Never too early, or late, to start saving

According to the 2018 EBRI/Greenwald Retirement Confidence Survey, two-thirds of American workers say they are confident they will have enough money to retire comfortably, yet…

  • 21 percent of Americans have nothing at all saved for the future, and another 10 percent have less than $5,000 saved. (Northwestern Mutual 2018 Planning & Progress Study)
  • Those between the ages of 55 and 64 who have retirement savings only have a median of $120,000 saved.
  • 61 percent of Americans don’t know how much money they’ll need to save for retirement. (Bankrate)

What gives? Not only are Americans seemingly unprepared for retirement, most don’t even know it. Social Security’s future is uncertain, private sector pension plans are disappearing, life spans are increasing, and health care costs are rising. Working longer and living on less will be a harsh reality for many.

The good news 
As a public school employee, your employer contributes to the Wisconsin Retirement System on your behalf, covering a portion of your retirement needs. But that’s not all.

As a public school employee you are eligible to open a 403(b) retirement savings account. A 403(b) is a great opportunity to build additional savings with before- and/or after-tax contributions conveniently deducted from your paycheck. A 403(b) an help you achieve your retirement dreams, regardless of your age. 

Early career 
Start today. The longer your time horizon before retirement, the longer your money can work for you. You can start a 403(b) with as little as $20 per pay period. When selecting a provider, compare fees. Even one percentage point can make a big difference in your account balance at retirement.

Mid-career
Take time to calculate your retirement income needs. Our retirement planning calculators can help you approximate how much you need to save, determine the impact of changing your retirement savings payroll deductions, ascertain projected shortfall or surplus at retirement, and more.

Work toward contributing the maximum allowed. Include after-tax (Roth) contributions, if available in your district, to your 403(b) account to help reduce your tax liability in retirement. Please check with your employer for the availability of after-tax contributions.

Member Benefits' 403(b) program
Most public school employees in Wisconsin have access to Member Benefits' 403(b)—a program recognized nationally (Forbes and LA Times) for its sound management and low fees. Call one of our consultants at 1-800-279-4030 for more information.

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