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  1. Today
  2. Welcome, Paige. Do not be too hard on yourself. You didn't know what you didn't know. We are here to help. You have already received some good advice. I will echo Tony's comments and encourage you to see what other 403(b) choices you have. - Dan
  3. Yesterday
  4. MNgopher Lets hope she will return to get the helped she asked for. As is often the case with some posters ,they ask for help but never return. Sometimes they end up seeking that help from the very people that are screwing them in the first place.
  5. Yes, they are very good at hiding fees. Expense ratio (er), expressed as a percentage, is the main way to compare fees assessed on investments, but this is not the only fee with annuities. As Tony mentioned, if you list the other choices from your district's approved vendor list, then the people here can usually quickly tell you what the best option is.
  6. Don't blame yourself. I think its often intentional because the fees are usually high.
  7. Life insurance often isn't needed for a single person with no children. Some may say, "Buy it while you're young and healthy." The reality is that, if you don't need coverage, the money toward a life insurance premium could be better utilized by contributing to retirement savings or building an emergency fund. I know an ex teacher who went to work for an insurance company and sold a bunch of single teachers these type policies attached to an annuity. Most of these folks ended up dumping those accounts one they got smarter. Disability insurance is often offered by some school districts for free or reduced cost or through your union NEA dues. Mine was. Check to make sure if you don't already have it included as part of your retirement benefits package or through your NEA membership if you have a union membership. I don't know your situation so in general if you decide to buy life insurance i would go with term insurance (Term life insurance is the easiest to understand and has the lowest prices)and I would buy it independently of any investment annuity and not from an annuity salesman LOL!!. Disability insurance if you decide you must have it is also purchased separately and not as an add on product. Tony with a new school year insurance salespeople are in full force to sell teachers products that will give them fat commissions. Walk away.
  8. Paige I am so glad you found this website and discussion board. I wish more teachers would . Without getting into too much detail at this time could you find and list all other vendor choices( companies) your school system might offer in a 403b or 457b account. Sometimes they are posted on your district homepage or you may have to request the list from the person who oversees these accounts within your school or district. I would say at first glance we need to get you out of the contract you are in. Once we have your other choices available to you we can advise you better. Please don't be hard on yourself for not understanding investments. Its a common problem and all of us have made mistakes and have fallen prey to these fake advisors. I don't think you need to see a fee only advisor at your age. We here can set you right and I would save the fee only advisor when you are older and your finances are a bit more advanced and complicated. Right now your bst advice would be to save all you can in a low cost 403b plan. Hope to hear from you, we are anxious to help Tony
  9. She could literally be living a middle class lifestyle for the rest of her life, just in what she is paying in annuity fees! She probably would have been worth over two million without those fees as well. Think People!!
  10. Yes MNGopher thanks for adding that about SS. I believe the right annuity for the right person in certain circumstances might be an option. But for teachers it's just most logical to invest in low cost index funds outside an annuity. That doesn't stop the industry from selling them inappropriately to teachers. I am irritated that superintendents and school boards don't understand the ridiculousness of allowing these peddlers of steaming piles of BS to continue taking advantage of their employees.
  11. Thanks for the link. Not only is your teacher pension an annuity, but for all practical purposes so is Social Security. And teachers in all but about 15 states also pay into social security. There is really no reason to invest in an annuity during the accumulation phase of your life, and most certainly not if you have a pension and/or Social Security.
  12. The example in this article, "Frazzled Francine"" was paying $44,000 (4.4%) in fees on her 1 million dollar annuity every year! This is more than a standard safe withdrawal rate. She could literally be living a middle class lifestyle for the rest of her life, just in what she is paying in annuity fees!
  13. Hi everyone! My name is Paige. I'm a 25 (almost 26 in a week) year old teacher in Massachusetts. I am about to be entering my 4th year of teaching. I signed up for a 403b, and life and disability insurance all through mass mutual. I am ashamed to admit that it was all so confusing to me, but I knew it was something I needed. I signed up for it all going in kind of blind. Wanting to take more control of my finances, I found this podcast/website. I'm still very confused but have a feeling I do not have a good product. I'm thinking I'm going to need to sit down with a fee only financial advisor... but could someone please give me some insight? I'm on my online portal and it's still all so confusing!! Here are some screen ss that I took from my dashboard. I'm having a hard time finding the fees..... but it looks like my surrender is 9 years, which does not sound good! I found this through Mass Mutual, but don't fully understand. https://www.massmutual.com/efiles/ann/pdfs/an6102.pdf Any guide in the right direction, any insight, and any tips on what I should do next would be greatly appreciated. I also found this on my district's website that mentions and recommends the state’s Deferred Compensation or 457 Program. Also, any thoughts on whether or not I should keep the "whole life legacy" insurance and the disability insurance. Thank you everyone!
  14. Chocklita Did you receive monthly transaction notices? Did you and your employer both contribute to this 403b ?. I'm sorry but I am still struggling to understand your situation. The employer can stop a plan it offers going forward and they should have notified you of any changes going forward in writing. But the money that was in the account can't just disappear. It should be yours. You must have some paperwork/statements somewhere that shows the progress of this account over the years. Any year end statements? Also how much money do you think was in this account and how much actually was your earned money if any? Please try and fully explain your situation . For now on you need to save your documents and check them for accuracy every month in any new plan you may enroll in and file it. You can/should also check your accounts online. Tony
  15. Sorry for the long response time. I can't do anything until I receive a transaction history from Principal (carrier of the 403B), which takes weeks. Let me provide more details, I apologize now for using any incorrect terminology as this is not my field and I am learning. After 5 years working for my charter school in NYC you become "fully vested" (Yes, Ed, employer contribution), so I decided to check my retirement account at Principal. (Full disclosure, hadn't checked it in 5 years. (And side note I am paying dearly for my ignorance and many things I did not fully pay attention to and won't do again, lesson learned). Anyway, I just trusted this money was there, etc. So I was shocked to find out that there is/was 0.00 dollars in this account. I'm like, what the hell? So I call principal and they tell me that I was enrolled at 4% in Sept 2014 and my employer changed my contributions from 4% to 0% in Aug 2015. I was never notified, knew nothing about it and would guess that this is some clerical error from someone who had been doing their job a whole of 2 months. Bottom line, I'm thinking I have retirement contribution. And in traditional Charter school style turnover the people in HR now aren't the ones from 5 years ago. They are telling me that I never enrolled. Principal says otherwise and I've been waiting on this document for a minute. As of Sept 1 I will also no longer be an employee, so they aren't going to get an opportunity to make it right by allowing me on the 403B at this point. My questions: is this legal, is it worth pursuing? I know I'm out what I should have put in but I at the very least want to file a complaint (with who?) and the most maybe recover the 4% my employer should have been contributing to this account. What should I do now? Thanks for your help and advice!
  16. I was stunned. My family was watching a rerun of the “Teachers Tournament” on “Jeopardy!” I got excited because I knew the correct response to this question: “This proposed federal rule would have required all retirement planning advisers to act in their clients’ best interests.” But before I could get my answer out, my 21-year-old son shouted, “What is the fiduciary rule?” https://beta.washingtonpost.com/business/get-there/millennials--its-not-too-early-for-you-to-start-investing-now/2019/08/15/c76be55a-bf69-11e9-9b73-fd3c65ef8f9c_story.html?noredirect=on
  17. This might help you understand fees in annuities. Fees are more than you might think and often well hidden. https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidrae/2019/07/01/variable-annuity-fees/#28527fea7de2 As you read this keep in mind your teacher pension is in itself an annuity as is social security so it might not be wise to buy annuities and instead better to invest in low cost index funds outside an annuity.
  18. Here is a lengthy article on escaping annuities with examples. Please feel free to comment. Fairly comprehensive info. https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidrae/2019/07/25/what-is-the-best-way-to-escape-a-dreadful-annuity/#6159d9c932e2 As you read this keep in mind your teacher pension is in itself an annuity as is social security so it might not be wise to buy annuities and instead better to invest in low cost index funds outside an annuity.
  19. Last week
  20. There is still a Fishy Smell in the Teacher's Lounge AXA Got Invited to New Teacher Orientation for San Francisco Unified School District (scroll down to just left of Agenda). This is how one of our profiled teachers, Annie, got tangled up with AXA.
  21. Hi, I am new here, so I hope I am posting correctly. Mass Mutual was the only 457b option for my Oregon school district. I couldn't actually find accurate fees and expenses so I made an appointment drove 30 minutes to get them. Worth it. High fees and multiple fees Mass mutual hidden away. I am pushing my district to adopt low fee OGSP - Oregon Growth Saving plan. It seems like 457 fees associated with OSGP are much lower than the 457 fees with the current and only Woodburn 457 provider, Mass Mutual. ( there seem to be MANY Mass Mutual fees and expenses in the 30 page agreement. I was able to get a a summary from Wayne Muller which I have attached.) MASS Mutual - example Large Cap Am Century Ultra Invest Mgmt Fee 0.99% 12b-1 Fee 0 Other Expense .02 Total Annual Underlying F.O.E fee = 0.97% Mortality, Expense and Admin Charge= 1.25% fee to CUSO Wayne Muller .35% Total Fees and Charges 2.22% 1.98% to 2.65% a year for Mass Mutual 457 through Wayne Muller at Salem MAPs CUSO vs OSGP through Voya fees Total admin fee = 0.12% Investment fees Stock index 0.040%, to 0.53% total fees and charges OSGP = 0.16
  22. Teachers Retirement Plan “Upon hire, employees classified ET begin automatically contributing eight (8) percent (if hired on or after November 1, 1996) or seven (7) percent (if hired prior to November 1, 1996) of their salary on a biweekly basis into this retirement plan. . Employees who are not classified ET do not contribute to this plan. District of Columbia Teachers’ Retirement Plan Summary Plan Description (SPD).....In order to rollover or withdraw funds from this account, the employee must be separated from DC Government.” You do not control how this money is invested unless you separate from service. Through the 403b and 457, you may invest additional funds that you’re able to invest into various funds. Also, I wasn’t aware of a 5% contribution to a 457; this has not been my experience with DCPS.
  23. Yes, the 457 is great; there several low cost investment options.
  24. likepurplereign, Welcome to the board. It's my understanding that DCPS teachers have a pretty good 457(b).
  25. Purple Reign, Do you get a pension? Is the automatic 8% in 403 and 5% in 457 in place of a pension?
  26. Well, congratulations on your pay raise and new job! Once you identify the better option, can you direct all 13% of it there? Keep us posted and good luck.
  27. Earlier
  28. I'm a new DCPS employee and so glad I came across this thread - I'm coming from a non-profit (where I made less but...) that was all Vanguard, TIAA-CREF, and TROWE-Price so this selection is pretty depressing. The thing about DC is that 8% goes to a 403B pretty much automatically and another 5% goes to a 457 (unless you opt out). So, I have to figure out the least bad option for my 8%... It's forced savings basically.
  29. I have yet to see a California vendor list that doesn't include Pension 2.
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