Test Your Knowledge
CalSTRS / CalPERS
403(b) / 457 Plans
Saving and Spending
Insurance and Estate Planning
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California Teachers Association Site Map
How to Sign Up for Your 403(b)/457 Plan
What You'll Find on this Site
Your Personalized Financial Checklist
Retirement Planning in Your 20s
Retirement Planning in Your 30s
Retirement Planning in Your 40s
Retirement Planning in Your 50s and 60s
Retirement Planning for Singles
Countdown to Retirement
Creating Your Retirement Budget
Portfolio Management Doesn't End In Retirement
Cracking Open Your Nest Egg
Developing a Retirement Income Stream
How Much Can I Withdraw?
Required Minimum Distributions
Can You Afford Early Retirement?
How Does Your Retirement Planning Stack Up?
Should You Delay Retirement?
Health Care Costs In Retirement
When to Apply For Medicare
Covering Health Care Costs Before Medicare Eligibility
Medicare, Medicare Advantage and Medigap Plans
Review of Medicare Part D
Controlling Rising Health Care Costs
Plan for the High Cost of Health Care in Retirement
Educators and Social Security
Social Security Sooner or Later?
Women And Retirement Planning
Overcome Retirement Security Hurdles
Handling a Gap in Employment
Declare Your Financial Independence
CalSTRS / CalPERS
About Your CalSTRS Plan
CalSTRS, CTA, and You
CalSTRS Retirement Benefit
About Your CalPERS Plan
CalPERS Retirement Benefit
Additional Pension Information
Supplementing Your Pension Benefits
Changing Jobs? Your CalSTRS and CalPERS Options
Purchasing Additional Service Credit
403(b) / 457 Plans
403(b) and 457 Plan Overview
Comparing 401(k), 403(b), 457 Plans
Why You Need a 403(b) or 457 Plan
Saving with a 403(b) or 457 Plan
Tax Benefits of 403(b) and 457 Plans
Planning to Cover Future Healthcare Costs
Benefits Of Starting Early
How Fees Affect Your Return
Choosing a Beneficiary
Don't Turn Your Retirement Plan into an Emergency Fund
Divorce and Your Retirement Plan Rights
Investment Options in Your Plan
ABCs of 403(b)s
What Is A Roth 403(b)?
New Job? Roll Over Your 403(b)
About 457 plans
ABCs of 457 Plans
Rolling Over Your 457 Plan
Setting Your Goals
Finding Your Savings Destination
What Are Your Plans For Retirement?
Questions About Investment Risk
Position Yourself For Success: Rebalance
Safeguard Your Nest Egg From Inflation
Marital Status and Your Finances
Start the Decade Off Right
0% Capital Gains Rate Extended
Risk Tolerance Quiz
What Have We Learned from the Market's Wild Ride?
How Big a Nest Egg Do You Need to Retire?
Keeping Stock Market Returns in Perspective
A Financial Plan Will Help You Move from Dreamer to Doer
Choosing Your Investments
What Are Asset Classes?
Understanding Asset Allocation
Comparing Bonds and Bond Funds
Understanding Mutual Funds
About Equity Funds
Mutual Fund Share Classes
Should You Go Global with Your Investments?
Target-Date and Lifecycle Funds
Reading the Prospectus
Money Market Funds
Stable Value Investments
Emerging Markets: Dipping into International Waters
Why Doesn't My Account Value Match The Market?
What Do Indexes Measure?
Choosing a Financial Advisor
Financial Credentials: What Do They Mean?
Do Investment Ratings Matter?
Avoid Common Investing Mistakes
Create a Blueprint for Your Investments
Real World Tips on Investing for the Future
Busting Bond Myths
ETFs: Index Funds Disguised as Stocks
Are You Taking Enough Risk with Your 403(b) or 457 Plan Account?
How the European Debt Crisis Could Affect Your Investments
5 Simple Rules for Investing
How TIPS Work
Tune Up Your Portfolio by Rebalancing
Introduction to Variable Annuities
Truth About Variable Annuities
What is a Fixed Annuity?
What Happens When You Surrender an Annuity?
Beware of Equity Indexed Annuities
Is Your Fixed Annuity Keeping Up with Inflation?
Individual Retirement Account (IRA) Basics
Two Types of IRAs: Traditional and Roth
Questions to Ask Before Converting to a Roth IRA
How The Government Protects Investors
Avoid Investment Scams
Saving and Spending
Savings and Spending Plans
Creating a Financial Plan
Be A Positive Saver!
Where Does Your Money Go?
Debt vs. Saving
Managing Household Finances
House Hunting? Save For The Down Payment
Federal Program Offers Help ‘Making Home Affordable’
Seven Questions to Ask Before Refinancing
Spotlight On Wedding Costs
How to Handle a Windfall
Quick Tips for Parents-To-Be
Quick Tips for Energy Savings
How Does an Overdraft Affect My Bank or Credit Union Account?
Could Your Family Make It on One Income?
Enriching Your Life – Rather than Your Lifestyle
Have Multiple Goals? Develop an Effective Savings Plan
Saving for College
How Will You Pay for College?
How to Choose a 529 College Savings Plan
Are There Better Options Than a 529 Plan?
Unique Ways to Pay for College
College Vs. Retirement: Which Is More Important?
Do You Qualify For Student Loan Forgiveness?
File for Financial Aid ASAP
How to Tackle Your Student Loans
Invest Wisely to Maximize Student Aid
Keep College Debt Manageable
Managing Your Credit
Using Credit Wisely
Consolidating Your Debt
Home Equity Loans
The Debt-Snowball Method
New Law Protects Credit Card Holders
Secured Credit Cards
Five Ways to Build a Healthy Credit History
Insurance and Estate Planning
How Much Life Insurance Do You Need?
Term Life Insurance
Where to Purchase Supplemental Life Insurance
CTA Voluntary Group Life Insurance Plan
Life Stages Trigger New Insurance Needs
Protecting Your Home
Be Prepared For Wildfire
Tips to Get the Most From Your Insurance
Is Your Home Adequately Insured?
Umbrella Insurance Can Keep You from Getting Soaked
GAP Insurance Coverage for Auto Loans
Disability And Long-Term Care Insurance
Disability Insurance: Are You Covered?
Long Term Care Insurance
CTA Voluntary Group Disability Insurance Plan
Pregnancy and Parental Leave Rights
5 Things to Look for in a Long-Term Care Policy
Your Estate Plan
Estate Planning Basics
You Need a Will
How a Trust Can Help You
Low-Cost Ways to Transfer Assets
Establishing a Durable Power of Attorney
Complete Advance Directives for End of Life Care
Keep Beneficiary Designations Up-to-Date
You've Been Named Executor. Now What?
Estate Planning in a Digital Era
Ask the Advisor Confirmation
403(b) / 457 Costs and Surrender Fees
How does a variable annuity differ from an enhanced plus variable annuity? As an example, an enhanced...
I am a new teacher and would like to start a 403(b) ...
I need info on 3rd party TPAs. Our district has a list and we can only use those. What about the...
Is there a maximum contribution amount?
Should teachers paid tenthly be aware of any restrictions or rules governing contributions made only ten times...
Can 403(b) funds be used to buy individual stocks? If so, can an individual manage the 403(b)?
I want to maximize contributions to my 403(b). I am 56 years old. Is my maximum contribution amount the 8% of...
My sister-in-law is trying to sell me “tax-free retirement life insurance.” What can you tell me about this investment?
I am currently contributing to a 457 plan and a 403(b). Can I consolidate the 403(b) and the 457 so I only have...
For years I have had a vendor’s low-risk 403(b) that gives at least 4.5% guaranteed interest and I was told...
Can I transfer my TSA with a company not on my district's approved list to another TSA?
Are contributions to a 403(b) required to be in regular monthly paycheck deductions?
I am 36 and would like to start a 403(b) or 457 plan. I would like to put $200 a month into the plan that...
Could you advise me on finding a CTA-approved financial retirement counselor?
I just discovered that my 403 (b) annuity includes surrender charges. What should I do?
If I'm in an annuity with surrender charges in my 403(b) and I have a "term," is that for all the money going in?
What is the main difference between a 457 plan and 403(b) plan, and how much can I contribute to both?
What's the maximum I can contribute to my 403(b) and 457 every month?
What is the best way to invest if you are 60 years old? Is it too late to start?
I am changing districts. Can I transfer my 403(b), and will I have to pay any surrender fees?
I have some money in the 457 plan, but am tired of not having very much control over it. Can I buy...
I have two 403(b) plans but am losing money and really don't know how much I am paying in fees...
How do I know if I can use the catch-up provision and how far back can I go?
What happens to my 403(b) contributions if I should die?
A teacher is complaining about the huge tax taken from her 403b on retirement. Why is CTA for 403(b)?
Does STRS offer a 403(b) plan? If so, is there a fixed interest rate plan at or above 3%?
403(b) / 457 Loans / Withdrawals
I am going on maternity leave and would like to take extra time off. Can I take out money from retirement?
Can I take out a loan from my retirement account?
Can a portion of my 403(b) be rolled over to fund a 529 plan for my granddaughter?
What are the pros and cons of taking a loan from my 403(b) plan?
What questions should I ask my 403(b) advisor when I sign up?
Individual Retirement Accounts
Can I move an IRA over to the 403(b) plan?
Recently I had an unexpected windfall and put $6,000 in an IRA (I am 65). Can I also contribute...
Can you still work at the school that you're employed at and roll your 403(b) plan into an outside IRA?
I am a teacher, age 67. I have an IRA-403(b), but have not contributed to it for a year. Am I eligible...
What are the pros and cons of rolling over an IRA to a Roth IRA?
I have a 403(b) and am substitute teaching. Can I also have an IRA?
I have a Roth IRA. Can I get a Roth 403(b) also? Can I sign up regardless of my district?
Mutual Fund Investing
What is the average cost ratio for funds?
Are target date funds, which adjust diversification automatically, preferable to investing...
what questions to ask my advisor to get a straight answer.
Can I switch within the Oppenheimer family or even other approved sources within my school district?
Can I invest directly in mutual funds within my 403(b) and, if so, what should I look for?
Purchasing Service Credit
I missed two weeks early in my career due to problems. Is there a way to make up this time?
I will have 20 years in teaching in 2019. I will be 58 years old. Moneywise, what is the difference between...
I used some of my 403(b) annuity to buy service years.
Can I use my 403(b) annuity to buy 'service years'?
Is it worth $20,000 to buy a year of CalSTRS service credit?
It’s not the Social Security I worry about, it’s the Medicare. Don’t I have to pay out of pocket for it once...
I pay into Social Security through one job and also pay into CalSTRS. How does that affect my retirement?
What is the Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision and how does it affect me?
See all FAQs
How does life insurance factor into making decisions on retirement?
What benefits are available to a beneficiary?
I'm interested in learning more about long-term care insurance.
I have been teaching for eight years. I want to quit teaching and take out my retirement. Can I take my retirement...
What percentage of my income should I save for retirement each year?
My husband's company matches his 401(k). Should I be contributing to a 403(b) account also?
My husband just passed away and I will be receiving his retirement. What is the best thing to do with it?
Is it possible to personally meet with someone who can help me invest my money?
I want to invest in a tax-deferred account for my children's college education. Do we have this plan in CA?
What are the pros and cons of using a 529 plans for my kids' college?
Should I have life insurance, and if so, what type?
Should I have a trust or a will?
Savings & Debt
Why is a big, long mortgage smarter than being debt-free at retirement?
What's the best way to save money while paying back high-interest credit cards?
Should I pay off high-interest or small-balance credit cards first, or does it matter?
How Much Can I Save in My 403(b) or 457 Plan?
Projected Retirement Expense Calculator
How Much More Do I Need to Save for Retirement?
How Long Will My 403(b) or 457 Plan Savings Last?
How Much Can I Save by Consolidating My Debt?
How Will My Pretax 403(b) or 457 Plan Contributions Affect My Take-Home Pay?
How Will Fees Affect My 403(b) or 457 Plan Savings?
What Will It Cost to Borrow from My 403(b) or 457 Plan?
Test Your Knowledge
Test Your Estate Planning Knowledge
What Do You Know about 403(b) Plans?
What Do You Know about Fixed Annuities?
What Do You Know about Mutual Funds?
Test Your Retirement Planning Knowledge
Test Your Tax Knowledge
What Do You Know about Variable Annuities?
A Look at Fixed Annuities
A Look at Target-Date Funds
Comparing 403(b) and 457 Plans
Choosing a 403(b) or 457 Product
Why Participate in a 403(b) or 457 Plan?
The Impact of Fees on Your 403(b) or 457 Plan
The Truth about Variable Annuities
Finding a Trustworthy Financial Advisor
What Educators Need to Know about Social Security
What Educators Like You Are Saying About Investing for Retirement
Four Things to Keep in Mind With Your 403(b)
Four Reasons to Save in a 403(b)
Smart Investing with the CTA Retirement Savings Plan
Financial Tools for Educators