Some of the good news is I have reached out to CalSTRS and set up two dates for retirement/investment workshops. Those dates are January and February. You can sign up for the January and February workshops by clicking here. Also, remember, Thursday, November 7 is Movie Night. If you want a fun night out, you can also sign up for that at Sign Up Genius as well. You pick the movie, and MEA pays for it.
In addition to retirement information, CalSTRS staff will also be talking about their investment program called Pension2. Like CVT, not only didCTA advocate for the creation of CVT as a non-profit health care option for teachers, it also advocated for the creation of CalSTRS, way back in 1913. CalSTRS Pension2 has a 403b plan. 403b is like a 401k but it is strictly for employees of public schools and certain tax exempt organizations. Here’s the GOOD news thing…CalSTRS’ fees are called institutional fees meaning their fees are so low, it’s the same rates charged to Bezos, Gates, and Buffet, currently the three richest Americans. Seriously. A quarter of 1%. My analogy about investments is my dollars are my workers that go out into the cruel world and make more money for me. The lower the fees, the more workers I have working for me. 403b also LOWERS your current tax liability. You say, you can’t afford to set aside money for retirement. I say, you can’t afford NOT to. You say. I never have enough money at the end of the month. I say, if you deduct it from your paycheck, you will not miss it. You won’t…because it’s not in your account. And if it’s there like typical Americans, we’ll spend it. Start with a low investment and work up.
On a related subject, have you received offers via email, usually in your junk mail but not always, inviting you to a 403b investment seminar or consultation? Yea, always delete those. Do what you want, but they’re VERY deceiving. Usually, their name is misleading like Teachers Investment Group or some garbage like that. They’re not affiliated with CalSTRS or public schools in ANY way. And they charge very high fees like many investment companies. These firms are ALWAYS calling me so they can have access to your staff lounge to sell you investment products. I’m VERY firm in my NO. If they argue, I interrupt and say, “The staff lounge is like a temple for teachers to unwind and relax not be pestered by sales pitches. I see my job is to keep the moneylenders out of the temple. Thank you but no thanks.” The ONLY groups that are allowed in the staff lounge are Standard and Cal Casualty, the companies endorsed and vetted by CTA. I know some of you have investments with friends or relatives which is fine…but their companies are for profit. Nothing wrong with that, but I’m saving for my retirement which means I want the LOWEST fees I can get.