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General HR

Are You Ready to Retire?

Ready to Retire

NC State employee Wendy Silver attended a retirement workshop in February, even though she doesn’t plan to retire soon.

Silver said she attended Ready to Retire because she’s contemplating when she should retire now that she has accumulated 25 years of state service. She earned those years working at three state agencies — the Office of the State Controller, the Department of Health and Human Services and NC State.

“I know that preparation is important, and I wanted to know what steps I need to take to plan for my retirement,” said Silver, an executive assistant in the College of Engineering.

Ready to Retire is a comprehensive workshop designed to prepare NC State employees for the retirement process. The next workshop is set for 1 to 5 p.m. Sept. 13 in the State Ballroom at Talley Student Union. The workshop usually attracts 200 to 300 people.

Ready to Retire encourages employees to review their budget, investments and retirement plan as they weigh retirement. It also pushes them to consider what health insurance options will be available when they retire and how Social Security and Medicare benefits could affect their decision.

“As for the retirement process, the paperwork is the easy part, right?” said Britt Hurst, the Employee Recognition and Wellness Program manager. “The hard part is actually being financially and mentally prepared for retirement.”

All employees are welcome to attend Ready to Retire, but employees who are thinking about retiring in the next five to seven years are strongly encouraged to come to a session, Hurst said.

“We have employees who go to every single session, and they tell us that they learned something new each time,” she said. “So by the time they get to their retirement date, they are well aware of their responsibilities and what the retirement process entails. It takes some of the anxiety out of the retirement process.”

Silver said the workshop she attended was informative and well organized, and it answered many of her questions, like what health care options will be available to her when she retires.

“It was excellent,” she said.

But Silver said making a final decision about retiring will be tough to do. She said she is looking forward to spending more time with her family and volunteering at church, but she loves working at NC State.

“There are just some great people on this campus,” she said. “I have worked in other places, but NC State is just a fabulous place to work.”

Karen Acree, an executive assistant in the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, said she has attended multiple Ready to Retire workshops and plans to attend the one set for next month. Just like Silver, Acree is trying to figure out the best time to retire.

“There is a lot of information in one afternoon session to absorb, so it’s beneficial to go more than once,” she said.

For more information, call the Benefits Office at 919-515-2151 or send an email to