Charting a course to save for your dreams


No matter where you are in your career journey, you’ll find valuable information on managing your money and saving for retirement during Financial Health Week September 12-15.

After a hiatus due to the pandemic, the series of live virtual workshops on a range of personal finance topics will give staff and faculty the opportunity to get advice from financial experts from Fidelity Investments, Duke Credit Union and Lincoln Financial Group.

“There’s something for everyone, from people who aren’t yet contributing in retirement, to people who are about to retire, and to people who are contributing but may be a little nervous navigating a market. volatile,” said Alan Collins, a financial consultant at Fidelity Investments, the principal handler of Duke’s faculty and staff retirement plan records.

This year’s edition of Financial Fitness Week, hosted by Duke Human Resources, features 16 live webinars on Zoom and Microsoft Teams, covering topics for people at any stage of their career. Registration for all sessions is open. Materials will be made available on the Financial Fitness Week website the week of September 19.

For younger workers, Financial Fitness Week offers workshops on understanding Duke retirement plans, managing money, and building a credit history. According to Fidelity’s 2022 State of Retirement Planning Study, 55% of workers aged 18 to 35 said they had put their retirement savings on hold during the pandemic, which Collins said is concerning.

“If you’re in your 20s, retirement might seem a long way off, so you think you can push it back,” Collins said. “But the reality is that you’ll be so much better off if you start contributing now. It doesn’t have to be a lot, but it has to be something to get you started, and then you can build on it every year.

Mid-career employees can learn how to manage market volatility, achieve savings goals, and determine the right amount of life insurance.

David Poe, 53, head of the Patient Revenue Management Organization, started contributing to the faculty and staff retirement plan when he started working at Duke nine years ago. While the market has been up and down, he has continued to increase the amount of his contributions and is always looking for ideas on how to maximize his savings.

“Obviously there are issues in the market over time and things can get in the way of your ability to save and even delay your retirement, but I think the main lesson I learned from everything is that the more you start early the better it’s gonna be,” Poe said.

Employees approaching retirement – ​​age 55 and older – can learn how to turn their savings into retirement income, discover strategies for planning for retirement and learn more about Duke retiree benefits they can use.

Anne Yandian As she has built up her retirement savings over decades in the workforce, Ann Yandian, 58, a program manager at Duke University Law School’s Bolch Judicial Institute, knows she is always essential to continue to contribute as much as possible to his plan. .

“At this point, I’m in no rush to retire, but for me it’s becoming more and more essential to give the maximum I can for my future retirement,” Yandian said. “And compared to other places I’ve worked, Duke just tops what other employers have done.”

Duke’s Faculty and Staff Retirement Plan, a 403(b) plan that involves voluntary contributions from employees, as well as a Duke contribution for eligible employees paid monthly, is an effective way to build savings. retirement. Of eligible monthly employees, 73% contribute to their plan. This figure has slightly decreased since 77% contributed in 2012 and 75% in 2015.

Eligible bi-weekly employees are enrolled in Duke’s Employee Retirement Plan (ERP), which is a fully funded Duke retirement plan. These employees can voluntarily participate in the Faculty and Staff Retirement Plan to add their own money to their retirement savings. Currently, about 45% of employees eligible for the two weeks do so. This figure has improved over time as 31% contributed in 2012.

“Our employees save more than industry benchmarks show, but we love to see as many employees save as possible – even if it’s just a small amount,” said Johanna Zawada, associate director of benefits. of Duke Human Resources.

Beyond Financial Fitness Week, all Duke employees can arrange, at no additional cost, confidential consultations – virtual and in-person – with local Fidelity representatives to discuss budgeting, setting financial goals and savings for retirement.

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