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National Retirement Security Week (NRSW), a national event focused on the importance of financial security, begins Oct. 18. The event raises awareness about the importance of planning toward retirement to ensure a secure financial future.

Planning for retirement is important at all ages and stages. Haven’t started yet? Now’s a great time. It’s never too late, and every dollar counts. Here are some ideas for starting, or progressing, on this important financial journey:

  • Get a savings checkup – you can consult with a financial advisor from one of our vendors for free – all employees are eligible for one free financial advisement session from the vendor of their choice. Each vendor’s contact information can be found here, including links to schedule meetings
  • Work on building emergency savings
  • Evaluate your anticipated retirement income vs. projected expenses and consider participating in voluntary retirement savings plans

Why? You can save toward retirement to supplement your retirement plan income (and other benefits) by contributing to investments of your choice -- via paycheck deduction monthly. It’s easy, and it adds up. 

You can start now by setting aside just $25 a month. It can grow significantly on your journey to retirement. Here’s a helpful calculator to check out how much you could stash away to retire on later by saving just a little bit monthly now. 

Watch a helpful video or join a webinar: You can find excellent virtual offerings to choose from all week on the In the Green Well-being Calendar.

To build whole-self wellness, include your finances in your personal well-being plan. Even when things are outside of your control, you can continue to set and work toward goals, no matter how small, that will help you achieve financial health and overall well-being for yourself.

Read more about planning for lifetime retirement income. And, learn more about your UNT World retirement plan benefits here.

Nakia Douglas has dedicated his career to mentoring youth and shaping future leaders in his hometown of Dallas. At UNT Dallas, Nakia designs and implements "holistic, nontraditional educational experiences for first-generation and historically disenfranchised students." Before starting at the southern Dallas campus three years ago, Nakia was the founding principal of the Barack Obama Male Leadership Academy, which opened in southern Dallas in 2011. He has received many professional honors including the 2015 Dallas Independent


School District Magnet Principal of the Year, KERA American Graduate Champion and DISD Exemplary Principal. In June, Nakia delivered this impassioned interview for WFAA's moving video series, "While I have your attention."
How long have you worked in UNT World and what do you do? 
October officially marks my third year as a member of UNT World. In my role as executive director of TRIO and Pre-Collegiate Programs, I have the privilege of working with a diverse, innovative team. Our departmental mission is the “development of students’ academic, emotional, ethical, physical and social skills for transformational impact in life, school and leadership” – this is the North Star of our efforts with our participants.

What is your favorite aspect of your job ?
The strategic process of design, creation and implementation of programs for students, families and communities is exciting. The greatest joy is witnessing our participants' enjoyment of a new educational experience and/or students reflecting on the impact of their learning within our programs. These moments are the ultimate evaluation of the effectiveness of our work.
What employee benefit or activity would you like to see added to UNT World? 
Employee academic scholarships.
What is your proudest work moment? 
Building and developing our TRIO & Pre-Collegiate professional team, then witnessing their impact with the students within their individual programs at the university and our local community.
What is your proudest non-work moment? 
The strengthening of my relationship with my family during the pandemic. While the reasons for our time together are not enjoyable, the conversations, walks, meals and newly created family memories have been most enjoyable and heartwarming.

What fact about you might surprise your colleagues? 
I own a PS4 and play Madden, NBA 2K, FIFA and The Incredibles with my kids, I have opened two new schools for Dallas ISD (Maynard H. Jackson Middle School and Barack Obama Male Leadership Academy) and I began my educational career as a kindergarten teacher.

Book?: Uncommon by Tony Dungy

Movie?: Black Panther, Love Jones, Invictus, Remember the Titans and Waiting for Superman

Place to Visit?: West Africa, North Carolina and/or Caribbean Islands

Song?: "Love and Happiness" by Al Green

Charitable cause?: Friends of Barack Obama Men's Leadership Academy, Mayor's Star Council, City Square, For Oak Cliff, 826 Literary Project

Suicide prevention is important all year round, and together we all play a role in saving lives. 

What is Suicide?

  • Suicide is a death caused by self-directed injurious behavior with any intent to die as a result of the behavior.
  • Suicide attempt is defined as a non-fatal self-directed and potentially injurious behavior with any intent to die as a result of the behavior. A suicide attempt may or may not result in injury.

Nationally, the suicide rate increased 25.4% from 1999 to 2016, with increases occurring in almost every state. Suicide claimed the lives of 48,000 people in the US resulting one death every 11 minutes by 2018. It is the second leading cause of death by age group from 10 to 34, according to the CDC

There is a multitude of approaches when it comes to preventing suicide and you play an important role because prevention is a comprehensive approach when it comes to decreasing the risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviors. 

Suicide is preventable and a large growing health problem with lasting effects on individuals, families and communities. Usually family and friends that are the first ones to see the warning signs and these changes in behavior may or may not include health issues related to mental illness. These behavior changes could stem from a death of a loved one, been bullied or from abuse over time or as a child that comes out years later. 

The associated risk factors like depression, anxiety, relationships or financial problems affect everyone regardless of age, gender or background with no single determining causes and have some common warning signs:

  • Has trouble eating or sleeping
  • Talks about committing suicide
  • Exhibits drastic changes in behavior
  • Withdraws from friends or social activities
  • Loses interest in school, work or hobbies
  • Prepares for death by writing a will and making final arrangements
  • Gives away prized possessions
  • Has attempted suicide before
  • Takes unnecessary risks
  • Has recently experienced serious losses
  • Seems preoccupied with death and dying
  • Loses interest in his or her personal appearance
  • Increases alcohol or drug use.

Knowing the signs and taking action with five steps to help someone who is emotionally distressed could save a life.

1.       ASK: “Are you thinking about killing yourself?” It’s not an easy question but studies show that asking at-risk individuals if they are suicidal does not increase suicides or suicidal thoughts.

  1. KEEP THEM SAFE: Reducing a suicidal person’s access to highly lethal items or places is an important part of suicide prevention. While this is not always easy, asking if the at-risk person has a plan and removing or disabling the lethal means can make a difference.
  2. BE THERE: Listen carefully and learn what the individual is thinking and feeling. Research suggests acknowledging and talking about suicide may in fact reduce rather than increase suicidal thoughts.
  3. HELP THEM CONNECT: Save the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s number in your phone so it’s there when you need it: 1-800-273-TALK (8255). You can also help make a connection with a trusted individual like a family member, friend, spiritual advisor, or mental health professional.
  4. STAY CONNECTED: Staying in touch after a crisis or after being discharged from care can make a difference. Studies have shown the number of suicide deaths goes down when someone follows up with the at-risk person.

We care about your well-being and it is our hope that you take advantage of all the free resources available in managing your family’s health.

BlueCross BlueShield of Texas will begin managing your mental health and substance use benefits for HealthSelect participants, replacing Magellan Healthcare. With this transition, your benefit deductibles, co-pays and coinsurance will not change. If you have any questions about these services or need assistance finding a provider, reach out to your BCBSTX Personal Health Assistant at 800-252-8039, Monday – Friday 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Saturday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., CT.

Too sick to drive? Get quick medical and mental health services on the web or download the app

With DrOnDemand, you have 24/7 access to a health care provider for non-emergency care with no cost for HealthSelect participants.

Visit MDLive for a virtual visit with a Mental Health professional for a low cost of $25 copay for HealthSelect members.

Employees enrolled in the Consumer Directed Health plan, you are subjected to deductible and coinsurance cost. 

Need help managing a work life balance, which may affect your personal well-being? Contact your Employee Assistance Program for help services related to: Stress Management or Grief and Bereavement counseling and Managing Depression and Anxiety.

Check out what is happening In the Green for the latest webinar or information session for your physical, interpersonal and financial wellbeing needs. Want to learn more about Suicide Prevention join the October 20, webinar led by UNT Assistant Director and Counselor Arlene Rivero-Carr, to learn how to recognize the signs and learn what to do or say to someone who might be at risk for suicide.  


To learn more about the strategies of Suicide Prevention check out these English or Spanish videos and the CDC’s Comprehensive Public Health video approach including how to stay safe and find treatment

The Warm Place – provides year round grief support for children ages 3 ½ to 18 and their families, as well as young adults who have experienced the death of a loved one FREE of charge in the FW area.

UNT Denton



Denton County MHMR /Psychiatric Triage Center

(800) 762-0157             (940) 381-9965


MetroCare Services (Dallas County)
  (214) 743-1200


North Texas Behavioral Health Authority:

Crisis Text Line:  Please text HOME to 741741 from your mobile device

Suicide and Crisis Center of North Texas:  214-828-1000

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:  1-800-273-8255

24/7/365 Crisis Hotline: Call 775-784-8090 or Text ANSWER to 839863

Child and Family Guidance support: Call 214-351-3490 or visit Child and Family Guidance Center  (resources available in Spanish)

COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line call (833) 251-7544 or visit

Texas Health and Human Services:

COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line   call (833) 986-1919

Domestic Violence Resource

call 1-800-799-7233 

text LOVEIS to 22522

National Resources: (Identity Based)


Call: 1-800-273-8255 then Press 1

VA Hotline 855-948-2311 


Text: any message to 838-255



Trans Lifeline  (877) 565-8860 (24/7)



The Trevor Project Phone Lifeline (866)488-7386 (24/7)

Text “Trevor” to 202-304-1200 (Thurs & Fri 3pm-7pm) 

Trevor Chat  (2pm-8pm)

Many employees are receiving emails from companies with names like “,” “” and “” These emails indicate that it is time to set up an appointment to discuss your retirement benefits, or that they are available to help “public” employees understand their retirement plans or benefits. IT Compliance has blocked several of these sending companies, yet the emails keep coming with “new” company names (same content).

Beware of attempts to gain financial information via unsolicited emails, texts and phone calls from outside “companies” who offer to meet with you to advise on your retirement plans, accounts or benefits.

Your HR Benefits team is here to help you with your employee benefits, including your retirement plan. Legitimate email regarding your benefits will come from or an HR professional with an email address (that you can verify in Outlook). We are your trustworthy support for help with insurance, retirement and anything employee-benefit related, including voluntary retirement savings plans that are part of your benefit options.

More information can be found here:

If you are in the Optional Retirement Program (ORP) and/or participating in a voluntary retirement savings plan, you will often receive email communications from the vendor with whom you have an account and business relationship due to that account. These include AIG, Fidelity, TIAA, Voya and, for the Texa$aver 457 plan, Texa$

If you are in the Teacher Retirement System (TRS) for your retirement, you may receive emails from TRS ( if you have opted in to receive their news emails.

The recent phishing emails indicate that employees can schedule “one free meeting a year” to discuss:

  • What your expected income will be from TRS when you retire.
  • How much longer you will have to work.
  • How you can save more money for retirement, without affecting your take home pay.
  • Which 401(a) options have guaranteed income when you retire.

Please know that:

  • An outside company unaffiliated with the UNT System’s campuses will only be able to help you with such information if you provide them your personal details, including information about your salary. They don’t have this information, nor do they have access to your job record or your TRS account, unless you give it to them.
  • Your HR Benefits team has access to your employment information and can advise on:
    • What your expected income will be from TRS
    • When you are eligible to retire, and what other benefits you’ll be eligible for (like health insurance)
    • Voluntary Retirement Savings Plans you can participate in as an employee. These are employee benefits available to you that can help you save for retirement and reduce taxes on your pay.
  • Scammers are becoming more and more sophisticated about getting your personal information. Familiarize yourself with these tactics and learn what to watch out for – and please report anything suspicious to Always check the sender’s email address. Communications from legitimate UNT System parties will be from emails with,,, and addresses.

To learn more about your retirement benefits, please email And you can find information on our web page

Ready to retire, or wanting to meet to plan for a future retirement? We’ll be glad to setup a video meeting with you. We are here to help you with all of your employee benefits, including health insurance, optional insurances like dental and vision; your retirement plan, and your voluntary savings plans. Reach out to us for help, and we’ll be glad to meet with you, answer questions, and provide assistance so that you can enjoy your employee benefits. And, we won’t try to sell you anything! We’re your trusted resource – let us help you plan for your future and make the most of your benefits today.

September 29, 2020

UNT World Faculty & Staff:

Thank you for your continued focus on our missions and service to students during the COVID-19 threat. Despite the many challenges the pandemic has posed to our universities, we are fulfilling our important missions to a record number of students this fall and maintaining financial stability.

Communications with UNT World employees has never been more important than today, as we find ourselves working remotely and interacting virtually due to the COVID-19 threat. With that in mind, UNT System Vice Chancellor & Chief Financial Officer Dan Tenney will launch a new virtual event series for faculty and staff across UNT World titled “Ask Me Anything” on October 22 at 2 p.m. The series is intended to cover a variety of financial and other related topics.

The first “Ask Me Anything” discussion will include several panelists with expertise in topics of interest that impact employees across the UNT System.

Full details for this virtual panel discussion are as follows:

WHAT: Ask Me Anything: COVID-19 Safety, Finance, Procurement, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

WHEN: Thursday, October 22, 2-3:30 p.m.

PANELISTS: Dan Tenney, UNT System Vice Chancellor for Finance and CFO (HOST) Steve Maruszewski, UNT System Vice Chancellor for Facilities (TOPIC: COVID-19 Safety) Bob Brown, UNT Executive Vice President & CFO (TOPIC: Finance) Ron Brade, UNT System Chief Procurement Officer (TOPIC: Procurement) Wanda Boyd, UNT System Assistant Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (TOPIC: EDI)

PARTICIPATE: A link to participate and watch the discussion live will be shared in the near future. Work- related questions on COVID-19 Safety, Finance, Procurement and Equity, Diversity & Inclusion may be sent to in advance of the virtual event. Questions will also be accepted in the chat function during the event.

Take a quick break with easy stretching techniques while in the office or at home. Learn more on how to use your workspace for exercising.  

Check out fall seasonal offers and other opportunities to save through the Beneplace Discount Program:

  • View auto and home insurance rates from multiple providers with a Quick Quote comparison
  • Stock up on tech supplies for back to school or your home office
  • Check out online resources for students in grades K-12 from SAS Curriculum Pathways.

Is it a cold, flu or allergies? Learn more about the differences and how they may affect your respiratory system, including how and when to seek treatment. A physician is available 24/7 with virtual visits

There are many conditions and treatments that can compromise your immune system. Learn more with these tips on how to keep your body moving with diet, exercise and eating right to improve your overall well-being. 

We’ve got a variety of financial fitness webinars and videos on the calendar for the last week of September and the month of October.

There’s lots going on this month–it’s a great time to refocus on finances.