The University of Arizona logo

Life after the University

What is official UA retirement status?

Official UA retirement status (“Official R”) is granted to retiring employees who meet the following qualifications:

  • You are considered in retirement status by receiving a distribution from a State of Arizona retirement program (for UA employees ASRS or ORP);
  • You are at least 50 years of age (University peace officers may be under age 50);
  • You have completed 5 years of continuous, benefits-eligible employment in the Arizona University System (including approved leave of absence or long-term disability) immediately preceding retirement; and
  • You have not been terminated for cause by the University.

If you meet these eligibility requirements you have access to the following benefits designed to facilitate your continued affiliation with the University of Arizona:

NOTE: Your UArizona email address will be deactivated 60 days after you retire, unless you take action to retain or terminate it before then. If you wish to retain your University email address, you must opt in to have your account converted to a CatMail account. You can do this before you retire or within the 60-day grace period after retirement. Go to UITS Account Management to opt in (or out).

How do I maintain meaningful connections with UA?

  • UA Retirees Association (UARA)
    UARA is open to all retired UA faculty, appointed professionals, classified staff, and administrators. Visit the website to view activities and membership benefits.
  • Faculty Club
    ​There are plans to build a new hotel with a University Club in the area that is now the parking lot behind the Marshall Building. The future University Club will provide an opportunity to build programs for retired faculty and staff. Stay posted for announcements from Faculty Affairs and the Faculty Senate.

Volunteering at UA

  • 4-H: Volunteers host meetings, teach project content, plan and organize events, and dedicate many hours of program assistance. 
  • Arizona Public Media: AZPM has opportunities for individuals and groups, and for short-term, long-term, or reoccurring service. 
  • Banner University Medical Center: Volunteers serve in hospitals, research facilities, retail areas, and patient-care areas, bringing a personal touch to patients and families.
  • College of Science: Come join our volunteer family at our exciting UA Science venues and community events! We bring science and research to the public and schools. Be part of outreach to the community and have fun learning at the same time! Biosphere 2, Flandrau Science Center, Laboratory of Tree Ring Research, Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter, Steward Observatory Mirror Lab, and Tumamoc Hill are unique facilities with a multitude of programs. Volunteers join in continuing and special programs at facilities and out in the community at public events and school programs through UA Sense of Place and UA Science Connections.
  • Flandrau Science Center
  • International Friends: This volunteer organization is composed of Tucson community members interested in meeting, assisting, and entertaining international students.
  • Kitt Peak Visitor Center Docent Program: If you are service-minded and astronomy-interested, enjoy meeting people, and you would relish the opportunity to work at one of the most scenic spots in southern Arizona then consider joining our Docent Program.
  • Southwest Institute for Research on Women: Volunteer opportunities range from office-based research and administration to direct client support services.
  • UA Museum of Art: Museum docents are highly educated volunteers who lead interactive tours, give adult outreach presentations in the community, assist at Museum programs and outreach events, and research works in the permanent collection.
  • UARA: The Retirees Association needs volunteers to serve on committees and interest groups.

Where can I find services and assistance?


  • Pima Council on Aging (PCOA): The nonprofit PCOA is the designated Area Agency on Aging serving Pima County. They offer regular workshops on a variety of topics, as well as information and resources, a helpline, a caregiver support group, and other help.

How do I create a new adventure after retirement?

Volunteer Organizations

    Originally called Civic Ventures, grew out of a desire to transform the aging of America into a powerful, positive source of individual and social renewal. Encore Careers is a growing network for people who want to engage in work that matters in the second half of life. provides news, resources, and connections for individuals and organizations establishing encore careers that combine personal meaning, financial security, and social contribution.
  • Experience Corps
    Experience Corps is an award-winning AARP Foundation literacy program that helps struggling students become great readers. This national service program engages adults ages 50 and over as tutors and mentors for elementary school students struggling to learn.


  • The Third Chapter: Passion, Risk and Adventure in the 25 Years after 50 By Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot (New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2009)
    "We must develop a compelling vision of later life: one that does not assume a trajectory of decline after fifty, but one that recognizes it as a time of change, growth, and new learning; a time when ‘our courage gives us hope.'" 
  • Composing a Further Life: The Age of Active Wisdom By Mary Catherine Bateson (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2010) 
    Bateson redefines a new phase, Adulthood II, as an opportunity to reinvent ourselves and challenges us to use it to pursue new sources of meaning and ways to contribute to society. 


  • Personal Fulfillment During Retirement LifeCare, Inc.
    This publication focuses on Enrichment Planning, or creating a plan for ongoing personal and professional growth, remaining productive and energized, and maintaining a sense of purpose and personal fulfillment in retirement.
  • Retirement: Discovering What’s Next By Susan Pickering, M.Ed., LPC (UA Life & Work Connections)
    This short article offers tips for successfully navigating the transitions that come with retirement, from daily routines to your relationship with your life partner to finding new passions.
  • What to Do When You Retire
    Now that your time is your own, you may be wondering how to fill it. Here are some ideas to start you thinking.


  • “Finding Fulfillment after Retirement” by Sandra Day O’Connor,
    The first woman appointed to the Supreme Court may have stepped down from her bench, but Sandra Day O'Connor has no plans to stop working.
  • "10 Tips for Happy Retirement Living" By Sharon O'Brien
    Although this article is in the "relationships" section, it actually is about how to retire happily, with links to multiple related articles, from spotting signs of depression in seniors to part-time work to creating a life plan.

  • "Boomers' Secrets of a Successful Retirement" By Maryalene LaPonsie, U.S. News & World Report
    In late 2014, Ameriprise Financial surveyed 1,000 boomers ages 60 to 73 who retired within the past five years to determine how they’ve been managing since leaving the workforce. Here’s what respondents in the Retirement Triggers Research Report revealed as their secrets to a happy retirement.

  • "Depression After Retirement" By Nancy Schimelpfening, Very Well
    Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for retirees to find themselves depressed. This brief article mentions some of the stressors and ways to combat post-retirement depression. 


  • Older People are Happier Speaker: Laura Karstensen (Filmed December 2011, TEDx)
    Psychologist Laura Carstensen, director of the Stanford Center on Longevity, shares research that demonstrates that as people get older they become happier, more content, and have a more positive outlook on the world.

What if I decide to return to work?

It is possible to return to work. However, each retirement plan has different restrictions. In addition, if you are under full retirement age for Social Security, earned income may reduce your benefits. If you retired through ASRS, consult their online information. For additional information on return to work rules please contact HR Solutions at (520) 621-3660.


Social Security: What You Need to Know When You Get Retirement or Survivors Benefits


Arizona State Retirement System Return to Work web page