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Tom F

Nationwide are they on my side?

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Through my wife's school we have Nationwide through a third party.  We currently max out our ROTHS and go beyond the match on our 403B.  My employer has a slightly better plan.  We are considering putting extra money into mine instead of her plan.  I thought I would see what everyone thought about the Nationwide offerings first.  

Fund Name Net Expense Ratio AMC/Net Asset Fee Total Fee
PIMCO AllAsst AllAthrity A  2.74% 0.35% 3.09%
GdmnScs SmCap Val A  1.34% 0.35% 1.69%
TRowePR Mdcap Gr R 1.27% 0.35% 1.62%
Okmrk Intl II  1.22% 0.35% 1.57%
Loomis Bd Admn  1.16% 0.35% 1.51%
Okmrk Fd II  1.14% 0.35% 1.49%
Cariln Eagle SmCap Gr A  1.08% 0.35% 1.43%
Harbor Cap App Inv  1.03% 0.35% 1.38%
FidAdv Free 2040 A  1.00% 0.35% 1.35%
FidAdv Free 2045 A  1.00% 0.35% 1.35%
FidAdv Free 2050 A  1.00% 0.35% 1.35%
FidAdv Free 2055 A  1.00% 0.35% 1.35%
FidAdv Free 2035 A  0.99% 0.35% 1.34%
FidAdv Free 2030 A  0.95% 0.35% 1.30%
FidAdv Free 2025 A  0.91% 0.35% 1.26%
AmFds EuroPacfc Gr R6  0.49% 0.75% 1.24%
FidAdv Free 2020 A  0.86% 0.35% 1.21%
MetWest Ttl Rtn Bd I  0.45% 0.75% 1.20%
FidAdv Free 2015 A  0.82% 0.35% 1.17%
FidAdv Free Inc A  0.72% 0.35% 1.07%
BlkRk Low Dur Bd Inv A  0.66% 0.35% 1.01%
Vngrd MdCap Val Indx Adml  0.07% 0.75% 0.82%
NW Gov Mny Mkt R6  0.44% 0.35% 0.79%

  

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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. 

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Afraid we are not on the 457 list.  We are both public schools.  School along with union picks a single provider.  I am with Lincoln and she is with Nationwide.  As you can see with the list.  She does have a single Vanguard option, but they hit it with a big add on fee to knock down the savings.  

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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?

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yes, I caught that mistake as well.

I have Lincoln Financial.  My understanding is that I am not investing in any annuities.  I have a variety of funds, 5 of them are index from Vanguard and DFA.  Lincoln hits us with an annual custodial fee of about .35% otherwise all the funds I am looking at are very low in fees.  

 

  

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I have a Nationwide-only 457 as well; I put a bit of "overflow" retirement money in there, once my Fidelity 403b is maxed out. Nationwide isn't good, but in my case there are some more fund options through the "Nationwide fund window," including funds from Vanguard and Dimensional Fund Advisors.  Nationwide gets their add-on costs included in every case, and sometimes it is hard to even determine what the costs are.  If this is a 403b account, I'd look carefully at your 457 options or vice versa. You should also see whether you can invest in a traditional IRA (there are some income restrictions, assuming you are in another retirement plan) at Vanguard or another low-cost provider.  I've made my peace with the cost/benefit calculation of a little extra deferred savings for a relatively short holding period (I expect to retire within five years) in Nationwide, but I'd hate to think Nationwide is your primary option for the long term.  If that's true, and you have decades ahead, you may want to become an activist in getting that changed.

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5 hours ago, Tom F said:

I have Lincoln Financial.  My understanding is that I am not investing in any annuities.  I have a variety of funds, 5 of them are index from Vanguard and DFA.  Lincoln hits us with an annual custodial fee of about .35% otherwise all the funds I am looking at are very low in fees.  

 

  

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.

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