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Teacher Stories

Stephen, 53

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As a CTE Arts, Media and Entertainment Teacher, Stephen, 53 teaches high school students Photography, and Videography. He loves watching students grow into responsible young adults. His biggest challenges are trying to reach the students who aren't connected, maintaining the gear the students need, and working with the administration.

We asked Stephen, 53 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 have read a lot about the subject, bought Teach and Retire Rich more than 10 years ago, and am a diligent saver.

What is your biggest money worry?

My biggest worry is that I won't have enough to support myself in retirement, especially if my health falters.

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 8. If I could change anything about my plan, it would be easier to interact and set up. Making changes can be harder than it needs to be.

What prompted you to start a 403(b)?

I started my 403(b) knowing that my pension would not be enough. I also went to a presentation that led me to open an annuity, then realizing how bad an investment that was.

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. I would describe a fiduciary financial advisor as someone who finds the best investments for you, not the ones that gain them the highest commissions.

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

Am I on track?

Anything else you would like to share with us?

It can be hard to talk to colleagues, their first instinct is to be safe so they listen to the annuity salespeople.

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