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VujnovGreg says, "My wife has recently left the teaching profession and is 37 years old. We want to take the 25K out of the Cal. State Teachers Retirement system due to its single digit returns."

My comment: I draw retirement from Texas teachers retirement. During the time I was contributing, they paid a nominal 5% on my contributions. However, my retirement benefits were NOT based on the amount of my contributions, but the number of years I had contributed. And there were "matching" contributions, also.

If your wife leaves her contributions in the system, what will she draw based on current projections? For example, if she has taught fifteen years, will she draw 30% (2% per year) of her three highest years' pay? To draw $1,000 a month, or $12,000 a year, she'd need $150,000 invested at 8%. To turn $25,000 into $150,000 (or better) in 27 years should be do-able.

Just wanted to point out that comparing the nominal return is not the whole story!

Sincerely, Betty G
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