Wednesday, July 18, 2007

i wonder if there is some bitter person who updates this sentence every month

From the Wikipedia entry for TIAA-CREF:
As late as July 2007, customers continue to see little to no response to complaints logged as early as October 2006.
I am officially able to start setting up benefits and other matters as a Northwestern faculty member (although my employer of record is still RWJ). First thing I want to make sure I do is get my retirement set up so that I'm doing something smart without having to think more about it. The University of Wisconsin's default retirement setup, which I went with because I didn't fully understand it and was stupid about appreciating how important it is to really understand it, is basically a good deal if you stay at UW for your whole career and not great if you ever take a job anywhere else.

Maybe there should be a junior faculty counterpart to Fabio's rules for graduate students. If so, one would be:
1. Take the afternoon, or day, or two days, or whatever, to make sure your retirement is set up in a way that provides a good solution for both flexibility before you retire and security for when you retire. The time will definitely not make a difference on the margin for your tenure, and it might make a difference of many tens of thousands of dollars at the end of your career.
(Actually, the very first official thing I did was set up my e-mail. Username remains "jfreese," bucking the strange NU default of "j-freese." Don't actually send any e-mail to it, as I haven't figured out how to receive it. And don't actually send any non-work-related e-mails to it anyway, as this time I'm serious about strictly using my university e-mail account only for that.)

Life update postscriptum: Yes, I understand that friends of mine hate getting life updates from my blog rather than by personal call or e-mail. But: my moving plans have hit a couple not-for-blogging snags, and smy original plan to leave Cambridge on July 31 has been abandoned. Now, I'm leaving Cambridge and heading to Evanston sometime between the end of ASA (8/15) and the end of August.

6 comments:

Ang said...

Wow, what about moving could be so juicy that you can't blog about it? Hmmm.

Kieran said...

Yeah, Arizona was similar. Our helpful Dept Manager did a very good job of hammering it into our heads that we had to actively choose to sign up for TIAA/CREF within 30 days of joining the faculty, or we'd be automatically enrolled in the Arizona State Retirement System.

eszter said...

Notice no hyphen in my NU account either.:) But you do have to ask to change the default version, that is true.

FYI, NU does not have a credit union. I went in search of one and even followed some directions to what I thought was one, but nope.

As to retirement stuff, I don't remember dealing with these details much, but I'm pretty happy with what I decided. That said, we really do need more training in these matters.

Kieran said...

Sometimes I've wondered whether if I am the sort of person such that being forced to revert from kjhealy@arizona.edu to an email such as kh123@someotherplace.edu would be a dealbreaker for accepting a job at someotherplace.

jeremy said...

I have been confronted with exactly this situation, and decided I could stomach jf3645@[institution], but not jjf234@[institution].

Gwen said...

I had to get ahold of TIAA-CREF back in May. It took me 3 days to get through--I called at various times on each day and on several occasions was on hold for over an hour. It was ridiculous. Finally on the 3rd day I called and got straight through with no waiting whatsoever. Annoying.