Resource Library - Traditional and Roth IRA

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Mutual Funds 101: One-decision investing, two options

Learn more about Model Portfolios and Target Retirement Funds (continued from Investment Spotlight: Mutual Funds 101).


Mutual Funds 101: What's next?

Apply what you’ve learned from "Investment Spotlight: Mutual Funds 101" to start investing in your future or evaluate your current investments.


Investment spotlight: Mutual Funds 101

Knowing how to secure your financial well-being is one of the most important things you’ll ever need to do in life. You don’t have to be a genius to do it. You just need to know a few basics, form a plan, and commit to it.


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.


Retirement program myth busters!

We bust some of the common myths members hear about Member Benefits’ retirement and savings program.


Not too late to contribute to your IRA for 2016

IRA contributions for a specific tax year can be made until your tax return deadline…so this year, you may apply IRA contributions (up to the 2016 limit) by April 18, 2017 to the 2016 tax year. This can be done for both Traditional and Roth IRA accounts.


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?"


$aving is a family thing

Your teen can start contributing to our Roth IRA as long as they have a job. See what just $20 a month could do to secure your child’s future.


You'll thank yourself later

Did you know? 54% of American workers say they have less than $25,000 saved for retirement. The biggest regret people have when they retire is that they didn't save enough. Do something today that your future self will thank you for.


Contribution limits remain the same

Are you maximizing your retirement contributions? If not, you may wish to re-evaluate the amount you're putting toward retirement.


Our guaranteed rate

A summary explanation of our Prudential Guaranteed Investment interest rate.


Use your IRA to help charity

Did you know you can choose to give up to $100,000 to a qualified charity from your IRA without counting it as taxable income when you are over 70 ½ years old? This type of gift is called a qualified charitable distribution.


Share the benefits with your family

family treeIf you are already taking advantage of the low-cost retirement savings programs through WEA Member Benefits, you know that more of your money is working for you compared to other programs. As a benefit of your membership in our program, your family members (your spouse or domestic partner, children, parents and parents-in-law) are eligible to participate in our IRA program.1

 


Watch your mail for important retirement information

Look for your 1099-R if you took a reportable distribution from your WEA TSA Trust 403(b) and or WEAC IRA account(s) during 2016. You should also have received information about reviewing your beneficiaries.


To Roth or not to Roth in your IRA

That is the question…but the Roth savings option is often as misunderstood by people as Shakespeare. Get to know some of the benefits and considerations of the Roth so that ‘thee can maketh an informed own choice.’


Smart Money Move #2: Pay less, get more

The impact of fees over time on your IRA or 403(b) account can significantly reduce your nest egg, and not all providers charge the same fees. Learn more about some of the fees to watch for so you can keep more of your money working for you.



Why choose us?

We operate as a trust which reinvests any profits back into programs that benefit participants. As a member organization, we have only your best interest at heart. Helping you achieve your financial goals is our mission.


Women and retirement series: Working with less

In part three of a four-part series on women and retirement, it's a fact that women's lifetime earnings are often lower than men's. Even if you can only put a small amount toward retirement, do it today. It’s never too early or too late to get started.


Income from self-employment? Don't forget SEP retirement contributions

It is not unusual for school employees to have a job on the side during the school year or summer break. If this applies to you, don't miss out on an opportunity to save more for your retirement through a Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) plan.


IRA can mean tax savings…now or later

Contributing to an IRA gives you an opportunity to save for retirement while taking advantage of tax benefits. There are two IRA account types available—Traditional and Roth.


Time to review 403(b) and IRA contribution limits

Are you contributing as much as you can toward your retirement? If you're not maximizing your contributions, you may wish to re-evaluate the amount you're putting toward retirement.


Don’t let December spending give you a January hangover

According to an October 2016 Gallup poll, Americans expect to spend $785 on average for the Christmas holiday. While this may be a positive sign for retailers, it could become a pain in your budget that you’ll feel long after the season is over. Take a few tips from us to stay out of spending trouble and enjoy your holidays more.


Investment spotlight: Prudential Guaranteed Investment

Understanding basic principles about how to analyze an investment can help you make wise choices and feel confident about it. In our January 2017 issue of your$, we’ll help you learn more about investment principles. As a prequel to our upcoming issue, we first shine a spotlight on the Prudential Guaranteed Investment.


IRA

An Individual Retirement Account (IRA) is a great way to save for your future. With an IRA, you can increase your retirement savings and take advantage of tax benefits. We offer mutual fund accounts and guaranteed accounts for both our Roth and Traditional IRAs. Traditional IRAs give you tax-deferred growth and possib


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.


Spend wisely: six financially smart ways to spend your tax refund

Brenda Blog PhotoThe average American receives an annual tax refund of about $3,000. If you received one this year, consider using your refund to improve your financial situation. Here are six great suggestions:

1. Pay off debt. Focus on paying off credit cards and other high interest debt. Use our credit card pay off calculator to see what it will take to pay off your balance.

2. Add to your retirement savings. Add to your current retirement savings plan or open an IRA (Roth or traditional). Unsure which one? Use this tool to determine which IRA may be right for you.

3. Buy more protection. Umbrella insurance,


What to do with your tax return

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

1. Pay off any high interest debt. Use our credit card pay off calculator to see what it will take to pay off your balance.

2. Add to your retirement savings. Add to your current retirement savings plan or open an IRA (Roth or traditional). Unsure which one? Use this tool to determine which IRA may be right for you.

3. Start saving. Open an Edvest or other 529 college savings plan for your kids or grandkids. Build up your emergency fund. Start a money market account with a higher interest rate to save for a vacation, a new car, or home remodel. Whatever your goal, you’ll feel better knowing you have a head start on your savings. Our savings calculator can help you find out what it will take to reach your goal.


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.


Deadlines are coming up before you know it

Get the details on deadlines for 403(b) and IRA exchanges/transfers/rollovers, postdated checks, and year-end withdrawal deadlines.


Frankenstein’s investment style

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


Ghost accounts can haunt your future

Do you have retirement accounts from previous jobs floating out there like ghosts from the past? Forgotten accounts can take on a life of their own. Learn how to head off any scary surprises.


How good is the Prudential Guaranteed Investment guarantee?

The funds in the WEA TSA Trust Program Guaranteed Investment and WEAC IRA Guaranteed Account are held by Prudential Retirement Insurance and Annuity Company. The guaranteed fund invests in a broadly diversified fixed income portfolio, designed to provide safety and an attractive rate of return.


Start the school year out right

The start of a new school year is a good time to take a look at your retirement account. Here are a few things you may want to review.


Q&A: Additional retirement contributions

What do I need to consider if I want to put additional money toward my retirement above my 6.6% contribution to WRS? Should I put it in WRS or another retirement product such as a 403(b) or IRA? Read today's blog post for what to keep in mind when making a decision.


Retired or changed jobs? Keep enjoying our low fees

We get a lot of questions on this one. If you have a 403(b) or an IRA account with us, you can keep it here regardless of your employment status and continue to take advantage of our low fees and great customer service.


Review your beneficiary designations every year

As you experience changes in your life such as marriage, divorce, or death, do not forget to review your beneficiary designations. The beneficiary designations associated with your retirement account(s) take precedence over your will.


You don't need to save a lot to get ahead, but start you must

Michelle Blog PhotoA comfortable retirement is an expensive proposition. But you might be surprised to learn that saving with as little as $20 per pay period can make a difference.

It's ok to start with a small amount, as long as you start. And, the sooner the better.

The importance of saving early is illustrated clearly in our story of Jack and Jill.


You decide how long your money lasts with new withdrawal option

Introducing the Period Certain Withdrawal Option for TSA Guaranteed Accounts You have been contributing to your TSA account for many years, and retirement is just around the corner. How might your money be paid out? What options are available to


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?


Women and retirement series: Taking a risk

By investing too conservatively, many women risk that the rate of inflation will outpace the rate of return on their investments. This may increase their likelihood of facing financial uncertainty in retirement. Seeking out reliable information on saving for retirement can help you make good decisions that can impact your future.


Women and retirement series: Facing unique challenges

Having a secure retirement is important for everyone. But for women, saving for retirement can present some special challenges. In a four-part series on women and retirement, we explore a few of the challenges women may face and offer suggestions on how to minimize their impact on saving for retirement.


Women and retirement series: Caregiving and illness

In the second installation of a four part women and retirement series, we discuss how women are impacted by chronic illness more than men and things you can do today to help yourself later.


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.


We can help you plan ahead for year-end distribution

Laura KampsIf you have a 403(b) or IRA account with Member Benefits, we have some important things for you to make note of as we head towards year-end. Always feel free to contact us with your questions at 1-800-279-4030 or retirement@weabenefits.com.

403(b) and IRA exchanges/transfers/rollovers

Exchanges, transfers, and rollovers require a longer processing time. Your completed paperwork (including approved third-party administrator transaction authorization if applicable) will be submitted to the payer company by the end of December if we receive it by December 20, 2014. This includes requests for IRA recharacterizations and conversions.


Update your retirement goals

Brenda EcheverriaSummer is a great time to revisit your personal financial goals. If you have an IRA or 403(b)/TSA account with us, you can log in to yourMONEY to access your account.

On your home page, you will find a “My Retirement Goals” section with three boxes (blue, green, and red). Clicking on the “Update My Goals” gives you the opportunity to add in information that will indicate how much you will need in retirement, where you are at today, and identify any shortfall. An easy sliding calculator allows you to learn what it will take to eliminate the gap.

We also have a number of free calculators for you to use to help you with your retirement planning as well as savings goals, WRS projections, debt management, and more. Visit weabenefits.com/calc.


Unsung heroes

Educators across the state find financial encouragement, advice, and guidance for becoming financially secure in the profession they love from someone down the hall.


Time is your teen's best friend when it comes to an IRA

Michelle Blog PhotoYou may not think about a teenager opening a Roth IRA, but doing so can be a savvy money move on their part. Time is on your teen’s side because they can benefit from decades of compounding interest in their account.

Compounding is when earnings on your investments are reinvested in your account. The reinvested earnings may also have earnings, and then those earnings are reinvested and on it goes. It’s said that Albert Einstein called compound interest the “eighth wonder of the world.” The earlier teens start saving the better, even if it’s just a small amount.


Teens + IRA = Super savvy

Is your teenager planning for retirement? It sounds strange, yet setting up a Roth IRA for your teen may be one of the smartest things you can do. Plus, it doesn’t require a lot of dough to get it going.


Target Retirement Funds Can Help Simplify Investing

For those that desire a simple, one decision investment option designed to build assets without the need for monitoring or rebalancing, investing in a target retirement fund might be for you. How do target retirement funds work? A target retirement


Taking a conservative investment approach?

Low risk and historically good returns make the Prudential Guaranteed Investment a favorite investment among our participants. But, is a conservative investment like this good enough by itself to get you where you want to be? We discuss why diversification might get you farther.