May 18, 2018

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks To 403(b)Wise Founders, Dan Otter and Scott Dauenhauer


Dan Otter, a teacher and Associate Dean, and Scott Dauenhauer, a fee-only financial planner, are both passionate about steering teachers in the right direction when it comes to retirement plans.Thank goodness their paths crossed earlier this century! Their advocacy work over the years (18+ and counting) has helped countless teachers make better decisions.  They methodically highlight the flaws in many 403(b) plans and discuss reforms that could significantly increase this benefit to educators. Hear how Dan and Scott's passion project has evolved over time and learn more about the tools they have developed to help teachers advocate on their behalf for a brighter retirement. 


  • 0:00–1:21 Introduction
  • 1:22–5:11 Dan the Associate Dean & Scott the fee-only financial planner 
  • 5:12–11:56 Collaborating on their passion project, 403(b)Wise
  • 11:57–16:20 Rule of thumb: avoid paying high fees
  • 16:21–16:46 A word from NGPF
  • 16:47–23:13 Much ado about something: why the 403(b) needs to modernize
  • 23:14–30:02 Searching for the silver lining amid the barriers & structures in place
  • 30:03–38:02 What educators can to do advocate for themselves
  • 38:03–40:07 The duo’s parting words for teachers
  • 40:08–40:49 Conclusion

403(b) Wise resources

Other Resources


  • “A fiduciary is someone who always puts their clients interests ahead of their own.”
  • “There’s still not enough of a ground swell to change [403(b) plans]… It has gotten better, but certainly not far enough.”
  • “None of [the 403(b) plan] has really evolved in a way that will benefit teachers long-term.”
  • We get these little victories… People are starting to know what a fiduciary is… Connecticut passed a law to require some fiduciary disclosures. The New York State United Teachers Union just passed a resolution—based on this New York Times article—… that will have a positive effect and will bring fiduciaries into this world.”
  • “If behavioral finance has taught us anything, it’s that the more choices you have, the less likely you are to make any choice.”

About the Author

Danielle Bautista

Danielle is a native of Southern California and a recent graduate from the University of Maine, where she braved the frigid winters—a feat in and of itself—and earned her Bachelor's degree in International Affairs. She has a passion for working with non-profit organizations and serving populations in underprivileged communities. When Danielle isn't writing NGPF blog posts, spearheading various outreach projects, or managing contests and flash surveys, you can find her doing some sort of outdoor activity, learning a new hobby, or cracking what she thinks are witty puns!

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