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I am generally a fairly astute about our finances. I have been Foolish for
some time now and we have paid off almost all of our $20,000 credit card debt
of in the 3 years we have been married (thanks Fools!!). I have my 401K maxed
and am looking into different IRAs for me and the Misses. I have educated
myself on my 401K to the point that people skip HR and come to me with
questions. ( I answer and then tell them to confirm with HR) We use Quicken
to track our daily finances and have budgets, etc. Foolish to a fault.

Why am I writing then?

My wife has taken a teaching position in Ohio. Now we have an STRS or ARP
to choose from for her. My wife is 29 this year and I will be 31 shortly.
She will work to about 55-60 or so (best guess), but most likely not at
the same college. She is teaching at a 2 year school now, but will have
her Masters in about 3 years or so and can then teach in a bachelors program.

I feel like the emperor that has just found out about his new clothes! I feel
naked and foolish because I have no clue what I am doing in this area. Some
preliminary studying has only clouded the waters.

STRS/PERS vs. ARP

I was able to find some info about the STRS. It seems to be basically a pension
type plan based upon years of service, salary, etc. and offers other benefits
like health care, disability, survivor benefits, etc.

PERS (still researching)

The ARP providers given seem to be little more than the ability to invest in some annuities. Doh!

Now what? The Fool doesn't seem to have much on the STRS vs. ARP. Can
you at least point me in the right direction?

Thanks,

Gonelong

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Greetings, Gonelong, and welcome. You wrote:

<<I was able to find some info about the STRS. It seems to be basically a pension
type plan based upon years of service, salary, etc. and offers other benefits
like health care, disability, survivor benefits, etc.

PERS (still researching)

The ARP providers given seem to be little more than the ability to invest in some annuities. Doh!

Now what? The Fool doesn't seem to have much on the STRS vs. ARP. Can
you at least point me in the right direction?>>


The reason you won't find anything on TMF regarding those terms is because they are unique names to the plans available to your wife, not the type of plan. You need to explore further to learn the plan type (ie., defined benefit, defined contribution, 401k, 403b, 457, etc.) It sounds like the ARP is a 403b plan, and the STRS a defined benefit plan (probably referred to as a 401 plan). Once you learn what type of plan, then you can read brief overviews of them in my Foolish Retirement Plan Primer at http://www.fool.com/Retirement/RetirementPlanPrimer.htm.

Regards..Pixy
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