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Teacher Stories

Shannon, age 47

Photo of Shannon

As a Reading Specialist, Shannon teaches struggling students in grades K-4 in a suburb of Buffalo, NY. She loves when little kids, who felt defeated, finally get it. "The job can be hard when the tools in my toolbox don't work. When a child works hard everyday, and keeps struggling, it breaks my heart".

We asked Shannon 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 3 because until two years ago I truly knew nothing about saving for retirement. I recently reached out to my friend’s husband (someone 403bwise featured already on your podcast and on the teacher stories section) and he has helped me understand a bit more. I have started to read some books about basic financial planning and have started a 457(b). I have so much more to learn, though, and not a lot of time.

What is your biggest money worry?

Am I going to be able to pay for college for my kids and still be able to retire at a reasonable age?

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 Dreyfus. On a scale of 1 to 10, my satisfaction with my 403(b) plan is 2.

What prompted you to start a 403(b)?

A "financial planner" came to my district to talk about planning.

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

Not that I remember.

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

Yes. It’s a financial advisor who only makes money when you make money. Fees are reasonable.

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

Am I going to be okay to retire by age 60?

Anything else you would like to share with us?

I stopped contributing to my 403(b) this year when I started the 457(b) (Note: Shannon has the excellent New York State Deferred Compensation 457(b) Plan). I need to try and move the 403(b) to a better company.

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