If you are a postdoc or newly minted faculty working in academia, or if you’re working for a non-profit, you may be able to contribute to a retirement savings account known as a 403(b). It is similar to the 401(k) in terms of contribution limits and benefits. You can contribute to it using pre-tax income, lowering your taxable income. You pay taxes when you withdraw the money after retirement age (59.5 years). Or, if the institution offers it, you can contribute after-tax money to a Roth 403(b). When you withdraw after you turn 59.5, and as long as the account has existed for at least 5 years, you can withdraw the money tax-free. Benefits of a 403(b) The benefits are similar to contributing to a 401(k). Your employer can also provide a match to motivate you to save for retirement. If that’s the case, contribute up to the match. You

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So you’ve decided to apply to a PhD program, and are now trying to figure out a best path forward. It can be an extremely stressful time as you balance finishing classes, finding and applying to programs, and work. I was finishing up my master’s thesis during the application period, while also working part-time to save up for the eventual move. I’ll give you some of my strategies on how I applied to PhD programs as a first-generation international student. Decide on a research area A PhD program will train you to do original research in your area of interest. Your first year will usually consist of taking graduate courses related to your area of research. You will learn to conduct literature review, find the gap in your area of interest, develop research questions you want to answer, conduct experiments to answer those questions, and write and defend a dissertation

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