The National Education Association held its annual meeting at the end of June, as noted in this post on the NEA website. The group shared awards for honorees as well as many other activities during the two-day festivity. Teachers convened not only to enjoy the Florida sun, but also to support each other through a professional organization that offers many member benefits. Have you thought about joining an organization that can help you year-round? Even if you are a busy working teacher or one who has retired from the profession, you may want to consider joining the NEA. If you get involved, you may end up reaping many benefits all for the simple price of annual membership.
Amazing Financial Rewards
The NEA Member Benefits are numerous and include group term life insurance plans, discount programs with deals on various name-brand retailers, identity theft protection packages, exclusive credit cards and other lines of credit including residential, personal, and educational loans. Also, members can consider insurance programs, deposit savings accounts, investment programs, and other exclusive opportunities.
Join The NEA, and Mentor Others
The NEA is the largest professional organization and labor union in the United States, representing roughly three million educators in thousands of chapters across the country. Many members are active teachers, but over a quarter million of them are retired. The organization helps many young members stay on track with their teaching careers with enrichment opportunities and community engagement, as well as interaction with mentors.
Did you ever have a really great mentor in your teaching career? Check out the value of mentorship according to this Quintessential Careers post and consider either finding a mentor to enhance your career, or becoming one yourself. Both mentor and mentee can have positive experiences, and the NEA is all about connecting people.
Have a Say in Legislation
Many not only join the organization to help members make important life choices, but they also take legislative and political action, representing teachers, employees and communities around the nation. Members help to protect pensions, Social Security and Medicare. This is particularly important if you are a baby boomer according to this census report, as you are the most recent generation that will be greatly affected by these key issues in your retirement years. So why not get involved in the decision-making process? You will not only be helping others, but when the time comes, some of those decisions may help you out as well.
Benefits of Staying Involved, Even If You Are Retired
If you join at the retiree level, you can stay informed by reading NEA Today for NEA-retiree members, one of their dedicated publications. Much of the organization is there to help you with so many of the late-in-life aspects, like finding ways to save more money, obtaining necessary loans and discovering financial solutions that may suit your needs. They even offer a five-minute checkup on your retirement that you can view on their link here. Or, seek out NEA-specific retirement advisors and specialists that can help you understand the big picture.
Retired members are also still involved with their state associations and participate in conferences and seminars. If you are knowledgeable about a subject (and as a teacher we know that you are) and you think you could serve on a panel, answer questions or share insight on particular topics, consider lending your voice to a discussion session. All research indicates that retirees greatly benefit from staying active and engaged in life once their professional work has ended. This is one of the tips mentioned in this Forbes article about life after retirement. It is not uncommon for many retirees to become depressed when their work ends. Work provides connection to others, a sense of purpose and identity, and when it stops the transition can be difficult for many. Joining an organization like the NEA will provide lots of opportunities to stay active and to contribute to the teaching profession and to new teachers who could really need your wisdom.
The Price of Membership In Comparison To The Benefits
Generally dues are $30 per year, plus additional dues that vary by state. Or, consider lifetime and retiree membership levels and pay the one time fee of $250 plus any annual state dues and you are in the club. For eligibility requirements, click here.
Do you enjoy connecting with fellow educators, taking advantage of rewards and benefits and having a say in a noted and respected organization? Why not join the NEA? Please let us know of your involvement with the NEA, your experiences mentoring or networking with others, or any incredible financial packages or advice you were able to receive and use do to the NEA membership. Share your thoughts and comments with us below. Thank you!
Melissa Heule, Freelance Writer