Start Now, Benefit Later: Retirement and Succession Planning for You and Your Team

By Betsy Armour
NALP Bulletin+
April 2023

Whether you are a NALP experienced professional or a relative NALP newbie, it’s never too early to learn the ins and outs of retirement and succession planning for you and your team.

How should I get started? Attend the Program Offered at the Annual Education Conference in Vancouver

For those of you planning to attend the NALP Annual Education Conference in Vancouver, we encourage you to attend the important program entitled, “Start Now, Benefit Later: Retirement and Succession Planning for You and Your Team” scheduled to occur on the last day of the conference, Friday, April 28, 2023, from 1:45 to 3:00 pm. My co-presenters are Michelle Gage (former National Director, Legal Talent, Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP), and Tom Schoenherr (former Assistant Dean Public Interest Resource Center, Fordham Law School.)

The session will appeal to a wide audience – not just NALP members thinking of retiring relatively soon, but also more junior members hoping to learn more about the retirement and succession planning process.

The third, less obvious beneficiaries we hope will attend this session are managers in the position of supporting team members exploring retirement options and best practices. As we crafted this program, we interviewed 20 recently retired NALP members, and all shared a common (disturbing) theme – while there are exceptions, most employers (schools and firms alike) do little or nothing to advise and support their employees wishing to learn about retirement options and decision making. Never fear, NALP has come to the rescue with this critical program!

To whet your appetite, topics for consideration and discussion at the panel will include: personal and family considerations; financial planning and preparation; health care factors and decision-making (both US and Canadian permutations); timing and tipping points for your decision (are you in the driver’s seat, or has a work or personal circumstance precipitated your arrival at the retirement juncture?); best practices for giving notice, cross-training and supporting your team; and ultimately, letting go, allowing you to embrace this new phase of life well-prepared and well-informed.

By the end of the conference session, you will come away armed with concrete knowledge and guidance to help you plan and prepare for this important next chapter in your life and/or in support of your staff.

The help doesn’t stop there! Plan to tap NALP’s new Retirement Advising Network

New this year, NALP will create a resource for current members dubbed the Retirement Advising Network. Through this offering, members can request a retiree mentor with whom they can ask questions and receive advice and guidance on retirement and succession planning best practices. Be on the lookout for more information on this resource in an upcoming edition of NALPnow!

Did you know that you can continue your NALP membership post-retirement? Plan to Join NALP as an Affiliate Member

Most of the retired members we interviewed for our conference program were unaware that NALP has a membership category tailor-made for those of us who wish to remain active in our prized association post-retirement. For the affordable price of $99 per year, you can continue your NALP membership as an Affiliate member. Affiliate members retain nearly all of the member privileges enjoyed under our institutional membership categories. The largest difference is that Affiliate members are not voting members of the association.

However, Affiliate members receive all NALP communications via email, have access to the password-protected membership portal including NALPConnect, may continue to participate in webinars, attend (and speak at!) educational conferences, write Bulletin+ articles, participate in sections, and volunteer for committees and other impactful association work. See the Join NALP page to learn more about Affiliate membership.


As one of the original so-called NALP nerds (I’ve been a member since 1982!), NALP has been a constant, and a source of knowledge, support, and friendship throughout my four-decade-long career. Even though I have (happily) retired, I wanted to continue to give back to our association that has meant so much to me personally and professionally. I know I’m not alone in feeling this way. It’s why Michelle, Tom, and I jumped at the chance to speak on these topics at the Vancouver conference and why we have already signed up as retiree mentors for the Retirement Advising Network. You too can stay connected and avail yourself of NALP’s resources both now and as you think ahead about your own march toward and into retirement. To reiterate, we look forward to seeing you at our session in Vancouver. You will find the content relevant no matter what your personal retirement horizon may be, and the takeaways you will garner will enhance your ability to support your team members. And, don’t worry -- attendance will not be taken!

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