Our retirement plans

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Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 487
   Posted 10/16/2010 9:52 PM (GMT -6)   
I have a question about retirement in light of PCa dx.

1. Have you retired earlier than you planned because of the PCa?

2. If you are currently working, but planning for retirement, are you using a different "ending age" for your retirement calculator?

I'm retired from a megacorp job after 32 years, then accepted a consulting position with a company that I used to do business with when working with megacorp. They pay me handsomely to work 3 days a week. It's an ideal semi-retirement. They provide a new vehicle, with the privilege of using it how I want. I do travel some, but 95% of travel is within a few hours driving. I spend 1 to 2 nights a week in a hotel, which I'm not crazy about, but it's certainly manageable. My wife can travel with me when she wants to.

What I'm wrestling with is when to just hang it up, and concentrate on spending more time doing the things that I've always wanted to do, plus spend more quality time with family while I have the health to enjoy it.

I am in the process of building a deck onto the patio of our new home. The deck is 16' by 32' and is on the side of a hill. It's a challenging project, but I am enjoying the heck out of it. (Spent over a grand on material yesterday, so it darn well better be fun....lol)

While mixing concrete to set a 6x6 support post, I was thinking just how great I felt, and how great it felt to feel great...I hope that made sense.

On one hand, I hate to give up a relatively easy job that pays super well, and on the other hand, I hate to dedicate years to a job, when I may not have as many years left to enjoy the other stuff as I had planned on just a few months ago.

I sure hope I'm making some sense here, and can any of you identify with what I'm feeling?

Thanks for your thoughts, input, and guidance.

Age 57 at Diagnosis
May, 09 PSA 2.26
June, 10 PSA 3.07 Free PSA 18%
Met with Uro, DRE +
June, 10 Biopsy, 7 of 12 cores, up to 60%, 4+5=9
July 21, 2010 - RRP
Nodes negative
Vesicles negative
tumor contained in capsule, still 4+5=9
perineural invasion extensive
Aug 5, 10 catheter out
Sept 3, 10 PSA - 0.00 (great big whew)
As of 9/3/2010, I'm 99% continent - only occasional stress incontinence !

Cajun Jeff
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Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 4119
   Posted 10/16/2010 9:58 PM (GMT -6)   
You make perfect sence to me. Only you can decide what you need to do for yourself. We all know what your taking about. As you know I made the choice to retire largely because of my PCa. I wanted to have fun and do as many of the things that we have dreamed about while we have the chance. I have known way too many people that have waited to retire then just passed away. No PCa guy just reg guys. That seems such a shame to me. Some men are not happy unless they are working. I did accept a part time job and I did enjoy it but when found that the Legislature decided that they would hold my retirment $ I promptly quit. No regrets.

Good luck with you decidion. By the way no one can fault you on either choice. Your in the Cat bird seat. That is a good place to be.

Cajun jeff
9/08 PSA 5.4 referred to Urologist
9/08 Biopsy: GS 3+4=7 1 positive core in 12 1% cancer core
10/08 Nerve-Sparing open radicalSurgery Path Report Downgrade 3+3=6 GS Stage pT2c margins clea
r3 month: PSA <0.1
19th month: PSA <0.1
Only issue at this time is ED

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 487
   Posted 10/16/2010 10:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Jeff. I am soooo tempted to do just as you have done, then buy a little boat, and take the grandson fishing more. Sometimes, I think I'm only working so that my kids/grandkids will have a larger inheritance. I have set up the financial situation so that my wife will be okay no matter what. She can find her a sugar daddy if she wants to, but not because she needs to...lol

Anyway, it's a tough decision for sure. Most weeks I have a great time at work. Last week, I met with a half dozen customers/clients, and brought in over $2mill in opportunities, and almost $1mill in solid money. Even if we only get 50% of the opportunities, that will still be almost $2 mill gross for one weeks work. My employer is overjoyed at the success I'm having, and all I'm doing is showing our customers that we are a responsive company. I spend a lot of time on the phone...lol....which, by the way is why I didn't return your call last week. I owe you one buddy, and I'll still take you up on breakfast one day.

I'm taking vacation next week to work on this deck while the weather is so nice, and then headed to New Orleans on Oct 24 to help host a golf tournament near Harahan. I'll be meeting with Dr Sartor on Tuesday morning the 26th before heading back. I have a customer to meet with in Sorrento, then probably spending the night in BR again. If things work out that way, I'll give you a call and if your aren't busy, we can meet up for lunch or breakfast or whatever fits the schedules.

Hope you have a great weekend/week Jeff.

Age 57 at Dx
5/09 PSA 2.26
6/2010 PSA 3.07 FPSA 18% DRE +
6/2010 Bipsy, 7 of 12+, >60%, 4+5=9
7/21/2010 - RRP
Nodes neg,Ves neg
tumor in capsule, still 4+5=9
pni extensive
8/5, 2010 cath out
9/3, 2010 PSA - 0.04 whew!
9/3/2010, I'm 99% continent - only stress incontinence
10/14/10, PSA still 0.04, and lupron #1, 99.9% continent
Total ED, 3 caverject failed, pump sux

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2845
   Posted 10/17/2010 6:04 AM (GMT -6)   
K - I love Cajun Jeff's phrase - "the cat bird seat" - I have no idea what it means, but it sounds like a good place to be.

My Dad was the type who had to work and retirement was just for those waiting to die. After he retired (age 65) from his megacorp job, he did the same and consulted a few days a week, then a few days a month, this went on for another 3 years and then when the consulting firm started messing around with his money , he told them to take a "flying leap"....
He kept busy with family and travel - and when parkinsons took over - he and mom moved to Australia to be closer to my sister (he lived for another 7 years)- his only words of advice were - "enjoy life when you can"....

I don't know your financial situation, but if the money can help safeguard your home, wife, and retirement - AND - you enjoy it - stay where you are at for now... but if you are ok and feeling wunderlust.... go for it!

- the worse part of PCa, or cancer or any disease - is the feeling of loss of control - this body is no longer mine, it is the disease's.....
- I comprehend what you said about mixing the concrete - kbota was doing that - NOT - kbota with PCa....

- the final decision is, of course, yours ...

happy trails ...

Age: 55 -gay with spouse, Steve - live in Peteborough, Ontario, Canada
PSA: 10/06/2009 - 3.86
Biopsy: 10/16/2009- 6 of 12 cancerous samples, Gleason 7 (4+3)
Radical Prostatectomy: 11/18/2009
Pathology: pT3a- gleason 7 -extraprostatic extension -perineural invasion -prostate weight -34.1 gm
Post Surgery-PSA: April 8, 2010 - 0.05 -I am in the ZERO CLUB
Sept 23, 2010 -0.05 - again -hoorah !

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 654
   Posted 10/17/2010 7:10 AM (GMT -6)   
That's the classic question, should I stay or should I go. Me, I left a company I helped start at 45 years old and looking back at my present age of 66, I really don't see how I ever had time to work. But reading your op it seems you already answered your own question, you are enjoying what you do. What has PC have to do with that? So don't feel guilty about working if you are getting positive reforcement. Boat? if that is what you wanted, you would have already had a boat?
Now you can kindly send me a dollar, or less, for this "advice".
Anyway, I hope you stay doing what you like to do and as time goes by have the PC fade into the past.
06-08 1st biopsy neg psa 4
10-09 psa 5.5 2nd biopsy 1/12 pos. 10%, G(4+3) age 65
12-15-09 RRP Tulane NOLA Dr Lee
Path, 1%, clr marg, no EPE, no SVI, G(4+3)
100% incontinent 3 mo. PT w/bio + stim no change
ED, pre-op severe, post op total ED, considering IPP
10/10 Dr Boone, Baylor recomended AUS
post op psa's 0.04,<0.1,<0.1

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 2243
   Posted 10/17/2010 8:00 AM (GMT -6)   
That is a great question and most of us struggle with the answer, even when we dont have PCa. I work hard, but I play hard as well. Time and numbers will dictate what I do, but please dont throw a retirement party for me as even at 61, 62 in December, there is a lot that I want to do both work wise and fun wise. If I have to have HT that might answer the question for me, maybe. Listen to your heart and there is no reason we cant have both unless we prefer one over the other and as our health permits.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 363
   Posted 10/17/2010 8:58 AM (GMT -6)   
I was already retired for over 4 years when diagnosed, all I can say with an uncertain future (hopefully long and happy) do what you enjoy.

If I were in your position I'd buy a low mileage used Class A or C motor home and do lots of mini-trips with the wife while hanging onto a job you seem to enjoy. For me I spend my time working on the property, helping my wife with the horses, playing with 6 dogs/8 cats and going Jeeping. Having the ability to do what one enjoys helps with dealing with PCa.

You've worked long and hard, do what you enjoy!
Dave in Durango CO
Diagnosed 12-09 age 55
07-06 PSA 2.5
01-08 PSA 5.5 (PCP did not tell me of increase or schedule follow-up!!!!)
09-09 PSA 6.5 Sent for consult with Urologist
11-09 Consult, scheduled for biopsy, found out about PSA from '08 (yes I was pissed)
12-09 Biopsy, initial Gleason 9 (4+5) later reduced to 8 with tertiary 5, ain't much but I'll take it.
01-10 Bone Scan, "appears negative"
03-01-10 RRP in Durango CO by Dr Sejal Quale and Dr Shandra Wilson, no naked eye evidence of spread, Vesicles and lymph nodes taken for microscopic exam.

03-16-10 Removal of cath' and pathology results of samples.
Multifocal carcinoma with areas of Gleason pattern 3, 4 and 5, Overall Gleason grade 4+4 with tertiary 5, Bilateral involving 21% of left lobe, 3% of right lobe, Invasion of left Seminal vesicle, Tumor focally present at left resection margin, 9 lymph nodes removed all negative, Tumor staging pT3b NO MX

04-23-10 PSA <0.04....... 06-07-10 PSA <0.04..... 08-03-10 <0.04
05-03-10 1 week without pads
06-28-10 ;-)

Post Edited (daveshan) : 10/17/2010 8:17:48 PM (GMT-6)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 91
   Posted 10/17/2010 9:07 AM (GMT -6)   
Having been dx at 49, this is a question I ponder all the time - especially in light of my BCR at 53. Prior to my diagnosis, I was planning on retiring at age 66. After my diagnosis and surgery, but prior to the BCR, I was thinking, well, maybe 64. After the BCR last year, I'm now thinking maybe 62? Problem is, like many of us, I have a long-term mortgage and other financial responsibilities. I'm pretty sure that job-related stresses such as deadlines, business travel, commuting an hour plus each way to work and poor sleep quality, are not helping in the cancer battle. What keeps me hanging on is that perhaps my PSA will stabilize at some low value, and, if not, then perhaps we will have improved curative or progression-control methods for PCa in the future if or when it becomes necessary. I often half-jokingly tell people that I wish I were about 10 years older than I am right now. I'd sell the house and retire in a heartbeat! I know there are many folks out there dealing with more serious issues than me - wishing all of you the best.
Dx: in 6/2005 age 49, PSA 4.1, 2/10 cores pos, G6, T1c
bone scan: negative
daVinci RRP 8/2005, Hartford Hospital, Dr. Wagner
Post-surgery upgraded G7 (3+4), pT2c, NX,MX, neg. margins, perineural invasion present, tumor invades capsule wall, but not entirely through it.
PSA <0.1 until 4th yr post surgery, then 7/09 0.1, 10/09 0.2, 1/10 0.2, 2/10 0.14, 4/10 0.16,
8/10 0.25, 9/10 0.23

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 385
   Posted 10/17/2010 11:58 AM (GMT -6)   
Great question. A question for everyone who is retiring or consider retiring early--what about health coverage?

I'm 59, treated at 57. No retirement plans at all. In about 5 or 6 years, I'd like to figure out a way to work part time so I can be more active physically, live in different places, visit our as yet unborn grandchildren. I think as you get old, regular exercise is one key part of maintaining health, and challenging your brain a key part of keeping sharp.

Since PCa is slow growing for most of us, treating it is a bet on having a long, healthy future. It's important to take care of yourself in order to win that bet. Besides keeping active, that means not smoking, treating high blood pressure, getting your colonoscopy, etc etc.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 314
   Posted 10/17/2010 12:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Wish I had a choice.

Some of us are being laid off - and at my age, that's laid off as in permanently.

I probably would have been OK financially but had a special needs son 20 years ago, which took most of my extra money. Was tempted to just leave, but chose to stay. Would do it again, he's my son and I love him.

Play the cards you're dealt for as long as you can.


Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 35
   Posted 10/17/2010 5:14 PM (GMT -6)   
I'll just add some wisdom I learned from another organization with which I'm involved: You've just gone through a life altering event (i.e. prostate cancer). Don't make any major decisions for at least one year.

See where your thinking lies at your one year anniversary of your surgery. Then, do what feels right at that time.

Ralph Alfalfa
Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 469
   Posted 10/17/2010 8:11 PM (GMT -6)   
I've done the math on this one and the dollar difference by retiring at 62 compared to 65 is about $300 a month.  I figure I can make that cutting grass. So I'm gone at 62, provided the kids have a good handle on the family based business.  I'll probably stick around and be available for consultation, but in the meantime, I'm taking the advice I got a long time ago.  "DOn't wait too long.  Do it while your health is good."  Well, as we know, this health problem jumped up and bit us all.  So, we do what we can, when we can and don't look back.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 7270
   Posted 10/17/2010 9:30 PM (GMT -6)   
This is a fantastic topic!! I think it depends on how you view work. I personally love what I am doing. I wake up energized, looking forward to going to work. Fortunately, I could easily retire from a financial perspective. I will when this stops being fun. Unfortunately, it might turn out that I have to retire due to PC. Hopefully not.
PSA-- 3/08--2.90; 8/09--4.01; 11/09--4.19 (PSAf: 24%), PCA3 =75 .
Biopsy 11/30/09. Gleason 4+3. Stage: T1C. Current Age: 64
Surgery: Dr. Menon @Ford Hospital, 1/26/10.
Pathology Report: G 4+3. Nodes: Clear. PNI: yes. SVI: No. EPE: yes. Pos. Margin: Yes-- focal-- 1 spot .5mm. 100% continent by 3/10. ED- in progress. First post-op PSA on 3/10/10-: 0.01. PSA on 6/21/10--0.02. 9/21/10--0.06

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 818
   Posted 10/17/2010 9:49 PM (GMT -6)   
Sounds like most of the folks speaking up have either grown kids or no kids--zen9, sorry to hear about your situation. My kids are not yet even in college, so I figure I will have to keep working at least until they graduate. At the earliest that is likely to be, I will be about 62. They might take longer, or they might go to grad school or med school or something. That easily takes me to the neighborhood of 65 anyway. Hope I make it past then.

In a similar line of thinking, though, I decided to go for more memorable family vacations where possible. We still have the time constraints of school, but I'm now inclined to squeeze in more visits to the far away grandparents and other relatives, maybe take the family overseas.

Diagnosis at 53. PSA 2007 about 2; 2008 4.3
Biopsy Sept 2008: 6 of 12 cores pos; Gleason 4+3 = 7
CT & Bone scan neg
Da Vinci at City of Hope Dec 8, 2008
Rad prostatectomy & lymph node dissection
Cath out on 7th day, in on 8th day, out again 14th day after neg cystogram
Path: pT2c; lymph nodes neg; margins involv; 41 grams,
PSA 1/08, 4/09,7/09, 10/09, 11/09,2/10 <0.01, 10/10 0.1

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 245
   Posted 10/18/2010 8:53 AM (GMT -6)   
Nothing like a cancer diagnosis to start someone asking the BIG QUESTIONS, that's for sure. In our case, my husband's job had become a grind thanks to corporate changes. The same day he rec'd the news of the right retirement package for him, he also rec'd news of the Dx. Welcome to retirement, here's some cancer. To say there's been some anger and depression would not be a lie. However, as he physically feels better, so does his outlook on our lives.

I think that's the core of the issue. If you feel well, take pleasure in your day, don't resent the trips away from home and spouse, enjoy what your body and mind is doing, then you've answered your question. Reminds me a bit of the old question on the lottery - would you keep your job if you hit it big? How many people would keep doing what they're doing because it is an avocation?

But isn't it great that you can ask the question in the first place? For that reason, kbota, I'm very happy for you.
Husband 60yrs., no symptms: PSA 10/04 2.73, 12/06 3.64, 5/09 3.9, 10/09 4.6, 1/10 5.0w/ free PSA 24
6 core biop 4/1/10 path rept: rt mid: adnocarc. G=3+3, 5% of core; R apx v. susp. minute ca, R base bnign w/ mod. atrophy, L side atrphy only; 2nd opnion JH confrmd
MRI - 15mm nodule
BiLatRP surg 7/6/10, path: T2c, nodes, sem.ves, extra caps. neg., adenoc both sides G=3+3 cntinent, Viagr-8/27 ED

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 32
   Posted 10/18/2010 8:59 AM (GMT -6)   
We purchased a bigger house in Jan '10, just four months before Woody was diagnosed in April '10. We had originally planned to work until 2014 when he became eligible for penalty free pension, ore 2016 when he reached 62, but are now of the "life's to short" state of mind. We have a couple of small pensions and hope to have the house paid off by the time his contract expires in June 2012, and we can pull the plug. Not a day goes by that one of us doesn't say "I wish it were 2012". On the other hand, we really enjoy the house and are glad we made the move. All of our relatives (except our children) are in Michigan and Missouri and now that we have room we are getting a lot more visitors. Woody works 10 minutes from the radiology clinic and was able to run over at lunch time to get his treatments but the fatigue has really warn him out. I wish it were 2012!
Woodys stats:
Age at daignosis 55
4/2010 PSA 26.5
Biopsy results 4 of 6 positive at 40% R&L mid; 60% L apex; 80% R apex - perineural involvement
Gleason 7 (3+4 in 3 and 4+3 at R apex)
Treatment choice: ADT/EBRT/HDR
First Lupron shot July 2010, 5 weeks radiation to begin in sep followed by 2 HDR treatments
Woodys father died of PC at age 55 (woody was 5yo), we did not know until after diagnosis

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 2680
   Posted 10/18/2010 10:04 AM (GMT -6)   
I retired four and a half years ago from federal service at age 60.  The staff at our HR office told me that in all their years of counseling employees about retirement, only ONE had ever come back to say he had retired too early.  The general accumulated wisdom was to retire as soon as one could do so comfortably.  My wife and I certainly aren't wealthy, but we have enough money to live comfortably, travel, and enjoy our retirement.
In my case, a cluster of significant events all occurred at once:  turning 60; 30 years of service to the government; major restructuring in the organization that I didn't really care to deal with; and the fact that I could carry my health insurance into retirement.  Additionally, several good friends had retired from their professions at an even younger age, and they were are all quite happy with their decisions.  Our son and his wife had just had twins, and they would need a lot of help with child care in the coming months and years, plus our daughter and her military husband were stationed far away and we wanted time for more frequent visits to see them and their kids as well.  All told, retiring was not a hard decision for me, and I've never regretted it at all.
The PCa diagnosis came four years after retirement.  I knew I had the classic symptoms of an enlarged prostate, but never had considered that I might actually have cancer.  I think it was probably easier to accept the bad news as a retired person than it would have been had I still been working.
People always told me I was very good at my particular profession, but home and family were always where my heart was.  When at work, I gave it may all, but when I was home I hardly ever gave the office a thought.  Nothing in life gives me more joy at present than being a PawPaw loved by 7 grandchildren.  Whether or not there's an afterlife, I find it comforting to consider that I'll live on in their memories as a loving and fun PawPaw.
So many variables.  Everyone's situation is different.  What a great series of comments!
Age 65
Dx in June 2010.
PSA gradually rising for 3 years to 6.2
Biopsy confirmed cancer in 6 of 12 cores, all on left side
Gleason 7 (3 + 4)
Bone scan, CT scan, rib x-rays all negative.
DaVinci surgery late August at Advocate Condell, Libertyville IL
Negative margins; negative seminal vesicles
Smooth recovery; 18 holes of golf at 4 weeks.
Continence OK after 7 weeks. ED continues

Terry Herbert
Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 92
   Posted 10/18/2010 5:48 PM (GMT -6)   
A good friend has been saying for years:


That is what I used to guide my actions and decisions. I also found, when looking at coss and investments that there are many ways of looking at 'wealth' and what we need.

Our great joy is in travelling extensively - we were in the USA earlier this year (Pacific North-East Coast mainly, with a side trip to see Tony in Las Vegas); we'll be in Europe for a White Christmas (global warming allowing) and hopefully we'll be back for a tour of the Mountain States in the USA next Spring or Fall.

That's our choice over working, much as I enjoyed aspects of working. But doing what I enjoy best is rather nice.
Diagnosed ‘96: Age 54: Stage T2b: PSA 7.2: Gleason 7: No treatment. Jun '07 PSA 42.0 - Bony Metastasis: Aug '07: Intermittent ADT: PSA 2.3 Aug '10

It is a tragedy of the world that no one knows what he doesn’t know, and the less a man knows, the more sure he is that he knows everything. Joyce Carey

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 2243
   Posted 10/18/2010 7:12 PM (GMT -6)   
I like that Terry. Hope that you get that White Christmas, and enjoy your travels my friend.

AJ 47 (Maryland)
Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 64
   Posted 10/18/2010 7:57 PM (GMT -6)   
It's a great question.  Do I invest in my 401K and allow it to bounce low for how many years?   Or do I invest in my kid's education?  I'm 47 and thinK about this all the time.  (T3a).  Truthfully, I think retirement investment in traditional plans is a total waste of money.  So I've decided to invest in the things that will net relatively short term rewards.  Some may disagree and my fate is not definitive but it's practical and elimates the unknowns of 5 years, 10 years, 15 years or better yet.  Thankfully, I have plenty of life insurance that, had I waited a few months, would have been rated or denied completely.  I don't expect to die any time soon, but I'm a true believer that to live now is more important then living for retirement. So I think to invest in the things that matter in the relatively short term will reap more certain rewards than those in the long term.
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