403bwise is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

The K-12 403(b) is broken.
Together we can fix it.

Teacher Stories

Stacy, age 35

Photo of Stacy

As a Special Education Coordinator, Stacy helps improve access for students with disabilities by building capacity within classrooms, and schools. Her favorite part of the job is the students. She also loves helping teachers make a breakthrough regarding one of their students. Right now it is very challenging planning for students to return to face-to-face instruction while others will be virtual. Plus, her district is experiencing a teacher shortage.

We asked Stacy some questions about what she knows or wants to know about the 403(b) and saving for retirement, and this is what she 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 10 because I understand the options within my division as well as previous ones that I have been a part of. I am familiar with the pension plan for my state and know how to calculate my expected pension. I also am familiar with 457 and 403(b) accounts.

What is your biggest money worry?

It's never fun when the market drops 30 percent but I am pretty confident about my plan and do not have many money worries.

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 Voya. On a scale of 1 to 10, my satisfaction with my 403(b) plan is 8. If I could change anything about my plan, I would like lower fees (her district recently switched to a one-provider plan).

What prompted you to start a 403(b)?

It is another retirement account to dump money into to reduce my overall gross.

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


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

Yes. It is a person who gives you advice about your finances who acts in your best interest. Be cautious, as often plan administrators are not fiduciaries.

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

How can I optimize for better growth?

Anything else you would like to share with us?

I am very lucky to have a job that I love. I wish everyone knew about the power of the 457 combined with the 403(b) and a pension.

View all stories »