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Planning for Retirement - Retirement Planning Guide

It’s never too soon to start thinking and planning for retirement! (5-15 years before retirement)

Retirement and Financial Planning Workshops

University of Maine System retirement vendors periodically schedule campus meetings and individual appointments to meet with employees and their spouses. These meetings are a good way to learn more about the retirement savings opportunities available to you as well as to review the status of your existing retirement accounts. Employees who are age 45 and above will receive an invitation to annual presentations. These are typically scheduled in April. Call the Benefits Office at 581-2367 for more information or to schedule an individual appointment.

Consult with Financial Specialists

You may also want to contact your own bank, credit union and/or investment company for information and advice. These services are generally accompanied by a fee or limited to the products offered by the company, so you should make sure you understand how you will be charged and what you can expect in return. The University of Maine Credit Union also offers periodic financial seminars. Please call 581-1457 for more information.

Review your Annual Social Security Statement

Your annual Social Security Statement will be mailed to you by the Social Security Administration about three months before your month of birth. This statement is automatically sent to workers over 25. This summary shows your record of earnings on which you have paid Social Security taxes as well as the estimated benefits you and your family may receive based on these earnings. The statement includes instructions for reviewing the information and reporting mistakes. http://www.socialsecurity.gov/mystatement/. A new Social Security Retirement Estimator is now available at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator to estimate future benefits.

Consider Creating or Updating Personal Legal Documents

Having an up to date will, living will, health care directive, or power of attorney can give you and your family members peace of mind. These are extremely personal decisions that should be given careful thought. If you don’t already have an attorney, you might consider contacting:

  • Lawyer Referral and Information Service — a not-for-profit service created by the Maine Bar Association. 1-800-860-1460 http://www.mainebar.org/lawyer_need.asp
  • Pine Tree Legal – free legal services to Maine people 942-8241 http://www.ptla.org/index.html
  • Employee Assistance Program, a free and confidential program for University employees, will also make legal referrals. Call 581-4014.
  • Make sure your family is aware of the location of any important financial or legal documents.

Review Your Beneficiary Designations

Contact the Benefits Office at 581-2367 to review or update your beneficiaries for your life insurance and/or retirement accounts.

Long Term Care Insurance

Many programs with varying levels of coverage are available. Informational resources are widely available on the web or through AARP.org.
Maine State Bureau of Insurance web site http://www.maine.gov/pfr/insurance/index.shtml provides information about companies that are licensed to sell specific kinds of insurance in Maine as well as informational materials.

When Retirement is Closer (1-5 years before retirement)

Attend Retirement and Financial Planning Workshops

These workshops are typically scheduled in April. Call the Benefits Office at 581-2367 for more information or to schedule an individual appointment. Your spouse is welcome to accompany you at these programs. Make sure to tell your advisor about your plans for setting a retirement date.

Consult with Financial Specialists

If you have been working with a consultant or retirement specialist outside the University setting, make sure this person knows about your plans for setting a retirement date.

Review your Annual Social Security Statement

Your annual Social Security Statement will be mailed to you by the Social Security Administration about three months before your month of birth. This statement is automatically sent to workers over 25. This summary shows your record of earnings on which you have paid Social Security taxes as well as the estimated benefits you and your family may receive based on these earnings. The statement includes instructions for reviewing the information and reporting mistakes. http://www.socialsecurity.gov/mystatement/

Consider Creating or Updating Personal Legal Documents

Having an up to date will, living will, health care directive, or power of attorney can give you and your family members peace of mind. These are extremely personal decisions that should be given careful thought.

If you don’t already have an attorney, you might consider contacting: Lawyer Referral and Information Service — a not-for-profit service created by the Maine Bar Association. 1-800-860-1460 http://www.mainebar.org/lawyer_need.asp Pine Tree Legal – free legal services to Maine people 942-8241 http://www.ptla.org/index.html Employee Assistance Program, a free and confidential program for University employees, will also make legal referrals. 581-4014. Make sure your family is aware of the location of any important finicial or legal documents.

Review Your Beneficiary Designations

Contact the Benefits Office at 581-2367 to review or update your beneficiaries for your life insurance and/or retirement accounts.

Long Term Care Insurance

Many programs with varying levels of coverage are available. Informational resources are widely available on the web or through AARP.org.
Maine State Bureau of Insurance web site http://www.maine.gov/pfr/insurance/index.shtml provides information about companies that are licensed to sell specific kinds of insurance in Maine as well as informational materials.

Consider Potential Life Style Adjustments

Personal Budget

  • What fixed expenses will you have? What is your desired lifestyle? How much money will you spend on discretionary items? Will you plan to work part-time? Will you want to travel?

Housing

  • Will you want to downsize? Will you move to a different area of the country? Transition to a retirement community?
  • Medical Needs
  • Do you have any health issues to discuss with your current medical provider? If you are planning to move, inquire about a local health care referral service. Arrange to have your records transferred.
  • Leisure time and volunteer activities.
  • AARP
  • Center on Aging

I have decided to retire! (90 days-6 months before your retirement date)

Inform Your Supervisor
What Do You Need to Say?

The notice of retirement should be addressed to your supervisor. We suggest that the note be copied to Kathleen Bell, Assistant Director of Employee Health, Benefits, and Payroll. Add your own personal touches to the following basic example
Dear —

  • This is to formally notify you that I intend to retire from my position as ____ on _____ (or for faculty), at the end of the spring semester.
  • Sincerely,

Faculty

  • The faculty contract requires 90 days notice of retirement. Please give your department chair, school director, or dean as much notice as possible to help in planning for course reassignments and search arrangements.
  • Review arrangements needed to conclude funded research projects, graduate student advising, or other ongoing departmental service commitments.
  • Discuss a timetable and process for the disposition of your personal and professional library as well as move out of your office/lab space.
  • Confabulate about any ongoing professional needs for University resources.

Salaried Staff

  • Please give your supervisor as much notice as possible so that staffing transitions can be made smoothly. A minimum of 30 to 90 days’ notice is recommended.
  • Review any pending unfinished assignments.
  • Discuss a timetable and process for the disposition of your personal and professional library as well as move out of your workspace.
  • Discuss any pending requests for time off.

Hourly Paid Staff

  • Please give your supervisor as much notice as possible so that staffing transitions can be made smoothly. A minimum of two weeks to one month’s notice is recommended.
  • Review any pending unfinished assignments.
  • Discuss a timetable for moving your belongings out of your workspace.
  • Discuss any pending requests for time off.
  1. Contact the local Social Security office if you plan to start drawing benefits.
  2. Contact TIAA/CREF or any alternate retirement vendor to inform them of your decision and to complete whatever paperwork is necessary to start withdrawing funds.
  3. Call Kathleen Bell, Assistant Director for Employee Health, Benefits and Payroll to confirm your retirement benefits enrollment choices.


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