Author Archives: Sarah Smalley

Making Tax Returns Less Taxing .

February 11, 2020 | 9:00 AM (PST) & 12:00 PM (PST) |  Register Here.

You work hard for your money, but is your money working hard for you?

When it comes to our finances, we always wonder if we are making the right moves, and searching for answers can feel overwhelming.

Middlebury College provides all employees access to financial well-being thru My Secure Advantage (MSA).

MSA helps you make the most of your hard earned dollars!  When it comes to living a financially stress-free life, every decision you make adds up.  Through MSA, employees and their covered dependents can work with a personal Money Coach and utilize website services to make financial stress a thing of the past.

What’s Included

  • 90 days (per calendar year) of personalized money coaching with a personal, confidential, unbiased, and guilt free Money Coach.  Coaches don’t sell products or services: their only job is to provide expert guidance and improve your financial life.
  • Guidance on financial topics, goals, challenges, or questions.  Whether you’re getting by, digging out, or saving big, connecting with a Money Coach to discuss options, identify issues, and build out a plan can only help.

Work with MSA to tackle questions like “Should I be saving more or paying down debt?” “When will I be able to retire, and how much do I need?” “What type of portfolio is best for me?” “How do I balance enjoying life now with saving for the future?” and more.

  • Online tools include videos, calculators, articles, and budgeting software to help you stress less and save more.

Questions?  Learn more about MSA here. To get started, sign up, and schedule your first appointment with a Money Coach call 888-724-2326.

Get quality, convenient virtual care.

When the whites of your eyes match the reds of the leaves.
Whether you need care for a minor illness or injury, a board-certified doctor is available to help, 24/7/365 via video or phone, when and where it’s convenient for you.*
With virtual care, you can:
• Get an appointment scheduled in minutes
• Get treated for issues like sore throat, stomachache, cold, flu or allergies • Have a prescription sent directly to your local pharmacy, if appropriate
• Save money –virtual care costs less than ER or urgent care visits, and
maybe even less than an in-office visit to your primary care provider



Open Enrollment Fall 2019: For 2020 Benefits

Benefits Open Enrollment takes place from Friday, November 1 to Friday, November 15, 2019. Benefit elections you make during Open Enrollment will be effective January 1, 2020.  

There are several important benefits changes for 2020. You are encouraged to review the information in your 2020 Benefits Enrollment Guide to make the best choices for you and your family. Middlebury College is proud to offer an extremely competitive benefits package. We want you to get the most out of your benefits!   

You are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity for a one-on-one meeting with a Hodges-Mace counselor – either in person or by phone. 

On-Site Open Enrollment Support – November 1-15, 2019

****Making your appointment early gives you more time slot options****

Click one of the links below to sign up for a counseling session – either in person (on campus) or by phone:

On Campus  (for in-person appointment on Middlebury or MIIS campus)

Call Center (for an appointment by phone)

Making the Most of your Hodges-Mace Appointment: – Preparation List

A little preparation will go a long way in making the most of your 30-minute enrollment appointment with Hodges-Mace.   Please click on link above for a list of questions to assist you in preparing for your meeting.


Once an appointment is scheduled, you will receive a link and confirmation number via email.  If you would like to reschedule an appointment, you can click on the link, provide the confirmation number, and it will take you to a page where you can reschedule their appointment.

Visit the Open Enrollment webpage for more information, past communications, a percent of income calculator, the 2020 Benefits Enrollment Guide, as well as recording of the open meetings.

Register now for TIAA’s October live webinars

Reserve your spot today
  • National Retirement Security Week is this month and TIAA’s live webinars feature topics to help you plan for your financial goals.

Special Topic: Making gifts to loved ones and charities

 You can help to maximize the value of your life’s work and help take care of your survivors and philanthropic causes with a little planning. This webinar will review basic strategies for giving to individuals and charities during your lifetime, as well as legacy planning. October 15 at 12 p.m. (ET)

Special Topic: Understanding Health Savings Accounts (HSA’s)

You may know about the tax advantages of contributing to a Health Savings Account (HSA), but did you know that HSAs are also a way to save for health care in retirement? This webinar will help you understand some aspects of HSAs including how they help account owners to pay for current health care expenses and save for those in the future. October 16 at 12 p.m. (ET)

Special Topic: Market-proof your retirement*

 In retirement—and the years leading up to it—protecting your savings becomes just as important as growing it. Join us to learn how to create your own personal pension with TIAA Traditional, offered by Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (TIAA).** October 16 at 3 p.m. (ET)

Special Topic: Quarterly economic and market update

TIAA’s Chief Investment Strategist will discuss economic and market developments that may impact your retirement savings strategy. October 17 at 12 p.m. (ET)

Within Reach: Transitioning from career to retirement

You can plan ahead to help make the most out of your retirement—from paying yourself to allowing for taxes, healthcare and estate planning wishes. October 17 at 3 p.m. (ET)

Special Topic: Help protect you, your family and your money

 Are you concerned about identity theft and your family’s security online? Learn about measures to help prevent identity theft by securing your personal information on websites, social media and mobile apps, and how to conduct online financial transactions safely. October 22 at 12 p.m. (ET)

Money at Work 2: Sharpening investment skills

Feel more secure in your savings strategy by verifying you’re on the right track. And if you’re off track, know what adjustments you need to make. Learn how to plan your investments and hold on to as much of your nest egg as possible. October 22 at 3 p.m. (ET)

Special Topic: Understanding Medicare

 Paying for healthcare in retirement is a critical part of financial planning, and it is important to understand how Medicare operates and what choices you have. This webinar will review aspects of Medicare including eligibility and what plans are available to you. October 23 at 12 p.m. (ET)

Start to Finish: The early career woman’s guide to financial wisdom

When women are starting their careers, there’s a lot to consider—career goals, job satisfaction, achieving a work/life balance. But it’s important to also consider retirement. Discover how establishing a plan now can help establish your financial future. October 23 at 3 p.m. (ET)

Special Topic: The 411 on 529 college savings plans

You can learn all about how 529 college savings plans work and how to invest in one for a child, grandchild, yourself or other loved one. October 24 at 12 p.m. (ET)

Tomorrow in Focus:

Saving for your ideal retirement Find out how retirement savings, planning and the real benefit of time are essential features of retirement investments. October 24 at 3 p.m. (ET)

Special Topic: Planning for retirement—The why, what and how

This webinar will discuss the challenges and risks people face in retirement, and how good planning can address them. October 31 at 3 p.m. (ET)


Win a $25 Gift Card!

Attend any event and give MSA a 👍 (like) on FACEBOOK to get entered into the $25 raffle.

Winners contacted via email.

Tuesday, September 10th 12:00 pm -1:00 pm EDT or 3:00 pm – 4:00 EDT
Why should estate planning be on your to-do list? How do you even get started? Join our webinar to learn about the steps involved and how you can use estate planning to care for your loved ones. Register on line.

Thursday, September 26th 12:00 pm -1:00 pm EDT or 3:00 pm – 4:00 EDT
Whether college is soon or far in the future, we’ll help you get better prepared to fund your savings goals as we review scholarships, grants, college savings accounts, loans, and the FAFSA. Register on line

Register Now for TIAA’s September Live Webinars

Special Topic: Market-proof your retirement

In retirement—and the years leading up to it—protecting your savings becomes just as important as growing it. Join us to learn how to create your own personal pension with TIAA Traditional, offered by Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (TIAA).
September 12 at 3 p.m. (ET)

Special Topic: Asset Location—A practical guide for income and estate planning

We often think about our investments in terms of how much we should invest in stocks or bonds or other investments so that we can achieve the greatest return according to our own risk tolerance, goals and time frame. Equally as important is where those assets are located to maximize the benefits of different account types—usually to minimize taxes. Learn about how the location of your assets may impact your retirement income and your beneficiaries.
September 17 at 12 p.m. (ET)

She’s Got It: A woman’s guide to saving and investing

You can discover saving and investing strategies developed especially for women and how you can put them into action.
September 17 at 3 p.m. (ET)

Money at Work 2: Sharpening investment skills

Feel more secure in your savings strategy by verifying you’re on the right track. And if you’re off track, know what adjustments you need to make. Learn how to plan your investments and hold on to as much of your nest egg as possible.
September 18 at 12 p.m. (ET)

The Starting Line: Beginning to save for retirement

You can learn how to evaluate and manage debt, find additional ways to save, create a budget and begin to plan for retirement.
September 18 at 3 p.m. (ET)

Special Topic: An Introduction to Alternative Investments—Real Estate

Learn about the role of real estate investments in a retirement portfolio and an introduction to the TIAA Real Estate Account.
September 19 at 12 p.m. (ET)

Healthy Numbers: Integrating healthcare into your retirement plan

You can learn and plan for the cost of healthcare in retirement, including supplemental insurance, and the real benefits and costs of Medicare.
September 19 at 3 p.m. (ET)


TIAA is scheduled to deliver important information about your retirement plan(s) via email and we are writing to remind you that the message may be diverted to your Clutter box. As you may already know, with Clutter, the email server keeps track of the email you read and the ones you don’t. Once you turn it on,  as new email comes in, it takes messages you’re most likely to ignore and puts them into the “Clutter” folder. In order to efficiently provide employees with accurate and up-to-date information and to remain compliant with our annual participant fee disclosure responsibilities regulated by the Department of Labor, we ask that you follow the following steps:

  1. You can turn Clutter off (or)
  2. You can “train” clutter that TIAA emails are not clutter.

To “train” your Clutter, look in the Clutter folder and drag the TIAA email from your Clutter folder to your Inbox. Moving an email in or out of the Clutter folder from any of your devices is enough to give the signal to the Clutter system that an item from TIAA is or isn’t Clutter.