Getting Ready for Retirement

Retired public educators need to stick together!


You’ve graded your last test, served your last playground duty and said good-bye to your colleagues.


When the first day of school comes, you don’t arrive at school early, you turn off your alarm and go back to sleep!


But what about any concerns you might have such as a potential sense of loss, of ensuring

a smooth transition to your “new” life of filling your free time? Whether your retirement is in the distant future or just around the corner, there are some things you should keep in mind:


Just face the fact that you’re not going to clean out all of your closets and organize all of your photographs the week after you retire. Relax! Take the time to figure out what you really want to do and enjoy the adventure!




  • Map out your medical coverage before you leave the one you have, and make sure you understand what insurance will cost if or when your district benefits run out. If you don’t have district benefits AB 528 allows a retiree to participate in their district’s plan if the retiree pays the entire cost of participation
  • Have your eyes checked, order new glasses, complete dental work, etc. before retiring.
  • Get Medicare information early so you’ll know how/when to sign up and understand how your payments are calculated.




  • Pay off bills (including your mortgage), buy new appliances or a car, and complete home improvement projects while still on salary.
  • Organize all of your personal information, such as wills, trusts, etc.
  • Register and attend an ISTA retirement workshop well before your planned retirement.
  • Keep track of your expenses for a full year to get an accurate picture of how much you’ll need (or need to cut) once you retire.
  • Check to see how many years you are getting credit for from your school corporation to catch any errors early.




  • Be prepared for emotional adjustments. Have social interactions planned on a regular basis (e.g. monthly lunch dates) so you won’t feel isolated from former colleagues.
  • Find a retirement “buddy” who made the leap before you and can provide advice. Then return the favor and be a buddy to someone else.
  • Your need to be needed doesn’t stop at retirement. There are so many volunteer opportunities out there. In addition to giving back, you’ll also develop a new social network.
  • Keep up to date on legislation affecting your retirement. Updates are posted at
  • Plan activities to keep your mind occupied and your body active . . . and don’t put off the things you really want to do link volunteering or your “someday” projects. Retirement years do fly by!


Retired yet or not, please join ISTA-Retired.