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Early retirement

Hi Guys, I know some of you have already gone down the route of early retirement and wondered what your experiences had been. Between my PV and osteoarthritis which has decided to do a rampage through more joints, I am starting to go down the path of early retirement due to ill health.

After returning to work with my partial new knee plus a venesection, I am still suffering from quite bad fatigue and lethargy as well as pain from some new and old joint issues. I have decided enough is enough and have seen occupational health who are suggesting the first steps of more working from home, reduced hours, etc but with a view to early retirement in the near future.

How was the process for you and any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Kind regards Aime xx😺😺

16 Replies

Hi Aime - I can't offer you any advice but am very interested in your post because I too have made the decision to go for early retirement, I am 58. I haven't started the process yet, but intend to in the next few months. I have had enough of juggling work with ET/PV JaK+ 1000 mg Hu daily, fatigue, aches, etc, etc. I will only have a very small pension to live on and of course I will only get my state pension at 66 so the financial goal posts have changed radically. I don't get much support from the health professionals and asking for a sick note when I am ill stresses me out, also taking time off from a very busy job adds to that. I have thought of this long and hard for some time and weighed up the impact on my finances but I am ready to cut my cloth accordingly. I just want a quality of life that is my own without dancing to the beat of someone else's agenda. Best wishes with your decision :)


Good luck too Mallard, will keep you updated on progress and will be having a party when I retire.xx😺😺Aime xx


Hi Aime. I am sorry to hear your osteoarthritis is giving you so much trouble , it's enough to deal with an MPN.i haven't written to give you advice on early retirement as I am already retired!

You give so many people good advice , help, reassurance and care, that just giving you some back!

Certainly life will be easier for you In terms of fatigue, you will be able to switch that alarm off and doze a bit longer!! Seriously it is difficult to 'listen to your body' when you are really tired at work, and have to keep going when you feel exhausted. I really don't advocate sitting in a chair all day, I certainly don't ....but to know you can sit when you need to is reassuring , when we get a great day, just potter into that garden, no pressure. everyone has some form of stress whilst working. So that will be lifted also. I really felt rather useless when I retired initially , I suppose loss of status ( be it ever so lowly) but meeting friends helping out where and when you can soon replaces that .

So when you do decide to retire or cut down on your work, I am sure you will soon wonder how on earth you had the time to work !!!!

All the very best Sandy X


Hi Amie,

After a few stressful weeks at work I decided to retire last June. I was 62 and like a Mallard I don't get my state pension until I am 66 but I took drawdown on a small pension I had which will last me until my state pension kicks in. I think it's important that you can afford to do this as worrying about money is the last thing you need but if you can afford to do it you will never look back. I found the first 6 months rather like a holiday, keeping busy and Christmas shopping. In January I felt a bit lost and wondered what I was going to do with myself and was wishing my husband was here to enjoy retirement with me ( he passed away 10 years ago) but, as you know I have grandchildren, number 7 due in 2 weeks so I feel great that I am around for them and can leave some memories for them as my mum did for my children. These things are priceless and in no way compare to work. I generally do things in the morning, meet friends for lunch occasionally and then, if I decide to sit down for the afternoon, watch TV and knit ( just taken up again) or potter around the garden I don't feel guilty.

Just do it Aime, you will never regret it, have some time for you!

Love and best wishes to you

Judy xx


Hi Aime

I retired at 59, five years ago. It was when I started on Hydroxycarbomide.

I had a very busy job as a hotel sales manager, travelling all over for meetings, presentations etc and I just thought 'no more'.

I didn't have a clue what to expect in the future with PV and wanted to 'quit while I was ahead' and enjoy my life with my family.

I knew I wasn't due my state pension for five years and only had a very small pension coming in but between my husband and I we managed to move out to sunny Portugal that same month - for part of the year (where the cost of living is so much better) and now have the best of both worlds living between UK and Portugal visiting family in both places.

My pension started this month so hopefully the financial burden will now lift. Good luck with your retirement - it's the best thing I ever did.

I totally agree with Sandy - listen to your body - it's the only way 💕

Lesley x


Hi Aime

I took a reduced pension at the end of last year due to ET fatigue and struggling to work full time

My local authority declined my request for flexibility retirement and to work part time.

In hindsight I went about this the wrong way and did not get good advice from my manager.

I should have gone down the Occupational health route instead of trying to do this without being retired through ill health. Not sure why now looking back that I did not do this.

Like others no state pension until 66, I am now 60, my work pension is small, I was not able to claim job seekers allowance due to my husband working, my health and fatigue is worse and I am now in the assessment phase for Employment support allowance.

I don't know if I will get this after the assessment phase,.

It is a hard decision to make, for me I intended to work part time but due to health and limitations on my working day it has proved hard to find work anyway. Sounds like your doing things the right way round.

I do find it hard being at home all the time, it's a huge change from working full time.

I would say be mindful of your finances but put your health and well being at the top of the agenda.

Good luck whatever you decide

Regards Lynn

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Guys, thank you so much for your reassuring replies - they have helped to put life into prospective- you don't get it back! Financially we will have to watch our pennies and cut the cloth to suit but like you say Sandy I will be able to listen to my body for a change and stop ignoring it and pushing myself to exhaustion. I'm lucky that my hubby is still alive and is fit enough to work part-time. I totally agree with you Judy about grandchildren. I have two and wouldn't know what to do without them but I'm not enjoying them as much as I should because I'm always shattered by the weekend.

So here's to another appointment with Occupational Health to progress the early retirement route. Thank you all again, Aime xxxxxxx😺😺😺😺😺


Sorry to hear that Aime. I can't comment specifically but wish you luck. Xxx

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HI Aime

I went at 55 as the firm wanted to make people redundant and the package was good . I found as chief engineer I just could not work the 50 odd hours that the job required .

I have now been retired 17 years , have long holidays with my caravan and help with a Britain in Bloom group . I was Town crier for 10 years and now I am deputy TC.

So my advice is get out as soon as you can afford it and find some charity type work to fill your day and take long holidays.

your a long time dead

all the best Town Crier

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I took early(ish) retirement 6months before diagnosis of PV which I had almost certainly had for 2 or 3 years previously. I worked half time for six months (very good employer fortunately) before retirement and if you can swing that I can highly recommend it - it eases you into the the new routine. I do miss the social aspect of work.

From a financial point of view, going to work costs money - in my case a significant commuting cost etc. - and I'm not sure I'm any worse off overall than when working.

Best wishes whatever you decide.


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Morning all, so glad I popped in to read the MPN posts this morning! I've had PV for, must be, 12/13 years now; controlled by Hydroxy & Clopidogrel. I also have mild/mod COPD. To top it all, I was diagnosed with AVN (a vascular necrosis-think that's right!) in my right hip as a result of the top of my femur dying off due to interrupted blood supply to top of the bone). The pain is indescribable. I have 2 jobs; one v physical managing a shop part time and the other is a sedentary part time job. Sooo, the first job where I've been employed 14 years now, Occupational Health have requested an appointment on Apr 18. I'm unsure what this is all about I'm guessing they're gonna assess my fitness to do the job anymore so I have been thinking of taking early retirement. But what does that actually mean? I can't survive on the income from my other job and my retirement age is 66 so what happens if you have to give up work because of chronic health problems? I would welcome advice here. Much love Poll x


Hi Aime

Am very curious as to the out come of you wanting to retire early.

I am 53 and have PV diagnosed in 2013 but would say i v'e had it for more than 20yrs. Treated with Hydroxycarbamide aspirin and as most other people on here several other drugs to try and keep me going each day i also suffer from depression and anxiety which i take even more drugs for and yes i do rattle lol .

All of these health issues are now getting the better of me and am finding it harder and harder to go to work, think i v'e had 10 days off in the last month and as i write am off sick again. I have come to the point now that its time to hang my clock card up and take ill heath retirement i just don't know how to go about it, i work for a small catering company with only 10 staff members so have none of the benefits that working for a large company have. If anyone could help with any advice i would appreciate it.

Aimei look forward to news of your plans to retire and which you luck.

Many thanks



Hi Phil, I retired on 6 July last year and can’t believe a whole year has gone past. It was the best decision I have ever made and I’m now fit to enjoy my grandchildren more. At the moment I’m nursing a bruised and battered arm from an Orthopaedic op - yet another one!

However, retirement has taken the pressure off of being fit for work, I’m able to put my family first and my days are so full, I don’t know how I had the time to work. I have cut down on the number of venesections, whether this is down to good luck or the fact I can now take better care of myself.

Money wise - we are not rich but we struck two holidays off our bucket list (Nashville and a river cruise on the Danube) and enjoying my time far more with my grandchildren. I’m actually having more trouble with my osteoarthritis than my PV but dread to think the state I would be in if I hadn’t got early retirement.

The local authorities I worked for and my colleague of many years showed their true colours and did not make my retirement easy but I rose above that and don’t waste energy with any bitterness or regrets. I definitely did the right thing and my advice would be to go for it. Money wise you are not paying tax, national insurance, etc and I’m doing more home cooking with the time I have, so living on less is manageable definitely and far better for me.

Anything I can help with - just ask. Kindest regards Aime xx😸😸



So glad your doing so well. I'm pretty sure the pressure of work makes our condition worse because as soon as i'm off work for a few days i feel so much better. I am going for it just need to talk to the right people to get the best advise so fingers crossed it will happen sooner than later.

I wish you all the best in the future enjoy your family and stay well.



Thank you Phil, I don’t think you’ll regret your decision. I haven’t even for one second! We only get one life and for a change you have to put yourself first. Do you have occupational health- they were very supportive to me, my GP was also brilliant. He asked for a detailed description of my job and then matched all my symptoms to what I did, eg fatigue to driving. Also the pain suffered in osteoarthritis could not be dealt with effectively because I couldn’t take the appropriate meds because the tablets would affect my concentration, etc.

My fingers are crossed for you. Please post again if there is anything else I can help you with.

Kindest regards Aime xx😺😺


I think many of us feel the need to retire as we approach 60, and I was so angry with the government for shifting the goalposts the way they did. I too won't get my state pension until 66. I retired at 58, I couldn't cope with the stress and fatigue. I was off sick for over a year before I actually retired so got used to managing on less money. I was lucky as I was a nurse and have a good NHS pension even though I hadn't achieved a full pension of 40 years. I love being retired, I can honestly say it was the best thing I've ever done. I feel so much better in myself. I now have time and more energy to enjoy life. I don't claim any benefits. I don't even know if I'm entitled to any. But I manage, and I'm happier and healthier than when I was working and that means everything.Good luck in making your decision. I hope this will help


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