Real Stories

Susan Nicol

I live in Madison, Wisconsin and I am an RN Patient and Family Educator and a certified Diabetes Educator at the University of Wisconsin Hospital.  I’ve had the privilege of working for the hospital for over twenty years.

I became a nurse because I am passionate about caring for people in need. I am dedicated to translating relevant health information in a relatable way for my patients and families to ensure their health and well-being.

Every day at my job, I see women who are caretakers for their children and parents.  Although this is something we should admire as a society, instead we penalize these women when it comes to their retirement security.  Often, women are excluded from access to a retirement plan because of their departures from full-time work to raise children or take care of elderly parents.

I’m very thankful that through my work, I’m offered a pension as part of my salary and benefits package.  Each paycheck 5.8% of my salary goes into my retirement plan.  I know that when I retire in sixteen years that money will have been well managed by the model Wisconsin Retirement System.  Unlike many American women, I will be secure in my retirement.  Although my pension will be a modest $19,000 per year after 38 years of work at the UW Hospital, that will allow me to support myself without relying on friends or family.  I will also be able to volunteer in my community on the end of life issues I care so deeply about.