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Terminal Cancer. Finance help required.

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Needles123, Feb 24, 2018.

  1. Needles123

    Needles123 New commenter


    I'm asking for some advice on behalf of my wife, who has been diagnosed with cancer and is on a palliative care path. Life expectancy is somewhere around 1-2 years given aggressive palliative chemo. She's only been a teacher for 5 years, and has been off work since new year.

    While our primary focus is on making her remaining time as happy as possible, a big part of that is having financial issues settled or at least understood so she isn't worrying over our family's future. We are a long way from knowing what to do, or what the options are. We'll be calling the union next week, but I'd be very grateful for any advice or experience from the community here with regard to her pension.

    Thanks for any help.
  2. Dunteachin

    Dunteachin Star commenter

    I'm so very sorry to hear that. A good idea would be to ring TPS and they'd be able to answer all your questions regarding your wife's pension. Best wishes.
  3. ZestyMordant

    ZestyMordant New commenter

    Hi, I didn't want to read and run. I'm so sorry that you all have to go through this.

    When my mum had cancer, she was on her own as our dad had died a few years before and she needed financial advice also.

    We contacted the citizens advice bureau first. They were excellent providing help and support, giving us guidance on what to do, who to contact etc.

    Macmillan are also amazing, so please contact them. I don't know how we would have managed without them.

    If you have a mortgage and have insurance on your mortgage, it may be paid off in the event of a spouses death. This was the case with my family.

    A chat with the union and any pension/ insurer that you have is also a good idea. My dad had only paid into his insurance scheme for 3 months, but this was honoured and provided my mum with much needed financial security for some years.

    You sound like a very strong family unit and I am truly sorry that you have to go through this. I admire your strengths and foresight to see this head on and it gives your wife that much needed "one less thing to worry about" and also more importantly, a sense of control at an unimaginably difficult time.

    Don't forget that there is incredible support on these boards also.

  4. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    So very sorry to hear your news.

    You could also ring the Education Support Partnership who offer help and advice to teachers and their families.

    All the other advice given above is excellent - especially contacting Citizens Advice and any of the cancer support organisations.

    Your wife may need to also make a will if she hasn't done so already. Her union may be able to provide a list of solicitors they recommend.
    Needles123 likes this.
  5. Bedlam3

    Bedlam3 Star commenter

    I'm sorry to hear.
    You could contact Weslyan and get a free hour visit from a financial adviser and go from there. A teacher colleague of mine died a few years ago from cancer and was able to get death in service benefits for her children so that's worth exploring too.
    FrankWolley and Needles123 like this.
  6. Camokidmommy

    Camokidmommy Established commenter

    Couldn't just read and run. I am so sorry that you are having to go through this at all. I hope you manage to create many new happy memories to add t the ones I'm sure you already have. Make the remaining time count.

    My very dear friend is in a similar situation to your wife and she is finding much comfort in making a video diary and book style 'tips for growing up' for her son. The kind of things she knows she won't be around to tell him. So sad.

    Take care of all of you.
  7. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    Wishing you well. I have no practical advice other than to second that made above about asking Macmillan for support - they were great when it was my dad. But ASK them - they don't know what you need unless you ask and they WILL help when you ask.
  8. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Based on past experience with older family members I can (like others) recommend Macmillan. I would also suggest you start looking at obtaining Lasting Power of Attorney for both healthcare and financial matters. It's a precaution that you may not have to use, but if required it can remove certain obstacles when you least need them.

    Look after yourselves.
  9. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    I had a similar experience and can also recommend McMillian at this difficult time.
    Needles123 likes this.
  10. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    Teachers Pensions' will continue to pay any adult beneficiary your salary for three months. ... After the short term pension ends a long term pension is put into payment. If you're in career average and die in service, a death grant of three times your final full-time equivalent salary (at your date of death) will be paid.
  11. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    So sorry to hear this.

    As @wanet says there is a death in service payment which will be the main financial assistance from the TPS.

    There should also be a spouses and dependents pensions that is set according to how long your wife has paid in to the scheme, though with just 5 years service, this won't be much.

    It USED to be (though may still be, I haven't looked for a long time), half of the accrued pension for the spouse and a quarter each for each dependent child. The teachers scheme works on an 1/80ths basis, so it would be 1/2 of 5/80ths of pensionable salary for the spouse and then 1/4 of 5/80ths of pensionable salary for each child for as long as they are in compulsory education to a maximum age of 18. TPS will be able to advise more accurately and will be up to date.

    These will amount to very little compared to your wife's salary, though are worth claiming.
    Needles123 and wanet like this.
  12. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    I was quoting TPS - there is a pdf there with greater detail.
    Needles123 likes this.
  13. Needles123

    Needles123 New commenter

    Thank you for your responses, and good wishes. I must admit you've had me welling up a bit.

    We're in touch with Macmillan already, and will continue to seek advice from there.

    I've had a look at the TPS guidance, but I can't make it out very well in my current state of mind, so I'll call them next week.
    pepper5, Bedlam3 and Dunteachin like this.
  14. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    Best wishes
  15. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    pepper5 likes this.
  16. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    So sorry to hear your news. Sending best wishes.
    I think it might be worth checking that your wife has allocated her pension/death in service benefits to you. It used to be automatically given to a surviving spouse, but I'm not sure if that is still the case. TPS can help here.
    Take care of yourself too.
    Lalad and pepper5 like this.
  17. frangipani123

    frangipani123 Lead commenter

    Just wanted to say that my thoughts are with you, how bloody unfair.

    Macmillan and Marie Curie offer support and advice, as others have said. I also found Cancer Research very helpful when my mum was ill and I couldn't quite accept it. Others have made good suggestions as to how to check what you are both entitled to financially.

    Our local hospice provided practical and moral support, coming out to do mum's hair at home, sending a counsellor to speak to her etc, so if you can get that support it's invaluable. I've heard very good things about the Maggie's Centres that are dotted around the country, and they have an online community too plus a podcast series that I've just found:


    It's very shocking to receive such a diagnosis and it is important for you to take care of yourself, and not be afraid to ask for help from friends, relatives and colleagues. People are always around here too.
  18. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Thoughts with you... best wishes.

    [I have no advice but I didn't want to not say anything.]
    theworm123 likes this.
  19. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    So sorry to hear this, can only say I send you my best wishes.

    NB It might be worth checking when you can whether you both , or your wife alone, has any relevant insurance policies (I know I bought a few, small premium policies which would only pay out in case of death when we got married/had children). Easy yo over look this. Also if you both have a mortgage, was a life policy sold alongside it? Worth checking, just in case.
    frangipani123 likes this.
  20. Sundaytrekker

    Sundaytrekker Star commenter

    I can’t add any more advice to that already given but also didn’t want to read and run. I am so sorry to read this. My thoughts are with you.
    pepper5 likes this.

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