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Leaving work after a Parkinson's diagnosis

A banking analyst makes the decision to leave his job at the age of 51, two years after being diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease.

For many years, Bart Narter has been a good friend of Marketplace. As a banking analyst with a company called Celent, he's helped us explain what's going on with the financial industry. But at the age of 51, he just left his job only two-years after being diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease.

On his making his decision to leave work:

"I was diagnosed with Parkinson's in December of 2010, and continued to work but notified my employer that I would not be able to work forever in the role I held. We developed a succession plan and I stepped down when both we had a successor in place and I felt that I really couldn't continue to do the job I was doing at the level it needed doing... One of the major symptoms of Parkinson's is tremors, and I'd get tremors in my left hand which makes it difficult to type. The company made accomodations by providing me with speech recognition software, but it's still not quite there yet and made it very difficult to keep up."

On coping financially with illness:

"[I] have private disability insurance which provides me 100 percent of my income for three months, 80 percent for the next three months, and then 40 percent from that point forward. That's going to be enough for me to live on... So far it hasn't been that hard. I'm very good at compartmentalizing. So far, I'm on full salary, so it hasn't hit financially yet. I think the scariest thing is actually contemplating the fears of inflation because this kicks in until I'm 65 and it's a fixed amount."

About the author

Jeremy Hobson is host of Marketplace Morning Report, where he looks at business news from a global perspective to prepare listeners for the day ahead.

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