A Disability Doesn’t Have to Force an Early Retirement

You don't even have to tell your employer unless you need an accommodation.

worker in wheelchair talking to colleague
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Robyn Dochterman has owned a chocolate shop in Marine on St. Croix, Minn., since 2010 and has spent a lot of those 13 years putting chocolate in molds and flipping them out. 

This repetitive motion has damaged her hands, and although she has had a few procedures and an operation to fix the problem, it keeps returning. For the past several years, Dochterman, 61, has been trying to figure out how she can keep working and manage her pain. 

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Contributing Writer, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Alina Tugend is a long-time journalist who has worked in Southern California, Rhode Island, Washington, D.C., London and New York. From 2005 to 2015, she wrote the biweekly Shortcuts column for The New York Times business section, which received the Best in Business Award for personal finance by the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including The Times, The Atlantic, O, the Oprah Magazine, Family Circle and Inc. magazine. In 2011, Riverhead published Tugend's first book, Better by Mistake: The Unexpected Benefits of Being Wrong.