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krow36

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Everything posted by krow36

  1. “The recent volatility in the stock market can make older investors feel vulnerable. Here are some strategies to make sure your money lasts as long as you do.” Another excellent NYT article by Tara Siegel Bernard. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/07/your-money/stock-market-retirement.html
  2. krow36

    2018 was suboptimal.

    Steve has an annuity with TIAA that they call "Traditional Annuity". It is really more like what we usually call a "Stable Value" fund, and is similar to a low-cost Fixed Annuity with an unusually high annual interest rate (but with no surrender fee or M&E fee). TIAA guarantees the rate for the year ahead (and past?) and has a history of keeping the rate higher than most stable value funds. There are several forms of TIAA's Traditional Annuity, some of which require distributions to be spread out over 10 years. Steve's version can be withdrawn without restriction. My wife has had a TIAA Traditional Annuity in her 403b account now for about 40 years. I would prefer she roll it over to Vanguard and use Total Bond Index fund instead, but it's her call.
  3. Hi Tony, Not really AWOL, I've been here, reading posts and links, just not checking in, or commenting. Been spending time on Bogleheads. Will try to mend my ways.
  4. The Callan Table is always interesting! 2018 is the only year for 19 years that "Cash Equivalent" was at the top!
  5. Ed's link that Steve supplied works for me. Here's another thread that discusses getting started with Security Benefit's Direct Invest:https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=260609 Most posters do not encounter the problems described in those threads. Signing up is usually just a matter of signing up online, confirming to SB that they (SB) are on the district's 403b provider list, and filling out the district's (OMNI'S?) salary reduction form. Some posters have had to make phone calls to SB to move things along.
  6. krow36

    457 and 403B combined limits

    You can contribute 19k to both your 403b and 457 plans in 2019. In addition you can contribute 6k to your Roth IRA. The IRA limit is separate from the employer plan limits. If you are over 50, there's a 6k catchup allowed on both the 403b and the 457 plans, and a 1k catchup on the Roth IRA. Hopefully you have low-cost vendors for your 3 accounts.
  7. krow36

    Nationwide are they on my side?

    It sounds like your wife's Lincoln plan is certainly worth using. If it was an annuity based plan, the true total fees would likely be much higher than 0.35% + low ERs. Maybe you can join the school committee that decides on the vendor for your school? In addition to a low-cost 403b vendor, both schools deserve a low-cost 457 vendor. If there's a Third Party Administrator that's involved in the selection process, that also needs to be checked out. A TPA can be paid by the school district, or by the employees, or by the vendor. There's lots of opportunity for a conflict of interest. I would also be interested in the union's input into the vendor selection process. If you knew that you were moving school districts within a few years, you might justify maxing out the Nationwide 403b plan, using the one Vanguard index fund. On leaving the district, you could roll it into either an IRA or a good new 403b or 457 plan. I wouldn't bother if the contribution could only be about 5k/year. Just use Total Stock Market Index in a taxable account dedicated to retirement or possibly the kids' college expenses. It's fairly tax-efficient.
  8. krow36

    Nationwide are they on my side?

    I think you mean your schools are NOT on the 457 list? It's hard to believe that a school or union would pick the Nationwide 403b! I wonder if they knew anything about the importance of fees? What is the name of the Lincoln plan? There's a Lincoln Investment that offers 403b custodial accounts with mutual funds, and a Lincoln Financial Group that offers annuity-based 403b options. Which do you have?
  9. krow36

    Nationwide are they on my side?

    Are they charter schools, run independently from the school district? There is a 457 Deferred Compensation Plan for Indiana state, county, city, etc. employees. I don’t see any school districts listed. https://www.in.gov/auditor/hoosierstart/1885.htm Are your salaries and pensions paid through the state?
  10. Here’s a very thorough article on financing college by Tara Siegel Bernard. She starts with the topic: Retirement vs College. https://www.nytimes.com/guides/business/how-to-save-for-college
  11. krow36

    Nationwide are they on my side?

    Welcome to the forum! I would say that Nationwide is NOT on your side! I would definitely choose your 403b instead of her Nationwide 403b, if the fees are significantly lower. Are you sure you don't have a vendor that is better than Nationwide? How about posting the complete list of 403b vendors? What state are you in? Several dozen states have low cost 457 plans that teachers can contribute to in addition to (or instead of) their 403b plans.
  12. krow36

    W. Scott Simon M* 403(b) articles found!

    Thanks very much Steve! Simon is a professional ERISA lawyer who writes columns for Morningstar. There are several on 403b problems that include a long interview with Steve.
  13. krow36

    Having trouble getting 457 plan added

    OK JAM, thanks for filling in the picture. That's great that you are trying to spread the word on a better 403b and 457 plan. I guess such a small district gives you a small number of HR folks you have to deal with, and that's an advantage? Again, just be persistent with gentle, polite pressure. I think the district will soon realize that they know how to deal with the Lincoln Investment 403b and also with 457 contributions (to AXA). And that the easiest way to get you out of their hair is to put Lincoln Investment on their 457 vendor list. Have you read the NY Times article on the AXA 403b for K-12 teachers? You could consider giving a copy to the decision maker? It's the 2nd article in the series. Of course the whole series is great and I wish I could put copies in every teacher's staff room! https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/27/your-money/403-b-retirement-plans-teachers-brokers-fees.html
  14. krow36

    Having trouble getting 457 plan added

    If you've got someone in the system that is working with you, that's great! It seems to be common that these changes take some time. It's obvious to you and us that there's an injustice that needs to be corrected ASAP, but those in a position to make the correction don't understand, and inertia allows them to procrastinate. You need them to give them time to realize that your cause is just, and that you won't give up. If you can get the change to happen without loosing your cool, it's likely to happen sooner. Keep in mind that what you are working for is what's fair to teachers. It seems likely to me that the pushback will give in if you keep up steady pressure. It might help if you can recruit another teacher to make your point. It seems like it should be so easy, doesn't it?? The district already is 457 plans on their vendor list. Lincoln Investment PCP is on the 403b list. The PCP also has a 457 plan for not additional admin fee to the teachers. They probably sense that they have to give in, but don't like being "pushed around" by the district employees. Keep the pressure up and maybe give them a big bouquet of flowers when it happens? I don't understand your comment: "When speaking with some one at Lincoln they could understand why it’s not available at my district." Did they explain why they think it's understandable that 457 PCP isn't available in your district? Perhaps there's no-one using the 403b PCP? If so, that's sad. Maybe you will spread the word? Keep in mind that the K-12 403b plans were all originally annuity based. The low-cost internet based plans using custodial accounts were all added after some teacher worked to get them added to the vendor list. 457 plans are a recent addition and your district is ripe for some teacher activism! You are doing great to get the 403b PCP started, so spread the word on that!
  15. krow36

    Having trouble getting 457 plan added

    JAM, that's great that you have the Lincoln Investment Participant Directed Platform (PDP) set up for your 403b! To get the 457 PDP added to the 457 vendor list, you may need to go over the head of the business admin person. Was the "person" the chief financial officer? If not, you could write or talk to the CFO. If it was the CFO, then find out who's over her/his head. One of the BH posters quoted a Lincoln Investment staffer saying that the PDP is required by "law" in NJ (?) and another has said that the NJEA was involved in setting it up (?)! You could ask the NJEA on the state level for advice on how to get your district to add the 457 PDP. There must be some secret arrangement between Lincoln Investment and somebody that allows the PDP almost exclusively in NJ. Please update us on your progress in getting the 457 PDP added.
  16. krow36

    How To Be Richer Than A Millionaire

    This BH thread on “Teachers: what are your best personal finance tips?” is worth a read. Steve, Ed, BashDash and I contributed, but others may have missed it. https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=220126
  17. krow36

    How To Be Richer Than A Millionaire

    It’s probably worth noting that teachers’ salary can increase with both time and further education, at least they do in my old district. I believe that is usually the case but don’t know for sure. My district has 15 yearly steps, and 9 education level steps. I started at $6000/yr in 1974 and ended up at $45,000 in 1992. I was a PhD program dropout so started (and stayed at) BS + 155 credits + MS. Here’s the current salary schedule. Teachers are “Certificated Non-Supervisory Employees 2015-2018”. Currently I would start at about $60k and currently with 15 years of experience I would top out at $109k. https://www.seattleschools.org/departments/HR/current_employees/labor_and_employee_relations/cbas__salary_schedules__work_year_calendars I believe it’s not uncommon for teachers in many states to currently earn over 100k after 10 or 15 years. A number of states have state-wide salary schedules which can be relatively high while the cost of living may vary within the state and be relatively low.
  18. Steve, have you tried to access the Simon articles recently? Morningstar seems to have dropped them. Too bad, I always found them interesting, especially those on the K-12 403b problem.
  19. krow36

    Fanning The Flames Of The FIRE movement

    A FIRE article worth reading! Thank you Tony!
  20. This article left me a bit confused as to what Fidelity target date fund we should be recommending to folks. There are now actually 3 different series of Fidelity target retirement funds, two based on index funds and another using as many as 13 funds which are mix of active, index etc. funds. It turns out that Fidelity’s new Target Allocation Model Portfolios are only “available to advisors at broker-dealers, registered investment advisors, banks, and insurance companies.” This BusinessWire article has more information on this than the FinancialAdvisor article. https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20181112005376/en/Fidelity®-Continues-Deliver-Industry-Leading-Launch-Lowest-Cost Fidelity Target Allocation Index-Focused Model Portfolios: uses very low-cost institutional index funds but not the zero cost funds. The funds’ ERs are a very low 0.04%. Of course the advisor fee will add perhaps 1% to that, depending on the size of the account? Fidelity Target Allocation Model Portfolios: uses "risk-targeted portfolios mixing active, factor, quantitative and passive mutual funds" with the goal of increasing the returns over that of the index-based target retirement funds. Up to 13 funds are used in each Portfolio, with ERs of 0.38% to 0.40%. https://institutional.fidelity.com/app/literature/flyer/9890548/fidelity-target-allocation-model-portfolios.html However for those of us on this forum, nothing has changed because Fidelity’s Freedom Index funds are still the low-cost index-based best Fidelity choice. The current ER is 0.14% for all these funds. https://www.fidelity.com/fund-screener/evaluator.shtml#!&ntf=Y&ft=BAL_TD%2CBAL_TI%2CBAL_TK%2CBAL_TG%2CBAL_TN%2CBAL_TH%2CBAL_TE%2CBAL_TA%2CBAL_TJ%2CBAL_TL&mgdBy=F&expand=%24FundType
  21. krow36

    Choosing 403B Plan, is it worth it?

    That link doesn’t work for me. I would avoid the OASBO 457 because the expense ratios are much higher than those of the Ohio Deferred Compensation. The OASBA 457 target retirement fund I looked at has an expense ratio of 1.11%. I couldn't easily find the admin fee and it's possible it's included in the fund's ER. Voya Solution 2055 Portfolio - Service Class The LifePath funds of the Ohio state 457 are funds of funds (also called target retirement funds) and very low cost with an expense ratio of 0.06%. As I mentioned above the 0.14% admin fee is very reasonable. I agree with Tony that one of these LifePath funds in the Ohio 457 is a great way for you to start investing. https://www.ohio457.org/iApp/tcm/ohio457/investments/fees/index.jsp
  22. krow36

    Choosing 403B Plan, is it worth it?

    If you use the google search on the bogleheads website, and enter "Ohio, 457, teachers" you'll get links to a number of interesting BH threads on the subject. The Ohio state 457 plan is definitely available to K-12 teachers. It should be on your district's 457 vendor list, but if it isn't, you should be able to get it added with minimum resistance. It's admirable that there is no admin fee for balances under $5000 and also that the 0.14% admin fee is capped at $220/yr. That means that for balances over $157,143, the admin fee will decrease, e.g. for a 200k balance the fee works out to 0.11% (220/200,000).
  23. krow36

    Choosing 403B Plan, is it worth it?

    The EZ Enrollment Form has a spot to specify the enrollee’s pension plan and one of the options is STRS (State Teachers Retirement System)! So maybe Ohio K-12 teachers are eligible to use Ohio Deferred Compensation? https://www.ohio457.org/tcm/ohio457/static/EZ-Enrollment.pdf It’s worth checking it out because the fees are a bit lower than those of the Aspire 403b or 457 plans. There is no admin fee for balances less than $5000! For balances over 5k there’s a 0.14% admin fee (capped at $220/yr) that is added to some very low expense ratios. The LifePath series of target retirement funds have a very low ER of 0.06%, and the Vanguard Index funds used for a very low-cost 3 or 4 fund portfolio are offered. https://www.ohio457.org/tcm/ohio457/static/OhioIPR.pdf
  24. krow36

    Choosing 403B Plan, is it worth it?

    Ohio does have an excellent state 457 plan that is called “Ohio Deferred Compensation”. It is open to state, county, some city, and state university and college employees but unfortunately I see no mention of school district employees. Just because the state plan isn’t on your district’s 457 vendor list doesn’t mean that it’s not possible to get it added. You can give them a call or an email. Aspire can be used for a 457 plan as well as for the 403b, if it’s on the district’s 457 vendor list. It does sound promising that your district is open to adding another vendor such as Fidelity or Vanguard. This can take months or even years and be well worth the effort, but in the meantime I think using Aspire would be a good idea.
  25. krow36

    Choosing 403B Plan, is it worth it?

    jwils118 has posted the same on the Boglehead forum where I posted an answer, so I'll post my same answer here. I think Lincoln Financial is different from Lincoln Investment which offers the very low-cost Participant Directed Platform, mostly to teachers in NJ. I think maybe the OP is converting the $40/yr admin fee into a percent of a low balance of say $5000, which would add 0.8% to a very low-cost ER 0.07%? Not ~1%, but not ideal. That should be incentive to contribute more and get that balance higher! After say 3 years, with a balance of $15,000, the admin fee is only 0.27%. Hopefully in the future, maxing the Aspire 403b will result in the admin fee being even more reasonable. Remember that Vanguard’s 403b plan for K-12 districts has an admin fee of $60/yr (but no added 0.15% to the funds' ER). Aspire is well-know to be a reasonably low-cost 403b vendor. I’m not familiar with D & E Financial, First Educators/ FEIC or GALIC/ Great American. The other vendors are well-known to be high-cost sellers of mostly annuity-based 403b plans. What state are you in? Many states have 457 plans that are low-cost and available to teachers. Your district should have a 457 vendor list.
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