Demystifying the 403(b) and advocating for better investment choices for K‑12 teachers since 2000.
403bwise was launched in March 2000 by Dan Otter and John Moore, two educators fed up with the lack of objective 403(b) information available to participants. If information was provided at all to employees, it was usually through sales pitches in classrooms, lunchrooms and union offices. In fact, Dan first learned about the 403(b) when a representative waltzed into his classroom one afternoon pitching something called “TSAs.” He declined to enroll. It was only several years later that he learned this salesperson was selling high-fee variable annuity products.
In the years since our launch, 403bwise has been mentioned in Kiplinger Personal Finance, Money Magazine, Los Angeles Times, The NY Times, US News & World Report, Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post. Dan has appeared on NPR and on Bob Brinker's radio show. In 2012, Money Magazine named him a Money Hero for his "extraordinary efforts to improve others' financial well-being." Additionally, he is a two-time winner of The National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators, Inc. (NAGDCA) Media Recognition Award. While John left in 2005 to pursue other endeavors, the goal of the site remains the same as the day it launched: education and advocacy.
In 2019, 403bwise became a non profit organization that Dan runs full time, thanks to a generous donation from Tim Ranzetta, the founder of Next Gen Personal Finance, a non-profit organization that connects educators with free resources, professional development, and advocacy tools in order to equip students with the knowledge and skills to lead financially successful and fulfilling lives.
Dan is a former journalist, and a veteran teacher. He has taught elementary school (California), middle school (Maryland and New Mexico), and high school (New Mexico). He has taught in-service teachers at California State University Fullerton, American University and the University of New Mexico, where he earned a doctorate in Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies. Dan is the author of Teach and Retire Rich and Financial Literacy for the Young (and the Young at Heart).