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  3. Vanguard Total Stock Index up 27% YTD without a stumble along the way but : Vanguard’s chief economist and investment strategist warned in mid-November:Our near-term outlook for global equity markets remains guarded, and the chance of a large drawdown and other high-beta [more volatile] assets remains elevated and significantly higher than it would be in a normal market environment. (Marketwatch, 11/19/2019)High-quality fixed-income assets, he says, “remain a key diversifier.”
  4. This screen sh_t from the NYT shows that as we get to the bottom in mid-Dec, the 1 year return and the YTD return will be even higher than it is now. After the first Q of this year, the S&P 500 has had a gradual, rather bumpy increase.
  5. Yes, it is worth remembering that the strong gains this year are partly due to the fact that the market took a (relatively shallow) dive late last year. My portfolio was down 5% or so for calendar 2018.
  6. If the markets plunge, it has been expected but if it jumps again this month along with the PE ratio we are getting into bubble territory. Wait a minute, the markets did plunge a year ago only in December but they all bunched back quickly at the beginning of this year.
  7. Of course these returns could plunge (or jump) in the next month, but so far, that "wow!" rings true. My 75 stock/25 bonds and cds portfolio is up 17.4% through the end of November.
  8. 12.0% as of last Friday's close. First, a little history of my 70/30 portfolio. From 2009 through 2018 the returns ranged from -2% to 13.9%. In 2019, my boring portfolio is on track to break my 2009 record of 13.9%. Right now it is about 12.0%. Both stocks and bonds soared because according to some, the feds lowered interest rates which increased the value of my bonds and their returns. Also, from what I heard corporations are using both the tax cuts and the low-interest rate money to borrow and buy back their stocks, which would increase their stock value too. But there are many factors involved and to try and speculate what is going on is fruitless. All we can do is to diversify and create the stock-bond split according to your age and need for the money. Since we are teachers here, there are exceptions to this rule. For example, if both you and your spouse have huge pensions, heck, you can ignore this rule of thumb entirely because you don't need the money for retirement. Or if you have a high-risk tolerance and love the volatility, you can also ignore this rule of thumb. For me, I have better things to do that experience volatility and I need my investments for retirement. 2000 to 2002 the financial crisis was caused by the tech bubble. In 2008, the financial crisis was caused by the real estate bubble with so-called free money flooding the market. A similar situation may be happening now especially this last run of the interest rate cuts. We are not there yet, but I think we may be the beginning of another bubble. The S&P 500 PE ratio is about 23 right now. Back in the last 1990s, it was up to 32. It is one indicator of a bubble. We have experienced the longest bull market in history! I am old enough to remember 1974-1975, the energy and inflation crisis, the 1987 crash, the technology, and the real estate bubble, all of these crashes were n asty. During those wild days of the tech bubble, I made more money in my portfolio on many days than a year's worth of my teacher's salary! I vividly remember the thrill, excitement and the rush of those huge gains in my portfolio. What goes up must come down and then absolute dread with the tech bubble crash and dealing with cancer. In 2008, I had fixed the errors of the past and I sailed through the 2008 crash with only a loss of 11.8%. But in all cases, the markets recovered and grew, and luckily my cancer was treated successfully.
  9. In my situation, I retired early so I need my investments as my pension is only 49% of my salary, and its only from me. Neither my late hubby nor my current partner have pensions, only SS. This is not exactly what you asked but to increase your % saved, get those salary points to increase your income. In addition to all of the good points above, I got to the top of my salary scale within a few years by taking every district workshop available. Then, I continued to look for district opportunities to increase my salary. Even though I am not administrative material, I got my administrative credential. This credential helped me get a position that required an administrative credential with more pay and what I wanted to do (educational technology coach), but was not going down the route of school site principal. The National Board Certification is another that would greatly increase your salary.
  10. ! I agree with Ed , forget the percentages, save all you can. We were saving 50% of our income but early on much less than that but always more than 15% . We always upped the ante and never missed it.
  11. SS will still be there and the solutions to increase its solvency are so simple. Did you know wealthy people only pay SS tax on their first $132,900 of income? Complete solvency can be obtained by doing things like eliminating the absurdity of rich people paying a lower effective rate than regular folks and perhaps asking rich people to pay a higher effective rate like we do for federal income taxes. I hate the conventional “wisdom” that you should save % of your income. Often times is way too low and it gives people an excuse to not save as much as they can. You never know what life will throw at you, save as much as you can, reject materialism, and maximize your earning capability. How’s that for conventional wisdom?
  12. Jeb Whyme is right SS worry is overblown. It will still be there when you retire in some way or form. Didn't mean to create a false alarm by mentioning it as possibly insolvent but changes do occur. The other thing to consider is the inheritance factor and your health and projected longevity.
  13. My 2¢: I think that if your are deciding within a range of how much to save/invest for retirement, you should pick the higher number, or even push it a little further. Even 30% or more is not too much, if you can manage it without depriving yourself of a decent standard of living and an available emergency fund. Not only will the larger eventual nestegg allow for much more security and flexibility during retirement, getting used to living at a lower level of spending will make it easier to continue (or even increase) your "lifestyle" during your retirement years. You'll get the immediate benefit of lower income tax payments, too. I think the widespread fretting over Social Security is overdone: short of the US government collapsing, it is very unlikely to be slashed or go away. It could be eroded a bit, though: more SS income becoming taxable, for example. The slow rise of the "full retirement" age that has been going on for years is effectively a benefit cut, but not a draconian one. It is hard to imagine any scenario in which congress pulls the plug on Social Security benefits. Congress does have a tendency to put things off until the last possible moment; I expect at some point when it feels like a crisis they will enact some combination of tax increases and minor benefit cuts (probably by continuing to raise the eligibility age or cutting benefits to people with substantial income from other sources) to keep it stable for years to come. The NJ pension system, on the other hand, does have a reputation for being in trouble (I read an article listing it as the least-funded of all the state plans about a year ago) so I don't know how much you can count on there. I hope the NJ pols are able to build it back to solvency (which seems to be happening here in California, via higher contributions from all parties and a slightly less favorable pension promise for those hired after a certain year).
  14. Thank you both for the quick response. I teach in NJ so I pay into Social Security as well. But, like Tony mentioned, some say it’s not solvent. Our NJ pension is in rough shape too. To be safe it makes the most sense to save as much on my own as possible. Very helpful Krow and Tony. Thank you.
  15. Thanks, Steve, for reminding me that moving to a lower-cost area doesn't always mean a huge cultural dislocation. Palm Springs is a nice town! And LA is still within reach.
  16. Lots of good points Tony. I really like this Vanguard app that allows you to play around with a number of inputs that contribute to whether your saving rate is high enough. https://retirementplans.vanguard.com/VGApp/pe/pubeducation/calculators/RetirementIncomeCalc.jsf
  17. Jeb This is a personal decision. No one percentage fits all. With a pension IF you plan to hang around teaching to reach your full payout, that would be one factor to consider. If you are going to exit the teaching profession early and receive a reduced pension that also is a consideration. If your wife/partner works and will also have a pension plan or other saving plan and you think you guys will stay together, that is yet another factor. Personally, We are living comfortably on just our pensions. Wife is 9 years younger than me so she can't collect Social Security for a while. I can collect now but I haven't filed for it yet. I think the article I recently posted about not saving too much or too little offers some insight. It never hurts to save more than you think you will need since no-one can predict the future. They say SS is not solvent and some states have reduced benefits and or formulas for teacher pensions. So personally I would save that 15% if not more in a low cost 403b plan and see how the other things pan out. Medical expenses keep rising so you want to consider that too.
  18. I’ve heard people recommend contributing anywhere from 10 to 15% of your income towards retirement. Would you factor in what you contribute towards a pension in this percentage? So, if you were contributing 7% of your income towards pension and 8% towards a 403b, would that count as 15% of your income towards retirement? Or, would you consider pension contributions separately?
  19. Just to restate the obvious, there are actually two questions at play: What types of accounts can 403b accounts be rolled into? We all know you can roll 403b accounts over when employment is terminated, but are there loopholes associated with simultaneously having multiple employers or simultaneously running your own business? The answers for #1 are obtained very easily. I'm not sure about #2. My gut tells me that you have to terminate employment regardless of whether you're working another job or running your own business. Please report back if you find a definitive answer. I suspect the answer may depend on the plans the district negotiated with the vendors...but I also think those agreements are pretty uniform across the country.
  20. Your wife has a frozen account. I had one of those and since it was no longer available in my plan due to changes I had to leave it be until I retired. But luckily it was with Vanguard so I sort of had your problem in reverse. If its not a huge amount of money I would let it be and just move on to a better option. Maybe a new IRA or taxable account. Unless of course you wish to try and do what you mentioned above with a 401k. Do you have Security benefit? Or Aspire? on her list? You could go to Direct Invest or Self direct into Vanguard or Fidelity. if you do. I'd look into that. I can tell you Vanguard will be a challenge to add. Fidelity might be easier. I would keep up the pressure. Let us know what you accomplish as your information/situation could help others.
  21. My wife has a plan that she can no longer contribute to because the district dropped it. No annuity, just an S&P index mutual fund. Her fees are less than any of the district's current plans, but could be less with Vanguard or Fidelity. I'm trying to convince the benefits committee to change TPA's and add Fidelity and Vanguard. If I can't get them to change we will do that, but I am meeting resistance. Originally the TPA told me that she had to be 59 or terminate employment to transfer the funds out, but the more I look into it I think that is only to transfer to an IRA. I am wondering if setting up a self employed 401k while continuing to work for the district would be a loophole of sorts to move the account. I was wondering if anyone else here has done this. I found this on the IRS website. I'm going to look into it more tomorrow: https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/retirement-plans-faqs-regarding-403b-tax-sheltered-annuity-plans Plan-to-plan transfers between 403(b) plans are permitted if: the terms of the transferring and receiving plans allow these transfers; the transferred assets belong to a current or former employee of the receiving plan’s sponsor; the accumulated benefit after the exchange is at least the same as before the exchange; and any benefit restrictions of the transferring plan are maintained by the receiving plan.
  22. Do you have other 403b choices besides the one you want to escape? Do you have a 457b state plan? If you are in an annuity, I believe transferring it to something different won't stop the insurance company from still socking you with surrender fees.Have you considered an IRA as an option, Saving in taxable accounts? Please supply more in-depth information on your situation. I think i remember you posting before but don't remember your post's content
  23. Chris I'm probably of no help with this but maybe you should investigate this topic on investopedia or the IRS website for details. As you know these things can get complicated and none of us know the current facts completely and exactly. Plus this is an unusual question we don't usually get. I'm sure you would want to investigate this yourself instead of relying on a forum. Still see if this helps any: https://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/roll-into-403b.asp The IRS says that you can roll a 403(b) plan into a 401(k) plan if you now work for an employer that offers a 401(k). You can also roll a 403(b) plan into a solo or independent 401(k) plan if you are self-employed. However, if you work for an employer that does not offer a 401(k) plan, then you cannot roll a 403(b) plan into any type of 401(k) plan. If your employer offers a SEP plan or 457 plan, then you can roll a 403(b) plan into one of those.
  24. If a teacher is still employed with their district and has a 403B with high fees can they create a self employed 401k and have the funds transferred? Likewise, if they worked for their district and also part time for another employer that offered a 401K could they transfer the funds from the 403b to the 401k? I'm looking for a way a teacher can get out of their district plan without penalties or waiting to turn 59 years old.
  25. Yes, I moved with my late hubby back in 2008 when I retired. We moved from Los Angeles to the desert where the standard of living is a little lower, but especially housing. The house I live in now would cost several million just about anywhere in Los Angeles.
  26. No doubt about it, some states are more affordable than others, and some countries (e.g. Thailand or Panama) are more affordable than anyplace in the US. But I'd like to know what percentage of people actually relocate in retirement, I'll bet it is small. I live in one of the highest cost areas (Los Angeles), but I do not expect to move. It's home (plus I greatly value the city's amenities: museums, concerts and such). Anybody here who has moved or is planning to move in order to make your dollars go further?
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