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Rica

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The fact that I couldn’t carry over my savings has also given me a lot of concerns about transferring retirement plans and transferring jobs. I don’t know how I should go about doing that.
“When I moved to the United States I had to wait for all the paperwork for my green card to be finalized before I could work. I have always worked and saved, so it was hard not being able to have that at first. I had a retirement plan when I was working in the Philippines, but it didn’t carry over to here. It’s tough because I was there for four years and my retirement plan had a lot.
“I moved here when I was 26, so I felt like I was starting all over again and I didn’t know what to do. I felt like that was definitely the most financially insecure point in my life. That’s also why I put so much into my retirement. I think 20% of my salary goes into my retirement because I feel like I am playing catch up.
“The fact that I couldn’t carry over my savings has also given me a lot of concerns about transferring retirement plans and transferring jobs. I don’t know how I should go about doing that. I’ve not fully really read through it. I know I probably should one of these days. Now as I’m in my 30s I’ve thought a lot more about my need to retire and the cost of retirement and the bills you still have to pay. That doesn’t change when you don’t have a job anymore.”
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Life really does creep up on you.
“Right now I have a 403(b) account which is basically a nonprofit version of a 401(k) plan. The nonprofit organization I work for is very generous. It matches up to 80% so it’s a really good plan. Nonprofits technically don’t pay a lot compared to private companies and corporations, so I feel like they kinda make up for it with this really generous retirement plan. My husband and I also share a retirement fund that we pay into through a private investment account.
“I am more of a passive investor because I don’t know a whole lot about investments. I get these portfolio statements each month that allows me to keep track of how my investments are doing, what are the nets & losses, etc. I trust this a lot especially now considering we're in a recession and because of COVID-19.
“It can be difficult to save when you’re just starting out and you have bills and student loans to pay. It’s always the balance of what you’ll need now and what you’ll need later. But when you can save at least something, even if it’s only like 5% of your paycheck, it’s great to just get into the habit of saving. Life really does creep up on you. You don’t have to have an exact a number, just start saving.”
Photographs & interview by Carolyn Bouso

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