your$ magazine - fall 2012

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Keys to retirement satisfaction; learn how new mutual funds fit into your investment strategy; how your credit score could be costing you money; why driving and cell phones don't mix.


  • Keys to retirement

    SatisfactionPrep plus Positive Attitude

    FALL 2012

    your investmentsWill new funds fit your style?

    your credit scoreLow credit score will cost you.

    your kioskIs texting the new DUI?


    your$A magazine from WEA Trust Member Benefits

  • nominations. Is there a financial mentor in your school? Nominations for 2013 are now open.Also, in this issue youll learn how your

    credit score affects your personal balance sheet, how your score is calculated, and ways to improve it. Finally, for those wondering about the

    2013 Prudential guaranteed rate, the wait is almost over. Well announce the rate on October 26 at and also in our recorded message when you call 1-800-279-4030.

    3 YOUR ACCOUNT- 2013PrudentialGuaranteedInvestmentcreditedratetobeannounced.

    - Year-enddistributiondeadlines.- Fewerpaycheckswillimpactyourretirementsavings.

    4 YOUR STORY- MemberCarolGautschhastherecipeforretirementsatisfaction.

    6 YOUR CREDIT SCORE- Yourcreditscorecouldbecostingyoumoney.Learnhowitimpactsyourpocketbookandkeystoahigherscore.



    The decision to retire is a very personal one. Most people have a notion of retirement long before they get there. However, you never know where life will take you and what circumstances might cause a change in course.

    Being prepared financially will make the transition into retirement easier regardless of how it happens. Evolving retirement benefits coupled with economic conditions make this preparation even more important.

    In our feature story, member Carol Gautsch shares her personal account of an early retirement and tips for achieving retirement satisfaction. Our Sr. Financial Planner, Michelle Slawny, also points out often overlooked financial realities you need to consider when planning for retirement. This month were giving kudos to our

    2012 Financial Mentor Award winners. Twenty-one individuals were nominated and are being recognized for taking the time to mentor their colleagues on the benefits of good financial planning and saving for retirement. The important role these individuals play is apparent in the comments received with their

    your$CONTENTS FALL2012


    8 YOUR INVESTMENTS- Learnhownewmutualfundsfitintoyourinvestmentstrategy.

    10 YOUR KIOSK- Whydrivingandcellphonesdontmix,andtipstostaysafe.

    - Fourfinancialplanningservicescanhelpplanforyourfuture.

    presidents letterDave Kijek, President/CEO,WEATrustMemberBenefits{


    2012 WEA Member Benefit Trust.All rights reserved.

    Retirement. Its not just about the money but it helps.


    Follow us.

  • Holiday ScheduleWe will be closed


    ThanksgivingNov. 2223, 2012

    ChristmasDec. 24-26, 2012

    New YearsJan. 1, 2012

    { your account

    IRA and 403(b) News2013 Prudential Guaranteed Investment announcementThe Prudential Guaranteed Investment credited rate of return for 2013 will be announced on October 26 at The Prudential fact sheet and a Q&A regarding the current Prudential Guaranteed Investment contract will also be available on October 26 at

    Year-end distribution deadlines Lump-sumwithdrawalsAre you planning to take a lump-sum withdrawal from your WEA TSA Trust or WEAC IRA account before the end of 2012? If so, your original written request form must be received (not postmarked) by us on or before December14,2012, in order to process by year end. If we receive your form after December 14, it will be processed the second week of January 2013. Unfortunately, we cannot accept requests via fax.

    403(b)andIRAexchanges/transfers/rolloversExchanges, transfers, and rollovers require a two-week processing time. Your completed paperwork (including approved TPA transaction authorization) will process by the end of December if we receive it by December7,2012. This includes requests for IRA recharacterizations and conversions.

    PostdatedchecksWe are not able to accept checks written and received this tax year (2012) for next tax year (2013). Please do not postdate your checks. Any post-dated checks received will be returned.

    New mutual funds are hereRead about three new funds and why you might consider including them in your investment portfolio on page eight.

    Employer-paid contributionsIf you will be receiving employer-paid contributions in your 403(b) account, it is important to review your account and update your future contribution allocations. Contributions will be defaulted into an age appropriate Vanguard Target Retirement Fund* if no contribution allocations are on file. Please call 1-800-279-4030, Ext. 8568 to review your allocations.*Targetretirementfundsinvestinamixofstockandbondfundsthatsteadilybecomemoreconservativeastheyapproachtheirtargetdate.Targetretirementfundsarenotguaranteedandmaygainorlosevaluenowandaftertheirtargetdate.

    Avoid penalties! Watch your contribution limitsits year end! Its up to the participant (not the employer) to pay attention to limits. Contribution limits for 403(b) accounts are $17,000 for 2012, however, employees age 50 and older can contribute an additional $5,500 for a total of $22,500.

    Keep in mind that mutual fund investments are not guaranteed and may gain or lose value. Past perfor-mance 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 funds investment objectives, risks, and charges and expensescarefullybeforeinvesting.Theprospectuscontainsthisandotherinformationabouttheinvestmentcompany.


    Fewer pay cycles? Dont shortchange your IRA or 403(b). Many districts are reducing the

    number of pay cycles from 24 to 20 per year. If you have a set dollar amount deducted per paycheck for 403(b) or IRA contributions, you need to adjust that amount so you can continue to meet your retirement savings goal.For example, if you want to save

    $2,000 per year and have been receiving 24 checks per year, your contribution per paycheck would be $83 (for a total of $1992). However, if you are now receiving 20 checks per year, that $83 contribution will accumulate to just $1660 by the end of the year. To stay on pace to reach your yearly goal, increase your contribution to $100.

    If this affects you, contact your business office today and fill out a Salary Reduction Agreement to modify your contribution withholdings.


  • weabenefits.com4

    there for my mom. My dad died when I was 17 and she has been an excellent role model for picking yourself up and moving forward. She also made me understand that money truly does not buy happiness. She would give any one of her six children the last dollar she had because her philosophy was, Ive got plenty.

    Saving on your ownCarol also saved for retirement with a

    403(b). I started in 1978 after I got my masters degree. Its amazing how fast it accumulated even though I started with a small amount. Its difficult because sometimes money is tight and you live paycheck to paycheck, but most people wont miss $25 or $50 a paycheck once they start. Michelle has completed more than 500

    retirement plans for Wisconsin public school employees over the last five years. With the changes in employee benefitsincluding retirement benefitsstemming from Act 10, its imperative that public

    For Carol Gautsch, the decision to retire was an easy one. Her mother who suffers from dementia was deteriorating. The doctor called us in and said we

    would see significant and rapid changes in Mom. Wanting no regrets, Carol retired in 2007 at the age of 58. Like most Wisconsin public school

    employees, Carols retirement income sources are the Wisconsin Retirement System pension, Social Security benefit, and personal savings. She also received a district retirement package (which included a health insurance benefit), making her decision to retire easier.According to Michelle Slawny, CFP, Sr.

    Financial Planner at WEA Trust Member Benefits, one of the greatest financial concerns today for those retiring early is covering the cost of health care during the gap years before Medicare starts. The average annual cost for a single health insurance policy is about $8,000

    depending on the plan. Those retiring early without a health insurance benefit from their employer or coverage from a spouse need to be prepared to pay out of pocket. Without the health insurance benefit,

    Carol would have needed about $56,000 to fill the gap.Even after Medicare kicks in there will

    likely be medical expenses. Retirees are often surprised to learn that Medicare does not cover everything. Dental, eye care, or long-term care services you might need fall into the not covered column. Supplemental insurance policies are available. Plan to spend some time doing research as policy pricing and coverages vary widely.

    I wouldnt advise anyone to just go for it. You have to do some planning and you have to figure out what is right for your life. But once you make a decision, move on and dont look back, says Carol.Retirement is a new chapter in my

    life. Right now my primary focus is to be


    I wouldnt advise anyone to just go for it. You have to do some planning and you have to figure out what is right for

    your life. But once you make a decision, move on and dont look b