Oct 21, 2022

NGPF Podcast: Dan Otter and Scott Dauenhauer of 403bwise on fixing teacher retirement plans

Dan and Scott are back for a repeat visit and they have big news about a new feature they have added to their website. Listen to find out more.

403bwise is on a mission to improve options for teacher retirement plans and to fix a broken system. In the spirit of "sunshine is the best disinfectant," they have added new data sets to their website to allow teachers to both find "good vendors" while also evaluating school district plans. They also discuss why investment costs are so important and share their favorite investing option for retirement accounts. Enjoy! 


  • 0:00~2:06 Introduction
  • 2:06~6:55 403bWise origin story
  • 6:55~12:36 Raising awareness on the issues of teacher retirement plans
  • 12:36~14:07 What is a fiduciary?
  • 14:07~22:48 Process behind the school district plan rating system
  • 22:48~24:55 What are surrender charges?
  • 24:55~28:36 Index funds and finding vendors that offer low-cost funds
  • 28:36~28:57 A word from NGPF
  • 28:57~31:15 Active versus passive investing
  • 31:15~37:17 Resources available on 403bWise
  • 37:17~39:37 Questions asked during office hours
  • 39:37~44:20 Success stories
  • 44:20~49:45 Lack of incentives to offer lower-cost options
  • 49:45~52:55 Importance of low cost
  • 52:55~57:18 Penalty paid by Equitable Financial
  • 57:18~58:40 Conclusion



“Every school district should have their teachers first and foremost in their mind and go out and offer good choices. Use your power. It should be a privilege for these salespeople, these financial companies to have access to your most important assets.” -Dan

“You can’t really control much when it comes to investing in the stock market. There is very little you can control. But there are two things you can control. One is how much you pay in fees. Two is how you will react when the markets go down. If you can control those two factors, you will do better than most people around you, including professionals.”-Scott


Want to learn more about their favorite book, The Psychology of Money? Listen to the author, Morgan Housel, on the NGPF Podcast

About the Authors

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.

Ren Makino

Ren started interning at NGPF in 2014, and worked part-time through high school and college. With his knowledge growing alongside NGPF, he joined the team to work full-time after graduating from college in 2020. He is also the producer of the NGPF podcast. During his free time, he likes to try out coffees from different roasters across the world.

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