By Joe Miller, RN, ACM-RN

So, you’re retired — Now what? You don’t suddenly stop having an interest in healthcare or in helping others negotiate the complexities of today’s healthcare system, and you can’t ignore that you still want to contribute to a profession that has meant so much to you in the past.

These feelings could lead you down several paths. One path could be serving as a mentor, both as a resource for new case managers and as a support for former colleagues. Another path is to become active on your local CMSA board or to get involved in a national CMSA committee. Both have been particularly rewarding for me in my retirement. My work on the CMSA National membership committee has allowed me an outlet to share my thoughts on what the next generation of case managers needs to thrive.

You can also help others you come across as they try to understand their own healthcare choices.  As a former case manager, you know a lot about how the system works. You know how insurance works (or doesn’t). Some retirees work as independent professionals providing fee-based services. There are also free clinics that need volunteers and friends need advice sometimes, too.  It’s amazing how little many people know or understand about basic Medicare benefits. Let’s not even begin to discuss navigating the choice between Traditional Medicare vs Medicare Advantage. Many see the advantages of Medicare Advantage plans but don’t understand the downside acute care case managers see in the hospital as patients age or develop chronic illnesses.

Finally, as a retired person who has reached senior status, I want to have a continued, meaningful impact on those around me. The book by Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning, comes to mind. Written long ago, its assertions remain relevant — that our primary drive in life is not pleasure but the discovery and pursuit of what we personally find meaningful. I continue to be involved in CMSA to contribute to my former profession. It is a purposeful activity that I find much needed in retirement. I use my experience and share my thoughts with others to advance the practice of case management. I am retired, but I still want to impact those around me, especially those who remain in the profession. And while I have other interests, it is important to me to use all my skills and knowledge in meaningful ways as I continue retired life.

What does retirement look like for you, or what do you hope it will be when you reach it?

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Bio: Joe Miller has had an interesting professional life, beginning as a secondary school teacher and counselor. Joe decided to enter nursing school at the age of 31. Like most, he began as a staff nurse, then entered staff development, building on his previous teaching experience. That was followed by a nursing supervisor position and in 2006, he became the first male case manager at his hospital in Indianapolis.  Joe worked there until his retirement in 2019. He has been active in CMSA for several years, serving as a local chapter president, and now, as a retiree, he serves on the National CMSA Membership Committee.