Bob Kasprak - Personal Retirement Story
I retired in September 1998 with over 30 years service including the ERI (Early Retirement Incentive). My service in higher education began in January 1971 at John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY). After 16 years at John Jay College, my former boss gave an opportunity to me at SUNY College of Optometry. It seems the school needed someone to implement financial internal controls and respond to a myriad of Audit reports. I took the challenge. I think some clarification is needed as to my job function, during most my career in higher education I was generally assigned to improve business functions and in many cases develop new ones, SUNY was no exception. SUNY State College of Optometry being the smallest SUNY unit demanded every one to wear a few different hats. Eventually I picked up the telecommunications function at Optometry. I enjoyed telecom work so much so that I enrolled in LaGuardia Community College and received a certificate in telecommunications in 1997. At Optometry, some of my non-financial projects were the first initial internet network, SUNY card implementation for the school and the first IVR (interactive voice response unit).
I have been and currently am a professional delegate from Optometry to UUP (United University Professions) but only since my retirement from SUNY. I was elected Regional representative for the NY Metro Area to COARM (Committee of Active Retired Members) area for 2 terms. Currently, I serve on two UUP committees, one being Retiree Legislation Action Group (RELAG), the other Veterans Affairs Committee and currently I am also a member of a work group studying the prevalence of elder abuse. I serve as a delegate to New York State Teachers Union (NYSUT) and American Federation of Teachers (AFT) in addition to representing UUP at these affiliate organizations my goal is to be involved in matters pertaining to retiree benefits to prevent any erosion of such.
The new joy of my life recently has been taking care of my grandson Nico, who is 3years old, two days per week.
During the Christmas season I have volunteered at the Salvation Army Corps (Manhattan)distributing toys and will soon start working in the lunch program one day a week.
Some people have asked me what you do with your time since retirement, to which I reply I am so busy now that I sometimes wonder how I had any time to work a job before retirement. My advice to pre-retirees is give some thought to what you would like to do with your life after you do retire, be relatively sure you can financially - keep busy, stay involved in meaningful activities, volunteer by helping others is one way, helping financially is another way.