Do you Ever Worry About Your
Financial Future and Job Security?
How all educators under Teacher Retirement System of Texas can finally achieve financial security and peace of mind
Would saving you $1,000 to $6,000 in taxes and other expenses you’re overpaying for, be enough of necessity to attend one of our education meetings?
Let me ask you a question:
Can you ever remember a time, when being a teacher was more confusing and frustrating?
I’ll bet you can’t.
It seems that the profession we have all chosen has changed in some very profound ways. Changes that cause you concerns about the future, and the future of your family. And changes that cause you to sometimes question your choice of career.
Sometimes, these changes cause you to ask yourself, “What am I doing in this kind of work, anyway?”
As a “teacher” you chose to educate our children, to help create a better world.
And you knew it wasn’t going to be a cake walk. You knew there were going to be long hours. And, too many unruly kids in the classes. And, principals with different agendas than yours. And parents who think you’re their full time replacements.
You knew all that, and more, about how tough your chosen assignment was going to be. But, you still went into the field because you can’t think of anything more meaningful than:
Giving kids the chance to live the life they want to lead!
* * * * *
Are you wondering if your financial future will be ok?
65% of baby boomers don’t have money for retirement!
*Will the Teachers Retirement System provide me with a retirement income that will increase with the cost of living?
*Do you get frustrated thinking about how tired you are of needing a second income to get by?
All these thoughts and concerns take a lot of time and energy. Time and energy that could be used to replenish yourself to be fresh, and enthusiastic for the daily effort of being there for not only your students, but of course your family too!
Sadly, the world doesn’t seem to acknowledge or worry about our teachers the way it does doctors, or lawyers, or other professionals.
And yet, here we are. Making less money, with more responsibilities and stress! If you value family, health, and a long life over money, you might have a new perspective after knowing that lack of control over your finances is a leading destroyer of those values. Our family lives suffer from our frustrations. We’ve always been working a job that truly means “bringing work home”, and now, we’re bringing more stress home along with the work! 8 out of 10 Americans state money, or lack of it, is a significant source of stress in their lives.
More than one in three Americans have said at one point in their life, they felt their financial situation was out of control. Many feel a sense of hopelessness with their financial lives. These emotions are unhealthy and contribute to many issues. It’s no wonder financial management is one of the leading causes of stress in America.
In a perfect world, people would be able to keep their financial stress and home life issues separate from their work-life. However, many U.S. workers experience so much financially related stress, that it negatively impacts their work productivity.
It is impossible to separate your life so completely. When you’re not feeling good about your future, it will have a negative impact on your home life as well. Statistics suggest finances play a leading role in 80% of all divorces in America. More than half of Americans experience anger, irritability, fatigue, and sleeplessness due to financial struggles.
Financial Stress-Related Illness
Financial distress can also take a heavy toll on one’s health and mental well being. 75%-90% of all doctor’s visits are stress-related. There is a direct correlation of financial issues and health status. Research confirms that financial stress causes and intensifies different health disorders. 35% of middle class Americans said they or someone in their household have experienced a physical symptom due to stress from the economy.
Financial struggles may lead to stress, fatigue, tension, anxiety, pressure, depression, insomnia and other sleep disorders, headaches/migraines, high blood pressure/hypertension, appetite disorders, weight gain or loss, stomach/abdominal problems, ulcers, digestive problems, aches and pains and other general sickness. Fiscal stress is the leading cause of overeating, smoking, alcohol, and drug addiction.
Workers earning less than $30,000 a year are less likely to have health insurance coverage and benefits. Many workers are unable to afford or access health care services and exams. They are forced to cut back on recommended screening, prevention, and health maintenance activities. Over a quarter of participants in a survey claimed that they put off doctor visits due to economic conditions.
The economy has lead to a rise in health care costs. In addition, poor health can lead to increased medical costs. Those with financial stress related illness may end up spending $15,000 in health costs per year! Medical bills may hurt your credit and take away from retirement money.
This adds to the frustration….
The devastating effects of the deficit have hit the citizens of America with full force! Americans have accumulated enormous amounts of personal consumer debt! Average household debt in the nation has reached a level of 136% of household income. Has it affected you personally?
From just 2007-2011, 67% of Americans have experienced a huge decline in their total wealth, a median 45% decline! An astounding 77% of Americans now live paycheck to paycheck. Unfortunately, many Americans can’t pay their bills on time, and nearly half of Americans carry over credit card debt from month to month.
Nearly 2/3 of Americans are having financial problems including paying for gas, food, rent or mortgage, healthcare and insurance, getting a good job or raise, losing money in the stock market, and personal debt. Many American workers are living paycheck to paycheck, worried about making ends meet, concerned about bankruptcy and losing their homes, don’t have enough money to cover expenses, and are mounting credit card debt.
It is estimated that roughly 5 million homeowners in America are at least two months behind on their mortgages. It is projected that one million families will be booted out of their homes in America, in this year alone. Financial stress is most certainly on the rise.
LET ME SHARE A SECRET!
You know, there is one secret that can solve a lot of these worries. It’s not something you learn in college or graduate school…. or even acquiring a Ph.D.
SO WHAT IS IT????
Getting yourself educated, the same way you teach your students!
D U H H H H H H H H ! ! ! ! ! as our kids say.
In this day and age, financial literacy is becoming an increasingly fundamental life skill to survive in America. The lack of financial literacy in Americans is what created the deficit!
Think about what I’m saying here!
We all use up the hours in the day to set a curriculum, and to learn new ways to teach. To get better and better at being the best teachers we can be. But since there is only a fixed amount of hours in the day, where are you going to get the time to become an expert at another full time profession?
That of being an expert in organizing and managing your money.
**The answer is, you can’t do it all. (Not even if you’re “SUPER TEACHER”!)
Unfortunately, we have been forced by the economy and society in general, to be a money manager, besides being a teacher!
You are making the income today because you attended school K-12. Did it ever occur to you that you didn’t attend a ‘financial education’ school K12? You chose your field of study and training to teach and get paid an income for that. You didn’t study on what to do with that income, or how to make a higher net worth.
A financial education K-12 program is the solution. No, the employer doesn’t have to pay for 12 years of training, nor does the American W-2 or 1099 worker have to go back to school and get a diploma in ‘money education.’ (Maybe it’s not such a bad idea.) But a single money management education program that does cover K-12 will work.
Money management training in America is crucial. Studies have shown that people who took a required course in finances were more likely to budget, save, and pay their credit cards in full. They were also less likely to max out credit cards. Research shows that as little as ten hours of financial education leads to positive changes in spending and savings habits.
Although this skill is usually neglected, financially literacy is becoming an increasingly important life skill needed to survive in modern day America. Knowing how to manage your finances is a powerful tool. The knowledge needed to manage your finances can prevent a vast amount of dilemmas.
Top 10 Reasons to Learn Financial Education-K12
- Get out of debt
- Become financially independent
- Learn to save, invest, and make more money
- Worry less and reduce your stress
- Maintain your health
- Perform better at work
- Improve your family life
- Have money for retirement
- Put your kids through college
- Enjoy a better quality of life
I’ll bet you think plenty about:
v How your own kids will get through college.
v How you will be able to retire on the same standard of living you have now.
v How to make the best of the summer and so forth, to add financial security for your family.
v What it will take to stop having to take on extra work just to meet the bills, let alone save for the future.
v Whether or not you’ve made the right decisions on your benefits package.
v How you can pay less in taxes, legally?
v What strategies and financial secrets are out there, that you don’t even know exist?
v How do I eliminate my total DEBT?
YES, THAT’S RIGHT
The activity you do every day for a living is the same skill you need to be successful with your money, as you are in your career!
*Imagine a scenario where you just show up the first day of class, pull out a book and a piece of chalk, and start teaching without a plan!
It’s absurd even thinking about it…
Could you imagine having no idea what information you were going to stress? What books and tools you were going to use? What timing you would incorporate into your lesson units? What the other teachers were doing? Not knowing the goals of the grading period?
Could you imagine?
You know what I’m talking about?
- Doing your tax planning while you file your returns – for the past year! (A little too late, wouldn’t you say?)
- Deciding on your TSA choices based on a three minute conversation with a colleague in the lounge over a soda.
- Setting up your insurance based on a salesperson’s biased advice.
- Investing your money with decisions made from reading an article in “MONEY” magazine.
And, listening to Bryant Gumbell interview a stock analyst on the “TODAY” show, and then running to your discount broker.
Do you take time to plan for your own future in such lavish detail????
I think you probably do not…
Be realistic with yourself!
Many citizens do not know how to save, invest, borrow responsibly, and plan for their financial future. 65% of Americans consider themselves highly knowledgeable of their finances. However, 43% of Americans do not budget or track their expenses at all! And 63% have not viewed their credit score in the past year. 23% have never seen their credit report at all! 32% do not spend any portion of their income for retirement.
Many of the most important life decisions Americans make revolve around their finances: a mortgage to purchase a home, a loan to purchase an automobile, credit to make purchases, investments for retirement and insurance for security. Saving in your retirement is crucial in order to retire with the most money possible and continue the same standard of living for the rest of your life. Not only saving, but actually making a return on what you put in by investing in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, variable annuities, variable life, and 401k plans, while minimizing risks.
All of these financial services have become increasingly complex over time and there is a much wider range of product options offered, making decision-making more complicated. Managing your finances can be a very confusing thing to do.
Consumers need to be financially literate in order to make well-informed judgments about such complex products. Most people don’t know the terms of their mortgage or the interest-rate they are paying on their loan. At a time when Americans are borrowing more than ever, the financial education needed to plan is essential.
Learning to save and invest in your retirement, and understanding the Teacher Retirement System of Texas in order to make the right choices, can make an enormous difference in your life. On average, teachers make $40,000 to $45,000 a year. How much are you currently saving and investing? Do you have a plan for your future?
This planning makes the difference between arriving at your destination, feeling safe and secure, or having no clue where you are, or even where you want to be! What we are talking about here, is probably the most important aspect in your life, next to your health!
SO WHY DO WE DO IT?
Why do we not plan for our future the way we set up a lesson plan or a vacation?
In my opinion, it is because we just don’t have the time or energy.
It’s not that we’re “stupid”, or lazy, or anything negative like that.
NO, NOT AT ALL…
It’s just we make the huge mistake of thinking that it takes too much time, or that you’re uncertain of what to do. Because it’s uncomfortable, there is a tendency to put off, procrastinate, do anything but…DO IT!
Literally thousands of dollars that are lost, or unnecessarily paid in the form of missed tax deductions, overpayment on interest, duplicate coverages, hidden fees, expenses… and on and on!
Now, you are probably agreeing with me about the need for planning, but are wondering what will it do for me?
Planning will allow you the opportunity to learn how to:
- Defer or even eliminate taxes, sometimes saving hundreds or even thousands of dollars every year! Think about this:
—If you saved even $300 per month in taxes and you’re 40 years old, and you earn only a lousy 3% on the extra savings;
You would have an additional $98,491 at age 60!
HOW ABOUT THINGS LIKE THESE?
- How to stash away over six times as much as an IRA, in tax deferred savings?
- How to finance part, or all of a college education, without paying taxes or penalties!
- The amazingly simple secret of selling assets for a profit, without paying any tax!
- Avoid the five biggest mistakes teachers make with their money!
- The startling secrets to have the best chance of retiring when you want, with as much money as you want!
- Use the investment strategies the pros use every day, except the results will be for you not for them!
- Take advantage of ten possible ways to beat today’s horribly low interest rates on investments!
- Be a part of the 6% of teachers who truly control their own lives, because they have enough financial wisdom to do what they want!
All this may sound like a lot of hype, but let me tell you that, just like any profession, certain inside tips and tricks of the trade do exist!
**Just like YOU know many secrets of how to do your job more efficiently, and better
than others! Every vocation has lots of twists and turns only the experienced drivers
know how to take. These are just some basic facts of financial life!
HERE IS ONE MORE IMPORTANT FACT!
The longer you wait to take advantage of what is rightfully yours, the more you cost yourself.
**So many teachers we work with are so surprised at how simple fixing money concerns can be with proper planning. And we know how frustrating it can be to feel like the “FINANCIAL CONROL” and PEACE OF MIND you want is just out of reach.
If you feel like government, the school boards, the unions and so forth, have the control over you, that can be fixed very quickly, but, the initial step must be yours.
TAKING THE FIRST STEP!
Taking the first step into a new life of financial control is really up to YOU!
v Learn how you can save at least $1000 to $5,000 in TAXES and other expenses you’re overpaying.
v Whether you make $40,000 or $240,000 a year, most people we talk to tell us that they are very interested to learn practical ways to reduce their taxes, and not overpay on other expenses!
Just last week, we met with an individual who was certain they were all taken care of, and we uncovered over $7,357 in taxes and other expenses that they were overpaying.
Almost without exception when we ask people how they think this kind of money slips through their checkbooks, the three biggest causes are:
- Not having enough time.
- Not knowing exactly what to look for…and where.
- Thinking or hoping everything is being “taken care of” for them.
The biggest problem for most people today is TIME.
*Not enough TIME…and not knowing where to look!
STOP FOR JUST A MOMENT AND THINK ABOUT WHERE YOUR TIME GOES MONDAY – FRIDAY!
FOR RETIREES: The biggest problem is not “investing time” first to be fully aware of all the tax saving opportunities available, and not loaning their money to Mr. Banker for 3% while he turns around and rents it out for 12-18%. Investing time in financial education is invaluable. Spending as little as one hour a week to learn can have a great return of investment. It will most definitely be time well spent.
There is a happy ending!
Even people who have a good income and money in the bank are feeling more financial pressure today! Today more than ever, people are sincerely looking for practical ways to save money on taxes and expenses wherever possible, and provide a “financial safety-net” underneath themselves for the future! Just like a medical doctor, the first step towards getting well or staying healthy financially, is to perform a check-up and diagnosis to see what’s “bugging” YOU!
We can provide you with a “financial check-up, diagnosis and written report”. If you are not totally happy with our report and tax service, there is NO further obligation on YOUR part.
No pressure! No sales! No hassles!
Finally, I wanted you to know that we also invite everyone, who we prepare a financial report for, to attend one of our tax saving workshops….FREE!
Well, I think this covers everything. I hope this discussion of building a financial map for your life’s road makes sense to you in a new and different way. I hope it has got you thinking about your own life, and how you feel about your taxes, finances, the “quality of time” and life-style you have. So you and your family can have the best life possible!
I look forward to talking to you soon, and seeing where we go from here.
Take care, and I wish you all the good luck in the world!
Ruben Ruiz, Jr., MSFS, ChFC, RFC
Money Concepts International Financial Planning Network
1920a Corporate Drive, Suite 106, San Marcos, TX 78666
1777 NE Loop 410, STE. 600, San Antonio, TX 78217
TELEPHONE: (512) 396-2487, (210) 573-6827, FAX: (208)-279-1073