Whether they've been working at the University of Mississippi Medical Center for more than two decades or for less than two days, all UMMC employees share one ultimate career goal: retirement.
Foremost in the minds of some and a hazy, far-off concept to others, retirement - like other age-old concessions - is inevitable. A new program being launched by Benefits Administration in the Department of Human Resources intends to help all UMMC employees make the best preparations possible for that eventuality - whenever it may occur.
"Get Ready 'Cause Here It Comes: A Race to Financial Wellness," a series of retirement planning seminars for Medical Center employees at all stages of employment, will bring to bear the collective wisdom of dozens of licensed, registered economic counselors to help everyone at the Medical Center best achieve their monetary goals for "life after UMMC."
According to Jynger Morris, manager of benefits administration, the seminars represent a committed effort to increase the Medical Center's participation in retirement planning services.
"We have a moral obligation to educate our employees about their retirement options," Morris said. "These retirement vendors are not selling or probing; they are really here to serve our employees, to discuss their retirement and financial planning opportunities. And their services are offered free of charge."
She said the idea for the seminars sprang from a request received by Human Resources to do a faculty retirement presentation.
"We thought, why not make this for everyone? It's a huge deal - people need to know where they're headed in retirement. So we sat down and hashed it all out."
What the Benefits Team developed was a marathon-themed series that will address all of UMMC's employees in four targeted "retiree" demographics.
• The "Warm-up" group consists of those new to the workforce who haven't begun to consider setting retirement goals or investing for the future.
Members of this group are invited to sessions from 2-3 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 20; 7:30-8:30 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 26; and 2:30-3:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 27.
• The "Get Ready" group is made up of younger employees who may have worked as much as 10 years at UMMC but have not established any retirement goals.
Members of this group are invited to sessions from 7:30-8:30 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 20; 1:30-2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 25; and 2:30-3:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 27.
• The "Get Set" group entails longer-term UMMC employees who may have invested in retirement for a long time, but need to restructure their goals to meet their ultimate goals for retirement.
Members from this group are invited to sessions from 9:30-10:30 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 20; 8:30-9:30 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 26; and from 7:30-8:30 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 27.
• The "Go" group includes all Medical Center employees within a couple of years or less of retirement.
Members of this group are invited to sessions from 1-2 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 18; 7:30-8:30 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 19; 10:30-11:30 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 20; 9:30-10:30 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 26; and 9:45-10:45 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 27.
By attending one of the scheduled seminars for their respective groups, UMMC employees should have a better grasp of where they are - and what they need to do - in their race to financial wellness, according to Morris.
"This is a program that will help build confidence among our employees that they have a clear road to the future," she said.
Employees can register for the courses in HealthStream. For more information about the financial wellness campaign, visit http://bit.ly/1uF66CY.