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Saam helps coworkers with retirement

Trenton Cintron, Sports Editor

Trenton Cintron, Sports Editor

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DGN economics teacher supplying assistance with retirement plans and demanding nothing in return. During his 15 years teaching at DGN, Thomas Saam has helped more than 24 teachers establish dependable retirement plans, projected to last the rest of their lives.

“I just want to help people, I’m not setting up the plan but I’m showing them how to do it and what results they’re likely to get from that plan,” Saam said.

In that time, Saam worked together with social studies and economics Justin Ashton to build a retirement plan that was specifically prepared for his desired risk levels and amount of income.

“The reason why I go to Mr. Saam and continue to go to Mr. Saam because that is his passion, his area of interest, to go see what’s performing and what’s not, what sectors are doing well and what’s not,” Ashton said.

Along with degrees in Social Science Education and Science in Educational Administration, Saam has over 60 credited hours in economics.

“Mr. Saam is a wealth of knowledge… he’s like google, but he gives you the answer pretty quickly,” economics teacher Dennis Rogala said.

On Sept. 20, 2016 the Financial Times reported that “roughly 45% of working age households have no retirement savings.” The recommended amount to save is 10-15% of a teacher’s annual income beginning at the age of 20.

“A lot of people are more focused on the short run and they’re not focused on the long run, they see that shiny new iPhone and they think ‘oh I want to have that.’ They don’t see the 65 year old version of themselves,” Saam said.

Any teacher who began their teaching career on or after Jan. 1, 2011 need a retirement plan. Benefits from the TRS (Teachers Retirement System) will be significantly less for these new teachers. The TRS takes 9% out of a teacher’s weekly pay to contribute to their overall pension.

The teachers who began on or after January 1, 2011 are considered Tier Two and need to be 67 years old before they are able to retire with a TRS pension. Teachers who started teaching before the tier two starting date could receive a pension beginning at age 60, or with 35 years of service.

Social studies Dennis Rogala approached Saamto set up the best possible retirement plan for his individual situation.

“It’s reassuring that he has a lot of facts to back up his projections and he’s a very good advisor in that he’s not out to try to profit off of you,”Rogala said.

Saam has a passion for economics, he strives to share the importance of his passion with his colleagues not because he is getting paid to do so, but because he wants everyone to be able to live their retirement in comfort.

“There’s a number of people that have commented to me on how their portfolio is doing and I’m happy to hear that… everyone wants to retire someday,” Saam said.

About the Writer
Trenton Cintron, Sports Editor

Trenton Cintron, is am a senior at DGN. Before he came to DGN, he attended Mark T. Skinner west elementary school in downtown Chicago. Now at DGN he participates...

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