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About MoeMoney

  • Birthday April 13

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    New York
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    Cycling, learning, teaching

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  1. Ed, I think he means teachers want someone to communicate with them and help take them into their own (teacher's) retirement. If say 40% of teachers use a 403b, (I don't know the actual percentage) and 18% care about fees, ugh....someone else do the math for me. 403bannuitysalesman, what state are you located in?
  2. Ed, It is my understanding that most districts use a TPA to avoid the necessary tracking, expense, and responsibility for maintaining accounts. They choose their TPA to take care of all of it and defer all questions to them. They don't really care if adding Vanguard or Fidelity or XYZ will save members money or if they do, not enough to stop using the TPA. When I inquired to OMNI how I can get on their board to establish criteria for getting vendors added to the Preferred Vendor list, they ignored my question. To date, I don't have a good answer from OMNI. Appeals to districts to add lower cost vendors go unheard and the answer has been "our TPA handles all questions. They have the last word." And they mean that or else they wouldn't hire them to run the administration of the 403b/457 plans in the first place. The IRS regulations and record keeping push them into using TPA's in my geographic region. It is much more cost effective. At best, the TPA has a self-direct option (the lowest cost option on OMNI's list) that any district can easily request to have added to that district's lineup via their TPA. But that doesn't mean it's the same in FL or anywhere else. Keep asking the good questions and persevering.
  3. Thanks for sharing this article, Steve, and for posing good questions, jebjebitz. This article was only the tip of the iceberg. It's an introduction to "you don't have to work until traditional retirement age". It's a different mindset. It counters what you learned and it counters what your school district sets you up to do: work until you've worked 30 or 40 years, often in one school district or take a reduced pension. (I cannot change school districts without accepting a starting salary after teaching for 15+ years. I am beholden to this one particular school district in this one geographic location. I have two choices: take it or leave it.) Pensions, as you know, are not essential for retirement or peace of mind. If you track your expenses, which many people do not do, and lower your expenses while increasing your savings, you set yourself up for living off of your own investments. Add to this, taking responsibility for learning to do things yourself, such as learning to use index funds for your investment accounts thereby lowering your expenses, you'd save tens of thousands of dollars. As for managing in down markets, great question. A few buckets of aggressive, moderate and cash investments that are intentionally established, along with your expected expenses, because you tracked them, and you've got a plan. The plan can include taking on a side hustle or building a fat nest egg. Regardless, they've researched and documented strategies for handling the very scenario you present. Welcome to the FIRE lifestyle.
  4. MoeMoney

    CampFI conference report (Financial Independence)

    Hi CampFI buddy! Great po, Steve. It was fabulous meeting up with one of the smartest teachers I know, in person! I’m looking forward to collaborating soon. I met one teacher, adaptive Physical Education, from Las Vegas. He was surprised no one in his district could answer any questions about the 403b plan. Shocker, I know. He had an earful from me and I suspect he might have found us here already, though he started school this week. Georgiana likened the intentionality of saving and spending to meditation, in a way that made sense to this group. It’s about setting your intentions and following through. Really impressed with the age spread, 40’s and 50’s were represented too, and the interest in sharing. Check out a CampFI if it comes your way. It’s an offshoot of Choose FI. I wrote a few blog posts on the perils of the 403b’s on its website.
  5. MoeMoney

    New Teacher Choosing a Provider

    Duncan, Congratulations on a our new job! And also for starting investing in yourself so soon. I’m impressed that you are, and that you sought help here first. Big kudos to you! Do you know who your third party administrator is for your district, if they use one? If you are in NY, and you have access to Vanguard and a Fidelity, I want your TPA instead of OMNI. They do not allow them. You can retire sooner than age 60 if you max out both your 457 and 403b, and that’s no lie! Start saving the max if you are in the position to do so, and do not let lifestyle creep catch up to you. And listen to Choose FI and the Millionaire Educator. Good luck at school and investing!
  6. PE teacher, That is wonderful news! Great job! Your teachers understand how lucky they are that you preserved. Would you mind sharing some of the materials you used? I’ve been working on putting something more formal together when I talk to colleagues. Again, congratulations.
  7. Congratulations Dan!! Looking forward to reading this edition too! Thanks for enlightening so many people....
  8. MoeMoney

    New Teacher 403b Options

    Congratulations on following your instincts and finding this forum. You will thank yourself a million times. It's apparent you are doing the research and following through. I searched your TSA and found that one distirct above Lancaster, Kutztown, has other vendors on their list. Vanguard is on there and that caught my eye. That gives those of us here hope. Next, follow Ed's advice and seek out your district's business office or school board members to find out how to add them to your list. It seems likely you will not have a difficult time to add to it since your TSA has relationships with them already. While it might seem wonderful to invest in Vanguard, doing it via one of your 4 vendors is loaded with useless (make the salesman rich) fees, as Ed pointed out. Keep going. It's only Wednesday!
  9. I just asked OMNI how I can get appointed onto their P3 Advisory Committee. Stay tuned.... Ed, good point. I seem to remember Tara mentioning the TPA's in the article. Perhaps we can get her to dig deeper as you suggest. Great idea.
  10. Absolutely a great point Ed. I did use "air quotes" because they are not officially blacklisted, as far as I know, anyway. Our TPA is huge, OMNI, and they work for our district. But if you ask the district for any changes, better choices, or any questions for that matter, they close their mouths and refer us to OMNI. They take, or want, no responsibility for the vendors on that list, unless pushed, like in our district to get Aspire added. But things change, staff changes, and perhaps answers change, so it is worth looking into getting Vanguard and Fidelity added again onto OMNI approved vendor list, as Ed pointed out. Here is the direct wording from OMNI's website. From what I see, the committee makes up the criteria for selecting the vendor and one of the criteria is for that vendor to pay OMNI expense fees. Vanguard and Fidelity refuse to pay or pass on those fees, thus keeping them off the list of approved vendors.
  11. Dustin, It's generous of you to write so candidly about finances for the sake of your union's members. It might not be necessary to get personal with your numbers but yet, I like that you are at the same time. Showing real numbers makes it more interesting for people, especially if it's someone "like them". In the beginning you reference the deferred pay plan and then go on to outline your own savings plan. Are there no 457 or 403b plans in IL, making this the only option? If not, it's easy to understand why folks don't want to be responsible for saving on their own, which is because they can't be expected to. I commend you for teaching finance to some of the brightest teachers around. And giving specifics too. Perhaps you have a blog where you can point them to for further reading. If not, think about it. They might seek out more resources before contacting you directly. Also love how you bring in what your students learning about finances too. Thanks for sharing.
  12. Sounds like JAM's best option is Lincoln Investment, as long as it's self--directed and no one prey's upon participants to get a FA/sales rep to manage. The reason why Vanguard and Fidelity aren't easy to add is basically, they have been "blacklisted" by the large Third Party Administrator (TPA) from the approved vendor's list thereby making them nearly impossible to get added on. Like Tony said, reasons are hard to explain but include refusing to pay or pass on the administrative fee that the TPA's and/or vendors charge. Aspire passes on the fee in the form of the 0.15% fee whereas big players like AXA bury it in their other excessive fees. That is my understanding of it, at least, where I am from, Long Island, NY. I tried to add back Vanguard and Fidelity but was turned away in a heartbeat but Aspire was a relatively easy pitch that was added at the one time of the year when the school board approves changes to the 403b lineup. The state-sponsored 457 is the best option for dollars beyond the $5500 (Roth) IRA, as Ed pointed out, where I am but each state and plan is different so you must ask your HR or business dept. or post questions here. The ability to access your 457 funds when you sever service is more valuable than having to wait until age 591/2 regardless of employment status. JAM, while it's great to think about your options, don't try to do it alone. Ask your district the right questions and act, based on your options.
  13. MoeMoney

    403b loan question.

    HI Michael, Clear as glass - thank you!
  14. Hi Steve and Tony! I was somewhat afraid to hit submit to my post above. Thank you for not chiding me! I know and have benefitted immensely from this site Tony and fully understand it's about growing wealth. It doesn't have to be growing wealth slowly though. Magical compounding and low fees plus a high, deliberate savings rate mean it is possible, especially when your partner is doing the same thing. Like Steve, I started teaching and saving later in life, at 41 vs 37, but even for a young person starting out, there's no reason to stop working but having that nest egg earlier certainly brings freedom and has its advantages. Leaving a legacy to my kids was not my primary goal but is certainly something that brings me joy, knowing I can do that AND spend like Steve, when I'm ready to! I am motivated to teach others the benefits of low-cost investing, no doubt about it, and it excites me. I am in no way discouraging that as a lost cause, quite the opposite. I am 56 now and like everyone here, my future plans are shaped by my experiences. I have a 64-year-old husband and we have great adventures planned on a larger scale than what we have always enjoyed, frugally of course. I am just about fully recovered after being hit by a car in Sept. while doing something that brings me immense joy- biking. This inevitably steered me towards shifting my definition of wealth, enough and time. Happily, I am back on my (new) bike and happy (!) to have a sore butt from riding 35-40 miles a day on a bike path as I prepare for a 400 mile week long bike trip in Yellowstone next month. Sorry I went so far off topic. I am very much looking forward to meeting you, Steve, at Camp FI and your GF too. To be around like-minded people online and in person is a joy, one that I value.
  15. MoeMoney

    Permitted Rollovers to 457

    You're right Tony. I was implying that a 457 and an IRA should NOT be rolled into a 403b. A sales rep will want you to "make things simpler" by rolling any IRA's into their 403b.