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Dan's Blog

Teachers Helping Teachers 🔁

October 13, 2020

Flywheel Effect: Positive feedback loops that build momentum, increasing the payoff of incremental effort (Evergreen).

Building an Army of Educated Advocates

A key goal when we relaunched 403bwise as a non-profit in July 2019 was to expand the education and advocacy community. In short, we wanted to build an army of educated advocates to help more teachers and foster more change. Facebook Groups was suggested as a platform to advance the message. We had maintained a Facebook Page to mixed to results (and frankly mixed effort on our part). It just seemed like another website to maintain. Groups was appealing because of the control (we approved members). A little over a year after our relaunch, we couldn't be more proud of the 403bwise Facebook Group and how our now 1,625 member are helping one another.

Four Recent Posts 

Consider these four posts on four separate days last week. Each garnered lots of feedback. There were more posts each day, but I think this is a representative sampling of what is increasingly happening in the 403bwise Facebook Group


Guess who got to enroll in their Vanguard 403(b) today!!! Last week the school "on-boarded," and now today I've officially "enrolled." wo0o0 ho0o0o 

Question: If you fully max out your Roth in VTSAX what would YOU put in your fully maxed out 403(b)? 

Are you picking a Target Date Fund for the 403(b)? What AA would YOU use in the 403(b)? 

I'm looking to see what other's ideas/suggestions are. I have my own he he he. Just curious.


I just listened to podcast #63 regarding 457(b)'s. I consider myself pretty savvy financially, but never heard of the 3-year catch up/double contribution max deferral. In reading my plan, it specifically allows for it (I'm with TIAA). I'll post the wording in comments, but I'm confused as to what "Normal Retirement Age" would mean. For pension purposes, it is 30 years of service or at least 10 years of service and 60 years old. Also, my pension allows buying 3 years of service once I reach 25 years of employment.

Would that mean I could technically start the catch up at year 24 (since I'd buy 3 years of service and retire at year 27).  Wonderingif I could claim that I was planning to retire in 3 years to take advantage of this now.


My COVID Related 403(b) distribution came! So long AXA! How long should I sit on the money before moving it to a Rollover IRA? Do I need to let the government know I’ve paid it back?


Hi all! I'm in need of some 457(b) advice. I'm a 9-year NYC teacher maxing out my TDA (50% US Index, 25% International Index, 25% Fixed Return) and I just signed up for the T. Rowe Price Retirement Date 2040 fund.

I have two questions: In terms of fees and fund options, what do you think about stopping TDA contributions and maxing out the 457(b) instead? (I'm only planning on being an NYC teacher for <5 more years).

Looking at all the 457(b) fees is making my head spin! Are the Target Date Funds a good deal? Or would creating my own 3-fund portfolio be significantly lower in cost? (If it is, what 3 funds would you recommend?

Thank you in advance for your help! I feel like I'm drowning in retirement info and you all are my lifeguards.

We can't wait to see what is posted and responded to next. Keep 'em coming!

Stay wise. Stay well.


Related Podcast:

457(b) Now > 403(b)? Scott thinks a new 457(b) rule could make that plan a better choice than the 403(b). Listen Now »

Related Podcast: The 457(b) Plan

The 457(b) We talk 457(b) plan. What is it? How does it work? How is different than a 403(b)? Is it better than the 403(b)? Listen Now »