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Financial Fitness Blog

Save $$ by giving your summer toys a rest

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Mark DannehlIf you have a boat, motorcycle, and/or RV insured by Progressive through Member Benefits, you could save money on your off-season premiums by participating in the winter lay-up program. The lay-up program reduces premiums temporarily by reducing selected coverages—such as bodily injury and collision—while your summer toys are stored away for the season.

Your coverage will be scheduled to automatically increase to the original amounts on March 1 or April 1 based on your preference.

If you would like to enroll in the winter lay-up program, call Progressive at 1-800-888-7764.

Mark Dannehl, Personal Insurance Consultant

Back to school is a perfect time to review your account

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Sue LukasNow that you've settled back into a new school year, it's a good time to take a look at your retirement account. You may want to:

  1. Complete a new Salary Reduction Agreement (SRA) to increase your 403(b) contribution.
  2. Review beneficiaries. If you’ve experienced any life events (marriage, divorce, birth of a child, death of a family member, etc.), it’s time to update your beneficiaries. Beneficiaries named on your retirement account supersede your will.
  3. Update your address, review your portfolio, and change your investment allocation.

Visit yourMONEY online to review your account or call us at 1-800-279-4030.

Sue Lukas, RIS Specialist

National Retirement Security Week - October 15-21, 2017

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Andie Hartwig

The Employee Benefit Research Institute indicates that only two-thirds of U.S. workers are saving for retirement...and many others are saving much less than they need to adequately fund their retirement years.

National Retirement Security Week is an annual campaign that raises awareness about the importance of saving for retirement, educates workers on how saving for retirement is key to financial health and security, and provides information on retirement savings options.

We encourage you to take full advantage of your workplace retirement savings options. If your district offers a 403(b), start saving today. And if your district offers a match in your 403(b), take it.

Member Benefits also offers an IRA savings option that can help you increase your retirement savings and take advantage of tax benefits. We offer both Roth and Traditional IRAs, and your family members may also be eligible to open an IRA with us.1

Want to learn more about planning for retirement? Give us a call at 1-800-279-4030, attend a free financial seminar, or sign up for a free one-hour financial consultation.


Andrea Hartwig, Financial Planner

1To be eligible for this program, you must meet the IRS eligibility requirements for contributing to an IRA. Wisconsin residency required.

Retirement savings options

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N'Kenza WhitlowAre you a new(er) employee in public education? If so, you may not have thought about retirement quite yet or are unaware of what to consider. Here is a quick rundown of the retirement savings options available to you as a public school employee in Wisconsin.

Account type
Description Who is eligible
403(b) An employer-sponsored retirement plan (similar to a 401K in the private sector). Contributions may be made on an after-tax and/or pretax basis, depending on the plan available in the district.  Employees of schools and other non-profit organizations. 

Annual contribution limits apply and can change from year to year. Learn more about contribution limits.

IRA  Individual Retirement Account. Contributions to a Roth IRA are made on an after-tax basis, while contributions to a Traditional IRA are made pretax. Anyone with earned income who will not reach age 70 ½ by the end of the year, and those who do not exceed the IRS eligibility requirements. 

Annual contribution limits apply and can change from year to year. Learn more about contribution limits.

WRS  The Wisconsin Retirement System is your pension. It’s a series of monthly payments payable during your lifetime or during a specific period of time—also called an annuity.  Most state of Wisconsin employees, including most public school employees. You and your employer contribute to WRS (50% equally). Contributions are pretax and contribution rates—the amount you contribute—can change each year.

It's helpful to think about saving for retirement as a three-legged stool. One leg is your retirement income from the Wisconsin Retirement System. The second leg is your Social Security Benefit. And the third leg is personal savings through a 403(b) and/or IRA. Imagine trying to sit on that stool without all the legs. It will be difficult because you need all three to stay upright.

As the future of Social Security is somewhat uncertain for younger employees, it's more important than ever to supplement your retirement with personal savings to make up for that uncertainty. While it is never too late to start saving, the earlier the better. Call us to learn more at 1-800-279-4030 or send your questions to


N’Kenza Whitlow, Retirement Savings Consultant