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  2. TIAA Traditional

    Wanted to see if anyone has experience with TIAA Traditional. Was thinking of using them to have some money in an annuity. Are the fees high? Any surrender period? Thank you.
  3. Today
  4. 457B State Plans for K-12 employees

    Added the Oklahoma State Teachers Retirement 403b plan. It's run by VOYA, but there is no 457 plan. The lowest ER looks like 0.62%? https://otrs.beready2retire.com/investments/investment-options/666277 https://otrs.beready2retire.com/investments/investment-performance/666277
  5. Yesterday
  6. Who Decides 457 Vendors?

    You are right—that law doesn’t seem to address the question of who determines the providers on the employer’s 403b list, the district or the TPA. I guess your quote from the NYT article explains it—the district may delegate the job to the TPA. Scott Dauenhauer, CFP, (ScottyD on this forum) in his book Wild West, Providing Fiduciary Advice to Public School Employees explains the many conflicts of interest that TPAs can have. Regardless, you have to work with both the TPA office and the HR office. If you continue to talk (nice) to them, I think they will realize that your quest to add a CalSTRS Pension2 457 option is very reasonable. Neither office wants to be accused of having a conflict of interest. There may be a procedure to add a provider, and in some districts it involves the union. Shine some daylight on what’s going on! Yes, it’s pathetic that a teacher has to be the one to work this out—as if you didn’t have enough to keep you busy already?? (I’m a retired teacher.)
  7. Who Decides 457 Vendors?

    I just found this in a NYT article about vendors and 403(b)s. So it seems there IS such a thing as having the TPA make decisions, even though TSACG said my district has that authority. "Some public school employees may find that their district handed over the task of administering their plan to third-party administrators like Omni. In some cases, these firms may serve as gatekeepers, determining which investments employees have access to. Sometimes, they may only accept 403(b) providers that will absorb administrative fees; not surprisingly, the higher-cost purveyors are the most willing to cover them." https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/05/your-money/403-b-retirement-plan-tips.html?_r=0
  8. Who Decides 457 Vendors?

    Krow36, thank you for the link. I guess I don't know how to read it, because I can't figure out which part of the law stipulates that the district decides what vendors to use. Could you point me to a specific section? And isn't this referring to STRS rather than to a district? Sschullo, thank you for the advice. I can never quite wrap my head around why people whose job is to help people get the resources they need, have to behave as if any question is a huge bother to be swatted away. I always have to be super persistent to get any answers. And I don't have much time left to save money in an additional fund, so I want them to move faster than they're accustomed to, I'm sure. :)
  9. Sound Familiar? Perhaps its bait and switch. FYI: At Fidelity, Schwab and TD Ameritrade, employees win extra pay or other incentives to put clients in products that are more lucrative for them, and the firm. Customers may end up with products and services that are costlier than they need. http://www.cetusnews.com/business/Advisers-at-Leading-Discount-Brokers-Win-Bonuses-to-Push-Higher-Priced-Products.HJZN9S07NG.html
  10. Last week
  11. 2017 Return, costs and asset allocation

    My 90/10 asset allocation returned 19.5% in 2017.
  12. 2017 Return, costs and asset allocation

    I won't present as elegantly as you Steve . You make us all look like amateurs with your great graphic presentation which I 'm too lazy to try and replicate. Our 2017 return was 13.4% Our cost averages 0.08% according to Morningstar . We are invested in all Vanguard index funds :Total Stock, Total International, Total Bond, and significant stake in Vanguard Small Cap Index. I also have some cash in prime Money market. My allocation last time I checked was 55 Stocks 40 Bonds 5 % cash or there about. With the run up in stocks that may have changed. We have money in Traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs, and taxable accounts . Can't complain. Besides a significant retirement account, we also are receiving full pensions. I am not taking social security at the moment and the plan is to wait to 70. WE have no money worries . I am glad I planned in my youth .Even though I made plenty of mistakes early on, I consistently saved and I gained some wisdom as I got older through reading. That ultimately lead me to Vanguard index funds. I am glad we have no money tied up in 403bs!!
  13. I rarely make definitive statements, but I’ll double down on that sentiment and say there is exactly no doubt.
  14. 2017 Return, costs and asset allocation

    I'm not up to typing in as detailed an account of my investments as Steve did, but my (roughly) 70/30 equity/fixed portfolio (to which I am still contributing) appreciated by 15% in 2017. My investments are index funds, tilted toward small and value, with above-market weightings of REITs (which did relatively poorly this year) and Emerging Markets (which did very well). I still have one individual stock holding--Berkshire Hathaway--which is about 8% of the portfolio; that did well, a bit better than the S&P 500. As retirement approaches for me (still 3 - 5 years away, most likely), I've begun to add to fixed investments (mostly, for now, a stable value fund)—last year, the allocation was closer to 75/25. PS: Steve suggests we include costs: I'm not sure of the overall total, but my Vanguard account (roughly 3/4 of the total portfolio) averages .10% ER, according to Vanguard. The Berkshire stock has a zero ER, the stable value has unknown costs baked in (+ a .25% admin fee).
  15. Who Decides 457 Vendors?

    Inform your HR department that TSA consulting group will add Pension2, they need a decision from the district. Thus, ask to talk to the person who makes these decisions of which choices are included in the 457(b) plan. Be very nice because the district HR people are incredibly fragile. Years ago I was such a threat to western civilization for merely asking to have Vanguard or Fidelity on the 403(b) list, that when I came into the office there were always two people to talk to me, never one they were so terrified. Even on the phone! I kid you not. So be NICE! :- )
  16. What are the expense ratios of your funds? Most of the SB funds have an ER of about 1%, which is added to the “custodial account fee” of 1.00%. Fees of around 2% certainly going to cause your portfolio to underperform a 3 fund index portfolio over time. If you have $150,000 under Option 1, there are breakpoints that reduce the load to 3.75% on your new contributions. If your funds average ER is ~1%, the drag from annual fees would be 1.35%, plus the front-end load of 3.75%. Again, it’s likely to underperform a 3 fund index portfolio over time. If you’d like to see the effect of costs over time, I suggest you check out Vanguard’s compare fund cost tool. You can select a fund from Vanguard and one from another provider. After the calculation, scroll down and change the inputs and recalculate. The tool calculates the costs with inputs of a given amount of investment, an assumed rate of return, over a given time. Notice that it calculates the percent of outperformance needed by the higher fee fund in order to equal the rate of return of the lower fee fund. https://personal.vanguard.com/us/FundsCostCompare There’s little doubt that you would be better off in the NEA Direct Invest plan than in either option 1 or 3!
  17. My 33%/67% stock-bond balanced portfolio returned 9.0% Every end of the year I post my portfolio returns, costs, and asset allocation. My portfolio is appropriate for a 70-year-old retired teacher who needs to make distributions last for the rest of my life. If you are younger, leaving your money to your children, or you don't have to rely on your portfolio because your pension is big enough, then, by all means, you can increase your risk by increasing the stock allocation to 60%, 70% or higher percent. I hope that how I constructed my portfolio will assist anybody who is wondering about portfolio organization. My portfolio is extremely low cost, only .07% fee! I paid approximately $1102.00 last year! Happy New Year everybody, Steve Pie Chart of my Asset Allocation
  18. Vanguard 403b Services A Mess

    Dan I am in no way attempting to degrade Vanguard. I love and trust them just like you. Don't get me wrong. I was just sharing this person's experience with hopes others can avoid going through what she is going through. I wasn't expecting to write a novel about this situation but its like the new chapters kept coming. Still I have to wonder why a company hired to supervise Vanguard's 403bs by Vanguard seems so inept and complicated. I personally never had to go through any of this with my dealings with Vanguard in and out of the 403b. I can't remember ever having to wait 30 minutes on hold to reach help from Vanguard in the past either!! Tony
  19. Who Decides 457 Vendors?

    Of course you are correct that the school district has the responsibility for their list of 403b and 457 vendors. Starting at 403bcompare.com, I found the CA law that applies to this: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displayText.xhtml?lawCode=EDC&division=1.&title=1.&part=13.&chapter=39.&article= If I were you, I would go back to the HR office and explain that the TPA told you that the lists are the responsibility of the district. If you talk nice, and maybe ask to see a supervisor, you’ll make headway. Once HR admits that they control the lists, you can find out if there’s a procedure for adding a vendor. Because you want to add the CalSTRS Pension2 to the 457 list, it should be easy because it’s run by the state teachers pension organization, and it’s already on the 403b list! Of course it’s possible that someone has a conflict of interest in keeping PlanMember the only 457 vendor?? Hopefully not. Even if that is the case, if you are persistent, you should be able to get Pension2 457 added. It’s probably more likely that the HR person you spoke to is just misinformed. If you post your request on the 403b board, you’ll get more comments. This sort of thing happens with the 403b vendor lists frequently. Folks (including me!?) forget to check the 457 board because there’s not much activity on it.
  20. Vanguard 403b Services A Mess

    Tony, thanks for helping this person, and thank you for sharing your experience here. I love Vanguard. I got to meet John Bogle; he's written me several kind notes; and at one time it looked like Vanguard was going to sponsor 403bwise. Vanguard has saved me tens and maybe ultimately hundreds of thousands of dollars. But I too had some issues with them as I documented in this Wise story. To their credit the acknowledged this via Twitter (posted below). Let's hope my issue and the one Tony documented is isolated. Vanguard‏Verified account @Vanguard_Group 9 Oct 2017 Replying to @teachretirerich @meridianwealth and 8 others We're sorry for any inconvenience, Dan. We appreciate you taking the time to give this feedback & have shared it with the appropriate team.
  21. Vanguard 403b Services A Mess

    Librarylady I think these situations are much more characteristic of 403b plans and its multiple layers of bureaucracy. Vanguard's regular accounts and their service is very good so you are good to go in a Vanguard IRA. 403b plans is were you have to be careful. Tony
  22. Vanguard 403b Services A Mess

    So discouraging to finally have access to low cost funds and run into this many snags. I love Vanguard, and have an IRA with them, but they can’t ignore all these complaints about Newport. It shouldn’t be that difficult!
  23. Vanguard 403b Services A Mess

    magmasson Thank you for adding to this discussion. Like I said before a teacher would never be allowed to get away with this kind of incompetency. I am not surprised that this would happen in the insurance company 403b world because it always seemed to me it was always more about making the sale than offering exceptional customer service. With Vanguard though I would have expected better. I still have hope my friend will get her problem solved .
  24. Vanguard 403b Services A Mess

    When I rolled over $30,000 from a MetLife 403(b) I'd had for years--I waited so as not to pay surrender fees--to Calstrs Pension 2 at Voya, it took over three months. They made the check out incorrectly. The money went AWOL for a several weeks, deducted from my MetLife account but not credited to Voya, and I missed out on a significant uptick during that time. It was an endless chain of emails and phone calls, for a very simple rollover from one 403(b) account to another. Heads up. Plan ahead.
  25. Vanguard 403b Services A Mess

    I thought I was done with this thread. Today I received a call from the retired teacher. More confused than ever . She received an e-mail dated today that said her transaction could not be completed and that she needed to to fill out an attached form-which by the way was NOT attached. So i can't tell you what the form was all about. She had recently received e-mail confirmation that her transfer was 100% complete plus a follow up call that the transfer went through and everything was settled. I am throwing up my hands and praying that this nonsense won't continue. She said she spend 30 minutes on hold this afternoon trying to get through to her contact person but finally just hung up. The person who contacted her this time was not her contact person. Its someone new and they didn't attached any forms!!! #!!XX***%%% Could it be they have people working on this transfer not knowing that it has been already completed? P.S I promise you this not fiction . Its very real. This can't be an isolated case. At this point I just don't believe it. Tony
  26. Who Decides 457 Vendors?

    Hi, I'm a teacher on the Central Coast in California nearing retirement. I would like to maximize my ability to save in retirement accounts this year and next, and would like to open a 457(b). The only vendor listed for my District is Planmember Services, which I do not want to use. We have an array of choices for a 403(b), and I'm currently using Calstrs Pension 2. I'd like to use them for a 457(b) account, but when I contacted my district benefits office to find out how to get them added to the list, I was told that the district has no say in choosing vendors, and that TSA Consulting Group, which is our TPA, determines which vendors to use. I suspected this was misinformation, and when I called TSACG, they confirmed my suspicion, and insisted that my district decides which vendors to use. I would like to have an informed discussion when I approach the district. Can someone help me out with some guidance? Thank you in advance. Very frustrating.
  27. Need help choosing 403b Vendor

    allegory, you're welcome. I hope you have success. My entire K-12 education was in Broward County (Hunt Elementary, Forest Glen Middle, and Coral Springs High) so I'd really like to see those teachers get better options. Let me know if I can help. tony, thanks!
  28. Vanguard 403b Services A Mess

    Thanks Steve I realized this may be something others will being going through at some point. It can be a frustrating experience. Tony
  29. I have posted this before in previous years. It show how different asset classes perform. As you can see being diversified matters. Doesn't mean you need a mutual fund in every investment class. You can accomplish this simply with a 3-4 index fund portfolio.Just make sure you own a Total Stock Market Index Fund, A Total International Fund, and a Total Bond Fund in weights appropriate for your age.. Don't let your sales reps load you up on too many funds. Keep it simple. https://www.callan.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Callan-PeriodicTbl_KeyInd_2018.pdf
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