Disclaimer: This information is not to be used as a substitute for legal or financial guidance. It is for informational purposes only.

See your primary care doctor. Have a comprehensive physical exam in your medical home.  Make sure communication lines are established between your subspecialists and your primary care physician to facilitate having a complete medical record on file in your medical home. 

Seek financial and estate planning advice (Money Manager, Financial Planner, Accountant, Lawyer, etc.). A financial advisor can also help you learn about special opportunities available to you. Estate planning seminars are also available but, while some are excellent, others turn out to be sales pitches so be cautious.

Review how your assets are held (e.g., Joint tenancy, Tenancy in common, etc.) and review beneficiary designations (IRAs, Insurance, Transfer on Death, Trusts, etc.).

Review and update your Will, Durable Powers of Attorney, and Estate plans. General attorneys do this of course, but there are also those who specialize in estate law and elder law.

Be sure you have reviewed your Living Will/Health Care Proxies/Advance Health Directives.  Consider giving a copy to your primary care physician, designated family members, and local hospital medical records. You may want to keep a copy in the car. Another idea is to have a note in your wallet about the whereabouts of your advance directive.

Consider Organ Donation. If you wish to be an organ donor, now would be a good time to put your name on your state’s Organ Donor Registry. Be sure to talk to your family about your wishes. 

Notify Academic and Professional Associations. Many academic and professional groups have special opportunities for retired members. Let them know about your retirement and decide whether to continue under a retiree status. 

  • AAP Membership – You may want to take advantage of the Academy’s reduced membership fee for Senior Members by completing the AAP Member Options Form. You qualify if you are a member in good standing and at least 70 years old, or 65 years old and no longer deriving income from professional employment. For members equal to and over 80 years old, the national dues are waived. Also, Senior Members enjoy a discount off the registration fee for the National Conference and Exhibition (NCE).
  • AAP Senior Section – Remain active in the Academy with the AAP Senior Section. See the variety of contributions that you can continue to make to the welfare of children and ways the AAP can continue to serve you here.

Be a volunteer. Consider volunteering your medical expertise and/or child advocacy skills. 

  • AAP opportunities – Check with your AAP Chapter. Find information about volunteering on the Opportunities page of the AAP Section for Senior Members Collaboration Site (requires log-in).
  • Other Opportunities – Check out other opportunities possibly including: hospital committees, state specialty organizations, local free clinic boards, health related boards, local arts boards, assisting in research projects, political activities, university courses, courses with retirement organizations, etc.

Reentry to Clinical Practice. Know that reentry into some form of clinical practice may suit you now or later. See Reentering Clinical Practice from the AAP for an array of resources.

Summary of Personal Information or Letter of Instruction. Compose or update a summary of personal information or letter giving your survivors guidance concerning important financial and personal matters to attend to after your death. Unlike other legal documents which should be prepared by an attorney, you can prepare an informal letter of instruction or summary of personal information such as the location of important documents (eg, will, birth and marriage certificates, and military records). You may wish to list the whereabout of your safe deposit box, its key and the names and addresses of people and institutions to be notified. Not only will your survivors find this resource helpful, but a well-prepared letter is also an excellent way to organize your personal records.


Be certain they receive this document in enough time to discuss it with you and to understand your specific wishes after death, in the event one or both are not competent, or if one or both of you are in a state such that care should be withdrawn except for relief of discomfort. Keep the document up to date. Let your survivors know where to find it!  

It’s fine to keep copies of your will in a safe deposit box—but not the original especially if you’re the sole owner of the safe deposit box. Why? Because after your death the bank will seal the safe deposit box until an executor can prove he or she has the legal right to access it. This could lead to long and potentially costly delays.

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American Academy of Pediatrics