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Jeff, age 38

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As an Instrumental Music Teacher, Jeff teaches Band, and Orchestra at Farquhar Middle School. He loves seeing the growth of students from the beginning of 6th grade to the end of 8th grade. His biggest challenge is having his employment each year depend on the whims of 12-year-olds, and whether they decide to continue taking band/orchestra.

We asked Jeff 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 5 because I have some basic knowledge, and a general plan, but I'm sure there is a lot that I don't know.

What is your biggest money worry?

If I were to lose my job for some reason that I would not be able to support my family.

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 Fidelity Investments. On a scale of 1 to 10, my satisfaction with my 403(b) plan is 9. If I could change anything about my plan, it would be my account balance...

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

No

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

No.

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

How much money do I really need to retire comfortably?

Anything else you would like to share with us?

Note: Jeff works in the rare school district, Montgomery County Public Schools in Rockville, MD, that actually put their 403(b) plan out to bid. Consequently, the employees of MCPS have access to a wide range of low-cost investments. There are zero sales agents trawling staff lounges or inundating email inboxes with dubious claims of financial assistance.

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