"Do not listen with the intent to reply, but with the intent to understand" -Anonymous
We sure do talk a lot as educators! This is a time to let someone else do the talking and for you to just act like a student, but make sure you are actively listening!
Learn from an early point in your career to take care of your health, your mind, and your wealth. This career path isn’t a sprint, but rather a marathon. Some miles will be easier than others, and some will challenge you to your core, however keep moving and learning with each step. Savor the memories and the moments that validate your career choice and shrug off the days where the process drains you.
Make it a habit of creating habits and routines that enhance your life! It all starts with your attitude when you enter your school and each decision creates large ripples in your ocean of living your best life! It's the little things over time that make the difference.
Lastly, remember you have time in this career to have mini-retirements and you have your youth. Appreciate the balance this profession allows and find a plan that works for you when it comes to your income throughout the course of your journey. This section is about just listening and absorbing what you'd like. So just sit back and listen to some quality FFT wisdom!
Financially Free Teacher Wisdom
Here you will find the code of FFT. These are the top pieces of advice that FFT can give any educator. They must be respected, honored, and followed to be part of the Financially Free Teacher movement. Just listen and check back regularly!
1. Pack a lunch as often and as much as possible when at school. Your health and wallet will thank you!
2. Have your checks directly deposited into your account. This will help you realize that automation is a major component for achieving financial freedom.
3. Keep your desk/office as organized as possible so you will have a clear desk= clear mind.
4. Personal days are like extra life tokens for a teacher. Use them wisely and on things that are going to recharge your battery!
5. Do this everyday as often as you need it!
6. When things get hard with a student, remind yourself that you might be the only positive interaction your student might have all day. You just might be the only person that shows them attention, praise, and brings them happiness!
7. Learn your salary guides, health care options, and other opportunities for additional income (tutoring, coaching, clubs, etc.)
8. Remember that faculty rooms are for eating, positive social interaction, and mental and physical rest, . Anything else isn't going to enhance your day.
9. Labeled folders on your desktop, stored lesson plans and work, and flash drives are the key to organization and future success.
10. Dress down days and fundraisers are great, however participating in all of them isn't necessary. Choose what resonates with you and your beliefs and feel proud of yourself for whatever you give.
11. Surround yourself around positive and invigorating colleagues that help you bring out each other's best!
12. Learn to live on a little so when raises come you can pretend they didn’t even come as you automate them into debts, savings and other investments.
Photo By: Lisa Haney
Teachers and Retirement Plans I came across this eye-opening article about retirement years ago and ever since I have made it my mission to make the strongest financial decisions. I wanted to create my own financial freedom and more importantly break the chains of what so many teachers have experienced before me when it comes to retirement and planning. I highly recommend giving it a read and make it a strong point to reflect on your own planning. Start asking questions yesterday!
Why teachers need a Roth IRA!
Your contributions (the money you put in) can be withdrawn from a Roth IRA at any time, without being subject to either income tax or the early withdrawal penalty. Perfect for someone looking to retire early.
More options (stocks, etf's, mutual funds, and bonds) than your traditional 403b with lower fees.
It's a greater way to generate income with limited tax liability (taxes).
You have power and control over your long-term investments and savings.
The money you withdraw is tax-free!
You can preserve retirement capital (keep your money in your account) and pass on to your heirs since you aren't required to withdraw it.
You can open a Roth IRA at any age as long as you have earned income. (Great way to build wealth for your children)
You have 16 months to contribute for that tax year. ($375 a month over 16 months or $500 a month over 12 months)
I stumbled across Teachers Pay Teachers in 2012 while I had another couple over for dinner. My friend Kelly (check out her jewelry store) casually brought it up while we were trading teaching stories and I had no idea about the site, concept, or even the idea that it would become a huge part of my life at the time! The next morning as I calmly awoke from a peaceful night's rest with no loud children asking for breakfast at 6:15 a.m. I made my way to the kitchen and pulled out the laptop to investigate further into this Teachers Pay Teachers.
Calm will help you just listen. It is an awesome app I use when I need to shut my eyes for a few and just escape. I really enjoy the 7 days of Calm challenge and how there are so many options (scenery, noises, etc.) to choose from. There is a free teacher link where you can get the full version to use for you and your school. I highly recommend it to finding a few minutes of complete peace. A must have for any teacher or parent!