Planning your future? UC Berkeley Retirement Center program can help

When you imagine your retirement, what do you see? What is your desired experience after full-time employment? How can you maintain connections to the university and your colleagues? The UC Berkeley Retirement Center aims to help university employees answer these and other questions through its six-week Pre-Retirement Planning (PRP) program.

The idea of planning for retirement doesn’t have to be daunting, says Patrick Cullinane, the center’s director.

“All of us can be empowered to create our preferred ‘retirement’ phase of life,” says Cullinane. PRP helps program participants envision all the the possibilities of retirement, bringing in faculty and staff who offer insights and resources for developing a retirement strategy.

The PRP program is free and is  held on Friday afternoons beginning  Oct. 11. Since the program’s inception in 2002, PRP has helped hundreds of faculty and staff, most of whom take part within five years of their expected retirement.

“Our feeling is that it’s never too early and never too late to address retirement options,” Cullinane says. “We all have big questions about what we will do after full-time work. We can recognize and effectively consider the major questions we have about how best to prepare, determine the best uses of our time and talent, and how we will finance this period to make these additional years meaningful and fun. We want our retirees to feel in control of their future.”

PRP sessions typically last two to three hours and are held on campus. Dates and topics for the six afternoon events are as follows:

  •  Oct. 11: A Redirected Life; Social Security
  •  Oct. 18: Maximizing Your UC Benefits in Retirement
  •  Oct. 25: Legal and Estate Planning Considerations
  •  Nov. 1: Long-Term Care Insurance; Aging in Place and Housing Considerations
  •  Nov. 15: Personal Financial Planning; Called Back to Service and Other Post-Retirement Employment
  •  Nov. 22: Wellness in Retirement; Successfully Making Your Transition to Retirement

Established 16 years ago and located on Walnut Street, the UC Berkeley Retirement Center has seen demand for its services grow substantially in recent years. “Maturing baby-boomers heading toward retirement with 20 to 30 more years of life have contributed” to the added interest, according to Cullinane. “Attendees are focused on living well as they live longer.”

The PRP program is just one of the center’s many services. Others include Learning in Retirement, a lifelong education program in which emeriti and active faculty give free lectures to retirees on a variety of subjects, and financial-planning classes offered jointly with Fidelity Retirement Services. The center also provides information on retiree discounts for everything from vision care to free library cards, and offers retirees an option to maintain their email address through its Cal Center Retirement Network program.

The Pre-Retirement Planning program is open to employees of UC Berkeley and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; the deadline for registration is Friday, Oct. 4. For more information, visit the UC Berkeley Retirement Center’s PRP website or call (510) 642-5461.