Excerpt from GT chapter on the Faculty Retirement: Best Practices for Navigating the Transitions book published by Stylus in 2014.
Words from the Wise
Interviews with retired faculty in the spring of 2013 revealed that their activities are as diversified during their retirement years as they were when they were part of the professoriate at Georgia Tech. Several said they are now more physically active, taking time to bike, run or swim regularly, while others have become more involved with the arts, volunteering with Atlanta Symphony Hall, the Center of Puppetry Arts and other venues in the city of Atlanta. Yet others have taken up painting or gardening as a full time avocation.
During the individual interviews conducted, several major themes were repeated:
• It is a good idea to have a plan beyond wanting to use the time for travel or relaxation
• Retirees should prepare themselves for having an unstructured life and the emotional changes that may result.
• Be sure to work out details of how to get the most from Medicare and healthcare benefits.
• Consider talking to a financial planner to help you figure out how to manage your retirement income, especially if you are part of the Optional Retirement Plan, which has a fixed amount of savings (unlike the TRS program which has an automatic cost of living increase of 1.5% every six months), or have more than one retirement account (e.g. for those who had previous jobs elsewhere).
• Be aware that what works for someone else may not be the best option for you, so do your homework.
• If you are on the TRS system and you have obtained 40 years of credit, you do not need to keep on working as your retirement salary is already at a maximum.
• Take advantage of online access to the library.
• Enjoy life. Volunteer, it will do you good.