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The First In A Series Of 403(B) Reports By The Ny Times!

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Excellent review of the deplorable 403(b) plans with K12 districts.

Think your retirement plan is bad? Talk to a teacher



But this first article is just a warm up. Cause, you ain't seen nothing yet! We in the 403(b) reform movement worked hard to get teachers to talk to Tara for MONTHS! This is only the first in a series of reports and when all of the reports have been published the Tax Sheltered Annuity (TSA) may be headed towards extermination.

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Thanks so much to Tara Siegel Bernard for taking on this too often ignored topic! The series is off to a great start. Please forward the link to the article to school system administrators and school board members who need to be educated. This is what we have needed for a long time.


John Sparks



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To add, Wall Street Journal recently had a series of articles on passive investing. I was unable to post them because I didn't have a supscription so I could not read them or share them but they looked very interesting




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Wonderful article! Maybe it will get the attention of the regulators and Congress and they will finally focus on improving the 403b for K-12 school employees. I'm hopeful that low-cost investing is on the move! Thank you John Bogle!!

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Pushing this up.

A little background. This series of articles may be a game changer. The Retirement Gamble original focus was the 403(b) too, but dropped it, and focused on the 401(k).


As I said in the first post, you have not read anything yet. This first report is a review of what has been written by many print media reports for the last 20 years.


Just wait till you read what is now going on between agents and older teachers who have a bundle of money in their 403(b)s. I thought I knew everything, but I didn't!


This series focus exclusively on 403(b) with public K-12 school districts. We need to get this in front of as many teachers as possible. Nothing is going to change unless the teachers demand it and that means an entire culture has to change. Do you think we can get thousands of teachers angry? Yes! Because I have seen it when they are presented with the facts. And it is the right thing to do.


Be sure a thank the reporter:

Tara Siegel Bernard

The New York Times
Twitter: @tarasbernard

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Take a look at the discussion on Bogleheads: https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=201781&newpost=3091317


My fellow colleagues: This is a rare article, please take a moment to add your thoughts, experience and a "call to action." Any posting will add to the social media circulation! Keep the conversation going.


Here are some connections. If you don't have a twitter account, its easy to start one. Twitter is very powerful for communicating to influential people. Here are some twitter handles to get you started:


Barry RitholtzVerified account
@hiltzikm ‘Michael Helsink
W. Scott Simon wssimon@mindspring.com



o @NEAToday
NEAToday's Twitter feed offers education news, useful tip and links to resources that will help you thrive in the workplace.
o @EdVotes
Get the latest information on political issues affecting education at the Education Votes Twitter feed.
o @NEAMedia
The official Twitter feed for NEA's public relations department. Check here for the latest news and media releases.
o @Lily_NEA
Keep up with NEA President Lily Eskelsen García through her Twitter feed.
o @NEArESPect
A must follow for Education Support Professionals looking to keep up with useful news and resources.
o @NEAHigherEd


@WeAreCTA California's most powerful union



Wisconsin Education Association. Good people!
Sonja Penner, Communications Manager
WEA Member Benefits
800.279.4030 x2566 or spenner@weabenefits.com

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Great to see this article. Thanks for the tip, Steve. I've left three comments on the article (and in response to other comments). I presume that reader interest, as reflected in the amount of response, will encourage the Times to follow up on this.

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Happy to read your replies there, Steve. One note: while the UC 403(b) is very good, last I looked it is built around UC-specific funds (mostly "UC Pathway" target-date options). The funds are held at Fidelity. There are a few Vanguard, Fidelity and DFA options, but it is a mistake to say they are with Vanguard. I think the UC 403(b) funds actually compare favorably with Vanguard in terms of expense ratios. It would solve the whole 403(b) mess in California if the state K-12 and CC systems could somehow adopt the UC plan as the sole 403(b)/457(b) option. (That would probably drive the costs on the UC funds down even further, too.)




PS: Just checked: the ER on virtually all of the UC funds--target date, domestic, international, bond--is 0.15%.

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Some of the comments after the article are very annoying. Teachers have it made, teachers have it easy, teacher have a super pension plan blah blah blah. I am in Virginia. I hit 64,000 dollars a year income after 30+ years in education. My defined pension plan only pays me 51% of my last year's income. A lot less than many states. I never got a raise over 2% since the great recession and some years we got no raise at all while the work load , class size, and responsibilities went through the roof . At the school I taught we have students from 53 countries and who speak about forty languages. I never felt I was eating off the fat of the land while teaching. It was tough work. "Summers off" got shorter and shorter with school here starting earlier and ending later .Required summer meetings, in-services , and recertification classes pretty much killed the summers off fantasy some believe teachers have.etc. The turnover rate in teaching is very high now. If its so easy then why isn't everyone going into it. Most of the critics would not make it a week in the classroom.


So since we have it this "good," we don't deserve to have decent 403b choices. Its alright then to rip teachers off in these plans. Give me a break.


I didn't read anything I didn't already know in this article but I am greatly anticipating the upcoming articles by Ms Bernard. For newbies this is a great article.



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Fortunately, there were only a few knuckleheads who said that. Its nothing original as they been spouting off that garbage since 2008.


I commented on one of those people who said that teachers have it made. I said even if it were true, does that mean that the teachers who are trying to take responsibility for their own retirement by saving in a 403(b), that we should be ex ploided by misleading sales pitches which end up with a product so expensive that these responsible teachers end up being job creators for the sales force?

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