Pre-retirement starts at the beginning of a career and extends throughout a career by developing and maintaining interests and activities that can be expanded and deepened when the all-consuming work of science and medicine is not a faculty’s sole focus. Any life transition is difficult, and consideration of how you might retire and the timing of retirement lead to these important questions:

  • What will my post retirement activities include?
  • What relationship to UMMS/UMMMG would I want to maintain or expand?
  • What will be hard for me in the transition to retirement and what will be easy?
  • When will I be financially and professionally ready to take that step?
  • Do I have all the information I need to make decisions? (see the resources below to help)

Retirement can offer an opportunity to invest in yourself and focus on personal life goals, new opportunities and challenges. As longevity increases, many retirees take up new careers, pursue life goals that were postponed, or give back in new ways to their communities. Take a look at the Transition through Retirement Checklist for help with your decision making.

Succession planning for clinicians/clinical faculty:

The UMass Memorial Medical Group, and the UMMS Office of Faculty Affairs have developed foundation guidance for succession development: Succession Planning Guidance for Clinicians/Clinical Faculty. Succession planning is a strategy all healthy institutions employ, and the ability to add our own talent pool to the outside pool of talent to address a loss with retiring clinicians is important. Succession planning allows us to train people over the longer term, identify new skills needed in our future, as well as have clear plans for immediate short term needs. While succession planning is the responsibility of our Department Chairs (or equivalents)—it is important to discuss key components of individual roles that need longer term skills development (succession planning) even if retirement is 5 to 10 years off. Knowing that a retiring clinician will have individuals with the requisite skills to carry on their legacy gives us continuity of our missions and respects the retiring clinician’s contributions to those missions. Please visit the new Transition to Retirement area of the Medical Group website as well as other resources outlined below.

Intent to retire notification:

The UMass Memorial Medical Group, and the UMMS Office of Faculty Affairs have developed foundation guidance for retirement planning Guidance for Intent to Retire Notification: Clinician/Clinical Faculty Focus. Notification of intent to retire is expected 1 year prior to retirement. This is intended to allow for transition planning with the Chief/Chair as well as provide time to assure patients, colleagues, programs, learners, and mentees have transition plans as well. Sample “expectations” for responsibilities that might be expected during transition are included as idea generators for discussions with a Chair/Chief. Clear expectations make sure the retiring clinician continues to have authority as well as accountability avoiding the “lame duck” and “short timer” concerns. The Part Time Guidelines can also assist the planning process if part time effort is being considered during this period.


UMMS/UMMMG Online Resources

Other Websites


Scarrow AM, Linskey M, Asher AL, Anderson VC, Selden NR. Neurosurgeon transition to retirement: results of the 2007 Congress of Neurological Surgeons Consensus Conference. Neurosurgery 2009;65:231-5.

Taylor, JL, Kennedy Q, Noda A, Yesavage JA. Pilot age and expertise predict flight simulator performance: a 3 year longitudinal study. Neurology 2007:68:648-54.

Merline AC, Cull WL, Mulvery HJ, Kathcer AL. Patterns of work and retirement among pediatricians aged > 50 years. Pediatrics 2010;125:158-64.

Alexander H, Liu CQ. The aging of full time US Medical School faculty:1967-2007. AAMC Analysis in Brief 2009;9: (4)

Orkin FK, McGinnis SL, Forte GJ, Peterson MD, Schubert A, Katz JD, Berry AJ, Cohen NA, Holzman RS, Jackson SH, Martin DE, Garfield JM. US Anesthesiologists over 50: retirement decision making and workforce implications. Anesthesiology 2012;117:953-63.

Adams GA, Rau BL. Putting off tomorrow to do what you want today: planning for retirement. Am Psychologist 2011;66:180-192.

Michael North and Hal Hershfield.  Four Ways to Adapt to an Aging Workforce. Harvard Business Review April 8, 2014. Link

Rebecca Knight.  Plan a Satifying Retirement.  Harvard Business Review September 4, 2014.  Link


Retirement Consultation

Meet with an OFA faculty member to clarify goals and approach to retirement or advice on transitioning to retirement.

More information
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