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Dan's Blog

403(b) Zoom Boom 💥

April 27, 2020

My absolute favorite part of 403(b) advocacy and education is discussing 403(b) and saving topics directly with teachers. It's the best because teachers are the best. Teachers are compassionate. They are considerate. They care about the greater good. And they are a great audience. March and April 2020 were shaping up as one of our busiest travel periods. My podcast partner Scott Dauenhauer, CFP®, and I had events scheduled in San Francisco, Sacramento, Fort Collins, and Los Angeles and then boom: Covid-19. Suddenly my banked Southwest travel funds look like a healthy IRA. On the other hand, my shot at A-list status is now as remote as my chance to anchor Liverpool’s front line. 


Bummer, Scott and I thought. All those teachers and school employees we could have addressed and helped. Recently we had been experimenting with PowerPoint presentations offered via Zoom share. They were OK but felt very one sided. Questions asked orally or through Zoom chat felt chaotic. Then Tim Ranzetta, co-founder of Next Gen Personal Finance recommended we look at a tool called Nearpod which permits more audience interaction. Suddenly, attendees would be able to share information via a bulletin board-like collaboration tool. Video, images and pdf’s could be embedded allowing participants to view these items on their own devices at their own pace (no more glitchy video!). Quiz and open-ended feedback tools along with a matching-pairs activity would allow even more interaction.


Matching Game

All Together Now

Running in a separate browswer window and paired with Zoom, Nearpod is a pretty terrific remote teaching tool. We still use Zoom features like the Chat Box to share information and Breakout Rooms to foster small group collaboration. And of course it's great to be able to see teachers during the session. Note: teachers have awesome kids and pets!


Since late March we have been running 2-3 events a week and so far so good. We have been averaging about 15 attendees per event. The feedback has been very encouraging. 

  • Loved the information, discussion, and general respect and understanding for people that may have been misinformed and uninformed. Never once did I feel stupid or inept.
  • I appreciated that it was interactive, allowed for questions, and we were provided additional links for research once the session was over.
  • Very good at providing a broad understanding of investment and asset allocation. Great resources, videos, and visuals
  • Interactivity of the experience. 
  • Lots of clarification. Dan and Scott are very helpful.

Topics to date have ranged from the 403(b) to the CARES Act. We have discussed the 457(b), held “Office Hours,” and a Happy Hour. Here’s what’s coming up. If you aren’t too Zoomed out I hope you can join us. Please share with your colleagues! 

Upcoming Events 

Stay well and hope to "see" you soon.