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About MoeMoney

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    New York
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    Cycling, learning, teaching

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  1. With the end of school comes time for more in-depth 403b discussions. I'm wondering what and if I could have done differently with this conversation. The gist of the outcome was teacher acknowledged that the 457 has lower fees but teacher chooses to stay with their 403b. Their advisor is not on the list of permitted sales reps to come in and give away donuts so, therefore, he is not charging the egregious fees, according to teacher . Teacher asked about Aspire's fees ($40/year) and then you choose to self-direct or use an Aspire-approved fiduciary advisor who uses Vanguard index funds with very little added expenses added on ( I think it's .40 basis points). Teacher knows the sales reps earn commissions and the company earns profits too but teacher believes that since his FA is not with the AXA's or Ameriprises or fill-in-the-blank, the fees are nothing like theirs and that they are "lower, valid and earned." So, I brought up the effect of fees chart from this site. Teacher says well, 35 years won't apply to me and maybe my advisor is getting me more than the 8%. We were looking at the same chart and I pointed out the +$200,000 differences! Do we see what we want to see and hear what we want to hear??!! At this point I pointed out I have no vested interest and I'm not a sales rep earning commisions.Teacher knows very well that's true and trusts me without a doubt, and knows I know my stuff. Teacher knows the compounded effect of 2.25% and 0.18 % in expenses. But in the end, teacher believes their guy probably makes the same $40 like Aspire charges, (!!!! - he's not a fiduciary) and maybe more in expense ratio but that it is probably warranted because their returns might be 'better' and the guy's making a living. Teacher sat at my desk and read the posts from this site from teachers writing in with "these are my options, what do I do?" forums and left with the 457 enrollment packet I printed out and the 403b facts booklet I use. Teacher said they'd ask their advisor about their fees. It's fine line to not be overzealous while being passionate, and not pile on the resources while being informative and starting from where they are. I'm asking, was it me or could I have done anything differently?
  2. MoeMoney

    Why Teachers are Walking Out?

    Steve, CampFI and 403b - my two worlds are colliding!! That is so great! You are the same as the 30 and 40 years old's who will be in attendance in that you embrace the FI concepts and achieved FI years ago, ahead of them. The techniques and lifestyle you needed to live took you there. And this was before the concepts penned by Vicki Robbins decades ago started to get rekindled. Today, partly as a result of her original thinking, the FI movement is picking up steam. The level of awareness and the introduction of the concept of achieving FI at younger-than-traditional is becoming a THING. Wish I could have attended the April CampFI on the east coast. Kudos to you!
  3. MoeMoney

    Why Teachers are Walking Out?

    Financial Independence is becoming a "thing". It will continue to catch on and gather the attention of mass media eventually. Consumers can shun away from it or not, exposure will pick up though, to the concept. Choose FI is a blog and podcast that is being featured today, in fact, on NBC out of Richmond. The 403b fees have its own podcast and blog post. Kale used to be a garnish on veggie and sandwich platters. Food is ed by mass media (albeit advertising) for its virtues and then we are at least aware of it. True, we don't all take action on consuming it, but it is a start. Kale eventually made its way into smoothies, and potato chip bags. My point being, if folks can become aware of considering the costs of regularly consumed products (403b plans) they might be spurred on to take action. Or at least, we can hope one or two more will....
  4. MoeMoney

    Why Teachers are Walking Out?

    My comment about seeing a positive trend was referring to the articulation and publication of the author's perspective. It was straight-forward and not a theme that is commonly written about. As Steve and Dan wrote in their comments, the 403b is merely one (huge) example of inequality in the teaching profession. They have articulated, published, highlighted and pushed forward with it (big understatement). That was the start of a positive trend in outing the wrongs. Seth introduced a dialogue in a way that beckons responding too. Much like we responded to the inequality of the 403b as compared to the 401k. This was a fresh blog post that stirred up much emotion. I hope to see a trend of other's doing the same which can lead to changes, even if it's decades down the road.
  5. MoeMoney

    Why Teachers are Walking Out?

    Now THIS is original thinking and blogging. I was captivated by it and the comments. (Disclosure: I didn't get through them all.) I see a positive trend picking up steam that is way overdue thanks to Dan for starting this site and the frequent contributors here who relentlessly post and cheer us on.
  6. MoeMoney

    403b Questions/Options

    I agree with Tony on this one. And it's easy to understand why Ed chooses NEA for himself. I recommend Aspire to colleagues for their 403b and 99 times out of 100, they want the friendly low-cost Aspire FA and not the direct invest option. It is this reason why I do not recommend starting with a 457 because they simply want someone to help (besides me) and the 457 comes with no help (like the NEA and Aspire direct-invest options). Rather see them start and continue contributing than walking around waiting to decide and gain confidence. If I had to choose either the 457 to 403b for myself, I'd choose the 457. Fortunately, I max out both. (When I was sickened by the plight of the 403b plans here, before I knew about the 457 option, and before I got Aspire added, I borrowed from my s***ty 403b and bought a real estate investment. Paying off that loan with rent, and I'll never have to roll it into an IRA or take RMD's.)
  7. MoeMoney

    Questions about Roth and Real Estate

    Dustin, It sounds like the monies were always inside the Roth and you did not do a conversion, therefore, no taxes are due on any conversions. You withdrew the contributions, which are not taxed at this point since Nora already paid the taxes on the money. Now, you might want to rebalance the Roth IRA since you're left with the "losers":)
  8. MoeMoney

    Questions about Roth and Real Estate

    Dustin, Yes, you can use a Self Directed IRA to invest in Real Estate, however, there are rules that disallow you to personally use that real estate (you and certain family members). You could have borrowed against your 457 or 403b instead of using the Roth IRA, if you're still working. You would pay yourself the interest rate (about 6%) and used Mom's rent to pay it down even quicker than the 5 year term. That is an investment strategy employed by many. Good luck with Nora's mom. It's a very thoughtful move to keep her close by while giving her the independence she wants.
  9. MoeMoney

    choosing a 403b plan

    Well done Gina! Think about transferring your former 403b account. It will help you financially and help assuage the memory of higher-than-necessary fees. Maybe not now, but in June, when you begin to wind down.
  10. MoeMoney

    choosing a 403b plan

    Gina, Send the form over now so you don't forget. Just include a note that it's in the works now. That could even be part of the 'approval' process. Congratulations- you should be very proud, I agree!
  11. MoeMoney

    403(b) Choices

    Kevin, Welcome to the forums. While the sentiments here are strongly expressed, understand that neither you nor your wife had little to no opportunity for success without doing the research that you are now exposed to here. The current 403b system in NY is stacked against participants. You have probably figured that out by now but by no means should your wife feel like she should have or could have made a better decision up until now. There are unfortunately thousands more who will not get the memo, or understand it when it comes in front of them. Good luck.
  12. MoeMoney

    NJ Teacher Fights for 403(b) Fee Disclosure

    He made it sound so easy that I'm going to reach out to our assembly person and press on.
  13. MoeMoney

    choosing a 403b plan

    I see two choices for you, based solely on how you sound. Continue with Aspire, Within Aspire you can a) self-direct and choose Vanguard stock and bond index funds (those are asset allocations) that total 100% of your dollar contribution amount. Or, b) choose an advisor that is on Aspire's list, for simplicity sake. They will help choose an asset allocation with you (though that is what this forum is doing too). The very last thing we'd want you to do (though I am not speaking for anybody) is to get too frustrated and walk away doing nothing or worse yet, continuing with the high-cost vendors and funds. Message me if you want to chat further.
  14. MoeMoney

    choosing a 403b plan

    Gina, We hope you do not feel overwhelmed but you are making the right choices! I am a female teacher from NY with OMNI and crappy choices too. I, like you, and countless others here took the bull by the horns. Once you find this forum, you can't help but make the right decision. Acting on them is a different matter. Congrats to you for following through. There are lots of hurdles to overcome, not the least is one's initial fear and confusion.
  15. MoeMoney

    403b Investment Advice

    Good point, Ed. Fidelity and Vanguard are not getting back on the approved vendor list where I am in New York so I jumped straight into suggesting Aspire. That could be a solution for Purple Reign if he's in a state that allows them. Security Benefit could open a can of worms for many NOT in the know but they are great for the self-direct.