Road Map to a Healthier, More Secure Future

Here are 6 things to consider as you think about your post-classroom years.

Older couple sharing a happy moment with a joyful kiss

by NEA Member Benefits

Finding joy in your school career means staying on top of things that really matter—family, health, finances and planning for the freedom to do what you want, when you want. Consider these tips to help solidify your future—in the school hallways and after you retire.

Benchmark your savings

Keeping tabs of your savings and re-assessing your financial goals will help you move into your later years with ease. Planning ahead is key: Americans over 65 spend nearly $47,000 on expenses each year.1 Whether you’ve settled in to a position at school and are teaching a subject that you love or you’re considering a move to another area in the education field, knowing if you’ve saved enough to live comfortably in your retirement can be stressful. To find out where you stand, try this 5-Minute Retirement Checkup to see how your savings align with your needs.

Stay active . . . and social

Fit in yoga for flexibility, weight training to increase bone mass and daily walks for aerobic exercise to help you stay mobile well into your later years. But don’t forget the impact of regularly gathering with or talking to loved ones. In fact, science is just beginning to find out how much of a negative impact that loneliness has on cognitive decline.2 If you live far from loved ones, consider apps that allow you to see faces (and share emotion) via calls.

Estate plan—without delay

When your days are full of work in and around the school, it’s tempting to put off tasks such as creating a will or living trust, but there are plenty of reasons not to wait. Figuring out how to distribute your assets helps you stay in control of what you’ve worked hard as an educator to accumulate—and help protect loved ones for decades to come. Living trusts can also help you discuss more challenging topics, such as succession planning, leaving money to minor beneficiaries and end-of-life medical care.

Save for experiences

Americans over 65 will have 2.5 trillion hours of leisure time in the next two decades.3 That’s a lot of hours to fill—maybe with language immersion, a watercolor workshop or even a transatlantic cruise. But remember the financial impact of additional leisure time. When you draw up your annual budget, be realistic and consider any hidden costs of a more flexible schedule.

Keep up good-for-you eating habits

As we age, healthy eating habits can help keep everything from diabetes to heart disease at bay. Try to avoid foods with too much added sugar, salt and fat. If you’ve run out of time to cook a couple of nights a week or take a lunch with you to school, consider meal kits to help create healthy home-cooked meals. And keep a container or two of vegetables on hand to add a few fresh veggies to your daily intake.

Consider insurance

It goes without saying: Your days as an educator are packed — and attuned to the needs of your school. That can make it more difficult to tend to to-dos at home, including thinking about the future and your loved ones. However, as we get older, life insurance may be more difficult to obtain. Opt for the NEA Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance plan, issued by The Prudential Insurance Company of America, which guarantees acceptance for members age 45 and older. The plan offers up to $20,000 in coverage, which can help provide extra security and funds that may come in helpful for final expenses.


This site may contain marketing language, on product issued by The Prudential Insurance Company of America, that have not yet been approved in all states.

NEA Guaranteed Issue Life coverage is issued by The Prudential Insurance Company of America, Newark, NJ. Please refer to the Booklet-Certificate, which is made a part of the Group Contract, for all plan details, including any exclusions, limitations which may apply. If there is a discrepancy between this document and the Booklet-Certificate the terms of the Group Contract will govern. Contract Series 31300.


Mentioned in this article