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Teacher Stories

Ivan, age 28

Photo of Ivan

As an Elementary Music Teacher, Ivan teaches music to pre Kindergarten to 6th grade students. His favorite part of the job is the opportunity to have a positive impact on all of the students at the school, and engage their creativity via music. "One of the biggest challenges about my job is having to quickly transition from one age group to another. Teaching a 4th grade class right after a Kindergarten class has taken some time to get used to."

We asked Ivan some questions about what he knows or wants to know about the 403(b) and saving for retirement, and this is what he said.

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being total understanding, how well do you understand saving for retirement? Why did you pick this number?

I picked 7 because I feel that I have learned a lot and feel confident in helping others understand some of the basics, but there are still a lot of things that I don’t understand fully just yet, such as rebalancing and using other types of accounts like HSA’s, etc.

What is your biggest money worry?

That I might be missing out on opportunities to grow my money more efficiently because I started investing in my retirement late.

Do you have a 403(b)? If yes, are you satisfied with your investment? If you do not have a 403(b), why not?

I have a 403(b) with Vanguard. On a scale of 1 to 10, my satisfaction with my 403(b) plan is 10.

What prompted you to start a 403(b)?

I watched Dave Ramsey on YouTube talk about saving for retirement which led me to start researching my options. An Equitable rep reached out to me last year. Luckily I had done my research and knew they were expensive. I found 403bwise.org and learned that Vanguard was a good option.

Did you ever hear about the 403(b) in your teacher preparation program?

No and I really wish that I had. I have been thinking about eventually offering to be a guest speaker or something like that at my alma mater’s credentials program so that I can share what I do know so far with others.

Do you know what a fiduciary financial advisor is? If yes, how would you describe a fiduciary to a colleague?

Yes. It's someone who puts the financial interests of the client above themselves.

If you could ask a financial advisor one question what would it be?

I currently have a non-retirement mutual fund through my credit union that I opened before starting my teaching career. I opened it with only $400 and it is now worth about $800. I forgot about it until very recently when I started to actually become interested in learning about investing. It looks like the fees are a little high. What should I do with this account?

Anything else you would like to share with us?

Thanks to the 403bwise community, I am motivated to learn as much as I can about investing and I hope to be able to share this knowledge with my colleagues, friends from college, family, community, etc. I continue to look forward to learning more over time through the 403bwise Facebook group, your awesome podcast and, any other sources I can find.

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