Kiplinger 403bWise Mention: No company 401(k)? No problem

Sandra Block writes about those "other" retirement plans!

"These plans, typically offered to teachers, resemble 401(k) plans, with the same tax benefits, maximum contribution thresholds and catch-up contributions. But while private-sector plans usually contain a suite of mutual funds selected by a management committee, the primary offerings in many 403(b) plans are high-cost investments, such as equity-indexed annuities. That's because many school districts have little desire to negotiate with financial-services firms.

Still, there have been some positive developments. For example, the board of education in Montgomery County, Md., has contracted with no-load mutual fund company Fidelity Investments to administer its 403(b) plans. For advice on how to advocate for a better plan, go to In the meantime, teachers with a lackluster plan may be better off investing in a Roth IRA."