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Monday, March 14, 2011

Melanie is a young teacher with her future ahead of her. She tries to keep debt to a minimum and she’s a regular saver. She once thought a job in education, and the benefits that come with it, would be a smart financial move, but now those future benefits are in question.

“With the threat of pensions being eliminated, my main goal is to protect myself in retirement,” said Melanie, 33.

Melanie, whose name has been changed, has saved $19,799 in a 403(b) plan, $21,270 in mutual funds, $40,000 in a money market and $2,000 in checking. Her only debt is a car loan and her mortgage.

The Star-Ledger tapped Jerry Lynch, a certified financial planner with JFL Consulting in Fairfield, to help Melanie make sense of her future retirement concerns.

“Melanie is smart in being concerned about being a teacher and changes to retirement benefits that are being proposed by New Jersey,” Lynch says.

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