2.13.20 Insurance companies are ripping teachers off; Bitcoin ponzi scheme; Jobs that don’t require a college degree

Teachers, non-profit workers and some hospital workers are shuttled into inferior 403b retirement plans. 401ks have gotten more affordable with steadily lower costs for employees, lead by Vanguard and Fidelity. Teachers on the other hand get cheated repeatedly. 403b plans are often sold by insurance company sales reps, selling ultra high cost plans often wrapped in annuities. A WSJ investigation has uncovered just how dirty this system is, rife with horrendous kickbacks paid for by the 403b workers without disclosure. Worse still, an analysis reveals the same contributions over time in a typical 401k adding up to $250K in retirement savings, would only yield $155K in a comparable 403b, ravaged by expenses. A private sector 401K with $500K is equivalent to a 403b of $310K – all contributions being equal, typical expenses on both. A 401k One million vs $620K in a 403b having made the same contributions – all because of rip off fees in 403bs. While members of the House and Senate indulge in partisan fits, they could be stopping the rip off of teachers by insurance companies.

Allegedly, $722 million has been stolen in a cryptocurrency Ponzi known as BitClub Network, which for 6 years solicited funds from would-be investors to go into cryptocurrency mining pools. There were big money incentives to recruit others into the network. 5 men are charged with running a scheme “built off the backs of idiots” – to use their words, NBC reports. Recall the cryptocurrency mania of recent years. That money evaporated as it became hot with con artists. Be careful jumping on bandwagons.

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New federal data shows the change in the nature of work is so extreme, you ignore it at your peril. College is not a normal path in every family. The latest data shows nearly half of all factory workers have a college degree. As recently as a generation ago, factory and manufacturing jobs did not require higher education, but the nature of manufacturing has changed. The manufacturing industry has roared back in the U.S. But employment in this sector is minimal as advanced robotics and computer tech is increasingly engaged. The human jobs in factories now require highly skilled workers with advanced tech educations. Well-paying jobs require thoughtful, strategic levels of education – not necessarily college. The idea that education ends isn't compatible with the pace of technological change. We need to be prepared for the nature of work to steadily morph. To sit still is to fall behind. Stay in an education and training cycle through your working lifetime to maintain career mobility. State technical colleges should design curriculum in concert with what employers are looking for, anticipating where jobs are and where they're going, and offering affordable training for those jobs.   
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