In addition to your pay and benefits, as a U-M faculty or staff member you can take advantage of a range of resources to help you make smart financial decisions and prepare for a secure tomorrow. Here are five ways U-M can help you save, plan and invest in your financial well-being.
1. Learn About Budgeting or Money Management
The university’s two retirement savings plan vendors, TIAA and Fidelity Investments, offer a number of tools to help with basic financial management.
Faculty and staff can access live webinars at TIAA Virtual Environment or visit tiaa.org/umich to register for financial education seminars in your area. Topics include basic estate planning, foundations of investing, and managing income and debt.
You can also explore personal finance courses through Lynda.com, which you can access for free as a U-M faculty or staff member. Login with your U-M credentials and browse “personal finance,” “personal budgeting” or “money management.”
2. Save More for Retirement
The biggest favor you can do for your future self is to start saving for retirement as early as you can. Put time to work for you, even if you only save a few extra dollars from each paycheck!
U-M offers a number of ways to save for retirement, both before and after taxes. Check out this two-minute video for a quick overview. You can enroll in or change your retirement savings at any time during the year -- no need to wait for Open Enrollment!
For personalized advice about your retirement savings and investments, U-M plan members can meet with a TIAA or Fidelity representative absolutely free. Sign up for an appointment today--and set a calendar reminder to check back in every year.
3. Get the Most Out of Your Benefits
Your U-M benefits make up an important part of your overall compensation, but their value depends in part on how you use them. Here are a few common strategies to get the most out of your benefits.
- Lower your taxable income: Open a Flexible Spending Account to pay for qualified health care or dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars. Increase your pre-tax retirement savings with a 403(b) Supplemental Retirement Account or the 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan.
- Have a Plan B for your salary and benefits: The university’s long-term disability plan provides a financial safety net if you become totally disabled and unable to work.
- Guard against identity theft: Enrollment in the university’s legal services plan includes credit monitoring and identity theft services through CyberScout.
- Save on prescriptions: Find tips to cut medication costs, from saving on copays through mail order to signing up for free prescription programs.
- Become a savvy health care consumer: Learn about four ways to get the most out of your health care, from choosing a safer hospital to asking key questions of your doctor.
4. Find Discounts and Deals
It pays to work at the University of Michigan! Explore Uniquely Michigan Deals to find the full range of discounted university opportunities for faculty and staff, from computing resources to athletics tickets.
And there’s more - many local local businesses and organizations offer discounts when you show your MCard. Search MCard Discounts for the complete, up-to-date list.
5. Connect to Help in Times of Hardship
If you experience a one-time, severe emergency financial crisis due to a sudden illness, family emergency or natural disaster, the university’s Emergency Hardship Program can provide resource recommendations. In some cases, financial support may be available to help with rent, utilities or other immediate and essential expenses.
Sometimes a personal change impacts a faculty or staff member’s ability to perform effectively at work. In some instances this change may be related to a personal medical condition such as cancer or arthritis; a physical disability such as a change in vision, hearing or other sensory issue; or a cognitive, mental or emotional change such as a brain injury, depression, or a learning disability. The university offers confidential assistance if you’re struggling with a change in your ability to work.