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Financial Fitness Blog

Before you choose a retirement savings account

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Laura KampsIn our article, "3 things you need to know to navigate fees in your retirement savings account," we explored the topic of fees and uncovered why they're important, why they exist, and how you can find out what and who you're paying so you can make informed savings decisions.

Before you choose an account, check off these questions:

  • What fees will you be paying? Do you know all the hidden costs?
  • What features do you think are worth paying for?
  • Do your homework: How is the company rated? What are other people’s experiences?
  • Do the math: What is the totality of all costs over time?
  • What is the liquidity of the accounts, do you have flexibility?
  • Get help, you have us! Call 1-800-279-4030 or send an email to

Laura Kamps, Financial Planning Specialist

Retail account update

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Brenda EcheverriaIn our summer 2017 your$ magazine, we asked you about your interest in Member Benefits offering non-retirement accounts such as individual and jointly held accounts. We heard from many of you with a positive response.

So, we are pleased to share the good news—they are on their way sometime in 2018! Stay tuned and we will keep you updated as we develop this program. If you have any questions, please call us at 1-800-279-4030.

Brenda Echeverria, Financial Planner

How we screen for mutual fund offerings

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Andie HartwigWith about 7,000 mutual funds in the United States, the prospect of choosing funds that fit your needs can be a little overwhelming, if not intimidating. Where does one start?

To ensure the quality of our retirement savings programs, Member Benefits has a committee of staff members who regularly review our investment options. They select and monitor mutual funds through a screening process that considers relevant asset class, manager tenure, volatility, fees, and performance compared to fund peer groups. By paring down the selection of options for you, it’s easier to build your portfolio.

To see our investment lineup, go to

Andrea Hartwig, Financial Planner

403(b) contribution limits have changed

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N'Kenza WhitlowThe 2018 limit for the 403(b) has increased to $18,500, with the age 50 and over catch-up remaining the same at $6,000 for a total of $24,500. The limit on annual contributions to an IRA remain unchanged at $5,500, with the age 50 and over catch-up limit at $1,000 for a total of $6,500. Visit for more information.

Are you maximizing your retirement contributions? If not, you may wish to re-evaluate the amount you're putting toward retirement. Not only do you lower your taxable income, you ensure that you're doing everything you can to reach your retirement goals.

Give us a call at 1-800-279-4030 if you'd like to learn more about saving with a 403(b).

N’Kenza Whitlow, Retirement Savings Consultant