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The K-12 403(b) is broken.
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Dan's Blog

700 Club❗️

February 5, 2020

For 19 years 403bwise has had a fairly active Discussion Board. It has been a place where teachers and others have come to both ask and answer financial questions. It is still very much in operation. Recent posts include: 

Considering move from AXA
Beginner advice

These four post titles so capture the concerns teachers have and the challenges they face.  

403(b) Groupies

During the transition last June from 403bwise.com to 403bwise.org and non-profit status we introduced the 403bwise Facebook Group. I have never been an active Facebook user. In fact, my personal account has largely been dormant. I had heard that Facebook Groups were a better way to use the platform. I had heard they were a place where those with common interests could gather to communicate and educate. I had heard they were a place devoid of fake news and sensational political discussion. I had hoped that we could get 100 members by January 2020. We had 509 members by January 1. Today, we have more than 700 members and they are active! Members (vetted teachers and a few select others) are posting on a variety of topics. Recent posts include the following:

  • Travel hacks
  • Financial wisdom of small weddings
  • Drawing money in retirement
  • Getting better 403(b) vendor options
  • Dealing with Third Party Administrators

Here's a sampling of the conversation from other posts:

  • "Hey everyone I am looking for advice on what to do next. I have exhausted almost every type of way to advocate to our union leadership to add just one low cost vendor such as Vanguard, Fidelity, T. Rowe price, etc."
  • "Hi everyone, I'm new here but have had a 403(b) with AXA Equitable (now just Equitable) for 13 years. I have heard that their fees are high." 
  • "Hi, after hearing the podcast about 403b vs 457, I was looking into the 457 plan in my district."
  • "Good morning! I just opened a 403b with Vanguard and have my payroll deduction forms ready to drop off this week." 

Not only are teachers posting, but many are providing superb feedback to fellow posters. Speaking for my podcast partner and prolific Group participant, Scott Dauenhuer, CFP, we are blown away by the success of our Facebook Group. He thinks we can hit 1000 soon. I have my doubts. At some point it has to taper off, right? 

Joining the 403bwise Facebook Group

Information on joining the 403bwise Facebook Group can be found here. Note that the Group is only for teachers and that there are three questions that need to be answered before we can approve.