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Warwick Valley Financial Advisors helps K-12 school employees find hidden fees in your retirement plan and offer solutions to reducing them. Below are articles and guidance relevant to 403b school retirement plans and more.  If you have a question or want to set up a consultation, please contact us.

Brighthouse 403b Annuity Review

Brighthouse Annuity Review

This is an independent review of the Brighthouse Universal Annuity Contract, a popular 403(b) annuity product. If you work in K-12 public schools and participate in a 403(b), there is a good chance you might have been sold this annuity. If you are wondering what fees you may be paying, what investment options you have …


The 403b and 457 Plan Comparison for Public School Employees

As a public school employee, pension plans are an important component of retirement planning. However, your pension alone may not provide enough retirement income to support your desired future lifestyle. Fortunately, there are additional options available to help you achieve your retirement savings objectives. Contributing to 403b and/or 457 plan offered by your school district …


An Independent Review of the MetLife Preference Plus® Annuity

This is an independent review of a popular 403(b) MetLife annuity product. If you work in K-12 school and participate in a 403(b), there is a good chance you might have been sold the MetLife Preference Plus® Account Variable Deferred and Income Annuity Contracts. If you own this MetLife annuity and want an independent, objective …


An Independent Review of Confidential Planning 403(b) Retirement Plan Platform

Dear Reader, This is a detailed review of Confidential Planning, a lesser known 403(b) retirement plan provider. If you work in a K -12 school district with a 403(b) option, especially in the Tri-State area, there is a chance you have access to Confidential Planning on your district’s 403(b) provider list. We suggest reading 403b …

omni 403b preferred provider program

Understanding the OMNI 403b P3 Plan Providers

In this post we aim to provide objective, trustworthy information about OMNI® and their 403(b) P3 Providers. As of this publish date, there are 35 providers available for school districts to add to their retirement plans. Who is OMNI? OMNI® is a Third-Party Administrator (TPA) of 403(b) plans. They work with school districts to help …


Warwick Valley CSD 403(b) Plan Review

Before You Sign On The Dotted Line, Do Your Homework A 403(b) plan can be an excellent way to save money for retirement. It can serve as a supplement to your NYSTRS pension plan. But choosing the right 403(b) retirement plan can be overwhelming especially if you work in a school district. In this article, …


An Independent Review of Aspire Financial 403(b) retirement plan platform

Dear Reader, If you are like many school district employees, there is a good chance you are using a 403(b) plan as a supplement to your pension in order to build a healthier retirement. This is a detailed review of Aspire Financial, a lesser known 403(b) retirement plan provider.  If you work in a K-12 …

choose 403b

How to Select a Suitable 403b Vendor

Teachers have a lot going on. On top of their all-encompassing job, many have families, children and other personal obligations that they must juggle along with everyday activities and tasks around the home. So, when it comes to choosing a 403b vendor to work with, many teachers choose blindly, simply following the course that their …


4 Questions Teachers Should Ask a Financial Advisor

Both public and private school teachers have special financial considerations that a high-quality financial advisor should address and incorporate into a financial plan for their clients. But is this happening? Below are 4 questions that teachers should ask when they are choosing a financial advisor. 1. Are you a fiduciary? What are your certifications? Your …

Monroe-Woodbury 403b Plan Review

Monroe-Woodbury CSD 403(b) Plan Review

Before You Sign On The Dotted Line, Do Your Homework A 403(b) plan can be an excellent way to save money for retirement. It can serve as a supplement to your NYSTRS pension plan. But choosing the right 403(b) retirement plan can be overwhelming especially if you work in a school district. In this article, …

403b podcast

Podcast: Bruce McNutt and Ken Ford discuss 403b’s

403b Podcast Ken Ford and Bruce McNutt discuss 403(b) plans. This podcast is for teachers, superintendents, and teachers union reps. Links mentioned in podcast: Model Disclosure Form AXA annuity review Sources for statistical data: 1. AON Hewitt – How 403(b) Plans are Wasting Nearly $10 Billion Annually, and What Can Be Done to Fix It.  …


An Independent Review of: The AXA EQUI-VEST® (Series 201) contract for employer-sponsored 403(b) retirement plans

Dear Reader, This is a detailed post about a popular 403(b) annuity product, the AXA EQUI-VEST variable annuity. As a participant in a 403(b) account, you have the choice to invest in either mutual funds or annuities. If you work in K-12 school and participate or plan to participate in a 403(b), there is a …

403b death benefit

Teachers: Is the Death Benefit Killing Your Retirement Plan?

How One Fee Might Be Draining Your Nest Egg As a teacher, knowing facts is part of the job. But when it comes to 403(b) plans, many teachers and educational administrators will readily admit that they don’t have all the facts. As a financial advisor, it’s my job to present facts to clients so they …


Teachers 5-Step 403b Retirement Shopping Guide

Savvy Shopping – The New Past-time for Teachers When you begin working as a teaching professional, your school district will likely offer you an opportunity to save for retirement, known as a 403b Retirement Plan. What you might not know is that you can shop around for your plan, just like any other shopping trip. …

403b pearls of wisdom for teachers

Retirement Pearls of Wisdom for Teachers

Ask Questions, Save Money When It Comes to Your 403(b) Let’s be honest. Life is busy. Sometimes even knowing what types of retirement options are available to you—or even which ones you have–is difficult enough, without allocating the time to really understand each. Perhaps all too often, things are left to auto-pilot when it comes …


The Roth 403(b)

Some employers offer 403(b) plan participants the opportunity to make Roth 403(b) contributions. If you’re lucky enough to work for an employer that offers this option, Roth contributions could play an important role in maximizing your retirement income. What is a Roth 403(b)? A Roth 403(b) is simply a traditional 403(b) plan that accepts Roth …

403b basics

403(b) Plan Basics

This 403b plan basics article will help you make informed decisions about whether this plan is suitable for your retirement goals. What is a 403(b) plan? A 403(b) plan is an employer-sponsored retirement plan for certain employees of public schools, tax-exempt (501(c)(3)) organizations, and churches. The employer can purchase annuity contracts for eligible employees, or …

financial review

The Annual Financial Check-Up

Don’t ignore it. Here’s why. Here’s the scenario … you get a card in the mail, one of those little reminders that tells you it’s time for your annual financial checkup. Your reaction: I’ll take care of that later. Here’s why you should look forward to it. Why do I need an annual financial checkup …


Free Guide: What Every K-12 Employee Should Know About Their 403B Plan

Retirement investing for teachers can be confusing. This guide is an excellent source of information about the various options available to you as a school district employee answering important questions.


How much are you paying?

By using this carefully written email, your provider can’t evade or avoid the truth. Cut, paste and modify the text below and email it to your current plan provider. You can likely find your provider’s email on your quarterly statement.

Subject: Inquiry about the fees deducted from my retirement accounts

Dear (provider name),
I’ve recently learned that the fees taken out of my Teacher retirement plan (403B) and other retirement accounts can have a big impact on the amount that I will have to fund my retirement.

Maybe I missed something in all of the paperwork, but as your client would you please provide a detailed description of any fees that are paid from my accounts?

This might include fees paid for fund management, trading commissions, custodial or investment advisory services. Please show me any compensation that you or your firm receives from 12b-1 fees, loads or any other fees from funds, which are in any of my accounts.

I understand that some fees are hard to see, for example the fees for funds inside of target date funds and other funds that include other funds. I wish to know any and all fees whether I’ve listed them here or not.

Thanks so much, Your Name


What is OMNI P3?

Most teachers are unaware that their school district is part of the OMNI’s Preferred Provider Program, which has made available a list of over 25 other investment providers that you can research and compare. WVFA has already done the research on these companies and can help you make an informed decision regardless of the provider you choose.


Aspire · FTJ Fundchoice · Charles Schwab

The above listed companies are not affiliated with LPL Financial.


Knowledge is power.

Below are articles, websites, news reports, and podcasts to learn about current issues teachers are facing today. Brush up with articles on our b(informed) blog.



  • 403b Wise is a website dedicated to informing and empowering teachers.
  • 403(b) Compare is an information bank of free objective information about 403(b) vendors and the products they offer. *These fees may not be the same if you are dealing with these vendors in a different state
  • OMNI’s Preferred Provider Program, provices a list of over 25 other investment providers that you can research and compare.
  • Bruce McNutt Math – Bruce is a Math Teacher & 403(b) activist who set out on a quest to get Vanguard added to the list of 403(b) providers in Wayne, NJ. His website shares information and resources about the 403(b) from an educated teacher’s perspective.


403(b) Savings Calculator Use the 403(b) Savings Calculator to gain a general estimate of future savings growth in your 403(b) or 457(b) account under a variety of assumptions. This tool is especially useful in illustrating the power of starting early, increasing contributions regularly, and the impact of fees on returns.

403(b) IN THE NEWS:

  • A Costly Lesson, via Forbes “Some of the biggest names in insurance peddle lousy retirement plans with high fees and low returns. One and a half million teachers blithely signed up for these dogs-often with their unions’ blessing.”
  • How One Teacher Got Wise to the 403(b) “I am one of the tens of thousands of American teachers who made a very major decision about retirement based upon trust and ignorance….”
  • Before the Advice, Check Out the Advisor » via NY Times. Elderly couple sold high-commission variable annuity.
  • NTSAA Foiled (Again) in Iowa » by 403(b)wise The National Tax Sheltered Annuity Association keeps trying to alter a 403(b) plan often cited as a solution to “any willing provider” model.
  • Teacher’s lesson plan fights high retirement fund fees » by John Wasik for Seattle Times Math teacher Bruce McNutt persuaded school board to add Vanguard 403(b) products.
  • Unions’ Advice is Failing Teachers » from the L.A. Times Labor groups have joined forces with investment firms to steer members into 403(b) plans that often have high expenses and poor returns.
  • Shark Attack! » from American Teacher Teachers, college professors and other education workers are being threatened by sharks — but not the kind that swim in the sea!



Subscribe to our WVFA Teacher’s Newsletter and stay informed about changes in the industry that may impact your retirement.Our newsletter will provide timely information, research and invitations related to 403(b) plans in your district.




Contact us to ask a simple question or to arrange a Complimentary Teacher’s 403(b) Review. We are not an employee of the investment companies that sell products, so we can objectively evaluate which 403(b) plan provider is best for you. In your review we can:

  • Examine your current investment company and research the products they sell.
  • Guide you through setting up an account at the company you choose to work with.
  • Calculate how much you will need to save for retirement.
  • Help re-balance your investment portfolio into lower cost investment options.

Let us help you retire with more.

Contact us online or call 845-981-7300 today. We can meet you after school hours. WVFA can also arrange informative 403(b) seminars to be held at your school featuring experts in this field.