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Considering Retirement

Am I ready to retire?


  • Retirement Readiness Quiz Adapted from Alan Bernstein and John Trauth, Your retirement, your way (New York: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2006)
    Answer the questions on this handout to explore your thoughts about and preparations for retirement. It raises many issues people think about as they prepare to retire.


  • Exit: The Endings That Set Us Free By Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot (New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2011).
    In this wise and provocative book, the renowned sociologist Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot trains her lens on the myriad exits we make in our lives: exits big and small, extraordinary and ordinary, quick and protracted, painful and liberating

Road Ahead Archive

  • An Evening with Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot Audio recording of February 21, 2013, Road Ahead session
    Sociologist Dr. Lawrence-Lightfoot has authored numerous books on transition and farewells, including The Endings That Set Us Free. In this, the inaugural Road Ahead event, she discusses decisions to move on.


  • Life’s Third Act Speaker: Jane Fonda (Filmed December 2011 at TEDxWomen)
    At a 2011 TEDex Women event, Jane Fonda discusses how the paradigm of aging is changing. Our generation is living some 30 years longer than our parents’, creating a new phase of life. Fonda contends that the last 30 years of one's life are just as developmentally significant as the first 30 years. In this engaging lecture, she argues that increasing age should be viewed as potential rather than pathology.

Can I afford to retire?


  • "How to Navigate the Retirement Danger Zone" By Kelley Holland, CNBC
    ​This online article discusses strategies for the time right around retirement when you have accumulated savings and are on the verge of drawing them down.
  • "10 Retirement Myths Debunked" By Maryalene LaPonsie, U.S. News & World Report 
    Your retirement may not be exactly what you're anticipating. Read these common misconceptions about retirement.




Fidelity Investments offers various types of online sessions.

YouTube Videos on a variety of financial topics.

“Brainsharks” Workplace Education Series prerecorded workshops you can access on-demand via your computer at any time. These are publicly accessible, whether or not you have a Fidelity account. You can find workshop links along with various information for University employees at under Tools > Workshops.

Free live webinars with a presenter are scheduled daily. Anyone with a Fidelity account and log-in credentials can register.

Click here for instructions to access Fidelity’s online webinars.

  • TIAA Virtual Environment

TIAA Webinar Lounge offers a schedule of live webinars for the year. These are available to all University employees, whether or not you have a TIAA account. July 2019 webinar schedule

Woman2Woman is a great place for women to go for information sharing and insight from some of the most influential women in the financial services industry.

Where and how do I want to live when I retire?

Website & Report

  • Best Cities for Successful Aging By Anusuya Chatterjee and Jaque King (Santa Monica, CA: Milken Institute, 2014)
    A report and website of the nonprofit, nonpartisan Milken Institute Think Tank. The 2014 report measures, compares, and ranks 352 U.S. metropolitan areas based on how well they enable older people to fulfill their potential, in their own lives as well as in their contributions to society and to others across the age spectrum.

How do I prepare myself psychologically for the transition to retirement?

Retirement, even when financially secure, is a transition which brings lifestyle changes that sometimes can be difficult. If you are interested in sorting through the changes you anticipate, UA Life & Work Connections has Employee Assistance professionals who can meet with you confidentially. Phone (520) 621-2493 to arrange an appointment.


  •  The Retirement Maze By Rob Pascale, Louis H. Primavera, and Rip Roach (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2014)
    This book investigates the challenges retirees face in building a new life outside of the workforce. It provides an honest assessment of retirement, based on the not-always-acknowledged fact that it is a difficult transition with pitfalls and obstacles to be overcome. 
  • Retire Right: 8 Scientifically Proven Traits You Need for a Happy, Fulfilling Retirement By Frederick T. Fraunfelder, MD, and James H. Gilbaugh (New York: Penguin Group, 2008)
    Based on the authors’ study of 1,000+ patients, they identified 8 key traits for a fulfilling retirement:
    1. Plan ahead
    2. Maintain a positive attitude
    3. Accept change
    4. Lean on your support network
    5. Have a sense of purpose
    6. Keep a healthy lifestyle
    7. Engage in leisure activities
    8. Enjoy some expression of spirituality.

You can strengthen these characteristics, or even develop them from scratch, whether you’re just starting to plan for retirement or are already in retirement.

  • Revitalizing Retirement: Reshaping Your Identity, Relationships, and Purpose By Nancy K. Schlossberg, EdD (Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2009)
    Often neglected in the retirement process are the psychological aspects of the transition into retirement. It’s important to take stock of your psychological portfolio as well: how may your sense of identity, relationships, support system, and sense of purpose change?


I am a faculty member. How do faculty approach retirement?


  • “Understanding the Faculty Retirement (Non)Decision By Paul l. Yakobski, PhD, Trends and Issues reports (New York: TIAA-CREF Institute, June 2015)
    Tenured faculty age 50 or older can be divided into three groups—35% expect to retire by normal retirement age; 16% would prefer to retire by normal retirement age, but expect to work longer (i.e., they are “reluctantly reluctant” to retire); and 49% would like to and expect to work past normal retirement age (i.e., they are “reluctant by choice”). This article explores the key drivers for these groups in terms of personal finances and psychosocial issues.
  • "Faculty Emeriti: Retirement Reframed" By Seth Matthew Fishman (PhD diss., Ohio State University, 2010).
    Fishman conducted in-depth interviews with 14 faculty emeriti who retired within the past two to five years from a large, land grant institution. The resulting six main themes were: (1) the “nudge” toward retirement (motivating factors influencing the retirement decision), (2) “no one owns your time,” (3) the unexpected (unanticipated events in retirement), (4) the continuity of scholarship activities, (5) new pathways in retirement, and (6) elements of the departmental and institutional relationship with the emeriti.
  • Anticipation of Retirement among Baby Boomers By Norma A. Winston and Jo Barnes, Journal of Women and Aging 19 (2003).
    A total of 32 interviews were conducted with women in academia who were born between 1946 and 1964. The authors identified common themes in the interviews. These included rejection of the traditional definition of retirement, anticipated age at retirement determined by personal needs rather than age-graded societal norms, retirement projected to be an active period involving a mix of work and leisure activities, and major concerns, about health and health care, the availability of entitlements and finances.

"I am a professor. How do I retire from me?"

— UA faculty member contemplating retirement