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  1. 403b Questions/Options

    I use Security Benefit's NEA DirectInvest and I documented the plan here. I documented exactly how I enrolled in the plan here. I'm an enthusiastic support of NEA DirectInvest and I couldn't be happier with it. However, it is worth acknowledging that Security Benefit is an unethical company and through a mixture of incompetence and shadiness they won't help you too much in setting up the account...it is largely on you to fill out the correct paperwork. Aspire is costing you an extra 0.15% per year plus an extra $5-$40 annual fee depending on your balance. Only you can determine if the headache of switching is worth the savings.
  2. There is a fundamental truth to this article; switching from saving to spending can be difficult. However, I believe some people are just hard wired to save; it's just who they are. I suspect they'll have a much more difficult time of it because spending just isn't in their personality. However, if you're saving because it is a necessary behavior to achieve your goal of financial independence then I think you'll have an easier time transitioning. When the goal changes it is easier for a goal-oriented person to change their behavior accordingly.
  3. I enjoyed the article, but I wanted to offer a slightly contrarian view. Perhaps millennials are more likely to reject consumerism and materialism in favor of enjoying their time on earth, but we should realize that this is still an extremely fringe view, even among young people. I'm told my field, software engineering, is particularly fertile grounds for FIRE and anecdotally I can tell you that those of us pushing for financial independence are still very much in the minority. I really only know 1 person who is seriously working towards that goal and a few who are toying with the idea without taking significant steps towards it yet. ...I also wonder if the rejection of consumerism/materialism will subside as we further distance ourselves from the financially brutal decade that was the 2000s.
  4. 403(b) Choices

    You’ll want to get the full list of vendors for both the 403b plans and the 457b plans. If you don’t know the difference, ask and we can explain. I strongly agree with everybody else. Those fees are way too high and the “advisor” is acting in their best interest, which is in direct conflict with your interests. We can get you pointed in the right direction when you have the complete list of available vendors.
  5. 403b Investment Advice

    ...for added emphasis.
  6. 403b Investment Advice

    I disagree with this recommendation. You can build the same fantastic portfolio but with cheaper expenses if you convince the TPA to add Fidelity, Vanguard, or SecurityBenefit (presuming they give you access to NEA DirectInvest). If you had to settle for Aspire (who is in the next tier of vendors) then you still won, but I wouldn't target them from the beginning. Aim higher.
  7. 403b Investment Advice

    I second everything Krow is saying. Without doing the math myself or fully knowing your personal details, my gut tells me the 0.8% fee is going to make it a close call. FYI, I believe Lincoln offers a low cost, self-directed plan in certain areas of the country.
  8. He Retired After Working Just Five Years

    I’m glad you posted it because I enjoyed the read, but I think it is dangerous to give anybody the idea that it is anything but wreckless to plan retirement on that budget. I’m all about minimalism, but that is a formula for disaster. I won’t deconstruct it line by line, but just ask a few seniors with Medicare what they spend on premiums, meds, doctor visits, etc.
  9. Carrots and Sticks

    I’ve dreamt of financial freedom since my first job at 15. How sweet it’ll be.
  10. Potential crash?

    That reminded me of a poster who declared they were shorting the entire S&P 500. Want some more excitement in your life?
  11. Potential crash?

    Looks like we're down close to 10% since the January peak. I'm enjoying the crash/trade war discussions that are breaking now :)
  12. Q1 YTD Return

    I think we may be mixing terms, specifically Roth/Traditional with account types (IRA, 457b, 403b, etc). I would have assumed that with a teacher's salary you would have been eligible for a Traditional IRA. For instance, the 2018 tax code says that a couple filing jointly (who has access to a retirement plan at work) can only claim a partial deduction from a Traditional IRA if their Modified Adjusted Gross Income is greater than 101k, but if it exceeds 121k then they can't claim the deduction at all. I'm guessing most teachers don't have to worry about hitting either limit. Yup, as it must be...I'm guessing you meant Roth IRA. Same could be said for a Traditional IRA though. I'm guessing you meant making a Roth 457b available? I wouldn't have a strong opinion either way, but I would have a strong opinion about guaranteeing a Traditional option is available.
  13. Q1 YTD Return

    My IRA is a Roth. I am not eligible for a Traditional IRA. My 401k is a Traditional by choice.
  14. Q1 YTD Return

    I don't know how well I can explain it but this is the mathematical explanation: Roth Value = $1 earned * (1 - Your Highest Tax Bracket) * (1 + Growth Rate) ^ (years invested) Traditional Value = $1 earned * (1 + Growth Rate) ^ (years invested) * (1 - Your Effective Tax Rate in Retirement) So the thing to note about those equations is that the only difference is the tax component. If you're in the 24% tax bracket then a Roth results in paying 24% tax on every dollar you invest. However, with a Traditional the first Y dollars you pull out in retirement are taxed at 0%, the next Z dollars at 10%, and so on and so forth. So even if you're in the 24% tax bracket in retirement, your effective tax rate will be well below 24%, making the Traditional a superior investment due to lower taxes. Of course all of this assumes the tax code won't change because we can't predict how it'll change.
  15. Q1 YTD Return

    I was speaking with a veteran and however they were compensated they basically didn't have to pay taxes. So they were able to take that income and put it into a Roth (I think TSP and IRA). Talk about tax savings. In the general case I like traditional accounts because I'd rather fill up the lower tax brackets in retirement than pay exclusively at my highest tax bracket to invest in a Roth. If I expected to be in a higher tax bracket in retirement then I'd try to put enough into a traditional to fill up those lower brackets in retirement and then put the rest in a Roth to pull from in the higher brackets. I think the optimization can get tricky so I tend to put my energy into saving/investing every dime.