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A magazine from WEA Trust Member Benefits




                                                                  WINTER     2009




                             Consolidation:


                                                                           }
     Comfort, simplicity, and economic advantage

                                                       your money
                        Seven money lessons every member should know
                                                     your account
                                    The 2009 guaranteed rate of return is…
                                                         your kiosk
      weabenefits.com   Reduce your expenses with free goods and services
{ your$        CONTENTS                 WINTER 2009



    3 YOUR ACCOUNT you
    - New regulations change what
      can do with 403(b) accounts.

    - Find out if you qualify for the
      Saver’s Tax Credit.

    - Midterm policy exam now online.

    - NEW! Increased coverage limits
      for service vehicles and sewer
                                               4                                6
      and drain backup.

    4 YOUR MONEY lessons 10 YOUR complicates
    Finances 101: Seven money
                              - Market turmoil
                                               KIOSK
                                                 retirement planning.
    every member should know.
                                               - Free stuff!
    6 YOUR participants Carol
    Find out what
                  STORY                        - Still time for ‘08 IRA
                                                 contributions.
    and Terry Leaman did to simplify           - Little known facts.
    management of their retirement
    savings accounts.
                                                                                             10

    {   president’s letter
        Dave Kijek, President/CEO, WEA Trust Member Benefits


    Good news in uncertain times
                       Welcome back to         member Mary Dawson, Library Media
                     another issue of your$,   Teacher at Kenosha Unified. She was
                     and thank you for all     the winner of an Apple iBook—part of
                     the positive feedback.    our anniversary celebration held at the
                     Despite the negative      WEAC convention.
                     economic events of           As your member benefits organization,
                     the fourth quarter, we    it is incumbent upon us to assist you with
                     are hoping to start the   programs and services that will help you
                     new year off on a high     and your family achieve your financial          We hope that you will think of us
                     note. We are delighted    goals—in good times and not-so-good          as a resource to help you achieve your
                     to offer 5.25% annual      times. Whether it’s offering an attractive    financial goals.
    rate of return in our TSA and IRA          guaranteed rate, presenting educational
    guaranteed accounts.                       seminars, evaluating your auto and             Sincerely,
      We announced the rate at the             home coverages, answering questions
    WEAC fall convention, where we also        about your investments, or providing
    celebrated more than 36 years of service   money saving tips in this magazine, we
    to members. Congratulations to WEAC        are here for you.

2                                                                                                                 weabenefits.com
{ your account                                                                     Insurance News

IRA and 403(b) News
New IRS 403(b) Regulations Twists and Turns
                                                                                   Exam
  Effective January 1, 2009: If you are receiving distributions from your 403(b)
account and you decide to go back to work, even briefly, you may no longer be
eligible to receive a penalty-free distribution and may have to discontinue pay-
ments. Exchanges, transfers, and rollovers have changed dramatically and are
now administered per school district plan directives.
                                                                                   Time
                                                                                      One of the services we provide our
  If your school district hired a third party administrator (TPA) to help them     policyholders is the Midterm Policy
with their 403(b) plans, you are required to complete additional forms from the    Exam.
TPA in order to process most transactions or account changes. Please contact          There is no need to cram for this
the TPA or your payroll office for the additional forms and/or approval. Even if    exam. Your Midterm Policy Exam is a
you are retired from a school district, you are affected by the district’s plan.   joint effort between you and us. Your
  The staff at WEA Trust Member Benefits is eager to help. Call us at               answers determine if you are exposed
1-800-279-4030 for help navigating the changes.                                    to any unnecessary risks. We provide
                                                                                   an evaluation of how well your policies
Watch for your 1099R                                                               manage your
  If you took a reportable distribution from your WEA Trust Member Benefits         risks.
retirement account during 2008, we will send you a 1099R to the address we         We also
have on file on or before January 31, 2009.                                         verify
Do you qualify for the Saver’s Tax Credit?                                         that your
   The Saver’s Tax Credit allows retirement plan participants with annual ad-      policy infor-
justed gross income of up to $26,000 (filing individually) or $52,000 (filing        mation is
jointly) to save on their federal income tax. The maximum annual contribu-         up-to-date
tion eligible for the credit is $2,000 per person. The rate is based on your       and      that
income in the taxable year for which you claim the credit.                         you are receiv-
                                                                                   ing all available
WEAccess user ID and passwords                                                     discounts.
  A PIN was assigned to you when you opened your TSA or IRA account. For              For your convenience, you can com-
a PIN reminder, call the Account Information Line at 1-800-279-2490 or go          plete the Midterm Policy Exam online
to weabenefits.com and click on Access Your Account.                                at weabenefits.com.

IRA Charitable Rollover Extension
  The IRA Charitable Rollover has been extended allowing individuals age
70½ and older to donate up to $100,000 from their IRAs to charities tax-free.
The extension is retroactive, applying to distributions made throughout both
the 2008 and 2009 tax years.
                                                                                   NEW!
                                                                                   Sewer and Drain
                                                                                   Backup Limits
                                                                                   Increased
                                                                                     The coverage limit for damage to
                                                                                   property resulting from water back-
                                                                                   ing up through sewer and drains has
                                                                                   been increased to $20,000.

                                                                                      Please call us at 1-800-279-4010
                                                                                   if you would like to increase your
                                                                                   current coverage.



weabenefits.com                                                                                                               3
{ your money

    Finances 101:




                                                       Lesson #1:

    G
                o ahead—ask your colleagues if                                                          “Evaluating what is coming in and what
                they think they’ll get rich working    Spend less than you earn                      is going out each month is fundamental
                in public education. After the            We’ve all heard this before, but this is   to financial success,” says Echeverria.
                raised eyebrows and the “you’re        sound advice that will serve you well.
    kidding, right?” reaction, it’s almost certain        “The idea of spending less than you        Lesson #2: Create a budget
    that most, if not all (yourself included), will    earn is one of the most important                Do you cringe at the thought of taking
    answer “no.”                                       financial concepts to understand and live      the time to track how you spend your
       Most likely, money isn’t the primary            by,” says Brenda Echeverria, a Retirement     money? Kick aside the frustration and
    reason why you or your colleagues went into        Savings Consultant at WEA Trust               fear by changing the way you define the
    teaching. It’s the love of the profession—the      Member Benefits. “However, this simple         word “budget.” Think of it as “telling your
    sharing of knowledge, making a difference           concept can be difficult for some people        money where to go instead of wondering
    in kids’ lives, seeing your students’ eyes light   to follow.”                                   where it went.”
    up when something “clicks.”                           Spending less than you earn on a              “A budget allows you to take control of
       The truth is, Wisconsin public school           consistent basis is the key to increasing     your financial future. Although it may seem
    employees can do very well for themselves.         financial stability. You can’t increase your   tedious and unnecessary, budgets are smart
    However, building financial knowledge and           savings, make investments, reduce debt,       and necessary road maps for members to
    good habits is essential.                          or even make wise spending decisions          reach their financial goals,” Echeverria
       Follow this lesson plan to learn seven          if you’re consistently outspending your       notes.
    key principles that will help you achieve          income.                                          “I was always pretty good at saving and
    financial success.                                                                                budgeting, but I realize the importance of

4                                                                                                                             weabenefits.com
it even more now. When it comes time to        afford not to save.                             learn, and unless it is a passion for you,
replace my car or buy a house, I know I’ll        Participate in your district’s 403(b)       it can easily become overwhelming. I
be thankful,” says Kiley Bohen, a third year   retirement plan and open a Roth IRA to         would recommend contacting WEA Trust
spanish teacher at Monona Grove High           help secure your financial future.              Member Benefits. They can help you
School.                                           “It is essential that members begin         create and manage a retirement portfolio
                                                                                              that works for you.”
“I was always pretty good at saving and budgeting,                                            Lesson #5:
but I realize the importance of it even more now.                                             Have enough insurance
When it comes time to replace my car or buy a                                                    It only takes one incident to destroy
                                                                                              a person’s financial future. “Not being
house, I know I’ll be thankful.”                                                              properly insured exposes you and your
                                                                                              family to financial risks,” says Marty
- Kiley Bohen, Monona Grove School District                                                   Richards, a Worksite
                                                                                              Benefit Consultant
Lesson #3:                                     saving for retirement early in their career.
                                                                                              at Member Benefits.
Establish an emergency fund                    The more time you have to save, the
                                                                                              Review the coverages
   Expect the unexpected—this is the motto     more time you have to take advantage of
                                                                                              of your insurance
behind an emergency fund. Financial            compounding interest,” notes Echeverria.
                                                                                              policies—do      you
emergencies can come in the form of a job         Jarred Gerl, an art teacher in the Fond
                                                                                              have     the    right
loss, unexpected auto repairs, significant      du Lac school district, notes, “When it
                                                                                              amount of insurance
medical expenses, or worse. The last thing     really comes down to it, I find it difficult
                                                                                              for your auto and
you want is to be forced to rely on credit     to make time for regular check-ups on my
                                                                                              home? Those who
cards or a loan which could compound the       retirement finances. There is so much to
                                                                                                                    Continued on page 9
problem.
   “Most experts agree that you should
keep between three to six months worth
of your living expenses set aside in your       CREATING A BUDGET
emergency fund,” advises Echeverria.            Budgets are the only practical way to get a grip on your spending—
   While it may seem an overwhelming            and to make sure your money is being used the way you want it to
task, Echeverria notes that the key is to
                                                be. Consider these tips when creating your budget.
start small. “Accumulating one month’s
worth of expenses will take time, let alone
                                                Identify how you’re spending money now.
three to six months worth of expenses.          Track your expenses for a month. Be sure to record every purchase no matter how
Setting small and manageable savings            small. Once you know where your money is going, you can decide how to best allocate
goals will give you a better chance of          your money. See page 11 for information about a free online budget service.
reaching your goals.”
   Paying yourself first each time you get       Automatically save.
                                                This means saving for both your short-term (i.e., new car, kids, paying off student
a paycheck is also a helpful strategy. If
                                                loans) and long-term (retirement) future. Have a certain amount from each paycheck
possible, have a portion of your paycheck       automatically transferred into a savings account and 403(b) and/or IRA retirement
deducted and put into a savings account         savings account. Automatically having the money set aside before you even see it puts
before you even see the money.                  your savings on autopilot.

Lesson #4:                                      Get your priorities straight.
Save for the future                             Food, entertainment, clothing, vacations—these are all discretionary expenses that you
                                                have control over. That’s where priorities come in. We can’t have everything we want,
   Buying that new car, planning that next
                                                but we can direct our money toward things we want the most.
vacation, or purchasing your first home
takes financial planning. “These short-          Pay down debt.
term savings goals are most likely at the       The secret to paying off debt is to determine how much you can afford to pay each
forefront of younger members’ minds.            month and make those payments consistently. It’s important to keep sending the
However, many of them do not fully              maximum amount you can afford to send. Don’t make the mistake of reducing the
                                                amount you send when you see your balance going down.
realize their responsibility in saving for
their long-term goals, namely retirement,”      Stick with it.
says Echeverria.                                Once you’ve determined how much to set aside for saving, spending, investing, and
   Don’t allow yourself to think that you       paying off debt, it’s time to consistently stick with your budget. Maybe this means
can’t afford to save for retirement, but         you only pay for purchases with cash. Or maybe you need to visit your budget often to
rather convince yourself that you can’t         remind yourself of your spending rules. Whatever it is, consistency is the key.

weabenefits.com                                                                                                                             5
{ your story
                                                         Sometimes
                                                                 LESS
                                                            is really




MOREHaving more retirement accounts is not the same as having more money. Consolidation
    may actually give you more control and security because it simplifies management of your
    investments. At the very least, you may eliminate redundant fees.



    S
              everal years ago, Terry and Carol   his accounts into an IRA Guaranteed         Simplicity
              Leaman made a big financial          Account. “The rate was 5% at the time—         A common reason people consolidate
              move—literally. They moved          a darn good rate.”                          is convenience, according to McCalla.
              all the money they had saved           Rob McCalla, a Retirement Income         “Convenience means different things to
    for retirement to one place—WEA Trust         Consultant at WEA Trust Member              different people. It can mean controlling
    Member Benefits.                               Benefits, agrees that as you approach        and understanding your financial
       “There were three reasons we               retirement, you need to consider reducing   situation, it can mean easier management
    consolidated: comfort, simplicity, and        your risk. “Most people approaching         of contributions and withdrawals, or just
    economic advantage,” says Terry. Terry        retirement have more to lose and less       being able to call one place to get help.”
    and Carol were preparing to retire. “We       time to make up for market losses before       Easy reading. Managing multiple
    sat down with a consultant [from Member       they will need the money.”                  accounts can be a lot of work. If you
    Benefits]. She evaluated our situation and        Considering the recent economic          have five different accounts, you receive
    told us what we could expect income-wise      debacle on Wall Street, the Leamans         five different quarterly statements. Each
    when we retired. We even found I could        are happy with their decision. “I have      reports the quarter’s activities differently,
    retire earlier than I expected. Moving the    an adversity to risk now. In retrospect,    so it’s no small feat to get a glimpse at
    money made sense for us. Carol had her        it was absolutely the right move for us.    your overall situation.
    403(b) with WEA and we felt comfortable       We have a good life, and I can sleep at        With your assets in fewer places, you
    with the organization.”                       night.”                                     get a clearer snapshot of where you are
                                                                                              financially. The Leamans agree. “We really
    “There are three reasons we consolidated:                                                 wanted to make life simple,” says Terry.
                                                                                              “We put our money in one place so we
    comfort, simplicity, and economic advantage.”                                             only receive one set of statements, and we
    - Terry Leaman                                                                            know exactly where we’re at.”
                                                                                                 McCalla points out that consolidation
    Comfort                                         Feeling comfortable with the level        also makes tracking contributions and
      Terry had two 401(k) accounts from          of risk you take when investing is key.     withdrawals easier. Because there are limits
    previous employers and an IRA, all            McCalla suggests that you revisit your      to how much you can contribute to most
    heavily invested in stocks. “We went          asset mix periodically to make sure your    retirement accounts—penalties will apply
    through the hi-tech boom and the bust         tolerance for risk matches how you are      if you go over—multiple accounts require
    and wanted to get out.” He rolled over        investing your money.                       you to more closely monitor where and
6                                                                                                                      weabenefits.com
how much you contribute.                      Economic Advantage
   Headache-Free MRDs. The Internal              Consolidation may save you money by             What can go where?
Revenue Service (IRS) requires you to         eliminating or reducing fees. The number             Rolling money from one retire-
start withdrawing money from certain          one factor in determining your rate of             ment savings account to another
types of accounts, such as a 403(b) and       return—after asset allocation—is cost.             is fairly straightforward. Gener-
Traditional IRA, generally at age 70½.        Fees eat into your bottom line, so to make         ally, the IRS allows you to directly
These withdrawals are called minimum          the most of your invested dollar, you will         rollover money from one qualified
required distributions (MRDs).                want to minimize the fees you pay.                 account to another qualified ac-
   “Retired people with multiple accounts        “Ask for a list of all the fees that apply to   count as long as they are the same
struggle with this,” says McCalla. When       each of your accounts, including mortality         flavor—meaning before-tax ac-
calculating your MRD, you must consider       and expense fees, surrender charges, and           counts may rollover into another
all of your accounts. And although you        administrative fees. You may reduce your           before-tax account and after-tax
have control from where and how you           expenses by consolidating your accounts,”          may roll into after-tax. You can roll
want your MRD to be taken, you are            McCalla suggests.                                  over 401(k), 457, 403(b), or IRA ac-
also responsible for communicating your
                                                                                                 counts (including SEP and Simple
withdrawal plans to all your account          Rolling money during market
                                                                                                 IRAs) into a 403(b) or IRA. However,
providers. “Failing to make your intentions   unrest: Is it a good idea?                         rollovers from some account types
clear can go bad in two ways. Either too        Generally, if you move money during              may require a qualifying event such
much money will be distributed to you         a volatile time in a lateral way—to a very         as separation from service or turn-
or not enough, which results in an IRS        similar set of investments—chances are you         ing age 59½.
penalty of 50% of the MRD amount that         won’t see a large change in your account
was not distributed,” he explains.            balance, according to McCalla.                     Who can rollover?
                                                                                                   Rollovers into a WEAC IRA ac-
“Ask for a list of all the fees that apply to each of                                            count offered through Member
                                                                                                 Benefits are open to WEAC mem-
your accounts. Chances are you can reduce your                                                   bers and their immediate family
expenses by consolidating your accounts.”                                                        or employees of districts partici-
                                                                                                 pating in our Trust Advantage pro-
 - Rob McCalla                                                                                   gram. This means your spouse,
                                                                                                 dependent children, parents, and
   One point of contact. Consolidation           “However, moving money heavily                  parents-in-law are eligible to take
gives you a single point of contact.          invested in stocks to a fixed investment            advantage of our low fees and the
Questions about your statement or your        is a different story,” he says. Here’s the          5.25% guaranteed rate.
asset allocations can get answered with       difference: Money that remains in the                 If you have questions about roll-
one phone call. And account changes,          stock market has the potential to make up          overs, call us at 1-800-279-4030.
such as address or beneficiary changes, are
a breeze.                                                              Continued on page 8



{ MEMBER PROFILE
   Terry and Carol Leaman live in Oshkosh. Carol taught
second, fourth, and fifth grades in three different elemen-
tary schools during her 30-year career in the Oshkosh
Area School District. She saved for retirement through
her employer’s 403(b) plan with WEA TSA Trust. Several
years ago, in preparation for retirement, Terry consoli-
dated his 401(k) and IRA accounts into one account with
Member Benefits. “All of our retirement money is in one
place. We’re very happy with our decision. It’s been noth-
ing but positive.”
   The Leamans have enjoyed spending time in their re-
tirement (and several years before) restoring their 1929-
era tutor revival home which overlooks Lake Winnebago.
They also enjoy their two German Shepherds (Zeke and
Libby), as well as yoga, kayaking, tennis, and gardening.


weabenefits.com                                                                                                                           7
                                                                                                      {
    Continued from page 7                          fixed account, you are locking in the 25%
                                                   loss in value in the account.
    some or all of your losses when the market
    rebounds as long as it maintains essentially      Regardless of market conditions, take                     WANT MORE?
    the same mix of investments (small cap to      care when moving money. “If you decide                       What’s your risk profile?
    small cap, large cap to large cap, and so      to roll over money, be careful to avoid
                                                   common and costly mistakes,” McCalla                         Risk Assessment Tool
    on). Moving that same money into a fixed
                                                   warns. (See sidebar.)                                        weabenefits.com
    account locks in the losses.
       Example: You have $100,000 in a                Before investing in any mutual fund,
                                                                                                                Ask Rollover Questions
    moderately aggressive portfolio (80%           call WEA Trust Member Benefits at
                                                                                                                Call 1-800-279-4030
    stocks and 20% bonds). According to            1-800-279-4030 to request a prospectus. We
    your latest statement, your account            advise you to read it carefully and consider the
    balance is down 25%—your new balance           fund’s investment objectives, risks and charges    gain or lose value. To the extent you elect
    is $75,000. If you are rolling the $75,000     and expenses carefully before investing. The       to invest in mutual funds as opposed to the
    to another account with basically the same     prospectus contains this and other information     guaranteed investment, you increase your
    investments (80/20), you may recover           about the investment company.                      risk and potential for loss. Past performance
    some or all of it when the market goes            Keep in mind that mutual fund                   is no guarantee for future results. Future
    up. If however you move the $75,000 to a       investments are not guaranteed and may             performance may be lower or higher than
                                                                                                      past performance.
                                                                                                         This article is for informational purposes
                                                                                                      only and not intended to be legal or tax
    Costly Rollover Mistakes                                                                          advice. Consult your tax-advisor or attorney
                                                                                                      before taking any action.
    Avoid these 6 common rollover mistakes.
         Missing the 60-day deadline. The biggest mistake people make
    1  when rolling over money from one retirement savings account to another is
    missing the 60-day deadline, at which point penalties and taxes apply. Avoid this                   VOCABULARY
    costly mistake with a direct transfer from company to company.                                      Unrealized Gain or Loss:
                                                                                                        a profit or loss that results from
    2    Falling in the 20% withholding trap. If you are rolling over a 401(k)                          holding on to an investment rather
       from a previous employer and the check is made out to you instead of the                         than selling it. For example, if you
    new 401(k) company, the check issuer is required to withhold 20% for federal                        purchased an investment at $10
    taxes. You will have to come up with the missing 20% or pay income taxes (plus                      per share and it is currently valued
    a 10% penalty on the withdrawal if you are under age 55). You won’t receive the                     at $15 per share, the increase in
    withheld money until you file taxes the following year.                                              the share price is not paid out to
                                                                                                        you until the investment is sold and
    3    Losing benefits/features. Rolling over retirement accounts may not                              thus considered an unrealized gain.
       be the best move if you will lose features or benefits offered in your existing                   If the same investment is valued at
    account—such as a death benefit or any income guarantees. Rolling over may                           $5 per share, and again you hold on
    not be a good choice for you if you lose access to specific funds or asset types                     to it, you would have an unrealized
    you want in your retirement portfolio.                                                              loss.

         Activating surrender fees. Moving money when a surrender                                       Dollar Cost Averaging:
    4                                                                                                   an investment strategy where you
       fee applies can be costly. There are ways to rollover a portion of your
    account without activating the surrender fees. Call a retirement consultant                         invest the same amount of money
                                                                                                        at set intervals regardless of the
    for details.
                                                                                                        share price. As the price rises,
         Rolling into new surrender charges. Make sure you understand                                   fewer shares are purchased, and
    5                                                                                                   as the price falls more shares
       what fees are charged before you move your money. Rolling into an account
                                                                                                        are purchased. The goal of this
    with a surrender period means you will be penalized if you move the money
                                                                                                        investment approach is to buy more
    before the surrender period has expired (typically 7 to 20 years).
                                                                                                        shares at a lower average cost per
          Market timing. If you decide to move money based on where the market                          share over time. It is also a strategy
    6                                                                                                   that is intended to reduce exposure
       is on a given day, recognize that the transaction is not instantaneous. Some
                                                                                                        to risk associated with making a
    providers can take weeks to process the transfer of funds. Your selling and
                                                                                                        single large purchase.
    purchase power is set on the day of the transfer, not on the day you initiate the
    transaction.
8                                                                                                                               weabenefits.com
                                                     “Don’t be afraid to learn about your district’s
                                                     benefits and goals for its teachers.”
                                                      - Kiley Bohen, Monona Grove School District

                                              teachers,” advises Bohen. “I often felt        If you don’t contribute, you’re giving
                                              shy about not knowing much about my            up money that’s coming to you in an
Continued from page 3                                                                        employer match. This is an employment
                                              benefits. I found answers by involving
rent should purchase renters insurance.       myself in district and union activities        benefit you can’t afford to pass up,” says
It’s a very economical way to protect your    and asking knowledgeable colleagues.”          Echeverria.
stuff. Even if you feel your possessions are     When evaluating your employee
fairly modest, losing even one big ticket     benefits, Echeverria advises each member        Lesson #7: Watch your fees
item or many smaller possessions at once      ask themselves these questions:                  Financial companies, including banks,
could be financially devastating.                Do I understand my group insurance           brokers, and credit card companies, make
                                              plans (health, dental, short- and long-        money by charging fees. Make sure you
Lesson #6:                                    term disability, long-term care, life          understand exactly what fees apply and
Understand your benefits                       insurance, etc.)?                              shop around for the best deal.
   While there are many reasons people          Do I understand Wisconsin Retirement           Avoid additional expenses that you
decide to accept a job, salary is probably    System (the state pension plan)?               have control over, like late fees, finance
one of the biggest considerations.              How can I start contributing to my           charges, and over limit fees. They can
However, financially speaking, it’s not all    district’s 403(b) retirement savings           take a large chunk out of your hard




                                                                                               {
about salary. Echeverria notes that benefits   plan?                                          earned cash.
should go hand in hand with salary. “In         Does my school district offer flexible
some cases, the value of the benefits can      spending accounts? Do I understand
more than make up for a difference in          how it benefits me?                                            WANT MORE?
salary when considering two employment          Does my district offer payroll
                                                                                                            Salary guide and cost
opportunities.”                               deduction for auto and home insurance
   Employee benefits can be confusing,         and IRA contributions through the Trust                       of living information
but don’t let this scare you away from        Advantage program?                                            rileyguide.com
trying to understand them.                      “For those with spouses in the public                       Financial resource
   “Don’t be afraid to learn about your       sector, make sure to take advantage of                        bankrate.com
district’s benefits and goals for its          401(k) employer matching contributions.




                                                                               No. 1 rated health plan in Wisconsin
                                                                                             CAHPS® survey results, 2008
                                                                                        For more information, visit weatrust.com




weabenefits.com                                                                                                                           9
{ your kiosk
 Market turmoil complicates
 retirement planning
                                                                                                             TWO
                                                                                                             Average number of weeks
                                                                                                            people spend in their lives at
                                                                                                                    traffic lights.
 Careful planning is more critical than ever
    The year 2008 will go down in history as one of the most difficult for financial markets.
 Stocks, bonds, money market funds—investments of all types were affected in ways that will
 resonate for months and possibly years to come.
    For those of you who are considering retirement, recent market turmoil has complicated the
 planning process and added considerable uncertainty. Can I still retire on schedule? If not, what
                                                                                                            60,000
                                                                                                           The number of miles long your
 do I have to do to get back on track toward a financially secure retirement? Are my investments           system of blood vessels is. That’s
 properly positioned to help me through these uncertain times? Will I need to go back to work               long enough to go around the
 to make ends meet?                                                                                            world more than twice.
    Careful preparation can help ensure that you remain financially secure. Wisconsin public
 school employees and members of WEAC-Retired are eligible to receive a Retirement Income


                                                                                                            eleven
 Analysis offered by WEA Trust Member Benefits. This fee-based service can provide you with:
    • Knowledge of whether you are on track to meet your goals.
     • Suggested adjustments to meet your goals.
                                                                                                              The number of pounds of
     • Your Wisconsin Retirement System projection.                                                        chocolate the average American
     • Your Social Security projection.                                                                          consumes per year.
     • A retirement distribution and cash flow analysis.
     • A tax analysis to help you anticipate your future income tax liability.

 To learn more or to schedule an appointment,
 call 1-800-279-4030, Ext. 2513 or 6769.                                                                    15,210

{
 Investment advisory services offered through WEA Financial Advisors, Inc.                                The number of miles Wisconsin
                                                                                                           boasts of snowmobile trails.
     WANT MORE?
      For the “do-it-yourself” types:
        etf.wi.gov/calculator.htm
        ssa.gov/planners/calculators
        weabenefits.com,“Retirement Projection” calculator
      Or, WEAC members may set up a free financial consultation with:
                                                                                                            266
                                                                                                             million people in the United
        Bob Moeller, CFP®, RIA, CPA                                                                           States have cellphones.
        WEAC Member Benefits Financial Planner 1-800-362-8034




                                                                                                { FEEDBACK
                                                                                                     Do you have a story to tell? Do
                                                                                                     you want to tell us what you think
                                                                                                     about the magazine, or suggest
                                                                                                     an article idea?
                                                                                                     Send an e-mail to
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                                                                                                     Please type “your$” into the
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10                                                                                                                          weabenefits.com
Free stuff
 Feeling pinched? It may be time to tighten the proverbial financial
                                                                                                Still time
                                                                                                for 2008 IRA
belt. But where to start? This list of freebies may help you identify
ways to reduce your expenses by taking advantage of free stuff.
                                                                                                contributions!
                                                                                                  There is still time to make
FREE SOFA PLUS                                           According to their Web site,           contributions to your IRA—or
   One person’s trash is                               Wesabe can help you organize your        open one—for the 2008 tax
another’s treasure. You’ll                             information and pinpoint areas           year. Contributions for 2008
find all sorts of free stuff on                          where you could improve, all while
your local Craigslist site,                            protecting your passwords, identity,     must be postmarked by April
including couches, chairs,                              and other sensitive information.        15, 2009.
entertainment centers, and                              You can also get feedback from            Be sure to indicate the year
tables. Many are in heavily                            other Wesabe users.
used condition but will work fine to                                                             for which you are contributing.
furnish a dorm or first apartment.               FREE HELP WITH                                  Contribution limits for 2008
There are now 11 Wisconsin Craigslist           HOME IMPROVEMENT                                are $5,000 per year for those
sites. Just Google “Craigslist                       To save money on a home renovation
Wisconsin.”                                        project, it’s a no-brainer to do the work    under age 50 and $6,000 for
                                                   yourself. Get the skills necessary through   those age 50 and older.
FREE BOOKS,                                      free workshops at your local hardware
MUSIC, & MOVIES                                 store.                                           IRA Contribution Limits
   Don’t forget about one of the best deals       For example, Home Depot provides free               for 2008-2009
in town—the public library. If you haven’t     hands-on clinics on topics such as installing
been lately, you might not realize that in     flooring, tiling a backsplash, and installing           Under Age 50
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heaps of magazines, CDs, and movies.           handy video how-tos at HomeDepot.com,
                                                                                                          $5,000
   Many libraries also offer free lectures,     Lowes.com, ThisOldHouse.com, or at                     Age 50 or Older
computer training, book readings, children     your local library.
story hours, and community clubs.
                                                                                                          $6,000
                                               FREE MONEY FOR COLLEGE
FREE CAPITAL GAINS                                Recommended by over 15,500 high                 If you would like to open
            Who wouldn’t love to let their     schools and 3,500 colleges, FastWeb.com
                investments grow 100%          claims to be the nation’s largest, most          an IRA, call 1-800-279-4030
                     tax-free? Take a pass     accurate, and most frequently updated            or enroll at weabenefits.com.
                          on paying capital    scholarship database online.
                             gains taxes by      • Free scholarship search
                             investing in a      • Personalized scholarship matching
                           Roth IRA. Any         • Side-by-side college comparison
                         money you put           • Financial aid and student loan tips
                        into your Roth           • Part-time jobs and internships search
                       grows tax-free, and
                    you won’t owe Uncle
                     Sam a dime when
                     you cash out in
                   retirement.

FREE BUDGETING
   Looking for help on keeping tabs on
your budget? You don’t have to shell out
for Quicken or Microsoft Money software.
Track your spending instead through the free
service at Wesabe.com.



weabenefits.com                                                                                                              11
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                                                                                           PAID
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                                                                                         PERMIT NO 2750

PO Box 7893, Madison, WI 53707-7893




                                         Why did I switch
                                        to WEA Trust Member Benefits for my auto and
                                       home insurance?

                                      I love that I have insurance
                                      with an organization created
                                      just for me.
                                      And, it’s not an
                                       off-the-shelf policy.
                                          The special features and
                                            coverages provide
            Compare                             me with more
           your current                              protection.
          auto and home
           insurance to
            WEA Trust
         Member Benefits.




                      simply
             You’ll find that it’s

             better insurance.
                 Find out if you qualify for this benefit program.
                Call 1-800-279-4010 or go to weabenefits.com
     Auto           •        Home/Condo               •        Renters   •   Additional Liability

				
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