Choosing The Best Option: Optional Retirement Plan (ORP) or Teacher’s Retirement System

If you’ve recently been hired in public higher education, you have a very limited time window to make a big decision. Should you choose the Optional Retirement Plan (ORP) or Teacher’s Retirement System (TRS)? You have one chance to get it right. This is an irrevocable decision.

Here’s what you need to know.

choosing between the teachers retirement system and optional retirement program

Most teachers are automatically enrolled in TRS. However, certain employees of public colleges are eligible to choose the Optional Retirement Plan instead of the TRS pension plan. This is not a decision to be taken lightly! Although both of these accounts are meant to be for retirement savings and income, they each approach this goal using two distinctly different paths.

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Texas Teacher’s Retirement and Social Security Benefits

Texas teachers have a right to be perplexed about their Social Security benefits. The rules for collecting Texas Teacher’s Retirement and Social Security can be confusing and intimidating. The overabundance of bad information on the internet doesn’t help!

The good news is, the rules can be simplified and condensed into something that’s understandable for normal folks like us.

Texas teachers retirement and social security benefits

Even if I didn’t live in Texas, I think it would still be my favorite state. If you live here as well, I’m sure you’ll agree that there’s a lot to love about the Lone Star state. However, on a slight negative note, it’s one of only 15 states where teachers do not participate in Social Security. Instead, the state has their own pension plan that takes its place. That’s not a bad thing on its own, but it can cause confusion if you don’t know the rules on how Social Security benefits and Texas Teacher’s Retirement Pensions fit together.

Here’s a closer look at what you need to know.

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5 Lessons I Learned from Market Declines

In my career as a financial advisor, I’ve made a few mistakes. The biggest? Not being more convincing to my clients that they should stay invested in rough markets.

I became a licensed financial advisor in early 2003. People were still really skittish over the bad market – even though it was forecasting the stock marketimproving. The news was still mostly bad and little provocation was needed to make people sell their investments again. It seemed to stay that way for the next few years.

Finally, around 2006 or 2007, I stopped hearing as much about the days “back in the bad market.” I suppose time began dimming some memories. And then, 2008 happened. This was an incredibly difficult year in the stock market but I did everything I could do to calm the nerves of my clients and friends. Some listened to me. Others went against my advice and sold all of their investments.

Most of these people locked in devastating losses by selling at the worst possible time. And most couldn’t afford it. If they would have just stayed invested, they would have most likely made up those losses and then some. Since then, I’ve often wondered if I could have done more to keep them invested?

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