Retirement is a well recognized stage of the academic career. Yet the pre-retirement years are a distinct and important stage as well. These years require attention to what the individual wishes to do in retirement, the arrangement of finances, and to the emotional and psychological aspects of the transition.
Individualized retirement agreements are now common at Duke and improve the individual’s and the institution’s ability to plan for the future. Faculty members sometimes begin discussions about retirement with their department chair and/or dean years in advance of retiring.
Duke’s Flexible Work Arrangements Policy (pdf), passed in 2007, offers a form of phased retirement to assist faculty at this stage of their careers. It offers the opportunity to reduce the professional range of responsibilities to suit individual needs and the needs of the department or school, and to complete important tasks in their professional role for a variable period of time.
Additional information is available on retirement resources. Because financial planning is an essential part of preparation for retirement, Human Resources offers free seminars and financial planning sessions during Financial Fitness Week every spring and at other times by request. It also offers this informative online Retirement Planning Guide (pdf).
Duke University values our emeriti faculty and offers ongoing support as detailed in the Faculty Handbook section on retirement. Some faculty members negotiate to continue selected aspects of their work after a set retirement date, such as teaching, mentoring and advising, research with grant support, writing, and participating in Duke Alumni trips and DukeEngage projects.