Back to school…back to saving for retirement

DATE | 09/06/19
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If you're not saving as much for retirement as you should, back to school time is a great time to get your savings back on track, too. Here are a few tips to help you make the most of saving for retirement.

Start saving…now. National 403(b) Day is observed every September! Our celebration idea for you: Open a 403(b) or increase your contributions.

You can save with a 403(b) through your district, and if eligible, you can also open an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). Try to save as much as you can. Keep in mind that even a small amount can make a big difference over time due to compound interest. (Try out EconEd’s compound interest calculator that visually shows the dramatic effect that compounding can have on investments.)

If you wondering how much you can afford to save, use our helpful online budget sheet, which can help you maximize your savings and clarify your short- and long-term savings goals.

Make sure to fund your account. If you have a 403(b), enrolling is not enough. Be sure you’ve also filled out the appropriate Salary Reduction Agreement (SRA) so you can begin funding your account.

If you have an IRA, making automatic contributions directly from your savings or checking account will make it much easier to save. With Member Benefits, you can set up SmartPlan, or you can use payroll deduction if your district offers it.

Take the match. If your school district offers a match in your 403(b) plan, take it. It’s free money. Added bonus: The match effectively increases your income without increasing your tax bill, since you pay no taxes on matching contributions until you withdraw them in retirement.

If you’re already saving, consider increasing your contributions. A new school year is a great time to increase your 403(b) contributions by filling out a new SRA. Some employers only allow changes at the start of the school year and then again in January. Others allow more frequent changes.

Both the 403(b) and the IRA have annual contribution limits, which can change every year. Visit to learn more.

Enroll now. Enroll online to open a 403(b) or IRA with Member Benefits, or give us a call and we’ll help get you back on track to saving. If you need more guidance, Member Benefits also offers a variety of financial planning services for members. Call us at 1-800-279-4030.

P.S. Your family members may be able to save, too! Call us to learn more.

Investors should understand the fees and risks involved in making investments, including interest rate risk, credit risk and market risk. The value of market investments can vary; investors can lose some or all of their principal