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your $ A magazine from WEA Member Benefits

SPRING

2015

Financial portrait of a Millennial

your retirement Seniors: Beware of the free lunch!

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Don’t make these insurance mistakes

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CONTENTS SPRING 2015

3 YOUR ACCOUNT - New fund options.

- Stay active and avoid fees. - IRA forms are on their way.

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- There is really no such thing as a free lunch. Invites to financial seminars for seniors often contain red flags. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

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- Wise up with renters insurance.

- Money lessons for Millennials.

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

Follow us. © 2015 WEA Member Benefit Trust. All rights reserved.

Talking about “all” generations

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Although each generation has its own experiences, economic conditions, and events that shape its members’ financial attitudes and habits, the one constant across all generations is the basic desire for the peace of mind that comes with financial security. Your idea of financial security may be different than your neighbor’s, but we all understand the significance of achieving it for ourselves and our families. In this issue of your$, Sarah Klein represents her

Millennial counterparts with her story about the challenges of coming out of college with student loan debt and trying to balance that financial reality with the need to plan long term for retirement. On the other end of the spectrum, members Harold and Mel McCarthy are retired and enjoying it. Their story is a cautionary tale about “free lunch” financial seminars that target seniors. You’ll learn why these offerings are on the Security and Exchange Commission’s radar and what seniors can do to protect their assets. Harold and Mel share their personal experience to help others avoid making devastating financial decisions. Members tell us it’s important that

they have someplace to turn—someone they can trust—for help with financial decisions. As Sarah says in her article, Member Benefits is only here to serve you and to help you make decisions that are in your best interest. We can’t tell our story nearly as well as our members, and we hope you will not only take advantage of the unique services we offer you and your family, but will also spread the word to your colleagues from every generation, so they can benefit from the resources and exceptional programs available to them through Member Benefits. Happy spring! weabenefits.com


{ your account IRA and 403(b) news Enclosed with your statement

Privacy notice and account changes Protection of your nonpublic personal financial information is very important to us. In your 403(b) or IRA statement this quarter there will be a copy of our privacy policy. Please read this information carefully.

Exciting fund enhancements

The following new fund options are now in effect: Pioneer Bond K (PBFKX)—Complements the Prudential Guaranteed Investment for those looking for an additional fixed income option. Vanguard Total International Stock Index Admiral (VTIAX)—Allows those interested in a fully indexed portfolio to include international investments. The following funds have changed share class from index to institutional. These changes will save participants money. • Vanguard Institutional Index, Institutional Plus Shares (VIIIX) • Vanguard Mid-Cap Index, Institutional Shares (VMCIX) • Vanguard Small-Cap Index, Institutional Shares (VSCIX)

Avoid inactive account minimum annual fee

There is a minimum annual fee of $25 for an inactive WEAC IRA and/or WEA TSA Trust 403(b) account with balances less than $5,556 (IRA) or $7,143 (403(b)). Inactive accounts are accounts with no contributions within a calendar year. You can avoid the fee by making a single contribution at any time during the calendar year if you qualify. Also consolidating other accounts into your WEAC IRA and/or WEA TSA Trust 403(b) account could help reduce the amount of fees you are paying. Give us a call at 1-800279-4030 to review your account and discuss other factors you may need to consider when consolidating.

Did you change where you bank or move to a new address?

Make sure your electronic contributions to your WEAC IRA and/or personal insurance continue without interruption by notifying us if you have changed where you bank or if your account information has changed. Likewise, if you have moved, please contact us with your new address to ensure timely delivery of important information.

If your adult kids are still on your policy... then what? They certainly grow up fast. At some point they will be on their own— making their own decisions, buying their own insurance, and renting their own apartment. Good news! Dependent children on your auto insurance policy may continue insurance coverage with Member Benefits after they are on their own. When your son or daughter is ready to purchase their own policy, give us a call. We can help them evaluate their insurance needs and give them a quote. You’ll have peace of mind knowing they are protected with someone you trust to be there when they need it most. Don’t forget to ask about renters insurance—an inexpensive protection against loss of personal property, like laptops. Property and casualty insurance programs are underwritten by WEA Property & Casualty Insurance Company. The terms and conditions of your coverage are exclusively controlled by your written policy. Please refer to your policy for details. Certain policy exclusions and limitations may apply. Restrictions may apply. Wisconsin residency required.

Summer comes, and summer goes...

IRA 5498 forms on their way

Form 5498 is an informational tax form to be sent at the end of May to all Traditional and/or Roth IRA account holders. The form reports the December 31, 2014 fair market value as well as any contributions, transfers, rollovers, conversions, and/or recharacterizations received in the account for 2014. Content in this magazine is for informational purposes only and not intended to be legal or tax advice. Consult your tax advisor or attorney before taking any action. The Trustee Custodian for the WEAC IRA accounts is Verisight Trust Company. The 403(b) retirement program is offered by the WEA TSA Trust. TSA program registered representatives are licensed through WEA Investment Services, Inc., member FINRA. Keep in mind that mutual fund investments are not guaranteed and may gain or lose value. Past performance is no guarantee for future results. Future performance may be lower or higher than past performance. Before investing in any mutual fund, call WEA Trust Member Benefits at 1-800-279-4030 to request a prospectus. We advise you to read it carefully and consider the fund’s investment objectives, risks and charges and expenses carefully before investing. The prospectus contains this and other information about the investment company.

weabenefits.com

Free summer financial planning consultations and insurance consultations fill up fast. Call now to schedule yours. Financial consultation 1-800-279-4030 Insurance consultation 1-800-279-4010

{ FEEDBACK

Do you have a story to tell, a question, or an article suggestion? Send an e-mail to memberbenefits@weabenefits.com. Type “your$” into the subject line.

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{ your retirement A Cautionary Tale:

NO FREE LUNCHES! Seminar invites and ads should be scrutinized for “RED FLAG” language that SEC investigators say is meant to lure you in.

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he Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) reports that 75% of the nation’s consumer financial assets are held by Americans age 50 and older. The value of those assets? Approximately $16 trillion—that’s $16,000,000,000,000! 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. One common marketing approach is to invite seniors to

Those age 60 and older account for 30% of fraud victims even though they make up just 15% of the population. an investment seminar and offer them a free meal. A few years ago, the SEC and the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) conducted an investigation into these so called “free lunch” financial seminars. They had reason to be concerned about unscrupulous and abusive practices as some data indicates that those age 60 and older account for 30% of fraud victims even though they make up just 15% of the total population. They conducted 110 examinations, and as a result, 78% of the firms offering these events received deficiency letters that outlined apparent rule violations, and 23% warranted further investigation or action by the state, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), or the SEC. In half the cases, the sales

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FREE! Sponsors of “free lunch” seminars offer incentives to attend such as free meals commonly held in upscale hotels, restaurants, or resorts. Many also offer door prizes, free books, and vacation deals. For Seniors Only. Titles like “Seniors Financial Survival Workshop” make it clear that senior citizens are the target. Even when advertised as educational, many investment seminars are intended to sell something— financial products or the speaker’s books or services. Limited Seating! By Invitation Only! Reservations Required! Invitations often imply a sense of urgency or exclusivity to encourage attendance. Exaggerated claims or guarantees. These statements were taken from actual promotional materials found by the SEC investigative team:

“Immediately add $100,000 to your net worth.” “How to receive a 133.3% return.” “How $100k can pay 1 Million dollars to your heirs.”

Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

weabenefits.com


materials—including the invitations and advertisements for the events—contained claims that appeared to be exaggerated, misleading, or otherwise unwarranted. And 12 percent of the seminars appeared to involve fraud, ranging from unfounded projections of returns to sales of fictitious products.

You’re invited!

If you are in or near retirement, chances are high that you have received an offer to attend a free-lunch financial seminar. FINRA found that 4 out of 5 investors age 60 and above received at least one invitation to a free investment seminar in the past three years—and 3 out of 5 received six or more. Harold and Mel McCarthy of Chilton, Wisconsin, have received many such offers over the years and attended a few as well. “You mean the ‘educational retirement seminars’ with the succulent dinner and beverages?” Harold chuckles. “Sure, I’ve gone to a few. I went to my first one when we became eligible for Medicare and there was a seminar about Medicare supplemental insurance.” That was 15 years ago—Harold is now 80. Since then Harold has accepted a number of invitations to financial seminars, but he won’t likely be going to more. “My experience has been that you don’t get the whole truth. Unfortunately, you get tunnel vision and you only see the numbers they put on the board...and those numbers look pretty good.” The McCarthy’s son, Tim, a middle school band teacher in Glendale, was surprised and concerned to learn that his parents were interested in listening to these sales pitches for financial products. “My parents are not ignorant about money matters, but it made me and my siblings uncomfortable that they were considering major financial decisions based on guidance from a commissioned sales representative who clearly didn’t have their best interest in mind.”

The untold story

One of the salespeople did convince Harold and Mel to invest with their company. They were told that the new account would pay them a 10% bonus for the investment and pay 7% for ten continued on page 9 weabenefits.com

Before you go (if you must go)… Do your homework before the seminar Investment salespersons (who offer securities) must be licensed. The firm must be registered with FINRA, the SEC, or a state securities regulator— depending on the type of business the firm conducts. An insurance agent must be licensed by the state insurance commissioner where he or she does business. Check out seminar speakers and sponsors: • For a broker or investment adviser, use FINRA BrokerCheck or call toll-free 800-289-9999. • For an insurance agent, check with the Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance. • For all sellers, Department of Financial Institutions: 608-266-1064.

Decide now to decide later Savvy investors refuse to be rushed. Rarely—if ever—do you have to invest your money on the spot. A good investment will be available tomorrow or next week or next month, when you are ready and understand where your money is going.

Ask questions while you are there Ask questions until you are satisfied that you know what you are buying and understand the risks and costs. You should know the answers to questions like: • What are the risks of this investment? • How much does it cost initially to purchase the investment? • What, if any, additional or ongoing costs will I have to pay? • How liquid is this investment? If I need to sell or cash in the investment, how readily can I do so? • What happens if I decide to sell or cash in my investment? Are there surrender charges? Other fees? • For what type of investor is this investment a good/bad idea? • Is the investment registered? If so, with which regulator? If the speaker can’t or won’t answer your questions to your satisfaction, then the investment is not right for you.

If you have been defrauded If you believe you or someone you know have been defrauded or treated unfairly by a securities professional or firm, you can send a written complaint to: FINRA Investor Complaint Center 9509 Key West Avenue Rockville, MD 20850-3329 Phone: (240) 386-HELP (4357) Fax: (866) 397-3290 Complaints can also be filed online at finra.org in their complaint center. This article is for informational purposes only and not intended to be legal or tax advice. Consult your tax advisor or attorney before taking any action. All investment advisory services are offered through WEA Financial Advisors, Inc.

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WANT MORE? Complaints finra.org FINRA Broker Check 1-800-289-9999

WI Dept of Financial Institutions 608-266-1064

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{ your money

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.

I

am a 27-year-old art teacher in Fontana and a Millennial. There’s been a lot of discussion in the media about my generation, comparing us to past generations and trying to understand how we tick. It seems that from a financial standpoint, Millennials are an interesting bunch. We are the largest generation in U.S. history. We’re educated, ethnically diverse, and economically active. We are viewed as carrying significant weight in terms of future economics due to our sheer numbers. We’ve been referred to as “Boomers on steroids” and “the powerhouse of the global economy.” And we are arriving at critical points of financial decision-making as adults. I’m not sure I can represent an entire generation. However, I am certain I share common experiences with fellow Millennials in the teaching profession as well as similar financial challenges and goals. I also think I may have some useful advice to pass along, because I’ve been lucky enough to be on the receiving end of some financial information and advice that helped me take some important steps toward financial security. So here goes.

Frugal beginnings

Just so you know where I’m coming from, I think it’s important to share that growing up I had a reputation as being frugal. One of three girls, I was the one with the frugal gene— the one who saved half her candy bar for later. My parents gave each of us two mason jars, one for spending and the other for

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saving. When you are 10, you don’t know what the savings are for, but you know it’s not just for buying stuff. At the time, I had no idea the impact this simple exercise would have, but now I know the money lessons my parents taught us prepared me for managing my money as an adult. It was important to my parents to instill a sense of financial responsibility and I’m glad.

Grown-up economics

I graduated from college with student loan debt, just like 70% of my peer group who chose to attend public or nonprofit colleges. It’s big news that our $1 trillion of student loan debt is now the largest form of consumer debt in America after home mortgages. In fact, the average borrower has $28,400 of debt. This isn’t good news for Millennial finances, but it’s a reality nonetheless. Coming out of college with student loan payments on top of living expenses was a new experience for me. And, then I needed a car. It was overwhelming but the excitement of my first teaching job was tempered only slightly by the realities of grown-up economics.

I was determined to really work at paying down my debt. While that’s a good thing, it also meant my focus was only on the present. I was only seeing part of the financial picture.

An invitation

Even with my early initiation into financial matters, thanks to my parents, I wasn’t prepared for the additional significant financial decisions that I needed to make—saving and investing for retirement. It wasn’t even on my radar. That changed in my second year of teaching when a veteran teacher, Rusty Wulff, invited staff to meet and learn about personal finances. To be honest, I was not super excited about it. I thought it was just another meeting on top of everything else. I also wasn’t sure it was for me. But I knew Rusty had a passion for it and I wanted to support him. So I went and I am so glad I did.

The big surprise

I was the youngest person there, but that wasn’t the big surprise. What surprised me most was how little I knew and that I wasn’t alone. Others asked questions that I assumed everyone older than me knew the answers to, but they didn’t. A number of veteran teachers shared how important it was that I do something now to save for retirement. I think they looked at me and saw themselves—what they should’ve done or wished they had done. That meeting really opened my eyes. I knew I’d be back for more.

Time is on our side

One of the most important things I learned and want to share is weabenefits.com


how incredibly beneficial time can be to your finances. Rusty used a compound interest calculator to show that if you invest even a small amount but start early, it can really pay off. The first time we ran it based on my age, the whole group went crazy. My colleagues were like, “Sarah, that could be you!” It was very powerful and I knew I needed to get started. I sat down and crunched the numbers and realized that I could cover my expenses, pay down my debt, and put some money

into savings. I couldn’t save a lot, but it was a start. So, I opened a Roth IRA with Member Benefits. It’s great because the funds are hand picked for us and the fees are low. I don’t miss the money at all. It comes out of my paycheck before I even see it. I still can’t picture myself in retirement, but I know saving for it is something I have to do now. My IRA is like my “retirement savings” mason jar.

Financial Portrait of a Millennial 70%

of college graduates carry an average of

4 in 10 say

their debt is overwhelming

$28k

68% are

in student loans

confident they will be able to retire comfortably

63% of

Millennials don’t have a credit card

71%

join a 401(k) when offered by their employer

55% are saving for retirement

8 in10

Millennials say the great recession taught them to save “now” Sources: Princeton Survey Research Associates International (Bankrate), Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, BlackRock 2014 Global Investor Pulse Survey.

weabenefits.com

81% believe that

Social Security will not be there for them when they retire

76%

say they are comfortable talking with parents about savings and investments All investment advisory services are offered through WEA Financial Advisors, Inc. This article represents the views of Sarah Klein and not necessarily the views of Member Benefits.

Sarah Suggests Just do it

I am still learning but have come a long way from where I started. I am pretty proud of myself for taking that step to do something for my future. It’s like exercise: you don’t always feel motivated to do it, but you always feel good afterwards. Challenge yourself to do it now. Because you will regret it if you don’t start investing early. I’m engaged and my fiancé Adam agrees that it’s important to pay down debt but also invest in our future. While we don’t view money exactly the same, we communicate and agree that our plan needs to focus on the now as well as life down the road.

Get a mentor, be a mentor

Millennials—chances are there’s a “Rusty Wulff” in your school that can offer advice or point you in the right direction. Seek him or her out! Or, ask colleagues if they are interested in learning more about finances and start your own group. You can figure it out together. To the veteran teachers: Be a mentor and share your experiences with new teachers. We need your help. Need inspiration? Read more about Rusty and our group in the fall 2013 your$ at weabenefits.com. Rusty even shared his contact info if you have questions.

Get help for free

Last summer, Adam and I signed up for a free financial consultation offered by Member Benefits to see if we were on track. We took everything—our debts and investments—and laid it all out. We got a few great tips about changes we could make to help us achieve our goals. The financial planners at Member Benefits are strictly there to help you and don’t earn a commission through product sales. The security and peace of mind from talking with someone who is an expert is invaluable. If it hadn’t been for Rusty’s personal finance group and the help from Member Benefits, I probably wouldn’t have given retirement planning a second thought…yet. But now I have a great head start.

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{ your insurance ARE YOU MAKING THESE HOME INSURANCE MISTAKES? Your biggest investment needs the right protection. Don’t let these common mistakes leave you at risk for financial loss.

Have you made any of these common mistakes when making decisions about your home insurance? If you have, don’t worry. Member Benefits can help you sort it out. Underestimating the cost to rebuild According to Marshall & Swift/Boeckh, two out of every three homes nationwide are underinsured by as much as 27%. Would you be prepared to foot the additional 27% of the cost to rebuild your home in the event of a total loss? When insuring your home, it should be insured for 100% of its replacement cost. This is different from both the assessed value (the dollar amount placed on your home by your local government for taxation purposes) and the market value (how much you could expect to get for your home in the current real estate market if you were to sell). The replacement cost reflects how much it would cost to rebuild your house in the same spot, with materials of like-kind and quality.

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Shopping solely based on price Price has always been a sticking point with insurance. Insurance is one of those gotta-have intangibles that unless you’ve been in a situation where you’ve needed it, the value isn’t always obvious. Maybe you went for the lowest price when you chose your insurance. But, is it worth increasing your financial risk for the sake of a few bucks? Mark Dannehl, Personal Insurance Consultant, shares an example. “Say your house is insured for $175,000 but the replacement cost of your home is calculated

at $210,000. That’s a $35,000 difference. That’s a lot if you are in a situation where you need to rebuild your home.” According to Dannehl, in this situation the premium difference would be about $100 per year. “It doesn’t make sense to underinsure a home by $35,000 to save $100 per year.”

Your insurance coverage should not be based on the market value or the assessed value, but on the cost of replacing your home. A better, safer way to save money on homeowners insurance premiums is to increase your deductible. Choosing a higher deductible could reduce your premium by around 15% or more. Thinking $100,000 liability coverage is enough Accidents happen. Your dog bites your neighbor’s young child in the face and she needs stitches and possibly reconstructive surgery. Your runaway grocery cart causes someone to fall and break a hip. Accidents yes, but the reality is that you could be held financially responsible in any one of these situations, and each could easily exceed $100,000. Most experts recommend at least $300,000 worth of home liability coverage. Others, like Member Benefits, recommend even more. “Our homeowners policy includes $500,000 of liability coverage. We don’t even offer anything lower,” says Dannehl. “Again, the additional coverage is a relatively inexpensive way for members

to protect their assets.” Liability coverage offers protection for you and all family members who live with you, including kids away at college, and it typically covers incidents on or away from your property. Failing to have insurance reviewed or adjusted Some people buy their policy and never look at it again, despite the fact that they may have made major improvements to their home or that the cost of materials and labor may have increased significantly since purchasing their policy. Evaluating your coverage periodically will help to ensure you have adequate protection. If you have remodeled or added on to your home, your insurance coverage should be adjusted to reflect the improvement. Some companies offer inflation guard protection that automatically adjusts your coverage limits by a certain percentage each year to help keep up with increases in material and personal property costs. However, members shouldn’t rely solely on this to keep their coverage current. Get the right protection

Our personal insurance consultants can review your current insurance coverage.

Call 1-800-279-4010 or visit weabenefits.com/consults. Property and casualty insurance programs are underwritten by WEA Property & Casualty Insurance Company. The terms and conditions of your coverage are exclusively controlled by your written policy. Please refer to your policy for details. Certain policy exclusions and limitations may apply.

weabenefits.com


continued from page 5 years, so the account would double in ten years. What they didn’t say was that they wouldn’t have access to their money. And, after 15 years, they can only take out 5% per year. “I’m 80 years old,” says Harold. “If I’m going to live out that plan, I’ll be 95. What the heck am I going to do with the money at that time? The good news is that we don’t need this money today.”

“If I’m going to live out that plan, I’ll be 95. What the heck am I going to do with the money at that time?” Reality check

The details of the annuity contract that Harold and Mel had purchased were confirmed during a consultation with Brenda Echeverria, Financial Planner for Member Benefits. “We’re learning more about this after we’ve done it,” Mel says. “We came to see Brenda because Tim and our other son—both are teachers— encouraged us to come in. They have a lot of experience with WEA Member Benefits.” Tim said he and his siblings felt it would be best to have an independent, noncommissioned financial specialist take a look at what their parents had and discuss their financial options. “They needed to hear from a nonjudgmental source. To have your retirement finances scrutinized by your children can make even the savvy investor uncomfortable,” says Tim. “Fortunately for my parents, the investment was not a big percent of their retirement nest egg, because that money is locked up for the next ten years.”

A common trap

For older investors, losing access to their money can be devastating if they need it to cover expenses. The seduction of high returns or quick profits can cause many to make serious financial mistakes. “Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for seniors to fall into this trap, hoping to get big rewards quickly,” Brenda says. “They don’t realize until it’s too late that if they need to take their money out, they can’t do so readily.” Brenda says that the problem with these free lunch seminars is that they talk about a specific product. They don’t offer choices weabenefits.com

or talk about your particular situation. “The product might be appropriate for someone younger or someone who came into some money through inheritance,” Harold suggests, “but not for people like us who are in their 70s or 80s.” The time with Brenda was beneficial. She provided them with an objective assessment of their situation as well as the annuity. “She walked through what we had and gave us information about what we could do to reduce the tax burden for our beneficiaries. That’s helpful for longterm planning.”

Annuitize with caution

Brenda adds, “Annuities are complicated and can be very difficult to understand. Wisconsin public school employees already have two forms of annuities in retirement: WRS and Social Security. There may not be a reason for another one in their financial plan.” Brenda encourages extreme caution when being presented with annuity options. “One attractive sales pitch is that an annuity offers an income stream for a guaranteed period of time,” Brenda says. “WRS and Social Security do the same but without the fees. Another income stream could be created from the growth on mutual funds. It’s an option that could fill the need without losing access to your money.”

The “free lunch” appeal

According to Harold, it’s not difficult to understand why seniors are open to these seminars. “When you’re retired, you have time on your hands and you get lured in by the nice meal. It’s free. You have conversations with other people there who are just as uninformed as you.” He laughs

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but turns serious. For Harold, it comes down to honesty. “Just tell me the whole truth, the whole story.” Mel says, “We hope our experience can help others.”

Be aware for you and yours

Tim urges others with retired parents to be on the alert. “Be sure to talk frequently with your retired parents about the “free lunch” investment hook. These salespeople will tell your parents whatever they feel is necessary to make a sale. They have no shame. Just look at the gimmicks they use to entice new clients—free lunches and dinners, casino trips…WEA Member Benefits is a great resource for information and investing retirement dollars. Their noncommissioned services provide options that make commissioned salespeople uncomfortable.”

In the event of buyer’s remorse

If you buy an annuity and have buyer’s remorse afterward, there may be a way out. Some have a 30-day look-back period during which you may terminate your contract without paying any surrender charges and receive a refund for the contract. But it depends on the contract. For those tempted to use their WEA Member Benefits 403(b) or IRA account to purchase another investment product, be aware that while participants in our IRA and 403(b) can keep their accounts with us for as long as they want and continue to take advantage of our low fees, if an account is closed there may not be an opportunity to come back. Before you close your account, give us a call to learn about what that means for your eligibility to return.

MEMBER PROFILE Harold and Mel McCarthy Harold and Mel are retired and live in Chilton. Both are college graduates— she was a nurse for 48 years and he was an agriculture teacher who went into the dairy industry. They have five children; two teach in public schools and three are in the medical field. “Life is very good. Our kids and grandchildren—we have eleven grandchildren—are just wonderful. They keep a watchful eye on us,” Mel says.

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{ your kiosk A word to the wise renter: INSURANCE Are you renting a home or apartment from someone else? Did you know that you could suffer a significant financial loss if you don’t have renters insurance? This is because your landlord’s policy does not cover your personal property. Here are three reasons to have renters insurance. 1. It protects your possessions A renter’s insurance policy protects you against the loss of your personal property in cases like fire or theft. Even if you feel your possessions are fairly modest, losing even one big ticket item or lots of smaller possessions at one time could be financially overwhelming. Unless you have enough money saved to replace everything you own—clothes, furniture, computer, entertainment system, etc.— renters insurance is definitely worth the cost. TIP: Look for a policy with replacement cost coverage which pays the full amount to repair or replace your belongings. Avoid

Wanted: :

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Financial Mentor nominations

actual cash value which pays only the depreciated value of your belongings. 2. It provides liability protection Liability protection usually comes standard with a renters policy. Unintentional bodily injury like someone slipping on a wet floor and breaking an arm or property damage that you cause to others could be as financially devastating to you as a fire in your apartment. 3. It’s affordable A common misconception regarding renters insurance is that it’s expensive. In fact, it’s extremely inexpensive. Prices vary according to the amount of coverage and the deductible you choose, as well as certain risk factors like where you live. Depending on the amount of coverage and the deductible, a typical renters policy with Member Benefits starts at $6–$7 per month. You may be eligible for discounts on both renters and auto insurance when

for rent

you purchase both policies from WEA Member Benefits. For a free insurance consultation and comparison quote, give us a call at 1-800279-4010 or schedule a personal phone consultation at weabenefits.com/consults.

Is your child heading to college this fall? If your college-bound child plans to rent this fall and is still your dependent, they may be covered on your homeowners policy. However, depending on your situation, there may be reasons to consider purchasing a separate renters insurance policy for your child. Contact one of our personal insurance consultants to evaluate your situation and discuss your options.

Call 1-800-279-4010

Who: Wisconsin public school employees Why: To recognize those who give their time and talents to mentor others on the benefits of good financial planning and saving for retirement When: Nominations accepted now through September 4 How: Go to www.weabenefits.com/mentor Award winners will be announced on October 19. They will also be mentioned in a short article in your$ magazine and receive a certificate of recognition. weabenefits.com


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economics, math, business, and others who want to acquire the skills to teach personal finance should check out this highly effective training program. Three sessions will be offered this summer at Edgewood College. Some scholarships are available through Member Benefits.

3 2 5 728 Member Benefits 9 8 6 by the numbers 2 18 In 2014... 23 2 48,840 Wisconsin public 20 school employees participated in our retirement savings 3 1 00 programs 41 3 3 426 school districts offered 2 2 3 2 our 403(b)

Money Management International’s 30 Steps to Financial Wellness

Participants saved in our retirement programs

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April is Financial Literacy Month Since 2003, April has been recognized as National Financial Literacy Month—a time to highlight the importance of financial literacy and help people learn and maintain healthy financial habits. We love the national focus on financial literacy because it reinforces our belief that education is fundamental to the financial security of those we serve. To help you achieve your financial goals, consider these resources that promote financial literacy in April and all year long.

Money Smart Week, April 18-25 moneysmartweek.org

Money Smart Week® is a public awareness campaign designed to help consumers better manage their personal finances. Check for free educational activities and events in your community. NIFEL Annual Summer Institute edgewood.edu/Events/NIFEL

Teachers of personal finance, family and consumer sciences, social studies,

financialliteracymonth.com/30Steps

This site offers a 30-step path to help you achieve financial wellness during the month of April. It includes budgeting tips, quizzes, information on how to save money, tools to track your income and expenses, and more. Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy

jumpstart.org

A national coalition of organizations dedicated to improving the financial literacy of pre-kindergarten through college-age youth.

Set up your financial consultation

Sign up for a free one-hour financial planning consultation or fee-based financial planning service* with Member Benefits. Summer appointments will fill up fast. Call 1-800-279-4030 or email weafa@weabenefits.com.

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3

01

4 1 4 2

5 $3.4 billion

478

0

9

2

Wisconsin public school 0 Over employees took advantage of financial planning services

36

23,857 members participated in

0

1 Average customer satisfaction rate 3 2 6 of 98.9% 5 728 3,200 school district employees attended financial education 8 9 6 Member Benefits staff contributed 2 over $20,000 to the United Way, 1 8 plus food, gifts, and supplies to community2 charities 3 2 20 our personal insurance programs 4

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Stay alert during tornado season

weabenefits.com

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*All investment advisory services are offered through WEA Financial Advisors, Inc. Must be a WEAC member or a Wisconsin public school employee to participate. Family members may also be eligible for fee-based services only. Call for details. Wisconsin residency required. Fees and services subject to change.

April is Tornado Awareness Month

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Go over your safety plans so you’re ready when severe weather strikes. Your plan should include identifying a safe interior room to go to in your home, how family members should contact one another, and a disaster supply kit with food, water, first aid, medications, and a flashlight with extra batteries.

Watch or warning? A watch means that conditions are favorable for a tornado. A

warning is more serious—it means that a real tornado has been spotted nearby on the ground or on local weather radar.

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PO Box 7893, Madison, WI 53707-7893

Have an insurance consultation by May 31 and you’ll be entered in a drawing for an iPad mini.* PROMO CODE: SPRING REVIEW

Take a

Does your

CLOSER

insurance really deliver

look at your insurance coverage.

when you need it most?

Find out why

1 out of 2 people switch to Member Benefits

after having a consultant review their insurance coverage. Our personal insurance consultants can review your current insurance coverage to help you: • Become a better consumer of insurance. • Avoid paying too much. • Fix common coverage errors that could leave you at risk.

Poorly written policies happen more than you’d think. An insurance consultation is a FREE service to Wisconsin public school employees.

Call 1-800-279-4010

Schedule a personal phone consultation at weabenefits.com/consults

This is for informational purposes only and not intended to be legal or tax advice. Consult your tax advisor or attorney before taking any action. Property and casualty insurance programs are underwritten by WEA Property & Casualty Insurance Company. The terms and conditions of your coverage are exclusively controlled by your written policy. Please refer to your policy for details. Certain policy exclusions and limitations may apply. *Rules and eligibility for iPad mini drawing at weabenefits.com/spring2015drawing.

Your$ magazine - Spring 2015  

Sarah Klein is part of the Millennial generation…a generation now facing adult decisions about their finances. Sarah shares her story about...

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