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Ocps (Fl) Chairman Bill Sublette Agrees To Examine ######ative 403B/45

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#1 EdLaFave

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 06:22 PM

I gave another speech at the school board, this time with a more optimistic/hopeful result. I wrote about it on my blog...



Navigate and reform OCPS' 403b and 457b.

#2 tony

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 11:21 PM



I like what you said and how you said it. I do think one needs to realize that while Fidelity offers a great array of index funds lower than Vanguards', it should be mentioned too that besides those few index funds that it sells, Fidelity sells mostly active management funds at fairly high cost. That is why I disagree  somewhat with Fidelity and Vanguard being used in the same breath. The distinction should be made. Obviously there is a huge difference overall between Fidelity and Vanguard philosophy.While  It is true that Vanguard also hawks active funds  , their active fund costs are competitive with their index fund costs;although somewhat higher overall. Because of this low cost, Vanguard has more active funds that beat their respective indexes than any other company. Costs matter regardless of the investment approach. That is why I am somewhat reluctant to push Blackrock, Fidelity, TRowePrice ,and others even though they certainly beat the crap out of whats being pedaled by insurance companies. I will give Fidelity their due though, they realized they needed to break into the index fund market niche  and they have done so successfully.   Having owned funds with both companies, I would have to give Fidelity high marks for customer service and knowledgeable staff with Vanguard not far behind. But Vanguard's website is second to none IMHO.


Just my two cents.



#3 EdLaFave

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 10:43 AM



You and I are on the same page. Allow me to further endorse Vanguard because they offer excellent, low cost, all-in-one funds (target date and LifeStrategy). I think this is a particularly big deal for teachers because virtually every teacher I know would be best served by an all-in-one fund. Plus if Vanguard ever offers Admiral shares for these funds it'll only get better.


As far as I know Fidelity's all-in-one funds are surprisingly expensive, not great for teachers. However, Fidelity is useful because it is my understanding, despite conflicting data from TSA Consulting Group's website, that Vanguard doesn't offer 457b plans. So if a cheap 3 fund portfolio is to be offered in a 457b then Fidelity or ASPire is necessary...and Fidelity is cheaper.


...I also push Fidelity, along with ASPire, because I'm fearful that if I only pushed Vanguard and OCPS denied it, for some reason that they'd never be able to justify, then 0 progress will have been made. I'm trying to cast as wide of a net as possible without including predatory vendors.

Navigate and reform OCPS' 403b and 457b.

#4 Imua808

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Posted 11 August 2017 - 01:30 AM

I can't say that I've ever been to any union related event that discussed retirement beyond how to access our retirement site that has the amount of your contribution and the calculator to estimate payout based on contribution, years of service, etc. The 457 I only knew about because of flier up in the copy room, and the 403b was where AXA got me.   


I'm not sure why it's so hard for teachers to talk to other teachers about money, investment, and retirement, but it is. I'm glad there are online resources now and other teachers willing to share/talk/educate.

#5 sschullo

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Posted 11 August 2017 - 06:59 AM

I'm not sure why it's so hard for teachers to talk to other teachers about money, investment, and retirement, but it is. I'm glad there are online resources now and other teachers willing to share/talk/educate.


After 20 years of thinking why teachers don't talk about money is complex as it is simple. It is complex because there exists many savvy investment educators, but they remain silent and go about their business. There is no 403b leadership anywhere in the public K-12 profession because the higher ups are under the powerful impression that talking about it publically will be libelous. The insurance industry made damn sure that benefits administration will never provide objective information to the employees, this is one huge secret that the industry has been able to keep for the last 55 years since the first TSA was released in 1961.


The simple answer is that public k12 educators have pensions, it's almost universal across the country. 70-80% of our colleagues will never have to think about saving for retirement. The almost universal thinking from our colleagues is that they will work until they have enough from their pension to retire. The unions are heavily involved with pension plans here in California, probably in other states as well. That's all the local union retirement committees talk about, and send reps to the monthly pension plan public meetings. There are very smart union reps who know about the 403b that I have talked to at the state pension plan public meetings, but NEVER talk about the 403b in public. NEVER!  And they have never ever come here on 403bwise.com discussion.


It is the strangest thing. These savvy union reps at my pension plan meetings have an interest and are savvy but as leaders or interested educators, they are nowhere to be found in the 403b arena. The insurance industry fills that huge hole perfectly, helpless teachers with nowhere to go for a 2nd opinion.


Nothing much as changed despite all of the 30+ newspaper articles in the last 20 years and other 403b related blogs condemning the 403b/TSA. Last fall, the NY Times release five great articles and once again nothing much as changed. Personally, it was a bitter disappointment. The few of us who frequent here need to get together and regroup because, despite the good stuff we are doing here, it is piece meal, just one teacher at a time, and only about 8-10 a year come here for help. About 80% the million public school teachers and educators across the country and hardly ever complain about being sold the worst retirement ever, TSAs. 


It's discouraging, but we cannot ever give up because the stakes are too high. We don't know when there will be a tipping point. Perhaps there is rumbling from the teacher ranks. We just don't know. 



Steve Schullo

Author and Co-Author of two books:

1. Late Bloomer Millionaires: A Financial Story and Investment Guide for the Late Starter (2013)

2. Fighting Powerful Interests: Educators Challenge Tax-sheltered Annuities and WIN! (2015)