Post-Retirement

O

nce you have retired, there are many benefits and resources available to make this phase of your professional life satisfying.  ‘Retiring’ may be an unfortunate word because it implies drawing back, Rather post-retirement is a time for doing what you want. 

Resources Available to Retirees
Many of the benefits that retirees can expect as a matter of course are recounted in the faculty handbook under ‘retiree benefits’. You will be able to secure a Columbia University Retiree ID card, retain your Columbia email address, continue to have use of the Columbia libraries, receive assistance with your computer and have access to events on campus. For a full list of Library access, visit: Columbia University Library Privileges.

Many of you will be awarded the title of emeritus, which you can learn more about in the Faculty Handbook, by scrolling down to the “Emeriti Faculty” section.

There is an organization of retired, emeritus professors at Columbia. EPIC (Emeritus Professors in Columbia) includes all emeritus professors and others who have made a contribution to the University and meets bi-weekly to hear colleagues speak of their work and to socialize, as well as conduct meetings about health and other benefits. EPIC advocates retirees' interest in various venues and also links you to on-going activities that welcome retirees.

Paths You Might Take Individually Involving the University
Columbia has many research and policy groups you might want to get involved with, if you have not already. Many are listed on the Columbia University website. Others are listed under specific schools, departments and institutes.

Three centers that offer links to multiple projects and interests include:
The University Seminars each of which every month brings together faculty from Columbia and elsewhere interested in specific topics. Those interested in attending a seminar should email their credentials to the appropriate chair. For a complete list of current seminars and chairs, and information about starting a new seminar, please visit the website at universityseminars.columbia.edu.

The Earth Institute links many research projects on many topics, both on and off campus. To subscribe to receive weekly events listing for the Earth Institute, click here and enter your email address.

The Global Centers office links eight Columbia Institutions around the world, each of which has its own research agenda and opportunities. To find out more, please visit the website and explore the links to a global center, region or project of interest.

Volunteer Organizations
Many organizations in New York City would welcome your efforts. Many are linked to Columbia, for example Community Impact.

Teaching
If you are interested in continuing to teach in your own in your Department, you have to arrange that with your Department Chair or Dean of your School.

The Society of Senior Scholars is a group of retirees who teach in the Core Curriculum of the College, including ‘global core’ classes.

There are many other opportunities, of which EPIC is working to make retirees aware.

Exploring New Fields

You might want to take courses. Explore the possibilities in The School of Professional Studies.

Writing
Many retirees devote themselves to various forms of writing, ranging from reflections on the meaning of the work they have done in their professional life to histories of how they have seen their departments or discipline change. Some turn to something new, including to writing fiction. You may want to discuss with your dean or department chair whether it is possible to have access to the machines and programs that will facilitate that work. If you use computer programs and apps in your writing, you should check on their availability after retirement with CUIT.

Health Insurance
Health insurance continues, but with changes in the plans. If you retire after age 65, Medicare becomes your primary care option. Columbia negotiates with insurance companies to offer supplemental coverage, but you are able - sometimes it is to your advantage - to enroll in supplemental coverage on your own. Every year, in the fall, there will be a period to change plans (like ‘open enrollment’ before retirement). Here is a sample of a letter that HR sent to retirees last year.

 

 

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