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Retire Well Education & Resources for All Stages of Retirement Planning

American University's Retire Well program can help articulate your vision of retirement, consider factors that may impact your satisfaction in retirement, and provide tools to design a strategy for a successful retirement.

Retire Well is open to all university faculty, staff and their families. The information on this website is not intended to advise you on which particular retirement choices are most appropriate for you and your family. Those decisions should be made by you, in consultation with your family and financial advisors.

It's Never too Early or too Late to Start Planning

There are real advantages to start saving for retirement when you're young because you have the one resource that everyone else wants . . . time. Compounding earnings happens when your savings are reinvested to generate their own earnings, which also get reinvested to create more earnings, and so on. Over time, compounding really adds up.

Beyond the financial considerations, there are a lot of other factors to consider as retirement age nears. How will you spend your time? Will you relocate to a new community or move to a smaller home? Can you stay connected to the university? The longer you have to think about these questions, the more options you have to explore and ensure a successful retirement. 

AU's Retire Well program offers live, interactive workshops and information sessions, on-demand videos, printed and online resources from experts in insurance, financial retirement planning, work-life, and AU retirement benefits. 

Register to attend any of our workshops this fall or sign-up to join our email list for session reminders and program updates.

The Benefits Extension Plan, commonly referred to as the BEP, is American University's benefits program for faculty and staff members who are eligible to retire from the university (age 55 or older).

  • BEP participants can continue their existing medical and/or dental coverage for the duration of their life.
  • BEP participants can also continue coverage for their spouse or domestic partner and/or dependent children.
  • If the retiree pre-deceases their spouse/partner and/or covered dependent children, then the spouse/partner would be eligible to continue his/her coverage under the BEP for the remainder of his/her life, and the covered dependent children would be eligible to continue their coverage under the BEP up to the plan's dependent child eligibility age limit.
  • If BEP coverage is discontinued by the participant, it cannot be reinstated at a later time.

To be eligible for the BEP coverage, participants must be actively enrolled in medical and/or dental coverage through American University just prior to retirement. Additional information on the Benefits Extension Plan (BEP) can be found in the Faculty/Staff Benefits Manual.

Supplemental Health and Prescription Drug coverage through AARP/United Healthcare is also available for retirees and their spouses/partners who are Medicare-eligible. 

You should consult directly with insurance carrier representatives, the Social Security Administration and Medicare, as applicable, for more comprehensive information regarding your benefits.

Benefits Enrollment Guide BEP Edition 

Education Benefits

Retirees meeting certain age and service requirements are also eligible for educational benefits for themselves and their dependents.  

General information on signing up for Medicare can be found at the medicare.gov site.

Medicare While Still Working / Special Circumstances (Special Enrollment Periods)

Once your Initial Enrollment Period ends, you may have the chance to sign up for Medicare during a Special Enrollment Period. If you're covered under a group health plan based on current employment, you have a Special Enrollment Period to sign up for Part A and/or Part B any time as long as you or your spouse (or family member if you're disabled) is working, and you're covered by a group health plan through the employer or union based on that work. You also have an 8-month Special Enrollment Period to sign up for Part A and/or Part B that starts the month after the employment ends or the group health plan insurance based on current employment ends, whichever happens first. Usually, you don't pay a late enrollment penalty if you sign up during a Special Enrollment Period. For more information, visit Medicare's Getting Started with Medicare.

You should also consult directly with insurance carrier representatives, the Social Security Administration and Medicare, as applicable, for more comprehensive information regarding your benefits.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
7500 Security Boulevard
Baltimore, MD 21244-1850
800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) TY users can call 1-877-486-2048

Social Security Administration

www.ssa.gov

One-on-One Consultations with TIAA or Fidelity

Schedule a one-on-one appointment with our TIAA or Fidelity consultants, regardless if you in the early, mid, or late phase of your career. Consultants are on-site twice a month and you can discuss all aspects of financial planning.

Fidelity participants, call (800) 642-7131 or visit getguidance.fidelity.com.

TIAA participants, call (800) 732-8353 or visit www.tiaa.org/schedulenow.

Fall 2018 Schedule

PwC Retire Well Presentations

  • PwC Tax Reform - Key Changes
  • PwC Estate Planning
  • PwC Financial Planning for Aging Loved Ones
  • PwC Financial Planning - Early Career

Request a PwC Presentation

The Art of Retirement with Gary Williams

Register to Attend

Retire Well Program Launch & Mini Fair

October 2, 2018
11:30am - 1:30pm
Butler Boardroom

Attend the panel presentation from 11:30am-12:30pm to gather information about the four week pre-retirement program for faculty and staff. Panel will include participants from HR Benefits, FSAP, CareFirst, TIAA, Fidelity and an AU retiree. Chat with them from 12:30pm-1:30pm in an informal tabling event.

Family is invited. However, space is limited. Please contact AhealthyU (ahealthyu@american.edu) if you plan to bring a guest.

PANEL

Henry Conway, TIAA

In his role as a Director at TIAA, Hank manages a group of Financial Consultants serving institutions and individual clients in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia. His team provides one-on-one personalized counseling, education and advice, including specific asset allocation and fund selection recommendations based on the plan’s investment options as well as Financial Education Workshops.

Hank has been in financial services for over 30 years and has been with TIAA since July of 2007. He manages the Financial Consulting Team which serves over 140 institutional clients and their participants in the states of Maryland, D.C. and Northern Virginia. Hank holds a BS in Business Administration from American University and an MBA from George Washington University.

Joselino Cruz-Perez, American University

Joselino is the Assistant Director, Benefits Compliance & Retirement and he has been his current role since December 2017. Prior to AU, Joselino was a Senior Benefits & Retirement Consultant at Children’s National, responsible for overseeing defined contribution retirement plans and non-qualified deferred compensation plans. Joselino has also worked as an HR business partner for Fannie Mae, a benefits administrator for PNC Bank in Washington, DC, and a consultant for AonHewitt in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Janice Flug, AU Retiree

Janice worked at the American University Library from 1972 to December 2008, when she retired from AU. She held various positions, including Head of Administrative Services, Head of Acquisitions and Acting Assistant University Librarian for Collection Services. Upon her retirement, Janice became Emerita Librarian. 

During the first year after retirement, Janice worked part-time for the Library advising doctoral and master students on formatting of dissertations. In June 2009, she also started working part-time at University of Maryland, College Park Library. In November 2011 became Interim Head of Metadata Services at UMD and continued working at the library until September 2014. 

Janice is currently a library consultant, principally advising public libraries in addition to various other activities which will share at the workshop.   

Debbie Nixon, CareFirst

Debbie Nixon is the supervisor of the Coordination of Benefits and Medicare Secondary Payer unit for CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield. This specialized unit serves as a liaison for CareFirst members and Medicare. The team’s knowledge of Medicare primacy mandates and the coordination of benefits contractor file helps ensure unified and seamless processing between CareFirst and Medicare.

Debbie has over 10 years’ experience at CareFirst. Prior to CareFirst Debbie, also a certified medical assistant, worked in various departments within her local health system for over 15 years. 

Dale Rampell

Dale is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a specialization in employee assistance programs. She graduated from the University of Maryland School of Social Work in 1996 and has been in practice for over 20 years working for various Employee Assistance Program companies and employers. Dale became the on-site Faculty/Staff Assistance Program Counselor at American University in 2004. As the counselor, Dale provides free, confidential counseling and referral services to AU faculty and staff and their family members for a variety of issues, both personal and work-related.  Prior to becoming a psychotherapist, Dale worked for IBM as a Systems Engineer for over 11 years.        

AU Retiree Benefits HR Benefits with CareFirst and Kaiser

October 17, 2018
11:30am - 1:00pm
Butler Boardroom
Presentation from the Session

Are you wondering when your are eligible for retirement? What medical benefits are available to you through AU? Wondering where to find information about pre-retirement? Attend the first pre-retirement program session to find out about resources and tools available to you in Human Resources and on the web.

Family is invited. However, space is limited. Please contact AhealthyU (ahealthyu@american.edu) if you plan to bring a guest.

Joselino Cruz-Perez, American University

Joselino has served as Assistant Director, Benefits Compliance & Retirement at American University since December 2017. Prior to joining AU, Joselino was a senior benefits & retirement consultant at Children’s National, responsible for overseeing their defined contribution retirement plans and non-qualified deferred compensation plans. Joselino has also worked for Fannie Mae, PNC Bank in Washington, DC, and AonHewitt in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Debbie Nixon, CareFirst

Debbie is the supervisor of the Coordination of Benefits and Medicare Secondary Payer unit for CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield. This specialized unit serves as a liaison for CareFirst members and Medicare. The team’s knowledge of Medicare primacy mandates and the coordination of benefits contractor file helps ensure unified and seamless processing between CareFirst and Medicare.

Debbie has over 10 years’ experience at CareFirst. Prior to CareFirst Debbie, also a certified medical assistant, worked in various departments within her local health system for over 15 years. 

Jennifer Williams, Kaiser Permanente

Jennifer is a Group Retiree Consultant with Kaiser Permanente and has been with Kaiser for 10 years. Her primary focus is helping retirees navigate the complicated world of Medicare and enrolling eligible retirees into the Kaiser Permanente Group Medicare Planand Jennifer is considered a Medicare subject matter expert.

Medicare CareFirst

October 24, 2018
11:30am - 1:00pm
Butler Boardroom
Presentation from Session

What is it and what do I need to know? Join this session with Tammi Whitacre, CareFirst expert, to find out everything you wanted to know about Medicare.

Family is invited. However, space is limited. Please contact AhealthyU (ahealthyu@american.edu) if you plan to bring a guest.

Tammi Whitacre, CareFirst

Tammi Whitacre is the senior MSP Analyst with Carefirst BCBS. She has been employed with Carefirst doing various Medicare functions for the past 7 years. Prior to joining Carefirst, Tammi was employed with local hospitals, and physicians’ offices for 8+ years. She has a vast knowledge of medical billing, medical records, transcription and medical coding. Tammi holds a Medical Office Administrations degree.

403(b) Retirement Planning TIAA & Fidelity

October 30, 2018
11:30am - 1:00pm
Butler Boardroom
Register Now

Are you wondering will I have enough money to retire? How will I manage my money when I retire? Join the session to find out answers to these questions and more about Social Security benefits.

Family is invited. However, space is limited. Please contact AhealthyU (ahealthyu@american.edu) if you plan to bring a guest.

Joselino Cruz-Perez, American University

Joselino has served as Assistant Director, Benefits Compliance & Retirement at American University since December 2017. Prior to joining AU, Joselino was a senior benefits & retirement consultant at Children’s National, responsible for overseeing their defined contribution retirement plans and non-qualified deferred compensation plans. Joselino has also worked for Fannie Mae, PNC Bank in Washington, DC, and AonHewitt in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Henry Conway, TIAA

In his role as a Director at TIAA, Hank manages a group of Financial Consultants serving institutions and individual clients in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia. His team provides one-on-one personalized counseling, education and advice, including specific asset allocation and fund selection recommendations based on the plan’s investment options as well as Financial Education Workshops.

Hank has been in financial services for over 30 years and has been with TIAA since July of 2007. He manages the Financial Consulting Team which serves over 140 institutional clients and their participants in the states of Maryland, D.C. and Northern Virginia. Hank holds a BS in Business Administration from American University and an MBA from George Washington University.

Deren Reid, Fidelity

Deren Reid, a Fidelity retirement planner, has been with Fidelity for eight years. He has over 17 years of industry experience and is a Chartered Retirement Planning CounselorSM, investment advisor representative, registered securities representative, and licensed insurance representative. 

Deren holds a bachelor's degree in health science and policy from the University Of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Work-Life

November 13, 2018
11:30am - 1:00pm
SIS Founders Room
Register to Attend

Wondering how to restructure your time in retirement? Interested in exploring new hobbies and interests? Join Dale Rampell, AU’s FSAP and Janice Flug, AU retiree to find out how to transition from work to retirement in a happy and healthy way.

Family is invited. However, space is limited. Please contact AhealthyU (ahealthyu@american.edu) if you plan to bring a guest.

Janice Flug, AU Retiree

Janice worked at the American University Library from 1972 to December 2008, when she retired from AU. She held various positions, including Head of Administrative Services, Head of Acquisitions and Acting Assistant University Librarian for Collection Services. Upon her retirement, Janice became Emerita Librarian. 

During the first year after retirement, Janice worked part-time for the Library advising doctoral and master students on formatting of dissertations. In June 2009, she also started working part-time at University of Maryland, College Park Library. In November 2011 became Interim Head of Metadata Services at UMD and continued working at the library until September 2014. 

Janice is currently a library consultant, principally advising public libraries in addition to various other activities which will share at the workshop.   

Dale Rampell

Dale is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a specialization in employee assistance programs. She graduated from the University of Maryland School of Social Work in 1996 and has been in practice for over 20 years working for various Employee Assistance Program companies and employers. Dale became the on-site Faculty/Staff Assistance Program Counselor at American University in 2004. As the counselor, Dale provides free, confidential counseling and referral services to AU faculty and staff and their family members for a variety of issues, both personal and work-related.  Prior to becoming a psychotherapist, Dale worked for IBM as a Systems Engineer for over 11 years.        

Outdoor Group Walks

AhealthyU and AU RecFit lead outdoor group walks each Tuesday from 12:05 - 12:45pm, rain or shine. This is a great way to meet with others to casually talk about your retirement plans and considerations.

The group meets in the lobby of Jacobs Fitness Center and participants will head outside for a 30 minute group walk. AU RecFit Fitness Leaders guide participants in a walk, as well as some stretching. This class is available at no cost and open to faculty, staff and students.