The pdf book, Fighting Powerful Interests, is available free on my website, latebloomerwealth.com. Amazon does not allow direct links. The paper back can be bought as a gift for your teacher friend or relative.
Steve Schullo knows the ins and outs of the troublesome 403(b)/Tax-sheltered Annuity (TSA) retirement plans. As a public school elementary teacher for years, he has experienced this in spades. This new book details Steve's true story about exposing a retirement plan that has been stocked with the ubiquitous "TSA." In turn, this industry has profited handsomely at great cost to PreKindergarden-12th grade educators and other nonprofit workers. Annuities - designed by insurance companies for insurance companies, not educators - are rife with high-cost guarantees, useless insurance coverage, mind-numbing complexity and paltry returns.
Part how-to book, part autobiography, part resource and 100% teacher-to-teacher grass-roots guide, the author describes what worked and what didn't in his multi-decade odyssey. After Steve's story which is primarily aimed at teachers, their friends and family, the second half of the book provides a wealth of everything financial for everybody: letters, investing articles he wrote for his union, recommended personal finance books, glossary, financial podcasts by leading experts and guide to find genuine trustworthy advisers. The book references 31 mainstream news reports and online articles (1994-2012) from financial reporters and industry experts who are nearly universal in condemning the 403(b)/TSA scheme.
While the reader will benefit from the experiences and information shared, Steve's book is also a call-to-action to enlighten all PreK-12 education colleagues. Most educators don't know that they are being ripped-off, and remain unaware about how costs impact their financial well-being. Thus, runaway TSA sales and cost-abuse continues, unchallenged, by powerful financial industry interests and their self-conflicted sales campaign.
Against these decades-old obstacles, there exists a positive reform model. A team comprised of educators, a benefits administrator and a financial reporter, exposed the self-conflicted and secretive 403b world and added an award-winning low-cost 457(b) plan. It wasn't easy or quick. Steve walks the reader through conflicts, accusations and push-backs from those in power to one momentous success story. After 21 years and uncalled-for drama, Steve's journey was worth every minute. Readers will benefit from the lessons learned about costs, finding trust worthy advisers and growing their retirement accounts by earning stock market index returns--and then taking their skills to reform the 403(b) system for everybody.
About the Author: Steve Schullo taught elementary students and was a technology advisor with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) for 24 years. He wrote investment articles for the union newspaper and has been a featured in both the Los Angeles Times and U.S. News and World Report. He started an investor self-help group for teacher colleagues and is an active contributor to investment forums. Frequently quoted by the media, Steve has testified at legislative hearings, and was honored by the Los Angeles teachers' union for his retirement planning advocacy. He currently serves on LAUSD's Retirement Investment Advisory Committee which monitors two billion in assets. His most recent media appearance was on the PBS Frontline documentary: The Emmy-award winner, The Retirement Gamble.