As a Kindergarten Teacher/Union President/Retirement Liaison in Aliso Viejo, CA currently on release, Denise supports teachers in the local union. She supports them in many areas: professional development, education code compliance, retirement, disability insurance, and more. She really likes the people she meets and the knowledge that their future will be a little bit better because of her. Juggling all the phone calls, meetings and trainings can be a challenge.
We asked Denise 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 9 because I understand saving for retirement quite well. Unfortunately no one taught me the benefits of starting to save when I was young. Nor was I taught to look out for those "free" lunches, where you invest and your money never grows.
What is your biggest money worry?
Ensuring that I retire with enough money to live the rest of my life comfortably.
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 CalSTRS Pension 2. On a scale of 1 to 10, my satisfaction with my 403(b) plan is 10.
What prompted you to start a 403(b)?
My first 403b was with a horrible fund that my school district let on campus. It sounded like a good idea to start saving so I did. When the fund I was invested in all of a sudden became T Bills it forced me to do some research.
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?
If you could ask a financial advisor one question what would it be?
Two questions: 1) How much money will you make over time off of my investment? 2) Are you a fiduciary?
Anything else you would like to share with us?
My first 403(b) was with a horrible fund through a sales agent my school district let on campus. It sounded like a good idea to start saving so I did. When the fund I was invested in all of a sudden became T Bills it forced me to do some research. If you are in California, go sign up for mycalstrs.com now and check your service credit and make sure it has been reported correctly. Do the same for your pension in your state! Next, sign up for a presentation on how your retirement benefit is computed! It's NEVER too early to prepare for retirement.