but as my employers have me on reduced hours as a reasonable adjustment, I'm able to manage.  My employers really have been saints.

Once I finish the bicalutimide, a more accurate picture of where we are with my cancer will emerge.  If at any stage I have to go back on to HT, I imagine it would be injections rather than bicalutimide and, at that stage, if fatigue or other issues were present, I would then look to retire early.

I'd like to work for at least 5 more years so that my two kids would have finished university.

Ulsterman

User
Posted 09 Jan 2019 at 20:00
This is something I am contemplating. But the thought of a significant drop in income does concern me. We have had advice from a firm who my employer sub contracts to for retirement planning and based on my pension (not great) and other assets eg ISA’s I could do it. I may have to give some thought to investing better but would seek further advice on that.

I never thought you would get ill health retirement unless your condition was terminal etc

Anyway as others have said if you really are struggling with the work and you could get by ok then give it some serious thought. Work out your outgoings and what could be reduced eg switching utility providers, sim only phone plus a reduction in work related expenses etc. Then you will have an idea of what you need as a retirement income

Good luck

Bri

User
Posted 09 Jan 2019 at 20:05

Originally Posted by: Online Community Member

Good evening everyone

I'm 48 and have only ever taught, so I've built up a pretty decent pension.  I spoke to my union about early retirement and they said that even though I have had RP and SRT, as my bicalutimide is due to finish in August 2019, Teachers' Pensions would most likely take the view that I may well be cured and it would therefore be premature to grant early retirement on medical grounds.  The worst effect of the bucaltimide is fatigue, but as my employers have me on reduced hours as a reasonable adjustment, I'm able to manage.  My employers really have been saints.

Once I finish the bicalutimide, a more accurate picture of where we are with my cancer will emerge.  If at any stage I have to go back on to HT, I imagine it would be injections rather than bicalutimide and, at that stage, if fatigue or other issues were present, I would then look to retire early.

I'd like to work for at least 5 more years so that my two kids would have finished university.

Ulsterman

 

hey Ulsterman

re: reduced hours as reasonable adjustment, does that mean you temporarily work less hours with reduced pay also?

 

thats also a route I am thinking about - mainly due to fatigue but I would appreciate any further info from you on how this works? 

Edited by member 09 Jan 2019 at 20:06  | Reason: Not specified

User
Posted 09 Jan 2019 at 20:29

Originally Posted by: Online Community Member
I was just going to say Lyn....... the customer is always right yeh :-))

 

Exactly my point ... my success is based on my ability to tell people they are wrong. Fortunately for me, clients are mysteriously happy to pay me for this service 😂

Edited by member 09 Jan 2019 at 20:35  | Reason: Not specified

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

User
Posted 09 Jan 2019 at 20:30

Originally Posted by: Online Community Member

Lyn - I've been to Asda and met people like you!

That's us even for you calling me a freak of nature.

Ulsterman

 

No, really - Asda employees tend to be quite nice people 

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

User
Posted 09 Jan 2019 at 20:35

Originally Posted by: Online Community Member

I never thought you would get ill health retirement unless your condition was terminal etc

Bri

I assume you are a member of the LGP which is notoriously tight, Bri. Large commercial employer pension schemes tend to be less risk averse I think. The ideal for some of you would be voluntary or involuntary redundancy but irritatingly, that tends to only come round when it isn't wanted :-/ 

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

User
Posted 09 Jan 2019 at 20:35

A little known fact someone advised me about is that all us working chaps who have paid tax and NI for decades are entitled to claim new style contributions based ESA (employment support allowance). This is based purely on your tax/NI contributions and is not means tested.

The claim form is a pain but I get this for at least six months and it keeps your NI credits going too.

You will have an interview with DWP and any private pension income may be taken into account but it’s still worth it.

I knew absolutely nothing about this sort of thing previous.

 

See this link https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-style-employment-and-support-allowance

 

Ido4

User
Posted 09 Jan 2019 at 21:01

Bill

As my reduced hours are a temporary measure, I'm on full pay.  Otherwise, I could just have gone off sick and, as a long serving teacher who has accumulated a high annual sick leave allowance, got full pay.  This way I stay in work and my employer has the benefit of me being there on a reduced workload.

If the reasonable adjustment became permanent, then I would have a reduction in salary.

Have you been to occupational health for an assessment?

Ulsterman

User
Posted 09 Jan 2019 at 21:08

Originally Posted by: Online Community Member

Originally Posted by: Online Community Member


I assume you are a member of the LGP which is notoriously tight, Bri. Large commercial employer pension schemes tend to be less risk averse I think. The ideal for some of you would be voluntary or involuntary redundancy but irritatingly, that tends to only come round when it isn't wanted :-/ 

 

i am Lyn and know how tight they can be. If redundancy was there i would jump at it. But no mention yet  Although it may only be a matter of time...but thats the unknown and how long do you hang on for. Im a damn why didnt i wait kind of person

 

 Bri

Edited by member 09 Jan 2019 at 21:09  | Reason: Not specified

User
Posted 09 Jan 2019 at 21:19
It’s a tough decision to make, choosing the right time to retire. I get private medical insurance through my job, which is very handy, so my plan is to see out my treatment (RT starting in Feb) this year, and then seriously consider retirement. I’ve been paying a third of my salary into my pension plan for donkey’s years, in the expectation of retiring at a reasonable age, so I’m quite fortunate in that I’ll be able to retire and maintain a similar net income. The main decision for me is when I can afford to lose my medical insurance.

Chris

User
Posted 09 Jan 2019 at 22:00

Originally Posted by: Online Community Member

Bill

As my reduced hours are a temporary measure, I'm on full pay.  Otherwise, I could just have gone off sick and, as a long serving teacher who has accumulated a high annual sick leave allowance, got full pay.  This way I stay in work and my employer has the benefit of me being there on a reduced workload.

If the reasonable adjustment became permanent, then I would have a reduction in salary.

Have you been to occupational health for an assessment?

Ulsterman

 

no mate, not yet but I am meeting my manager on Friday and she is going to make a referral to OH for me but is also willing to try and see what adjustments can be made

 

just out of curiosity, what kind of hours less dobyou work, and should I ask for?

User
Posted 09 Jan 2019 at 22:39

Originally Posted by: Online Community Member

i am Lyn and know how tight they can be. If redundancy was there i would jump at it. But no mention yet  Although it may only be a matter of time...but that's the unknown and how long do you hang on for. I'm a damn why didn't i wait kind of person

 Bri

 

About 2 months after John finished, they announced a huge redundancy programme. That's just the luck of the draw and he at least had the benefit of not being there while everyone was stressing about it. Considering who you work for, it might be worth asking HR about the possibility of Early Leavers enhancement; there wasn't a redundancy programme when I left the LA but I asked them to make me an offer and they did because they were desperate to make the books balance. Bradford has just done the same for a friend of mine on the basis that she was a top of the scale employee who could be replaced by a new entrant on different Ts & Cs. 

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

User
Posted 09 Jan 2019 at 22:40
Ido, that is unbelievably useful. I think John might be entitled to this ESA!
"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

User
Posted 09 Jan 2019 at 22:46
Good evening Bill,

Sorry to read that you are having to consider these sorts of choices. But at least you are here and able to make them, so that is a good thing.

Experience of these sorts of situations? Many of us are dealing with a similar situation, although at different stages.

Chatting to a recently diagnosed friend, he is in his own state of turmoil, reassessing life and priorities.

One thing that most folks seem to agree on is not to make any long term or irreversible decision whilst upset, stressed or unclear, or until it has been fully explored.

Is there any way you can make all the relevant enquiries about what options may be open to you without alerting anyone who might not react favourably to the idea you might leave?

Then could you do the maths, explore what that future may hold? Be that including retiring, part time working, job change, moving, downsizing or whatever?

And if you could put those calculations away for a week or a month? Then revisit the same options plus any new options that you may have come up with, recalculate the outcomes again, and see how palatable they are a month later?

atb

dave

Do all you can to help yourself, then make the best of your time. :-)
User
Posted 09 Jan 2019 at 23:11

Hi Dave

that is sound advice, I will proceed carefully and with as clear a head as I can - theres no rush.

i think I will explore the reduced hours possibility in the short term, that would be a bit of a blessing just now and allow me time to evaluate everything

User
Posted 09 Jan 2019 at 23:30

I might be jumping in without the full info but there is an NHS Sickness Retirement Leaflet dated Oct 2016 that gives 2 tiers of sickness early retirement.   See the link below.

https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/sites/default/files/2017-05/Ill%20health%20retirement%20tiers%20and%20FAQs%20%2805.2017%29%20V8.pdf

Also I'd think it can depend how you approach it and who you approach, as making a decision can sometimes depend on the support you have, e.g your boss, and the attitude of the person making the decision.  Although some can be hard nosed.

As someone else has said you need to know your outgoings and what you can manage on.  I don't know how the NHS scheme works but with my pension I took less because my wife gets half if she outlasts me.  If it has 100% inflation proofing which it might have then that can be helpful.   If the NHS agree it might help in getting something from an insurance company if you have any insurance, especially for a mortgage.

Also I know several people in the NHS who are in their early 60s retired and went back doing 1 or 2 days a week.  Taking sick pension might be different but if you're in a scarce skills job it shouldn't be too difficult if you are capable of it.   Hope that helps.

Edited by member 09 Jan 2019 at 23:53  | Reason: Not specified

User
Posted 10 Jan 2019 at 07:13

Originally Posted by: Online Community Member

Originally Posted by: Online Community Member

i am Lyn and know how tight they can be. If redundancy was there i would jump at it. But no mention yet  Although it may only be a matter of time...but that's the unknown and how long do you hang on for. I'm a damn why didn't i wait kind of person

 Bri

 

About 2 months after John finished, they announced a huge redundancy programme. That's just the luck of the draw and he at least had the benefit of not being there while everyone was stressing about it. Considering who you work for, it might be worth asking HR about the possibility of Early Leavers enhancement; there wasn't a redundancy programme when I left the LA but I asked them to make me an offer and they did because they were desperate to make the books balance. Bradford has just done the same for a friend of mine on the basis that she was a top of the scale employee who could be replaced by a new entrant on different Ts & Cs. 

 

thanks. Worth considering as i am

top of the scale as well  

 

Bri 

User
Posted 10 Jan 2019 at 08:51
Unfortunately my local authority was known for not enhancing retirement benefits whereas in some areas they offered packages. It’s another postcode type lottery.

As far as budgeting for retirement I used Martyn Lewis’s budgeting spreadsheet and my financial adviser got me to complete a budget sheet plus a big ticket spend sheet too.

Very useful to see a way forward.

https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/content/dam/mse/documents/guides/budget_planner.xls

Ido4

User
Posted 10 Jan 2019 at 10:17
Yes, our adviser gave us a similar lifestyle sheet to fill in - current and aspirational budgeting.
"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

User
Posted 10 Jan 2019 at 12:36

Bill

Are you in a union?  It might be worthwhile talking to them about the sorts of reasonable adjustments your employer has offered in the past and under what circumstances.  It would be good to be armed with this knowledge before meeting occupational welfare.  My occupational health advisor has taken a cautious approach with me and my employers have never questioned his recommendations.

I'm currently doing 7 hours per day, 2 short of the normal 9.  I'm also exempt from my boarding school evening and weekend duties but am hoping to resume these in the summer term.  At one stage, I was doing 4 hours per day and not coping very well with that owing to fatigue.  I wasn't sure if that was post-SRT fatigue, bicalutimide fatigue or a combination of both.  I also had the symptoms of radiation proctitis so never wanted to be far from a toilet.

At the moment, the fatigue is manageable, but getting out of bed in the morning is a real issue.  I wake up thinking about when I can go back to bed again, even if I have slept well, which I usually do.  I've also become forgetful and lacking in focus and concentration.  I blame bicalutimide for that, but maybe I'm wrong.  I stop bicalutimide in August and hope that will be the end of all these issues.

Ulsterman

User
Posted 10 Jan 2019 at 15:53

I get most of thise symptoms too, I read somewhere that HT can give a ”fuzzy thinking” side effect, thats what it feels like

I am in a good Union and in contact with them. they have put me in touch with a free independent pension/financial advisor who I will speak to next week, but I will also ask them about reasonable adjustments too before talking  to occupational health

 

cheers

Edited by member 10 Jan 2019 at 16:58  | Reason: Not specified

User
Posted 10 Jan 2019 at 18:19
Bill, I was once a Head of Personnel in local government before they called it HR! In my day, the NHS and local government schemes were similar. That would apply to the first part of your service, I guess. I recall a big difference in benefits between ill health early retirement and "normal" early retirement. Also inflation uprating of pension did not apply between ages 50-55.

I think you would be very brave to go at 50 with your limited service. You might find it tough going financially. The longer you can tough it out the better, I'd say. I managed to put off my early retirement to age 56 and I had built up a very good pension pot with Additional Voluntary Contributions to the maximum allowed. I planned to be and indeed was as well off in retirement after taking account of cost and tax savings as I had been in work. I was and am very happy that I retired early, not unconnected with the financial arrangements!

Think about it carefully and get over your treatment first, I'd advise.

Good Luck

AC

User
Posted 10 Jan 2019 at 18:35

Yes

Ive given it thought since yesterday and age 50 plus my treatment stage - it is a bit premature. I need to wait a few years and see how my health is, what my PSA does after I stop HT

 

then I will be in a position to know better. Meanwhile I will look to ease my working life whilst still in treatment utilizing Ulstermans input via reduced hours

User
Posted 10 Jan 2019 at 19:30

Bill

I think what AC said makes a lot of sense.  I know a fellow head teacher who retired at the age of sixty.  He has found retirement to be too boring and is struggling to keep himself mentally stimulated.  It's one of the reasons I want to continue for a few more years at least, health permitting.  But at least we have a pension.  My brother in law doesn't have a pension scheme and at the age of 50 can no longer continue in work owing to his cancer.  Financially, they are in real trouble.

Ulsterman 

User
Posted 11 Jan 2019 at 15:11

I spoke with my Line Manager today, who I do find supportive. Unfortunately though she stated that refuced hours would also have to mean reduced pay, even temporarily

I said I will give that some thought and discuss with my wife

User
Posted 11 Jan 2019 at 15:29

Bill

I'd ask the union for advice.  I know that in education in various schools in which I have worked, people have been on reduced hours with no reduction in pay.  It is probably down to policy in each organisation.

Ulsterman

User
Posted 11 Jan 2019 at 16:24

I was told by my manager in a local authority school that if i reduced hours pay would be  reduced right away. The only adjustments i got were to have access to a toilet and permission to leave the class if i had to run.

Not very supportive. The disability act seems to be seen as guidance only and not fully enforceable. 

Ido4

User
Posted 11 Jan 2019 at 16:50

Something to consider if thinking of buying  an annuity is how long it will take to get your money back. A couple of years ago some quotes I got it would take 23 years to get back the money you used to buy the annuity.

Thanks Chris

 

User
Posted 11 Jan 2019 at 18:09

Originally Posted by: Online Community Member

Something to consider if thinking of buying  an annuity is how long it will take to get your money back. A couple of years ago some quotes I got it would take 23 years to get back the money you used to buy the annuity.

Thanks Chris

 

wise words Chris. I had similar advice about whether to max my pension lump sum. i always thought i would take the smaller lump sum and maximise my monthly income. But I would have to live to 73 to catch up. Im not confident i will live till then but if i do i will have the state pension to top up my income

Edited by member 11 Jan 2019 at 18:10  | Reason: Not specified

User
Posted 11 Jan 2019 at 18:14

That’s ridiculous - I could forgive a really small company for not knowing their duties under the Equality Act but a school should bloody well know better (or should have asked their HR provider).

These might help:

https://www.macmillan.org.uk/documents/cancerinfo/reasonableadjustmentsguide.pdf

http://m.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=5847

https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/multipage-guide/reasonable-adjustments-practice

https://www.unison.org.uk/content/uploads/2018/10/Proving-Disability-and-Reasonable-Adjustments-Oct2018.pdf

While an employer might be able to argue that it is reasonable to reduce pay if a worker is permanently moving to part time work, I think they would struggle to defend reducing pay for a temporary change in hours during treatment, or for flexible working. Maintained schools would not be taken to a tribunal; it would be the local authority that would have to defend themselves and as large employers, they would not be able to cite cost as a barrier to reasonable adjustment.

If you are members of the NEU, NASUWT, NAHT, ASCL or similar, I have always found their convenors, reps and solicitors excellent in these circumstances.

 

 

Edited by member 11 Jan 2019 at 18:14  | Reason: to activate hyperlinks

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

User
Posted 12 Jan 2019 at 09:53

Lyn

This is especially relevant for Bill as his nhs maanager has told him the same thing as Ido4.  I thought it didnt sound right.  Both are in Scotland, but that shouldnt make a difference.

Ulsterman

User
Posted 12 Jan 2019 at 13:05

Originally Posted by: Online Community Member

wise words Chris. I had similar advice about whether to max my pension lump sum. i always thought i would take the smaller lump sum and maximise my monthly income. But I would have to live to 73 to catch up. Im not confident i will live till then but if i do i will have the state pension to top up my income

John was advised to take the maximum lump sum on the basis that he doesn't lose out until he is 77. 

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

User
Posted 12 Jan 2019 at 13:17

I also took max lump sum as there is a high chance of me not reaching my mid 60s never mind 70s.

Carpe Diem!

On the treatment at work situation my head teacher told me she thought i should be retiring!

I would have won a grievance case against her but according to my professional rep at SSTA it would take an intolerable toll on my well being to pursue it.

She telephoned HR who metaphorically kicked ass about inappropriate comments.

 

 

Ido4

User
Posted 12 Jan 2019 at 13:44

Originally Posted by: Online Community Member

On the treatment at work situation my head teacher told me she thought i should be retiring!

 

🤦‍♀️ I can imagine the conversation in the HR department afterwards, and most of what was said about that HT is probably unprintable! 

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

User
Posted 12 Jan 2019 at 15:07

Thanks for the info Lyne/Ulsterman

 

i will speak to the RCN on Monday about temporary reduced hours and the impact of pay

 

👍

User
Posted 12 Jan 2019 at 15:30
Hi Kb,

Have you sat down and worked out on paper what ££ you need to live on, if not as you'd like, at least enough to be comfortable on?

On paper? You can factor in moving, downsizing, switching your weekly shop from Fortnum & Masons to Aldi or Lidl.

Then maybe do a trial living on what ever your future budget might be, see if it's doable, manageable for you all?

dave

Do all you can to help yourself, then make the best of your time. :-)
User
Posted 12 Jan 2019 at 16:45

Yeah Dave,

 

thats important and I need to give it serious thought before embarking on any major decisions

User
Posted 12 Jan 2019 at 17:45

Originally Posted by: Online Community Member

Originally Posted by: Online Community Member

wise words Chris. I had similar advice about whether to max my pension lump sum. i always thought i would take the smaller lump sum and maximise my monthly income. But I would have to live to 73 to catch up. Im not confident i will live till then but if i do i will have the state pension to top up my income

John was advised to take the maximum lump sum on the basis that he doesn't lose out until he is 77. 

 

plus it doesn’t effect the widows pension. There is also a lump sum paid out if i die within 10 years of taking the pension. All uplifting stuff eh.....

Edited by member 12 Jan 2019 at 20:34  | Reason: Not specified

User
Posted 08 Jun 2019 at 19:22

Many thanks for the informative post about your situation as it relates closely to my situation. I have been teaching in London in the state system for some twenty years and was diagnosed like you with T3a disease at the age of 51. Like you, I have had RP, SRT and am receiving HT at the moment. Have chosen to opt for early retirement and am presently applying for my Teachers' Pension. My oncologist and GP are completing the forms and I have an appointment pending with the mental health doctor. Could you give some suggestions as to what to discuss with the mental health doctor aside from stress/anxiety in the classroom as it relates to our condition? Any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Additionally, any examples of statements or key words/points that the mental health doctor wrote on your form would be a great help. Thanks again.

User
Posted 08 Jun 2019 at 23:56

David

Ido4 (Ian) is the teacher who got early retirement.  Hopefully he’ll be able to help.

i’m 48 now and am just about to complete my course of HT.  I’ve already had a prostatectomy and SRT.  I teach just outside London. 

I’d be interested in your progress with teachers pensions as I think I might like to retire and get a less stressful, part time job to supplement my pension.  The issue is, I may be cancer free so I think I’ll have to wait until it is confirmed that the cancer has returned before applying, which I obviously hope it hasn’t

ulsterman 

User
Posted 09 Jun 2019 at 14:54
What a dilemma?

You haven’t got cancer (like me, for now), but there might be a financial advantage to you if you did. That is all wrong.

Hope it all pans out ok for all of you.

Best of luck!

Cheers, John.

 
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