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Dan's Blog

Big Hurray for UTLA! 🎉

December 10, 2019

For the fourth time, I had the pleasure of spending a Saturday morning talking saving for retirement with Los Angeles area teachers. This year’s event —  called the Financial Literacy 101 Investment Workshop and held on December 7 in Los Angeles — was, as always, hosted by the United Teachers Los Angeles Pre-Retirement Committee. Thanks to Len Goldberg, Sandy Keaton, Steve Schullo, and an army of volunteers, teachers learned key saving and investment concepts.

  • How to save for retirement (Dan Otter, 403bwise.org)
  • How to avoid investment fraud (Peter Kane, S.E.C.)
  • How to navigate 403bcompare (Kevin Kirkpatrick, CalSTRS)
  • The LAUSD 457(b) Plan (Barbara Healy)
  • How to use Next Gen Personal Finance curriculum (Dan Otter, pinch hitting for Tim Ranzetta)


Kevin Kirkpatrick of CalSTRS demonstrates
fee finding tool 403bcompare.

Survey Says

Each time I speak at this event, I survey the audience to learn the demographic makeup of the crowd. I am most interested in how many early career teachers are in the audience. Why? They are the ones who are often victimized by sales agents. Furthermore, they are the ones who stand to benefit the most from learning key saving and investing concepts at the beginning of their careers. As usual, the number of new teachers totalled less than 5 percent. I told these newbies that because of the magic of compounding, they have the best chance of becoming 403(b)/457(b) millionaires. They beamed at mention of this. 

A Union That Gets Importance of Helping Teachers

Not only did attendees get wise to important savings issues, they earned five hours of professional development. Plus the workshop was free. How amazing is it that a union cares enough to put on such events? And they do this twice a year! 

How to Get Younger Teachers at Next Workshop

Here’s an idea for the next Workshop: charge $5. Here's the caveat: let teachers with less than three years of classroom experience get in free. And let veteran teachers in free if they bring a teacher with less than three years experience. I was going to suggest that next time UTLA should provide beer to entice younger teachers, but then I realized how unruly it could get when a roomfull of potential millionaires start drinking!

A Union Doing What a Union Should Do

I raise a glass to UTLA for doing what a union should be doing: helping it's members. Are you listening NEA? 


Me on left with presenters and volunteers
at post Workshop lunch.