California Educator

September 2015

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A 4 0 3 ( B ) P L A N is a voluntary defined contribution retirement plan for employees of public schools. It's similar to a 401(k) plan in the private sector, and lets you supplement your CalSTRS or CalPERS defined benefit plan, or pension. At the beginning of the school year, 403(b) representatives and vendors market heavily to educators. But don't feel pressured to make a quick decision, especially since some products carry high fees and surrender charges. Instead, visit for tools to get informed, estimate your retirement benefit, compare products and more. H E A D S - U P O N R E T I R E M E N T YOUR WHOLE LIFE Tips and trends for a smarter, healthier you Most educators know good posture and proper foot- wear can ease foot pain and strain. But you still need to move around — even while standing — to ward off circulation issues, joint damage and other chronic diseases. How to feel good all day long: 1. SUPPORT YOUR FEET. Shoes that wear like sneakers with added support and cushioning are your best bet. Brands to try: Aetrex, Born, Dansko, Earthies, Jambu, Merrell, Naot, New Balance and Sofft. 2. STAND UP STRAIGHT. The right footwear keeps most of the weight of the body in your heels, so your joints stack directly on top of one another and your bones support body weight instead of soft tissue. 3. THROW YOUR WEIGHT AROUND. Sit down, stretch, move — don't stand or sit in the same position for hours at a time. 4. USE PROPS. A foam roller, ten- nis ball and even a bakery roll- ing pin can help ease pressure spots and "roll out" muscles in between classes. 5. TAKE RECESS. Run on the blacktop, walk the long way to the restroom, get outside for five minutes, or take time to breathe deeply from your diaphragm. Keep barking dogs at bay Feet hurt? For more, see TOP OF THE FOOT: Standing, shift the weight to one foot and extend the hip of the stretching leg behind the body, placing the top of the foot and toes on to the floor. CALF: Use a rolled-up towel, the low side of a yoga block, or any prop of similar height. Step the ball of the foot onto the prop, leaving the heel on the floor. (The stretch- ing leg should be straight, not locked.) These stretches relieve postural pain in a snap: STRETCH IT 16 Know & Tell

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