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A magazine from WEA Member Benefits

™

SUMMER

2015

o Target Retirement Funds

What’s your

investment

o NEW! Model portfolios

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style?

your insurance

Risks and responsibilities that come with owning a pool

your kiosk

Save smarter: Stop paying excess fees Find relief from student loans What to shred and when?

o Do it yourself


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CONTENTS SUMMER 2015

3 YOUR ACCOUNT -

yourmoney features to use.

- Keep us updated with your changes. - Check your contribution limits.

4 YOUR RETIREMENT

- Do you know your investment style? How do you go about choosing your investments? We have answers and an exciting new investment option.

6 YOUR INSURANCE

- Enjoy your pool but know your risks and responsibilities.

8 YOUR FINANCES

- Living longer may mean needing a new game plan for your future.

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- Stop paying excess fees.

- To shred or not to shred...that is the question. - Wisconsin educators take advantage of student loan relief. - When to review your insurance.

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

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

Life balance requires a look at finances for today and tomorrow

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Money makes the world go around but it’s also a main source of personal stress. A Gallup poll found that 64% of those surveyed indicated money as the top contributor to stress in their life. According to another study by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, financial stress is not simply about how much money you have or don’t have. It stems from the challenge of finding balance between financial security and freedom of choice.

Just as Americans struggle to find balance between work and family life, there is also a need to find a financial balance in which we fully meet our current and ongoing financial obligations, feel secure in our financial future, and also enjoy the freedom to make choices that bring satisfacation and happiness in our daily lives. Creating this balance can greatly improve your sense of financial well-being. It will require time and effort, but the payoff will be big. Take some time this summer to reflect on the state of your current and future financial situation and identify areas that are causing you grief or need some

attention. Then, identify what it will take to solve each issue. You don’t have to fix everything at once—you just have to get started. Remember that Member Benefits can help you evaluate your financial situation and provide guidance to make decisions that will lead to improved financial wellness and balance. We know you—the Wisconsin educator—better than anyone and our programs and services are designed exclusively for you. As always, we are happy to help in any way we can. Enjoy this issue of your$. Have a great summer! weabenefits.com


{ your account IRA and 403(b) news yourmoney features you’ll want to use

On your home page after logging into yourmoney, you can: • View your consolidated allocation, get a statement, change investments, check your performance, and research investment options. You can also update your address, beneficiaries, and communication preferences. • Visit the Financial Resource Center under the Information and Tools section. This site offers a wealth of financial resources and tools organized by age group. Take advantage of financial calculators and learn more about managing your money, keeping taxes under control, investing in your future, planning your estate, and much more.

Are you on the move?

If you recently moved or have plans to move this summer, please let us know your new address. • Contact us directly at 1-800-279-4030 or log into yourmoney to change your address on your retirement savings accounts. • If you also have your auto or homeowners insurance with us, you can use our online Update Your Policy form or call 1-800-279-4010 to make the change.

Retired or changed jobs? No worries

If you have a 403(b) or an IRA 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. Reminder: WEAC members receive additional savings with a lower annual fee cap on IRA accounts.

Don’t miss a chance to boost your savings

Now is a good time to update your Salary Reduction Agreement (SRA) to take advantage of new 2015 403(b) contribution limits. Do it now and you’ll be ready to go for the school year. To update your SRA, please contact your school district business office for their most recent SRA, download our SRA at weabenefits.com, or if your district allows, you can update your SRA online through yourmoney at weabenefits.com/yourmoney.

your$ delivery: Getting too much of a good thing?

If you are receiving more than one your$ magazine at your house, let us know by calling 1-800-279-4030 or sending us an e-mail at memberbenefits@ weabenefits.com and we’ll consolidate them for you.

Financial Mentor nominations due by September 5

Do you know someone that takes the time to give financial encouragement, advice, and guidance to their colleagues? Go to weabenefits.com/mentor to nominate them by September 5. The content in this magazine is for informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal, financial, or tax advice. Certain recommendations or guidelines may not be appropriate for everyone. Consult your personal advisor or attorney for advice specific to your unique circumstances before taking 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. 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

your money Easier access to your 403(b) and IRA.

First-time user of yourmoney? Access your account in four easy steps! Step 1: Go to weabenefits.com/yourmoney. Step 2: Log in to your account. The first

time you sign in: • Login ID = your Social Security number (no dashes or spaces) • Password = your date of birth (mmddyyyy).

Step 3: Personalize your login ID and

password. Follow the guidelines provided.

Step 4: Create a security question. With yourmoney you can:

• View detailed account information. • Change future investment allocations or request a trade. • Securely download information to Quicken or export as a CSV file. • Create and track your personal financial plan with our retirement goal planner. • Go green with electronic communications.

Prefer to use the phone?

Access your account information over the phone and connect with a member service representative during normal business hours. New self-service options are available, including over-the-phone trades. • Call 1-800-279-2490. • Username = your Social Security number. • Password = your date of birth (mmddyyyy). You will be required to change your password after your initial login.

{ 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

What’s your investment

style?

T

he 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?

START HERE

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What kind of investor are you? Do you know?

Eric Schwartz, Financial Planning Specialist for WEA Member Benefits, helps members answer this question every day. “Because the world of investing can seem overly complicated, it’s a question that many have a hard time answering. Knowing the answer, however, is fundamental to investing and it empowers members to make investing decisions with confidence.” Eric explains that an investor’s style can be defined by answering two questions:

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conservative or aggressive? active or passive? Knowing your investment style is fundamental to investing and it’s empowering. Discover how knowing your style makes investing decisions Easy.

1. How involved do you want to be 2. Where do you fall on the in managing your investments? Are you conservative-to-aggressive investment a do-it-yourselfer (DIYer) or would you spectrum? Determining how aggressive or prefer to have someone else manage your conservative you are as an investor depends investments? primarily on your comfort level with risk. Many people don’t feel they have the Are you willing to take more risk for the time, knowledge, or desire to manage possibility of earning higher returns or their own investments. “They just want does the idea of losing money keep you up an easy way to invest,” says Eric. “It’s like at night? Where you fall on the spectrum electronic devices. If we had to build them is best determined by completing a and maintain them ourselves, most Risk Profile Assessment. This is a series of us wouldn’t even bother because of 12 questions that take into account we just want to plug and play. factors such as your investing experience, Fortunately, taking a more passive age, current financial situation, future investment approach is very doable.” expectations, time horizon, and tolerance On the other hand, if you like the for risk. idea of being hands-on in selecting, Your answers are used to calculate your trading, monitoring, investment style and rebalancing which generates your investments, an appropriate you might be of the asset allocation I prefer to: DIY persuasion. based on one “Typically, the DIYer has some investment experience or the interest in building of Member o Plug and Play their knowledge. They Benefits’ five enjoy it. Having the investor profiles. o DO-IT-YOURSELF right temperament is also “Completing important for the DIYer,” the Risk Profile notes Eric. “This means Assessment is being able to keep your re c o m m e n d e d emotions in check and not for all investors,” reacting to market volatility.” says Eric. “And, it is not a one- CHOOSE YOUR STYLE time assessment.”

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COMPLETE THE RISK PROFILE Assessment

03

...apply what you know and choose your investments

MY RISK PROFILE IS: o CONSERVATIVE o MODERATELY o MODERATELY AGGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE o AGGRESSIVE o MODERATE INVESTOR

According to Eric, as you move into different stages of life, your circumstances may cause your risk tolerance to change. For instance, when you are young and just starting out, you have time on your side. A longer timeline allows you to look at riskier investments with the potential for higher rates of return because you have time to “ride out” a market downturn. In mid-career—and increasingly as you approach retirement—you may feel the need for more nest egg protection, thus your tolerance for risk may be lower. Reassessing periodically will identify whether your risk profile has changed and what adjustments might be needed to your investment portfolio. Go to weabenefits.com/riskcalc to complete the assessment.

Now that you know your investor style...

With these two important pieces of information in hand, you have everything you need to select investments. “With over 10,000 investment choices available just in North America, this step has the potential to be both intimidating and time consuming,” acknowledges Eric. However, choosing your investments with Member Benefits, whether you are a DIYer or a plug-and-play investor, is about as easy as it can get. “We take care of doing the hard work for you by sorting through the thousands of investment options, selecting those that best fit the needs of Wisconsin public school employees, and then monitoring them to make sure they continue to meet our standards,” says Eric. The current lineup of 23 investments includes one fixed income option and 22 mutual funds (five of which are Target

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Retirement Funds). Each fund is vetted through a strict investment process. Our Investment Committee carefully selects and regularly monitors our offerings based on a variety of quality standards like performance, cost (to keep operating expenses low), volatility, style drift, the fund manager’s level of expertise and tenure, and asset size (funds must have assets of at least $50 million). The income options include the Prudential Guaranteed Investment* and the Pioneer Bond fund. The Prudential Guaranteed Investment is not a mutual fund but an investment contract that guarantees the principal and interest. The Pioneer Bond fund—which we rolled out earlier this year—complements the Prudential Guaranteed Investment and is appropriate for those looking for additional income from a portfolio based on preserving capital and balancing risk.

NEW! Model portfolios

For those who prefer not to manage their own investments, Member Benefits has two easy options: Model Portfolios and Target Retirement Funds.

o Plug-and-Play Option 1: NEW! Model portfolios** Model Portfolios Model Portfolios can help you More achieve your personal investment choices goals by placing you in one of five pre-defined portfolios based on the results from your Risk Profile Assessment. “We’re excited about this new option. Model Portfolios give members the ability to build a personalized portfolio that’s more comprehensive than the Target Retirement Funds but still doesn’t require a ton of time selecting and managing individual investments,” Eric adds. Members who choose to invest in a Model Portfolio will need to take the Risk Profile Assessment when they initially invest and then again every three years to determine if there are any changes in their risk tolerance and investment goals. The investments that make up the Model Portfolios are selected from the prevetted mutual funds offered by Member Benefits. continued on page 9

A pre-defined portfolio based on your age, risk tolerance, and your retirement timeline. Features and facts include: • Small investment of time and Low maintena

nce.

• No additional fees to invest in a model port foli

o.

• Auto-rebalances each year so your investm ent mix aligns with your investment goals. • Risk profile Assessment required every thre

e years. NOTE: This is a managed fund option. You can not mix a model portfolio with other investments in our fund line up.

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{ your insurance money

KEEPING IT COO

Can’t wait to make a splash this summer in your backyard pool? Have fun! But make you dive in, you need to recognize the real signs of drowning, take some safety preca

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hhh, the backyard pool... splashing around with family and friends, a chance to relax and relieve some stress, and a fun way to get some exercise. No wonder they’re so popular. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are over 10 million residential swimming pools in the United States. And the small window of warm weather in Wisconsin every year makes time at the pool even more special. So there’s a lot to love about a backyard pool. But like anything else, there is a price tag that comes with it in order to keep everyone safe and make sure you’re financially protected. With some careful planning and preparation, you can have a great summer with your pool. Here are some important things you need to know.

Drowning doesn’t look like drowning: It’s silent

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Think you know what drowning looks like? According to an article on Slate.com, in about 10% of drownings, adults nearby had no idea the victim was dying. Drowning is usually a deceptively quiet event. The dramatic waving and yelling we often see on television and the movies actually rarely happens in real life. Dr. Francesco A. Pia, Ph.D, calls what people actually do to avoid suffocation in the water “the instinctive drowning response.” Here is some of what it looks like: • People are usually physically unable to call out for help, because speech is a secondary function to breathing. • The mouths of drowning people aren’t often above water long enough to

exhale, inhale, and call for help. • Drowning people are pressing down on the water’s surface to leverage their bodies so they can lift their mouths out of the water to breathe. Because of this, they’re not likely to wave for help. • People who are drowning can’t voluntarily control their arm movements to reach out for a rescue item or move toward a rescuer. • From the beginning to the end of the drowning process, people’s bodies remain upright in the water, with no supporting kick. Unless rescued, they will likely bob on the surface of the water for 20 to 60 seconds before they submerge. It’s still possible for a person to wave and yell for help very early on. Unlike true drowning, they can still grab a lifeline or a throw ring, etc. But that initial period doesn’t last long. If you see someone who looks like they’re just treading water, looks glassy-eyed, or has their head tilted back with their mouth open, ask them, “Are you all right?” If they don’t respond, you may have less than 30 seconds to rescue them. And remember—children playing in and around the pool make noise! If the kids aren’t making noise, get to them right away and find out why.

Play it safe

Better safe than sorry is more than just a piece of common sense. When it comes to having a pool, it should be your cardinal rule. Some of the tips below may seem obvious, but it’s easy to underestimate what can actually happen around a pool. Stay vigilant and you’ll reduce the risk of someone getting hurt.

• Always watch your children when they are in or near a pool or spa. • Can’t find your child? Look in the pool first. • Have a cell phone or portable telephone close by at all times when you or your family are using a pool. • Plan out a set of safety instructions and poolside rules and share them with your family, friends,and neighbors. • You should know how to swim and your children need to learn how to swim. Most communities have lessons available. • Make sure you’re up to date on the latest CPR techniques for adults and children. Visit redcross.org for classes. • Understand the basics of lifesaving so that you can assist in a pool emergency. Get started by contacting your local YMCA, Red Cross, parks and recreations department, university, or community college for courses in water safety techniques. The Web site homepoolessentials.org even offers an online training course. • You need a four-foot or taller fence around the pool with self-closing and self-latching gates. Ask your neighbors to do the same at their pools. • If your house serves as a fourth side of a fence around a pool, install door alarms and always use them. For additional protection, install window guards on windows facing a pool. • Ensure that your pool has compliant anti-entrapment or safety drain covers—ask your pool service provider if you’re not sure. • You may want to install pool and gate alarms to alert you when children go near the water. weabenefits.com weabenefits.com


OL WITH A POOL

e sure you’re ready for it by understanding your risks and responsibilities. Before autions, and make sure you’re financially covered so you don’t get dunked. • Consider using a surface wave or underwater alarm.

Insurance costs and protection

Most insurance companies, like Member Benefits, require a pool to be four feet from the ground to the top of the pool in order to be covered in the policy. For an inground pool, the yard must be fenced in. From an insurance perspective, swimming pools are considered an attractive nuisance—something that is likely to entice children and could pose a risk of injury. As the owner, you have the burden of taking adequate measures to protect children. Even if someone comes over and uses the pool without your knowledge, you may be liable for any potential injury they may suffer from it. So take safety measures seriously to reduce your risk. You may also want to increase your liability coverage through a personal umbrella policy. Whether you have a pool or are considering purchasing one, be sure to talk to your insurance company so that you clearly understand your specific options, obligations, and coverages in your plan.

One last thing

Don’t forget to contact your town about local safety standards and permit requirements before you install a pool. Your neighborhood association may also have guidelines for you to follow. So before you dive into your pool this summer, take some time to understand your risks and responsibilities and keep everyone safe. You’ll still have plenty of time to relax and make some waves.

Create a safety kit The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends that you create a pool safety tool kit to have near your pool to ensure you are ready to respond if there is an incident. It should include: • A first aid kit. • A pair of scissors to cut hair, clothing, or a pool cover to free someone from entrapment if needed. • A charged portable telephone to call 911. • An approved flotation device and rescue equipment.

Fun facts about swimming • Swim fins were invented by Benjamin Franklin. • The first recorded swimming races were held in Japan in 36 B.C. • The oldest known concrete swimming pool—the Deep Eddy Swimming Pool—was built in Texas in 1915. • An hour of vigorous swimming will burn up to 650 calories. That’s more calories than walking or biking will burn. • You need to stay hydrated while swimming by drinking water. Your body still produces sweat as it does with other physical activity, but it is not as apparent since you are already wet. Source: swimmingpool.com

This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal, financial, or tax advice. Certain recommendations or guidelines may not be appropriate for everyone. Consult your personal advisor or attorney for advice specific to your unique circumstances before taking 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.

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{ your finances

One for the ages:

Longer life span=New game plan As life expectancy increases, you may need to revisit your retirement strategy Do you remember back in the 1980s when Willard Scott from the Today show began sharing birthday wishes for those who had hit the century mark? It was a rarity back then. But today there are so many centurians celebrating birthdays that turning 100 isn’t such a big deal anymore. In fact, according to the Census Bureau, the number of centurians in the U.S. doubled between 1991 and 2011 and is projected to double again by 2020. While you can’t predict your own longevity, you can be sure that most of us are living longer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average life expectancy for a person who was 65 years old in 2012 is 85.5 years for women and 82.9 years for men—and life expectancy for both genders continues to increase. One out of four 65-year-olds today will live past 90, according to the Social Security Administration. Longer life spans go hand-in-hand with the increased risk of living with chronic disease as well as increased financial need. Those who live with chronic illnesses often require long-term, specialized care. And even if you remain in good health, chances are you will need your money to last longer than you might expect. Knowing the odds of a long life are in your favor, it may be wise to review your long-term plan. Here are two strategies to help you meet your potential future needs.

Strategy #1: Purchase longterm care (LTC) insurance

Even the best financial plan can be derailed quickly should you need to cover the high costs of even a single LTC event. Medicare and traditional health insurance do not cover LTC services, so without LTC insurance, the costs must be paid from your personal savings and assets. And while the Affordable Care Act guarantees health insurance for all Americans, it does not include long-term care insurance coverage. If you plan to buy a policy, purchase it sooner rather than later—premiums are lower if you’re younger and chances of being approved are better before agerelated health issues arise. Attention women! Because you tend live longer, you also are more likely to need LTC services. While this makes LTC insurance more expensive for women, it makes it even more important to consider. To learn more about LTCi: s Call a specialist to develop a personalized plan that fits your budget at 888-247-5905. s Attend a free LTCi seminar at your district or live online. Visit weabenefits.com/seminars.

Long-term care (LTC) insurance products are underwritten by multiple LTC insurers. Program administered by LTCi Marketing Administrators Inc. (LiMA). 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.

Strategy #2: Include personal savings in your retirement plan

Living longer also means you’ll need more money for retirement. Most Wisconsin public school employees will have three sources of income in retirement: the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS), Social Security, and personal savings. WRS will be a major source of retirement income for most Wisconsin public school employees but your monthly benefit is determined by many factors, including your years of public service, salary, and age at retirement. Depending on your situation, you may have an income gap of 22%–46% in retirement.* Taking advantage of taxfavored retirement savings options like the 403(b) and IRA can help you fill the gap and reduce the risk of outliving your money. Women need to pay special attention to their retirement savings plan since they tend to live longer but have more likely earned less then their male counterparts. To learn more about saving for retirement:

s Call 1-800-279-4030. s Schedule a personal phone consultation by visiting weabenefits.com/consults. s Attend a financial seminar live or on demand: weabenefits.com/seminars.

*Based on 25–30 years in the system with 40%–50% of retirement income provided by WRS and 14%-28% from Social Security benefits.

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continued from page 5 Target Retirement Funds Like Model Portfolios, Target Retirement Funds (TRFs) are a nice alternative for those not interested in managing their own investments.

o Plug-and-Play Option 2: Target Retirement Funds TRFs—sometimes called lifecycle funds—are age based. “This is truly onedecision investing. Simply choose the fund that is closest to your anticipated retirement year or the year in which you may begin withdrawing funds. For example, if you think you’ll retire in about 20 years, you would choose Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 Fund, ” says Eric. Target Retirement Funds split up your money into a mix of stocks, bonds, and other holdings, and then adjusts them over time. They rebalance regularly and adjust the asset allocation as you grow older, automatically becoming more conservative as you near retirement.

o Do-it-yourself Do-it-yourself If you are determined to be hands-on, you can build your own portfolio from the 23 investments in our current lineup. Funds are from stable fund families that represent each of the investment style categories: large-cap, mid-cap, small-cap, specialty, and international equity funds.

“Reviewing the fact sheets, ent funds Target retirem prospectuses, and Morningstar reports available at weabenefits. on. investment opti com together with the results A one-decision of your Risk Profile Assessment your e fund nearest ✓✓ Choose th can aid in the selection process . ithdrawal date and help you build a nicely retirement or w s that e managed Fund diversified portfolio,” offers ar s nd Fu t en m me more Target Retire Eric. ch year and beco ea e nc la ba re The DIYer can manage their automatically ment. you near retire investments by logging into their as ve ti va er ns co yourmoney online account. You can change your asset allocations Do-it-yourself and move money in your account between the Prudential Guaranteed Investment, the Pioneer Bond K Fund, A hands-on approach. and the various other mutual funds, You are in charge. as well as rebalance your account and change your contribution levels when 3 Select and monitor your investments. you like. See page 3 for information about logging into your account and 3 Rebalance your allocations as needed accessing your account by phone.

We’re here to help

At Member Benefits, we recognize that you have more important things to do (like teach!) than sort through thousands of investment choices. That’s why we’re here. We’ve done most of the homework for you by preselecting investments that meet your needs and our strict standards. We are also here to provide further assistance and answer your questions. It’s what we do. Make an appointment with one of our Retirement and Investment Service Specialists if you have questions about your investment options. You can also take advantage of our free and fee-based financial planning services if you’re looking for a more comprehensive analysis of your current retirement portfolio.

for fund growth or life changes.

Don’t wait to start investing or to reassess your portfolio—call us today.

1-800-279-4030

Risk Profile Assessment: weabenefits.com/riskcalc This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal, financial, or tax advice. Certain recommendations or guidelines may not be appropriate for everyone. Consult your personal advisor or attorney for advice specific to your unique circumstances before taking action. See 403(b) and IRA disclosures on page 3. 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 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. *Interest is compounded daily to produce the current annual yield prior to the deduction of program administrative fees. Contributions and earnings are held in the general account of Prudential Retirement Insurance and Annuity Company (PRIAC). Principal and net credited interest are fully guaranteed by PRIAC. Such guarantees are based solely upon the financial strength and claims-paying ability of PRIAC. For more information go to weabenefits.com/pru. **Model Performance The reported performance of the models is hypothetical yet based on actual performance of the underlying mutual funds and their corresponding weightings. The performance data on the underlying funds was derived from Morningstar®, an independent third party. The illustration does not reflect the actual performance of individual investors in the models. Investment models are not FDIC-insured,

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and they are not bank-guaranteed. Investment models may lose value. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Model performance returns illustrate the relationship between risk and reward. The WEA Member Benefits model portfolios are risk based. The more conservative the underlying asset weightings are, the lower the expected rate of return. Because of market changes, the makeup of your actual account portfolio will not exactly match the model portfolio. We may perform periodic adjustments of the model portfolio investments and rebalancing of your account to more closely match the model portfolio you select. Model portfolios are developed by WEA Financial Advisors, Inc., (WEA FA) under the oversight of the WEA Member Benefits Investment Committee. Model portfolios may be adjusted at the discretion of WEA FA and the Investment Committee with prior notice to you. From time-to-time there may be extraordinary situations that will warrant more scrutiny when making adjustments. An example is the market downturn in October 2008. Although WEA FA carefully evaluates the makeup of the portfolios on a regular basis, we make no representation regarding the likelihood or probability that any or all of the portfolios will in fact achieve a particular investment goal or fulfill the risk tolerance profile as described for each portfolio. As a self-directed investor, you should carefully consider the merit and appropriateness of the available investments under your district’s retirement plan in light of your own personal financial circumstances, including your other assets, income, investments, and/or cash flow needs. Reassess Your Investment Needs Regularly Because your needs, goals, portfolio, and situation may change over time, be sure to reevaluate your investment strategy at least once a year. You can always choose a different model or create your own mix. Redemption fees may apply. When participating in a WEA Member Benefits model portfolio, you must complete the Risk Profile Questionnaire every three years. You may not continue to use the model portfolio option if you do not timely complete a Risk Profile Questionnaire. In such an event, and if we receive no other instruction from you, your plan assets will be moved to your plan’s QDIA (qualified default investment alternative).

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{ your kiosk

SAVE SMARTER Do you or your spouse have retirement savings accounts with other companies? Accounts like an IRA, 401(k), 403(b), 457(b), Simple IRA, and/or SEP IRA? If so, you’re probably paying more in fees than you need to.

Multiple accounts means multiple fees. The more you pay in fees, the less you have for retirement.

KA NG! I H C FEES

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KA NG! I H C FEES

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KA NG! I H C FEES

Excessive fees can eat away at your account balance, leaving you with less money in retirement. Let us help. Member Benefits can help you evaluate your current accounts, discuss other factors you may need to consider with a transfer such as taxes and investment options, and tell you if consolidating your accounts into an IRA with Member Benefits can reduce the fees you pay and keep more of your money working for you. Member Benefits’ IRA program charges one low annual administrative fee (0.45%) with an annual fee cap ($600 for WEAC members or $750 for nonmembers).*

More reasons to consolidate: > Simplify account management. Aligning your allocations with your investment strategy (and keeping them on track) is easier when you consolidate. > Increase flexibility. Access your contributions without penalty under some circumstances. Plus, our program has no surrender charges, redemption fees, or deferred sales charges. > Contribute with ease. If you are still working, you can make automatic contributions from your savings or checking. It’s super convenient.

Stop paying excess fees Keep more of what you save. Personal consultation: weabenefits.com/consults Or call: 1-800-279-4030, Extension 8568 *A minimum annual fee of $25 will apply to accounts that have no annual contributions. Mutual fund management and redemption fees may apply. This is for informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal, financial, or tax advice. Consult your personal advisor or attorney for advice specific to your unique circumstances before taking action. To be eligible for this program, you must meet the IRS eligiblity requirements for contributing to an IRA. Restrictions may apply. Wisconsin residency required. The trustee custodian for the WEAC IRA accounts is Verisight Trust Company. Family members including your spouse, children, grandchildren, parents, and parents-in-law may also participate in this program.

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Wisconsin educators get student loan relief A year ago, we ran an article about the federal student loan forgiveness programs available for teachers. We also invited Student Resource USA (SRUSA)—a free resource center for teachers—to present on this important topic during the Financial Fitness Fairs we hosted around the state last summer. Since then, we have heard from a number of Wisconsin educators who successfully reduced or eliminated their student loans with the assistance of SRUSA Here’s a sampling of those who were helped: A special education teacher in Milwaukee had $8,500 in student loans and wanted to go back to school for her Masters Degree in Special Education. SRUSA helped her locate $16,800 in grant and scholarship funding to a top ranked regionally accredited online university, reducing her net cost for tuition from $26,000 to $8,400. By the end of her program, she will have just under $17,000 in federal student loans. And with Title One Loan Forgiveness, she qualifies to have up to $17,500 forgiven, leaving her debt free.

An elementary teacher in Fort Atkinson School District received $5,000 in federal Title One Loan Forgiveness. A special education teacher from Middleton owed $12,000 but eliminated her student loans through Title One Loan Forgiveness. A paraprofessional in Milwaukee had a Stafford loan balance of $26,400. She qualified for Income Based Repayment, and based on her ratio of income to loan balance, her monthly payments were reduced to zero. After 120 months, her loan balance will be forgiven.

Do you or someone you know have student loans?

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau estimates that one-fourth of the American workforce may be eligible for repayment or loan forgiveness programs. Teachers, as well as others serving in humanitarian and public-sector jobs, may

be eligible for loan forgiveness. However, figuring out which loan forgiveness programs you qualify for can require some legwork—and the application process is not straightforward. While there are services available to help you, make sure you learn about the organization or company before you begin working with them. You should not have to pay for assistance nor should you be obligated to participate in any other programs. The services provided by SRUSA include identifying eligibility for U.S. Department of Education programs for federal student loan forgiveness and showing how loan forgiveness can be used in combination with the Federal TEACH Grant and private university grants to reduce the costs of higher education. In some instances, they will eliminate out-of-pocket tuition costs for continuing education. SRUSA does not charge for these services. Visit studentresourceusa.com for more information.

Five Critical Times to Review your Insurance... Make sure your insurance is keeping up with your life! Here are a few critical events that should trigger a review of your policies. At renewal. Consider raising your deductible. Make sure you are getting discounts you qualify for. Evaluate the need for flood or umbrella insurance. Major purchases. An expensive piece of jewelry, artwork, or electronic may need extra coverage. Home improvements. If you added a room, upgraded your countertops, installed a hot tub, etc., make sure you’re adequately covered. Keep receipts in case your insurance company needs copies. When you make your home safer. You may qualify for a discount when you install an alarm system or upgrade your electrical, heating, or plumbing. Major life changes. Marriage, divorce, or adult children who move back home (or who leave) can affect your homeowners insurance and the amount of coverage you need. Ready to review? Call 1-800-279-4010 or set up a personal consult at weabenefits.com/consults.

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Source: Insurance Information Institute

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PO Box 7893, Madison, WI 53707-7893

Tired of testing? Here’s one test we think you’ll find worthwhile.

Putting your insurance to the test with an insurance consultation will help you identify gaps in your coverage that leave you at risk.

Poorly written policies happen more than you’d think. An insurance consultation will help you: A. Become a better consumer of insurance. B. Avoid paying too much. C. Fix common coverage errors that could leave you at risk. D. All of the above. An insurance consultation is a FREE service to Wisconsin public school employees.

Call 1-800-279-4010 Test your insurance! 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.


Your$ magazine -- Summer 2015