Resource Library - Financial Planning

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April is National Financial Literacy Month

It's National Financial Literacy Month! To help you achieve your financial goals, consider these resources that promote financial literacy in April and all year long.

Will your retirement plan last a lifetime?

How would your plans for retirement change if you knew you were going to live to 100? When planning for your retirement years, you’ll be better prepared if you understand the role life expectancy should play on your savings decisions.

Special retirement considerations for women

While both sexes are living longer than ever before, a longer life expectancy can impact women even more in retirement due to a number of issues. This article is a continuation of, "Will your retirement plan last a lifetime?"

Understanding WRS - On Demand Seminar

The Wisconsin Retirement System (the state pension plan) will be a source of retirement income for most Wisconsin public school employees. How much do you know about this important benefit? In this three-part series, learn about WRS, how it works, how to read your statement, how benefits are calculated, the different payout options available at retirement, core versus variable fund participation, and much more.

Retirement Income Projection

This slimmed-down version the Retirement Income Analysis is appropriate for you if you are 11+ years from retirement and wondering if you’re on track to meet your retirement goals.

Retirement Income Analysis

Preparing to retire? This highly focused, comprehensive retirement planning service is suitable for Wisconsin public school employees within 10 years of retirement.

Portfolio Analysis

Member Benefits' Portfolio Analysis financial planning service is a comprehensive evaluation of your current investment portfolio. Align your portfolio with your financial goals.

One-Hour Consultation

Free one-hour financial planning consultation for newer members to help you get on the road to financial security.

New year, new resolutions for personal finances

There's a good reason January is Financial Wellness Month. With the new year still fresh with our good intentions, it's a great time to set some personal financial goals for the year. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.

Financial Planning: Start small (and early) to finish big (VIDEO)

Many young educators are facing new financial responsibilities, but it doesn't have to be complicated. Learn more by watching our video.

New educators can learn a lot with the Don’t Be Jack™ game

In our article, “Personal finance lessons: 4 insights for new educators,” new teacher Molly Walsh Anderson shared important financial lessons she’s learned in part from playing Member Benefits’ Don’t Be Jack interactive board game. It’s a great way to learn about financial issues that impact Wisconsin public school employees.

Shape up: Get financially fit during National Financial Literacy Month

Here are thirteen things you can do to improve your financial condition and sense of well-being. 1. Create a budget: A budget allows you to take control of your financial future. It can help you find ways to cut expenses, carving out some extra money for debt payments, retirement savings, and beefing up your emergency fund


Grow the family. Share the benefits.

Wisconsin public school employees have the unique opportunity to participate in the insurance and retirement savings programs offered by Member Benefits. Did you know that your family—including your spouse, children, grandchildren, parents, and parents in law—may also participate in many of these great programs?

Boost your retirement savings (and five other financially smart ways to spend your tax refund)

Did you receive a tax refund this year? If so, here are six financially smart ways to spend your tax refund.

Personal finance lessons: 4 insights for new educators

Every teacher knows the many important lessons they learned during their early years of teaching, and new teacher Molly Walsh Anderson likes to pass on her own personal finance lessons to help others. Here are four insights she learned during her first year that have helped her navigate new financial realities and responsibilities.

Plan like a vampire

Take a lesson from these eternal creatures and plan for the long term. You aren’t just saving for the day you retire, your savings need to last for many years beyond. We can help you get started or review your current financial plan.

Frankenstein’s investment style

Overlooking the personality flaws, Frankenstein—or the creation of Frankenstein—can help to illustrate the important investment concept of diversification.

Many factors can affect your retirement

Here's just one factor of many we'll help you consider to get a more realistic picture of what you’ll have in retirement when you participate in our Retirement Income Analysis. And don't miss our short testimonial video from the Niehausens!

Spending early may actually be financially beneficial. Go figure!

Our article, Are you retirement ready?, provides an overview of our Retirement Income Analysis (RIA) financial planning option for Wisconsin public school employees who are within 10 years of retirement. When you participate in an RIA, we also get you thinking about things that may not have occurred to you or that may seem surprising. Here is one example that you may not have considered.

Are you retirement ready?

If you’re within 10 years of retirement, you may be wondering: Can I really retire? How do I plan my budget and preserve my assets when I’m no longer working? Fortunately, Member Benefits can help you answer those questions and much more with a comprehensive Retirement Income Analysis. P.S. Don't miss our quick testimonial video!

Retirement Income Analysis planning steps

There are five basic steps in Member Benefits' retirement planning process.

Retirement Income Analysis planning steps

You may have read last week's article, Are you retirement ready? It discusses our Retirement Income Analysis (RIA) financial planning option and the experience retired Wisconsin educators Karen and Nick Niehausen had when they participated. If you decide to sign up for the RIA, here's what you can expect in the process.

Keep debt in check

Is debt a problem for you? We share some warning signs to watch for and simple steps to help reduce debt.

You can stick with us

Did you know that you can stay insured with us even after you leave your school job or retire? And your Member Benefits’ 403(b) and IRA accounts can remain with us whether you retire, change districts, or change professions?

What's your investment style?

The decision to save for retirement is an easy one when you consider the potential future benefits, but how to invest is often the source of uncertainty and frustration for investors new and old. At its most basic, how you decide to invest should be based on what kind of investor you are—your style—so you can make choices that are right for you.  

So, what kind of investor are you? We have some guidance to help you answer that question.

The Buchegers: Making their dreams reality

Through careful planning and consistent saving, teachers Paul and Amy Bucheger are well on their way to reaching their financial dreams. The Buchegers have found the recipe for making their dreams a reality.

Should I stay or should I go? Moving money from your retirement accounts should not be done hastily

If you're a saver, chances are at some point you'll be invited to move your retirement money. Before you accept this invitation, take time to understand what the move really means. It may be the most impactful financial decision you make in your lifetime.

One for the ages: Longer life span=New game plan

As life expectancy increases, you may need to revisit your retirement strategy. Knowing the odds of a long life are in your favor, it may be wise to review your long-term financial plan. Here are two strategies to help you meet your potential future needs.

Dream snatchers: Part 3

Part 3 of a 3 part series: Despite our best intentions to act rationally, basic impulses and emotional responses can influence our decisions, often against our better judgment. We wrap up our series exploring this potential retirement planning mistake and share some keys to successful investing to help keep the dream snatchers (procrastination, fees, and emotion) at bay.

Dream snatchers: Part 1

Procrastination. Fees. Emotion. Let them rule your decision making process and you may find them to be your most destructive retirement planning mistakes. The good news is that you actually have control over these dream demons. Here are some ways to stop them in their tracks. (Part 1 of 3)

Get a new start on saving

Welcome to 2016! This can be your year to save more for your retirement. Start it out right with a few tips to make a lasting financial impact on your life.

PSYCH! A peek into the investor's mind

Emotions can wreak havoc on our financial decision making and financial future. Behavioral economist Justin Sydnor sheds light on the psychological influences that cause people to make financial decisions that may be contrary to their own interests.

Should I retire? Can I afford to retire and when?

Michelle Blog PhotoThese are common questions among members who are ten to fifteen years away from retirement age. Unfortunately, the answer is different for everyone. I often start out by suggesting they fill out a Ballpark Estimate form to get a sense of where they are at. The Ballpark Estimate is designed to provide a rough estimate of what you will need to save annually to fund a comfortable retirement.

Know a budget

Having a budget is a key component of any financial plan. It requires an investment of time up front, and it requires you to face the good and the bad of your financial situation. But, the pay off and benefits are long lasting.

WEA Member Benefits offers financial planning services at locations throughout Wisconsin

If you have specific questions regarding your retirement and/or investment portfolio, or are looking for financial guidance, our Financial Planner may be able to assist. We have several locations available throughout Wisconsin for you to meet with our Planner during the school year. Request your appointment today.

How to choose a financial planner

Deciding which financial professional to trust is a very important decision and shouldn’t be made without some thorough vetting. Our best advice…ask questions. Getting the answers to important questions up front will help you avoid surprises (the bad kind) later on.

Breaking up is (hard) EASY to do

Is it time to write a "Dear John" letter to your high cost financial planner and product provider?

Meet our planners

Our financial planners specialize in working with Wisconsin public school employees. They put the members’ best interests first. There are no commissions attached to our financial planning services, so you receive an unbiased analysis of your situation. Meet our financial planners and learn how you can make an appointment.

Get your plan on in 2016

Financial planning is a career-long process—a journey. Every financial decision you make (or don’t make) along the way can impact when you will reach your final destination and what it will look like when you arrive. If you don’t have a plan, make 2016 the year you get it done. Our financial planners can help tailor a plan to suit your goals and your situation regardless of where you are at on your journey.

Bridging the generation savings gap

While the younger generation is facing new financial challenges, there are plenty of old school strategies and new solutions to help them make the most of their finances.

Financial remedies for new challenges

In our article, "Bridging the generation savings gap," we covered some of the different financial realities that the younger generation is facing and the importance of continuing to find ways to save. In today's blog, we share some resources and remedies available to help manage these new economic challenges.

Find investing boring? Good.

Investing for retirement is rather boring. And it should be for the average person employing a long-term investment strategy. If you are experiencing a rush (or stress) from watching the market every day or constantly buying and selling stocks like you see in TV and the movies, you may be taking bigger risks than you should or need to. For most of us, taking a more lackluster, long-term approach to investing is a better way to grow wealth over time. Here are the basic tenants of a boring investment strategy.

The perfectly bored investor...

In our article, "Find investing boring? Good," we talked about how, for most of us, taking a more lackluster, long-term approach to investing is a better way to grow wealth over time. In today's blog, we share some common traits of investors who are in it for the long haul.

Find someone to trust [INFOGRAPHIC]

There may be a time when you want to talk to a financial planner or investment advisor about your financial situation. Before you decide on someone, be sure to ask them a few key questions.

Pay it forward [INFOGRAPHIC]

Many Wisconsin public school employees have told us that the financial guidance they received from a colleague early in their career had a profound impact on their financial life. Consider becoming a financial mentor to your co-workers...there's no need to be an expert. You just need the desire to help others. We have some tips and resources that can help you pay your knowledge forward.

My 2 cents

Sarah Klein is a 27 year old art teacher—and a Millennial (born 1980 through mid 2000s). It’s a generation now facing adult decisions about their finances. Sarah shares her story about coming into her own financially and learning that, even when dealing with debt, she can and should still save for her future.

Summer comes, and summer goes

Let us answer your retirement savings questions and make sure your auto and home insurance is providing you and your family the protection you need.

Free summer financial planning consultations and insurance consultations fill up fast. Call now to schedule yours.

A cautionary tale: No free lunches!

Seminar invites and ads targeted at seniors should be scrutinized for “red flag” language that SEC investigators say is meant to lure you in. Because seniors are a growing segment of investors, financial services firms are increasingly focusing their marketing and sales of investment products to investors in or nearing retirement. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Beware the free lunch! But if you MUST go...

Financial service firms are increasingly focusing on older adults by offering them a free meal in order to sell their investment products. However, their marketing and sales materials may contain claims that are exaggerated, misleading, or otherwise unwarranted. If you decide you must attend one of these seminars, here are some important questions you should ask as well as some resources to help protect yourself.

My 2 cents: A Millennial's story

Sarah Klein is a 27-year-old art teacher—and a Millennial (born 1980 through mid-2000s). It’s a generation now facing adult decisions about their finances. Sarah shares her story about coming into her own financially and learning that, even when dealing with debt, she can and should still save for her future.

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