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Late Career Transitions

The timing of retirement and pace of transitioning to retirement are important considerations that affect the faculty member as well as the finances and academic commitments of the institution. Yet, there is often reluctance on the part of both faculty and chairs to discuss retirement and a succession planning. Ideally, the retirement process should result in a plan for transition of responsibilities that avoids unnecessary and unwanted gaps for all stakeholders.

As you reflect on your retirement options consider developing a plan that includes:

  • Planning your financial future well in advance of retirement. Consider seeking advice from a personal financial advisor.
  • Discussions with your Chair and Human Resources Professionals at MUSC and UMA. This should occur at least one year prior to the anticipated date of retirement, and should include discussions about what benefits will be available after retirement and developing your timeline. Develop a checklist (see page below) to guide your activities and timelines. The expectation is that faculty will continue full time employment until retirement, unless otherwise agreed upon. If a change to part time effort is under consideration, discuss fully with your department chair and HR professional well in advance of your transition.
  • Considering the option of continuing to contribute to the institution post-retirement. Options for post-retirement employment are dependent on the Department and Institutional needs, resources, and policies. Discuss your ideas and concerns with all the stakeholders – your Chair, HR professionals, personal financial advisors, and your family.

Good planning of your transition to retirement should result in a mutual agreement between the faculty member, the Department Chair, and the institution regarding the timing, expectations, and responsibilities during the transition.

For more information on retirement options at MUSC, contact your Chair, MUSC or UMA Human Resource professionals, and refer to the Faculty Handbook.

Contacts at the University or UMA About Retirement:

University Benefits Office: Phone - 843-792-2071 for State Retirement, Supplemental Retirement, and TERI programs

UMA Retirement Benefits Office: 843-852-3100

Checklist & Timeline for Retirement


  • Develop a plan to ensure financial readiness
  • Review status of pension and retirement income on a regular basis based on present contributions
    • Review the impact on benefits and taxes of different potential retirement dates
    • Make or update a wish list of potential post-retirement activities and needs
    • Consider long term care insurance
    • Consult the Faculty Handbook for retirement information

1 Year Before Turning 66

At Least 1 Year Before Retirement

  • Confirm financial readiness:
  • Consult your personal financial and legal advisors
    • Discuss retirement requirements and options with your Human Resource professionals
    • Consider a consultation with the Faculty Affairs Associate Dean’s Office
    • Meet with Division Chief and/or Department Chair / and business administrator to discuss your proposed retirement date and status
    • Plan for a phased reduction in effort prior to retirement date
    • Develop a succession plan and /or transition of responsibilities
    • Plan for mentees ongoing development
    • Finalize your thoughts regarding recognition (party, reception, none) if appropriate
    • Post retirement option and part time faculty employment

Within 6 Months of Retirement

  • Confirm with your Department Administrator that your retirement status is correct, if continued email is available, etc.
  • Consult with your Department Chair
  • Check with the Library for opportunities regarding your scholarly materials
  • Consult with the volunteer office and foundation for opportunities
  • Consult with your personal financial and legal advisors

At Retirement 

  • Meet with your Department Chair and Department Administrator
  • Meet with Human Resources and complete all paperwork, turn in keys, badges, etc.