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  1. Our boss here in Chicago informed us that a rep from Valic/AIG would be visiting our school 4 times this yr to help teachers set up supplemental retirement in their 403b/457. I emailed the rep ahead of time and asked him if he was a fiduciary and, if not, if he would sign a fiduciary pledge. He claimed every advisor with AIG is a fiduciary. How do I confirm this claim is true?
  2. Ed, Thank so much. Your thoughts are in line with mine, but you've put it much more succinctly than I could. I ask for examples because its not unusual for central office brass to dismiss rank and file teachers' ideas in our district. If I can come with some concrete examples, I'm guaranteed to be able to parry some of the weak dismissals brass throws at me. I don't have any wool over my eyes about the hold that insurance companies have over Chicago Public Schools. In fact, I bet they're going to come at me with "local control" so that admin that has relationships with salesmen can continue to accrue whatever benefits they are currently receiving.
  3. Asking for my own research for advocacy in my own district... what districts should I look at to see how it's done right?
  4. I may have an upcoming meeting with Matt Lyons who is the "chief talent officer" here in Chicago public schools. I am trying to reform our 403b and 457 programs. I know that some of you on here have done similar advocacy in your districts and would love any advice you can give.
  5. You guys are the best... def going to be re-reading and bringing Steve's book.
  6. Here in our Chicago district (3rd largest in the Nation) we have an extremely opaque servicer, way too many options, and no guard against the "advisors" that routinely visit our schools with their skull-duggerish sales-tactics. Anyway, I may soon get a meeting with the folks that control the options available to teachers and the rules for "advisors." I really would like help and support speaking specifically and precisely about a better vision for CPS's supplemental retirement plans. If you have advice, please share.
  7. Ed... Just thought it would be cheaper than paying rent to somebody else in the long run.
  8. Feeling pretty darn good about pulling money out of the Roth and buying a home (for my mother-in-law.)
  9. Actually got "invited to submit a resume and interview" for a position with the district that was opening up. The strong indication was that if I wanted the job, it was mine. I would have been over the district's Civics curriculum responsible for revisions and providing professional development. In considering everything, I turned it down. The biggest reason is that I'm deeply committed to the school I teach and the specific community I serve, but the fact that very few people stick in central office gigs and that I would be giving up summers (where I make as much as $80/hr+tips driving boats) Thanks again steve
  10. Thanks Steve! All over #1 and #2 already and I support these claims. Regarding #3, care to post example?
  11. I'm 12 years deep in my career which means that I've worked the great recession, the expansion that followed, and the austerity imposed by pension mistakes of the past and pension hawks in the present. On top of all this, demographics have been shifting. There are less school-age children overall and specifically fewer in my "target demographic" here in Chicago. I'd like to hear from some vets with 20, 30, 40 years how you think about getting the work when it is available. Certain years, I've been able to stack almost 20gs on top of my salary teaching Saturday and evening school, homebound, incentive/club/sports programs, paid pd, etc. This year its getting a bit better for for the past 3 years most of those opportunities have dried up, and I've stacked less than 5g on top of my salary with extras. I know some of you advocate moving to where the money's good... but some of us are deeply tied to our communities or families and the cost of moving away is not worth anything we might be paid. So I'm curious from the vets. How do you think about extra opportunities? Certainly I worked like an insane person in my 20s and I sacrificed a lot (no vacations, missing overseas trips with my friends, sacrificing some meaningful relationships) but it is that sacrifice that has me living the relatively comfortable life now, on track to retire a multi-millionaire.
  12. You got it whyme. This is the civics teacher inside me.
  13. Ed, I couldnt have said it better myself. It may, in the end, be a problem of teaching the heart and not the head of these eager go-getters going after FIRE. Like you say, its something I aspire to myself. I have not inherited any direct wealth, but I did inherit the privilege of being raised in a stable environment in the west suburbs of Chicago (home to some of the best public schools in the nation.) That my parents moved here and provided stability for me means I inherited a future-orientation and the preference for opportunity recognition over risk avoidance. It also means I dont have so many structural and real obstacles to overcome in my life time. This inheritance is the direct result of federal, state, and local policies back centuries and most directly back to the New Deal. What Ed and I are arguing for is a bit more transparency. It's in our own bias to imagine that anyone can do what we can, that we achieved based on our own efforts and creativity... but this is at best a half-truth and at worst a pernicious submission to what psychologists refer to as the superiority bias. If it werent for the government-policy-created inequality we've all inherited, then we'd still be up against our own evolved instincts. Its why I teach behavioral economics in my classroom and a mantra of those lessons is: To be rich, you must be extraordinary. The thrust is, by definition, that to live well below your means and to save/invest makes you extraordinary. The math bears this out and what psychologists and behavioral economists have studied confirms it. In the end, I think it may be a problem of educating hearts not heads, both of young people that dont inherit the financial vocab and knowledge from their parents/community and of those that do have this inheritance that perhaps their ability to be successful is connected to the forced sacrifice of others. Not shaming the FIRE community, just some of its leading proponents.
  14. Just replied to the other FIRE post about how inheritance is conspicuously absent. Dont know about Natalie, but my partner and I currently pay mortgages on two houses, one of which our mother lives in. The only reason were were able to get both of these houses is because (1) my partner inherited approx 30k from her grandmother and (2) I have been aggressively saving since I began my teaching career 11, years ago. I'm also extremely lucky to have had parents that clued me into real estate and moved to an area with great public schools when I was younger. I just dont get how a reader can aspire to be like Natlie without asking about how she got those 2 houses, if there's a mortgage, and how she's paying for it.
  15. I did the FIRE movement, but IMO too many of its leading proponents arent transparent enough with how they've been able to achieve their FI and RE. Many skip right past how they had comparatively low or no student debt because of inherited wealth, let alone the discussion of how their upbringing might have tracked them into a college or career with more opportunity (like I got). They are often conspicuously silent about the prospect of inherited wealth or the reality that many (like me) have to support a parent (maybe because they never adhered to the positive admonishments of the frugal living). I realize I'm probably far left here, but I do think that the FIRE movement has a huge blindside when it comes to equity and how their own imagined independence is actually founded on their inheritance.
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