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Everything posted by tony

  1. Conclusion after a year of 403b/457b reform.

    I think financial literacy while a good idea in our schools will not necessarily solve the 403b crisis or the rip-off sneaky financial models being used in our culture.. I have to wonder if more education just leads more teachers into the laps of these sharks. Might they be better served staying ignorant? I taught Financial Literacy. I tried to educate the kids on expense ratios and index funds but what I noticed was that while it opened their minds to saving more , it did not necessarily lead them to distinguishing between good investing and bad investing or differentiating between the good guys and the bad guys. That takes a whole new level of sophistication. I guess getting that spark towards understanding finance makes financial literacy a worthwhile pursuit but there is so much muddled and fake information being dispensed in the financial world that it would be easy to end up leading people inadvertently to making bad decisions with our good intentions. Thats what happened to me!! And who profited-the very forces I was trying to avoid! I think books like Steve wrote about powerful interests groups is very specific in its financial education and should be required reading after financial literacy basics are instilled in our citizens. Ed, your primer and guide on investing specific to your state for teachers is also a great guide as are Dan Otter's books. An oversite committee is a great idea if you can keep them free from bias and influence from the outside finance world and that may not always be easy. Just look what happened at the NEA!!
  2. Latest Spiva results on fund category performance . "Building a portfolio around index funds isn’t really settling for the average. It’s just refusing to believe in magic.” So why do workers in the financial industry get paid so much ? . The financial industry commands a much larger share of the U.S. economy than in the past, causing some (like us)to worry that the industry gets more money than its economic contributions merit. Annuity sales to teachers is a HUGE industry and sales are doing great!! And this article shows not many of these pseudo experts can even beat an index fund with their products!! Or like another article I posted, often they can't beat a seven year old's portfolio! http://www.aei.org/publication/more-evidence-that-its-very-hard-to-beat-the-market-over-time-95-of-financial-professionals-cant-do-it/
  3. Conclusion after a year of 403b/457b reform.

    T I see people asking questions about 403bs all the time on Bogleheads. I also notice they are often referred here but some don't make it here to ask their questions. Its sad in a way because those here know more about the ins and outs of the 403b system better than most.
  4. Conclusion after a year of 403b/457b reform.

    Krow, you are very detail oriented. I never even noticed the edit button below. I will have to play with the whole gamut of tools and see what else I can learn
  5. https://assetbuilder.com/knowledge-center/articles/seven-year-old-investor-beats-harvards-endowment-fund
  6. Conclusion after a year of 403b/457b reform.

    Whyme I think you are right but its a false security as those defined pension plans are becoming more and more extinct and going the way of dinosaurs. I know I repeat myself, but teachers need to cover all their bases and that requires having a backup plan just in case. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-14/a-worrying-shift-for-pensions-retirees-will-soon-outnumber-kids
  7. Tara also wrote this story https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/16/business/fiduciary-rule-retirement-planning.html
  8. Conclusion after a year of 403b/457b reform.

    Perhaps there are regional differences in teacher attitudes who are influenced by their environment. Perhaps teachers in Florida and California are different than teachers in Virginia. However I think your comment above rings true across the board. However nearby in West Virginia teachers who are woefully underpaid did strike and get some concessions. There is always hope for a revolution!!
  9. Thank-you for posting this. I hope the folks that need to read this do so. For the rest of us this sounds like the same old song we have heard all too often. Tony
  10. Conclusion after a year of 403b/457b reform.

    Ed Like I have stated all too often, It seems I made more enemies than friends trying to change the 403b world. Most of the friction was generated because so many teachers believe in the establishment as just and fair. When you attack a certain a entity like a "helpful" financial advisor they perceive you as a negative out of the mainstream person . I was too activist and somewhat cynical for most of them-Virginia is a conservative state trying to look progressive but they are not there yet.Your statements above ring true to me. Sure there were exceptions to this but generally I came to the same conclusions as you did. I have come to learn that teachers are wired differently than your average private sector employee. For one thing they are not motivated by money . They are more intrinsically motivated and less materialistic. Unfortunately insurance and finance salespeople/companies have figured out how to engage teachers and essentially profit from them.
  11. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/16/business/fiduciary-rule-retirement-planning.html Here is another take on this subject: https://www.fa-mag.com/news/financial-industry-celebrates--mourns-fiduciary-rule-decision-37679.html?print
  12. Has a slew of online calculators. Haven't explored it fully yet but seems promising and possibly useful. Share your thoughts https://www.newretirement.com
  13. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-14/a-worrying-shift-for-pensions-retirees-will-soon-outnumber-kids
  14. NEA Member Benefits Awards

    Advocacy that has gone bonkers.
  15. Vanguard 403b Services A Mess

    I hope you mentioned what happened to you was not an isolated case. He needs to be aware that this may be a bigger problem than he may realize. I applaud you. You may have helped make things better-easier for other Vanguard 403b investors down the line. You are one tough cookie!
  16. Just want to give all of you a heads up and a warning. I have been approached by a retired teacher acquaintance about her attempt and her husband's helping attempt to make a simple Vanguard 403b transfer to a traditional Vanguard IRA for her. Sounds easy right? She wanted my help as they can't take much more of the aggravation dealing with this new 403b Newport group.They do not have their act together. I even question their competence. This is a process I had completed for myself and my wife multiple times with zero problems when Vanguard 403b plans were actually done by Vanguard. My friend has not been so lucky. I just read through a huge amount of back and forth e-mails and each e-mail is handled by a different specialist. They have asked this individual to fill out the same forms over and over again even though the forms were filled out correctly and completed just fine the first time with all correct signatures and boxes checked . I just got on the phone with Vanguard and I raised H-E-L-L about the incompetent and unorganized organization they have outsourced their 403b plan supervision to. Each representative either requested information that was already supplied or gave contradictory requests and information . As mentioned previously,this poor teacher has had to fill out the same forms over and over again and each time the form was rejected for different reasons. They even asked for the third party administrator to again verify the needed information that was already sent in! The original form that was sent to her to fill out even had someone else's person information on it including social security number and addresses. How's that for incompetency! This has been going on since November and the transfer is still in limbo and no-one has a clue what is going on and I can guarantee that its nothing this poor teacher did wrong. I hope to help her get this straightened out. This should not be happening. This is just another example why the 403b world needs to change. This can't be an isolated case, not with this much activity. It must be a symptom of a much larger problem. Move over TIAA, make some room for Vanguard . Tony
  17. The Money Wizard

    I ran into this site accidentally. It might be interesting and perhaps useful to some of you trying to develop some financial acumen. If this has been mentioned before please accept my apologies. http://mymoneywizard.com/media/
  18. The Money Wizard

    I ran into this site accidentally. It might be interesting and perhaps useful to some of you trying to develop some financial acumen. If this has been mentioned before please accept my apologies. http://mymoneywizard.com/media/
  19. Vanguard 403b Services A Mess

    Wow I am impressed. You should direct him to this thread . He'll have a conniption. I complained to Vanguard but it didn't seem to have any effect.
  20. Vanguard 403b Services A Mess

    Sounds exactly like the crazy whirlwind my friend had to go through. It shouldn't be that way. Its sad they still haven't changed their procedures. Please keep us informed.
  21. Retire Early

    I think COBRA allows you to continue your current district health care coverage but at the full premium being paid by you and the district.. Instead of your contracts, I would look to see what is stipulated in the District policy manual. What ever it states is probably law. Most of the specific rules on COBRA benefits can be found in that resource as well. Obamacare might be a possibility as well. If worse comes to worst, maybe one of you can work longer so that you can both get coverage until your pension kicks in.
  22. Vanguard 403b Services A Mess

    Francaise Since the transfer request has only been in since February 28, I think you should be more patient now. Your earlier post led me to believe you were dealing with this issue longer.These transfers can take a while . They won't be done overnight .Retirement plans take longer than most other transfers/trades. I would make sure they have all their/your information straight and then sit back and give them a couple of weeks to sort it all out. In a couple of weeks I would call Sherry Lynn and see what progress has been made towards the transfer. If Sherry sounds competent to you then I would always ask for her. Its sometimes the little details that can hold the process up. Like I said earlier I find how they handle customers disorganized. But, they did finally make it happen for my teacher friend and it took eight weeks or so If I remember correctly. Granted in shouldn't take that long but sometimes it does because of all the other requests they are handling and the fact its a retirement account. I think you are on the right track. It will happen. Keep us informed. I think it will work out but I understand your frustration in the meantime. Tony
  23. Vanguard 403b Services A Mess

    I would not let your frustration with newport keep you from getting your money to a lower cost option with Vanguard .