Planning for Retirement


s people live longer, a healthy and productive retirement involves more careful planning than ever before. Starting the planning process early will help ensure that your retirement savings plans reach an optimum level. Columbia's Office of Human Resources has many tools and resources available to help you prepare for retirement. Human Resources offers a series of retirement planning workshops that cover many of the relevant aspects of planning for retirement. To find upcoming workshops, go here and enter into the search space ‘retirement planning workshop’ and the month and year.

Human Resources is also a good source of information as you consider your retirement plan investments. There are two savings plans for setting aside money for your retirement. There is the Voluntary Retirement Savings Plan in which you can decide how much to contribute, and the Officer’s Retirement Plan, in which the University contributes automatically to your Retirement account. If you were hired prior to July 1, 2013, you can find a brochure here that explains both plans in considerable detail. If you were hired after that date you can find the information here.

For help in deciding how to invest your retirement funds, one-on-one sessions are available with the representatives of The Vanguard Group and TIAA, the two companies that manage the investments.

Your health insurance after retirement (if you are over 65) will change to primary coverage by Medicare and Medigap plans either negotiated by Columbia or found on your own. For more information about retirement health plans, please review HR Retired Officers Benefits.

Housing is another important aspect to consider in planning your retirement. If you are in a University apartment, please consult the Columbia University Faculty Housing Policy. Information on Faculty and Staff Housing is also available on the Housing website. If you are interested in purchasing or renovating a residential property in New York, you may be eligible for the Columbia Housing Assistance Program (Income Supplement, Forgivable Loans, Shared Appreciation Second Mortgage). The Office of Work/Life’s Housing Information and Referral Service can also assist you in searching for non-Columbia housing, for rent or purchase, anywhere in the New York City metro area. More information on this service, as well as links to other housing resources, are on the Housing and Relocation section of the Office of Work/Life website.

Finally, in addition to financial planning and benefits assistance, remember that you should think about and plan for what activities and goals you want to pursue in your life after retirement.


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