Author: Justin Rush, CFP®

Investment Options for Teachers

It seems many professionals, including some financial advisors, assume a teacher’s pension will be sufficient to meet retirement spending goals. After all, some retired teachers may receive a pension that’s comparable to the salary they received while working. So why should a teacher be concerned with his or her investment options? Well, what if it’s not fair to assume pension income is enough? What if a teacher needs more retirement income than his or herRead More

The Best Way to Prepare for Retirement

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” But have you ever considered what that actually means? It takes time to complete an important task…a lot of time! In the case of Rome, think about all the planning that went into acquiring the land, designing the city, getting proper building permits, interviewing contractors…OK, perhaps we’ve ventured into modern day issues! But the point is it took a lot of time andRead More

Back to School Financial Tips

It seems like just yesterday I shared my list of Summer Break Tips for Teachers. Now, a new school year is right around the corner and it’s time to prepare for it! Here are three financial tips to consider as you prepare for the upcoming school year. 1. Take Advantage of the Sales Tax Holiday In Ohio, August 5-7 has been designated a sales tax holiday. Not in Ohio? Use this chart to determine whetherRead More

Considerations when only one spouse is an STRS Ohio Member

As I’ve worked with more and more members of STRS Ohio, it’s become clear the recent changes to the system are not only on the mind of the participant, but also the participant’s spouse. In fact, on several occasions I have been sought out by a spouse of an STRS Ohio member to provide clarity regarding the changes. Few STRS Ohio members seem to have a complete grasp on how their benefits have changed andRead More

Why almost everyone needs a financial advisor

There’s no denying the fact that this post contains some bias. After all, I am a financial advisor. However, when I talk to people about their financial and life goals, the one response I frequently hear is “I wish I had one of you earlier”. To clarify one thing, there is a difference between a “financial advisor” and someone merely trying to sell you a product (e.g. 403(b) vendor or insurance agent). Anyone that’s had aRead More

Retirement Savings Tax Considerations for Teachers

In my experience, I’ve found most teachers understand the need to save beyond their STRS Ohio pension in order to meet retirement goals. The 403(b) is perhaps the most common type of retirement savings account utilized for this purpose. However, many teachers don’t seem to be fully aware of other options, nor do they understand the future tax consequences of their decision. As previously discussed, a 403(b) is a tax-deferred retirement savings account available toRead More

Should I Save for Retirement or Pay Down Debt?

In a recent post, I provided some practical tips for setting financial goals. Let’s be honest, setting goals is hard. And actually putting together a plan (and carrying it out!) to reach your goals is even more difficult. But to further complicate things, what happens when you identify goals that seem to be in direct competition with one another? “Should I save for retirement or pay down debt?” This is a question I frequently receiveRead More

Summer Break Tips for Teachers

For many teachers, summers provide a break from the late nights, stressful days, and countless hours of planning. They’re a time to travel to a favorite vacation spot, finally tackle that project around the house, or maybe even work a part-time job for extra income. However, summers may also be used as a time to “get ahead.” Here are three things STRS Ohio members may wish to consider as the summer months approach. 1. IncreaseRead More

Mid-Career STRS Ohio Planning Opportunities

If you’re a mid-career member of STRS Ohio, with five (5) to twenty-five (25) years of service credit, you may be wondering what opportunities you have to plan for your future. After all, most decisions related to your STRS benefits were made as a new member. While the decisions you have to make regarding your STRS benefits may be minimal, there are some important STRS milestones to keep in mind and financial planning opportunities existRead More

New Guidelines, Better Advice?

Most people think that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulates the investment markets and providers of investment advice, and that the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) regulates the Wall Street sales agents. But in fact, when it comes to your retirement plan, like a 403(b) account, the chief regulator is actually the United States Department of Labor.  Anybody who provides advice to these plans has to meet standards generally defined in the 1975 lawRead More