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Live Long Enough to Cash in Your 401(k): Physician Offers Secrets for Staying Healthy and Surviving Any Diagnosis

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SOURCE Dr. Edward T. Creagan

Dr. Edward T. Creagan explains how health plays a part in retirement decisions in "How Not to Be My Patient: A Physician's Secrets for Staying Healthy and Surviving and Diagnosis"

OMAHA, Neb., June 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The big day has finally arrived. Your boss shakes your hand and wishes you well. Your colleagues gather around a cake and make small talk about landing the big fish in your retirement, or joke about what you'll do now.

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A cardboard box is filled with the contents of your desk: family pictures, trinkets, and stale candy. Your twentysomething replacement has all but moved in on your accounts. Your name is off the cubicle, and you wonder what you'll do for the next 30 years.

One more stop: the benefits office.

There, you will be asked to make one of the most significant financial decisions of your life: How do you want to receive your pension? What does this have to do with your health?

Dr. Edward T. Creagan says, "Plenty. Because before you can make any decision about your pension distribution, you need to seek the guidance of skilled professionals, such as a financial planner, a tax adviser, an attorney, and-believe it or not-a doctor."

In the newly released second edition of his book Hot Not to Be My Patient: A Physician's Secrets for Staying Healthy and Surviving Any Diagnosis, Dr. Creagan, a cancer specialist, explains why: "Let's suppose you are generally healthy, with normal blood pressure, no diabetes or heart disease, and your mother lived to a ripe old age. For you, the annuity of a fixed amount every month becomes a reasonable option. You could very well 'outlive' the lump sum option you are presented along with the 'gold watch'-and laugh all the way to the bank.

"On the other hand, you may have a serious medical condition, such as cancer, and let's suppose that your expected survival is limited. In that situation, a reasonable option would be door number 2, the lump sum. You and your family would work with professionals to set investments in motion to take care of your family," he advises.

Retirement decisions are not always as obvious as this. But, Dr. Creagan observes, you will be making decisions about when to take Social Security and when to tap into your 401(k).

"From a practical standpoint, I suggest you see your doctor around the time your retirement is planned. Some minor blood abnormalities or trivial symptoms might lead to a CT scan or EKG, and then to a diagnosis of a life-threatening illness. In that case, your financial options would be clear. You may not be around long enough to collect your full retirement, but you can make provisions now for your family," he suggests along with much more wise advice for anyone about taking control of their health in this updated second edition of the highly acclaimed book.

For a MEDIA REVIEW COPY of the book or to interview Dr. Creagan about this topic and others, contact Sandra Wendel, Write On Ink Publishing via email; (402) 516-2412.

Other topics he addresses:

  • The Healing Power of Pets
  • How to Give Your Doctor a Checkup
  • 10 Symptoms Never to Ignore
  • Essential Screening Tests to Have and Which Are Not Worth the Money (or the Worry)
  • Dr. Creagan's 8 Commandments for Living Long and Living Well

About Edward T. Creagan, MD, FAAHPM: Professor of medical oncology at one of the world's leading medical centers, board certified in internal medicine, medical oncology, and hospice medicine and palliative care. "Dr. Ed" is the author of over 400 scientific papers, has given 1,000 presentations worldwide. Follow him @AskDoctorEd; Facebook at How Not to Be My Patient; website  

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