UPDATED: Not sure how Finance for Teachers can help you? Start here

If this is your first, or early, visit to Finance for Teachers, then welcome! Learn more about us, what we do, and how we can help you.

I’ve Heard From Other Teachers That the TRS AAI Buyout is Less Money. Is That True?

Many educators think that the TRS AAI buyout will mean less money for them in the long-run. In some cases, this may be true. However, depending on your goals, taking the buyout may actually give you more savings over time. At First Glance At first glance, the answer to this challenging question is yes. Your […]

Why Should I Take an AAI Buyout – Is the Pension Not Secure?

The somewhat mixed-messaging coming from TRS is confusing for a lot of teachers and their families in Illinois. The buyout is painted as an excellent option for educators, but it leaves an uncomfortable question in the air: Is your pension safe if you choose to not opt for the TRS AAI buyout? To understand the […]

How to Make Sure You Don’t Run Out of Money If You Take a TRS AAI Buyout 

Whether you’re a teacher, or you’re married to a teacher in Illinois, taking the TRS AAI buyout can bring up a retirement savings fear: What happens if you run out of money after taking the TRS AAI buyout option? The truth is, it’s possible to overspend when you receive a lump sum of cash. This […]

How Big Will My AAI Buyouts Be and How Will My TRS Pension be Different If I Take It?

You may be wondering: If I take the AAI Program buyout, how much will my lump-sum payment be? And how will my benefits be impacted? The truth is, as an Illinois teacher, your pension is likely a large part of your retirement plan. Before deciding whether the AAI Program is right for you, it’s important […]

How Does a COLA Work on an Illinois TRS Pension, and Why Is It Important?

COLA, or Cost-of-Living-Adjustment, is a legally required automatic increase to pensions. Illinois state law has required an automatic annual increase to pensions since 1969. Currently, COLA is a fixed 3% each year (compounded, meaning the prior year’s benefit gets increased by 3%). This increase happens every year, and is supposed to help your pension benefit […]

What is the AAI Program for Illinois TRS retirees?

The AAI Program, or Accelerated Annual Increase, is a relatively new program that requires TRS to offer all Tier 1 members an accelerated retirement benefit. This accelerated benefit would be equal to a portion of your future pension benefit. By agreeing to the voluntary program, you’re agreeing to a one-time reduction in your annual increase […]

7 Reasons Why Teachers Need a Roth IRA

The Roth IRA is the most unusual retirement plan, and probably the most versatile. Even though you may participate in the retirement plan in your school district, there are excellent reasons why teachers need a Roth IRA. Think of it as a way to broaden your retirement horizons. Once you learn what a Roth IRA […]

9 Post-retirement Careers for Teachers Who Only Want to Retire from Teaching

It may seem like an oxymoron to talk about retirement and post-retirement careers in the same article. But it’s also not uncommon for people to retire from one career field only to transition into another. One day you might choose to retire from teaching, but not retire completely. Even apart from retirement, a study found […]

How to Pay off a $33,000 Debt in 18 Months Like This Teacher

Here’s how one teacher woke up from the hibernation of automatic minimum payments and destroyed his student loans in less than two years.

A Teacher’s Day In The Life (25): The Pitfalls of Planning

One of the things that helped me in the classroom (and one of the things I loved about my job) can cause a lot of problems when venturing into uncharted territory. Planning and trying to remain as organized as possible is quickly becoming a major downfall.