Nurses & Retirement $$$

  1. I think as professionals, nurses must change jobs more frequently than any other profession. In the last five years, how many employers have you had?
    I am beginning to see why nurses retire without great retirement benefits.
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  2. 28 Comments

  3. by   lindalee
    It does not matter if you change jobs, nursing does not have great retirement benefits. I have been in the same job (different postitions, same hospital) for many years. Retirement is a 401K that is worth half what it was three years ago. No health benefits at retirement. End of service and you are on your own.
  4. by   studentdeb
    I don't think many professions have good retirement. My dad retired from a large company, but he was in the factory and he is surviving on social security, and also has to pay part of his medical even though he is 65 because medicare does not cover everything.

    I work for the federal government and our retirement is not much either unless you contribute to the thrift savings. My husband contributes to a 401K and that is all he has also.

    Does any retirement packages offer health benefits after you retire?
  5. by   renerian
    No retirement plan for any of those jobs. I did have one small one from the hospital but I had to use it to help pay for my kids college. I have three in college now and in September I will have 4 in college at once, I am in college and so is my hubby.

    renerian
  6. by   Enright
    This is such a huge issue in nursing. I am a second career nurse and was appalled at the terrible retirement programs hospitals offered nurses. I once asked a benefits manager why and he said "23 year old women just don't care about retirement. It doesn't help with recruitment and they never read the fine print".

    When my last employer cheapened the retirement package, I took my current job with a state government. A real pension plan in addition to deferred compensation (like a 401K). I'll also be able to roll my accumulated sick time into post retirement health benefits. Do I make the most $ per hour that I could? No, I sure don't . But the retirement benefits are my #1 priority.
  7. by   llg
    Enright: If more nurses had the foresight that you have, we would probably all have better retirement options -- and fewer nurses would suddenly "wake up" in their 40's and 50's and realize (with great bitterness) that they are not prepared to retire.

    My experience is that the benefits manager was right. I have met few nurses under age 40 who think seriously about retirement and/or look at retirements benefits as they choose their jobs. And as the "under 40" group has been so large in the hospital environment for many years, hospitals have had no reason to offer good retirement benefits. Unfortunately, even if this starts to change over the next few years, for many nurses it will be too late.

    llg
  8. by   passing thru
    I know railroad workers and spouses receive great retirement packages. Also city, county, and state employees. Big companies like G.E. reward longtime employees with great benefits upon retirement. But, I read a lot on this BB of nurses changing jobs frequently....one of the problems with "the current state of nursing". Instead of fixing the problem, nurses jjust keep jumping from job to job. ?
  9. by   DIPLOMATICRN4HIRE
    We get to retire????
    What a concept.
    Same company going on 5 yrs 401k isnt worth sqwat. Havent touched it though , too scared I will loose more. I have set up my own retirement plans which were eaten as well. I hope I wont be a 100 yrs old passing instruments.. But I hear walmart has a nice greeter plan.
    Zoe
  10. by   cindyln
    I must be an minority. I have worked for the same hospital for 20 years now. I plan on retiring in 10 years. Being that my hospital is a government hospital I have a good retirement plan but have savings taken out of my check. I have calculated that I will have a pretty good next egg in 10 years.
  11. by   llg
    Passing thru: I think you are right about the "job hopping" issue. A lot of nurses receive fewer benefits (and not only retirement benefits) than they otherwise might because of the frequent job hopping and the temptation to take "breaks" of a couple of years when they have children.

    Nurses also "give away" benefits when they work some of the special deals that hospitals offer, such as "per diem status" etc.

    Sometimes, it is the right choice for an individual to sacrifice benefits for something else. But sometimes, in the end, they end up with little to show for their work in the long run. Sometimes I wonder about some of my friends who give up the 6 weeks of paid time off per year (that can traded for cash each quarter) and the 4% of their salary that the hospital would contribute to their retirement -- all for a slighlty higher pay check now. Will they really better off in the long run? I'm not so sure. What will happen if they get a divorce and won't be able to rely on hubby's retirement? etc.

    llg
    Last edit by llg on Jan 22, '03
  12. by   Nurse Ratched
    My current job is the first I've had where the employer actually contributes toward a pension, in addition to savings you can put toward retirement. I'll stay here. I've contributed at 403B's at my other employers. Can't depend on anyone else to take care of you - with the exception of gov't jobs and a few remaining companies, pensions are largely a thing of the past. In my experience, job hopping is not the issue - no one, regardless of length of employment, got company-funded retirement.
  13. by   -jt
    2 good articles on this topic were recently in the American Journal of Nursing.

    to read both, click on: http://allnurses.com/forums/showthre...threadid=29666
  14. by   TELEpathicRN
    start a savings account early in your nursing career and faithfully contribute to it, that is the only retirement plan that we can count on!!!

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