How Do I Prepare for Retirement?

Learn more about benefits for retirees.

Prior to retiring, you may need to prepare in the following ways:

  1. Evaluate retirement income options.
    • Review sources including Social Security  and your retirement savings plan at Northwestern at least one year prior to retirement.
    • Meet with the Social Security Office several months before retirement.
    • Contact your investment company, Fidelity or TIAA, to make arrangements for retirement payments.
  2. Give notice of retirement to your department.
    • A faculty member who wishes to resign is expected to notify the dean of the school no later than May 1 of the academic year prior to the year in which the resignation would take effect or 30 days after receiving notification of the terms of continued appointment for the academic year in which the resignation will occur, whichever is later.
    • Staff must provide two weeks of working notice in order to leave the University in good standing.
  3. Elect health & wellness benefits.
    • Meet with a Benefits Counselor several months prior to retirement to discuss available benefit options or review the Status of Benefit Programs Upon Retirement PDF Document guide.
    • Review Medicare benefits online or contact Medicare directly.
    • Submit the retiree medical, dental and vision enrollment forms (link to Benefits/forms/index) and the Automatic Withdrawal Form PDF Document to the Benefits Division one month prior to retirement.
    • To convert the Basic or the Supplemental Life Insurance plan, complete and submit the Group Life Portability Application PDF Document to the Benefits Division within 31 days of retirement.
  4. Plan to keep in touch with Northwestern University.


Contact us at or 847-491-7513.