My name is Steve Schullo, retired LAUSD elementary teacher and former UTLA member. Dan Robertson, also a retired educator, and I created this blog to start a conversation about retirement planning using our district’s volunteer retirement savings plans. This topic is rarely talked about in educational circles. Far too many of our colleagues have no idea what annuities are and the costs associated with those “guarantees.” The district’s volunteer supplemental 403(b) and the 457(b) plans can be a significant addition to our retirement nest egg, if we know more about them.
We use this blog to share our personal finance experiences and discoveries over decades of planning. We aren’t financial professionals. We share what we’ve learned from our investing mistakes and successes. We all want balanced and secure retirement nest eggs.
LAUSD’s 457(b) Won a “Plan Design” award!
Did you know that LAUSD won a “Plan Design” Award? Click here to see Dr. Sandy Keaton, Miriam Hironimus, Benefits Manager and myself (Steve) talk about how this award came to fruition in a 7 minute video taped interview from the professional organization that granted the award (Click here for investment options).
Our longtime compadre Dr. Sandy Keaton, former Chair of the UTLA PreRetirement Issues Committee has been working together for years to encourage UTLA members to examine the 403(b) plans and to consider using the districts lower-cost 457(b) plan instead. Sandy and I (Steve) are voting members of LAUSD’s advisory committee, which monitors the plan. I also publish committee’s agendas and minutes.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS! This workshop will be another all day event with several speakers on Saturday, April 25, 2015. To register, ﬁll out the form: click here or call Evy Vaughn UTLA Conference Secretary (213) 487‑5560. A detailed agenda of each presenter and the topics covered will be available on this blog in a week.
Dan and I will be presenting our story: how a couple of educators, knowing very little, learned how to invest despite making costly mistakes and survived two of the biggest stock market crashes in American history. We retired early with a comfortable nest egg. It’s not too late to plan and the best place to start is to attend Sandy’s workshop! Do yourself a huge favor and attend this workshop–years from now, you will thank yourself.
The workshops will focus on investing basics and knowing about the district’s 403(b) and the 457(b). These plans can be powerful savings programs. CalSTRS is a fine pension, but no pension was created to support our retirement 100%. Only a few lucky LAUSD employees can work for 38 or more years get almost 100% of their salary, without risks to one’s health or other unpredictable life challenges. How many of us want to work with all of that stress for that long? Dan and I didn’t. I worked for 24 years for LAUSD and retired at 61 with only 49% of my salary from my CalSTRS pension. Dan retired at 59 years old. The secrete of our good fortune–which really is NOT secretive or difficult–is that we both saved a bundle in our 403(b)s.
If you want to read future blog articles, and download “Fighting Powerful Interests,” fill out the subscription form. All blog posts and information are free and you can post responses or ask questions. This is an opportunity to continue your education. You can opt out at any time.
I have been writing about investment topics for 20 years because our colleagues, you, deserve the information. You might recall my United Teacher newspaper investment articles in the 1990s and 2000s. The theme was to help colleagues pay more attention to the 403(b), get out of high-cost insurance products and into low-cost, non-commissioned mutual funds.
- LAUSD Roth Option? Join the movement to get LAUSD to offer a Roth: click here for Hamilton High Teacher Larry Sholam explaining the Roth advantage. His special email: firstname.lastname@example.org. He is organizing a campaign and needs support.
- UTLA members rated the recent UTLA Investment workshop, November 15, 2014. They loved it! Read their responses: click here. Do NOT miss the next one, April 25th, 2015.
- Recent National News FLASH. The White House and the Supreme Court Chime in on Wall Street’s, Big Banks and Insurance Company’s Conflicts of Interest. Click here and find out what LAUSD’s Retirement Investment Advisory Committee has already done to address what the President and the Justices are complaining about.
- LAUSD 403(b) vendors are linked to CalSTRS 403bcompare.com for objective financial information: click here. If you have a 403(b) annuity, check out the insurance company.
403(b) Vendors are prohibited from making presentations on Campuses
AT ANY TIME!
- Selling 403(b) products on district property is PROHIBITED! LAUSD’s BUL-6178.0, click here. Read Arlene Inouye’s, UTLA Treasurer and Sandy Keaton’s, Chair of UTLA PreRetirement Committee, article in the UT, click here or read committee member Brad Rumble’s article, click here. There are reports that 403(b) annuity vendors are still presenting at meetings and professional development. This is against district policy. Ask them to leave or report to school police.
- Is an Insurance Product an Investment? NO! Here’s why: click here.
Dan and I hope you find this blog post informational and encouraging. If you have any questions or want specific information, just email us at email@example.com. Or better yet, post your question here so everybody gets to see the questions and answers.
Best of fortunes,
Steve Schullo and Dan Robertson
Please click on “replies” below to view comments or “Leave a reply” to add one.