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  1. LAUSD financial literacy workshop report

    Steve, that fantastic that the SEC is helping in the battle against 403b annuities! The NY Times articles have made a difference.
  2. Conclusion after a year of 403b/457b reform.

    Ed, you may be correct that teachers as a group “are far worse than any other group” in their retirement investment knowledge and practice. However I think that the non-ERISA, multivendor 403b free-for-all that teachers deal with is fairly unique. If a for-profit company provided a pension but also allowed multiple salespersons to come onsite and sell non-vetted, non-ERISA 403b contracts to individuals, and this had been happening since the start of deferred-contribution plans in the 1970s, . . . .It’s a setup for the K-12 Wild West mess that the ERISA 401k world has avoided.
  3. Conclusion after a year of 403b/457b reform.

    Ed, I think you may be comparing apple and oranges when you compare teachers with your coworkers. I’m guessing that your colleagues (mostly software engineers?) are much less math-phobic than are teachers. And I think teachers are not more resistant to financial knowledge than is the general public. The general public is as lazy as teachers when it comes to researching who they intrust their retirement savings with. The Edward Jones guy with an office down the street is a nice friendly guy—sure is convenient! Or, my bank, or my friend, or my dad’s broker. . .The average ER is somewhere around 1%, which indicates to me that the average American doesn’t understand how costs effect investing results! I’ve found that non-teachers are very resistant to making changes that would significantly lower their investment costs. I agree that teachers’ pensions lull them into thinking that their financial retirement needs are taken care of. That probably contributes to the 70% of teachers who do not save in 403b or 457 plans! Relatively low salaries probably also contributes to low participation in 403b or 457 plans. My point is that teachers are not unique in having a lot of resistance to educating themselves about the basics of retirement finance. It’s a national problem that benefits the majority of the financial industry. As is brought up on this forum, financial education should be part of the K-12 school curriculum. And college curriculum!
  4. Conclusion after a year of 403b/457b reform.

    Tony, 2 suggestions: To quote a previous post, use the "Quote" button at the bottom of the post. That adds the poster's user name to the quote. It looks like you are copying and pasting and then using the " from the menu bar? That doesn't ID the quote. To add your comment to the quote, put your cursor down below the quote box, so your comment is separate from the quote. It took me a while to figure out the new website--still learning.
  5. I see that CalSTRS calls the 2% a "benefit", not a COLA, and says it doesn't track changes in the cost of living, as you say. That 85% floor in purchasing power is sure a lot better than no inflation protection at all though! My WA teacher's pension had a COLA for a few years, but the legislature dropped it some years ago. After 26 years, I think I've lost about 50% of the initial purchasing power. 403b (now IRA) to the rescue!
  6. A story we know so well! It's great to see Ron Lieber and the NY Times bring it up again. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/16/your-money/403b-annuities.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fbusiness&action=click&contentCollection=business&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=13&pgtype=sectionfront
  7. That's an interesting question. If you use the CalSTRS retirement calculator, you could find the added monthly increase due to the additional service credit. https://resources.calstrs.com/CalSTRSComResourcesWebUI/Calculators/Pages/RetirementBenefit.aspx If you assumed a "safe withdrawal rate" of 4% on the amount of 403b dollars needed to buy the extra credit, it would give you an idea of the retirement income those 403b dollars could generate. There's lots of unknowables in the comparison isn't there? Does the pension have a COLA? If it does, will the COLA be dropped in the future? My teacher's pension's COLA has been dropped. Will the market returns of the future be similar to those of the past?
  8. Lincoln Investments Participant Direct

    I guess I agree that unions are mostly clueless about costs. However, according to several posters, it seems that the Lincoln Investment Participant-Directed plan owes its existence to the NJ Education Assoc, the state branch of the NEA. I think there must be a high up union person who is very much aware of costs!
  9. Lincoln Investments Participant Direct

    Yes, Steve is concerned that teachers in CA and the other states that do not have access to the Lincoln Investment DIY plan will get sucked into the other expensive Lincoln Investment plans. Or worse yet, stumble into the clutches of the annuity-selling Lincoln Financial Group. Steve has been fighting for a better 403b deal for teachers for about 20 years, and he's seen a lot of teachers sign lousy annuity contracts. He and I are both retired, and we both try to help the cause where we can. I guess you've received the application form? I believe the custodial fee has been raised to $60, but if your application form says $35, I guess that's correct for you. Maybe it's $35 for NJ districts and $60 for NY districts? Either amount is a good deal!
  10. Los Angeles Teachers and LAUSD Employees

    Well, if you say: "Update has now registered" or "Update have now registered" to yourself, you see that doesn't make sense, so Update is not the subject. Likewise if you say "over has now registered". So the subject must be "100", and 100 is plural, and so it's "100 have now registered". If only 1 had registered, it would be "1 has now registered". Actually Update isn't really part of the sentence--it's more of a heading and should have a colon. Update: Over 100 have now registered!
  11. Los Angeles Teachers and LAUSD Employees

    HAVE! (science and math teacher) She has. . . . they have.
  12. That would be a very interesting report. We look forward to understanding the RT rollover situation. I guess it’s not possible to know the rollover details (based on data rather than anecdotes) in the usual multivendor district, but a comparison with that of RT would be illuminating. It seems obvious that RT’s multi-district 403b/457 is a vast improvement over the multivendor, annuity dominated free-for-all that most school districts put up with. Even districts with a low-cost mutual fund based vendor such as Fidelity or Vanguard still have the problem that most teachers will end up with annuity based, expensive 403b plans.
  13. Lincoln Investments Participant Direct

    Alex98, please reads jebjebitz's comments in the thread I posted above. He mentions that Lincoln Invest. has reps that focus on helping with this DIY plan. A 403b and/or 457 plan using Vanguard Admiral class funds and costing only $60/year is a fantastic deal. It's interesting that the NJ Education Association (NJEA) is involved in this program. I sure wish someone would tell us how this program came about.
  14. Lincoln Investments Participant Direct

    alex98, thanks for posting your experience. Every NJ school district should have the Lincoln Investment Retirement Solutions Participant Platform on their provider list! How can we arrange for that to happen? This DIY plan includes both low-cost 403b and 457 plans using Vanguard Admiral class funds! Those readers who are not familiar with this DIY plan can read about it at: Hopefully someone who has gone through the transfer from other providers (maybe even MetLife) will post their experience. I have no first-hand experience. Based on the reports of others, I think if you are patient and persistent, the transfer will occur! It will probably take weeks if not months. Your district’s third party administrator will no doubt be involved, and all three parties will require their paperwork be properly signed. You may have to make phone calls to make sure the process is progressing. Every transfer is somewhat unique because the vendors differ as well as the TPA. Good luck! While you wait for the transfer to be completed, hopefully you can watch your payroll deductions flowing into the Vanguard index funds in your Lin. Inv. DIY plan!