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  2. Welcome to the forum, Billy! I agree with Ed and Tony! Aspire is an excellent vendor for you and a good place to move your Ameriprise 403b balance. The NY state 457 plan is very low-cost (lower than Aspire) and a good place to put your further contributions.
  3. tony

    403b Inquiry

    Oh what horrible memories I have with Ameriprise. They are horrible based on my experiences. Do yourself a favor and jump over to Aspire, self direct the account into Vanguard or Fidelity Index funds and don't look back. If you have an annuity than you probably have a surrender charge . Pay it and move on with your transfer. Call Aspire , they will help you self direct/transfer the account into the funds of your choice. Don't be roped in to using an advisor because it will cost you more than the advice is worth. A 3 fund index portfolio or Vanguard target fund would be a good option .
  4. Aspire is likely the best 403b you listed (unless your district somehow negotiated a special plan with the other vendors). I documented their plan here. It is one tier below the best plans out there (Vanguard, Fidelity, etc.), but still very much worth using. What are your 457b options? New York has a great state sponsored 457b that you can learn about by searching the form. It is better than Aspire. I also wrote an Investing 101 page here if you want to read up on the basics.
  5. Yesterday
  6. Good Evening, I am a teacher in New York and my school district has 12 options for the 403b. I am currently working with AMERIPRISE but wondering if there might be a better option. Additionally, I am 30 years old, so just starting my investment career. Any information is greatly appreciated. Here are the 403b options available to me... Aspire, Ameriprise, AXA, Faculty, Foresters, MetLife, MetLife FC, Oppenheimer, RiverSource, The Legend, VALIC, Voya Thanks Billy
  7. I prefer to avoid qualitative terms and I don't want to diminish the impact asset allocation will have on your final balance. So to be clear, if you began in 1987 and made regular annual contributions then a 100/0 portfolio will be 62% larger than a 50/50 portfolio. I don't say that to diminish the importance of maximizing contributions, but asset allocation is critical.
  8. Ed and MNgopher, I don't know about you MNGopher, but I wish I were young enough to see how all of this plays out with the FI and FIRE movement. It will be interesting of the unintended consequences of retiring with a million or 1.5 million without a pension or full SS, yet living for up to 60 more years without an income! Its the longevity that is uncharted. Wall Street has data going back 100 years but the future is unknown. So its the only part of the equation that has to be trusted. Do we trust that the stock market and the world economies will continue to grow? If we cannot trust that, what is the use of investing? Illness is another factor. Capitalism is great for a healthy, literate, and sound mind but a chronic illness of any type takes it all away in a minute. Also after watching the documentary Playing with FIRE, the bigger transitions from Scott and Taylor in the were not the transition from employment to living without an income, it was the withdrawal systems of transitioning to frugal living. Initially, Taylor did not want to give up her Mercedes Benz, but that's just a small part. It was tough for them, but they did it. I wonder how many people will give up on living in frugality and retire in their 50s instead. But you folks are extremely smart and talented and you have got all of these known risks covered. I am most proud of the anti-materialism and anti-consumerism throughout the materials and books that I have read from your gurus.
  9. https://www.portfoliovisualizer.com/backtest-asset-class-allocation ^ that's a fun tool. You can use it for contributions or withdrawals, but keep in mind that it's lookin' in the rearview mirror, so don't depend on it too much for making projections into the future. Allocation is kind of like spending in a way. Where it's going isn't really as important as how much is going there. Increasing regular contributions will have a greater impact on your final balance than choosing between 100/0, 80/20, 70/30, 60/40, 50/50, etc... index funds aren't going to make you look like an investment whiz overnight or even over a decade, but saving as much money as you can into those low cost investments will make things look better.
  10. Exactly right and an aggressive asset allocation and a conservative withdrawal rate are great defenses against this "risk". In my view, that's the number one risk we should all be concerned with. We should only be afraid of volatility in so far as we believe our emotions will trigger us to sell low and buy high and thus maximize the risk of running out of money! Yup. The graph posted earlier was based on historical data and therefore sequence of risk is averaged in. Being that Feb 19th 2020 represented a long bull market peak, your actual odds of success were lower than the graph states. Similarly if you were to retire at the bottom of a bear market, your odds would be higher than the graph states. Not that long ago I was thinking about retiring way more seriously/sooner than I currently am. One of the biggest reasons I didn't do it was for this very reason. In fact, when I do eventually "retire" there is a good chance it'll take me some time to really flesh out my retirement lifestyle and during that transition I may pick up part time work until my personal pursuits no longer leave room for work. This'll help guard against sequence of return risk. My other safeguard against sequence of returns risk is to modify my lifestyle (at least temporarily). Unlike "lean-fire" people, I plan to leave room for that and I hope to never need it. That is a very valuable pension!
  11. With a 3% withdrawal rate it seems like any portfolio will have pretty close to a 100% chance of success with anything more than half stocks, even for a 60 year retirement. It's interesting that you have a very aggressive asset allocation, yet you have a very conservative withdrawal rate. There is nothing wrong with that, since you know yourself and your risk tolerance. Your fears/concerns aren't volatility, because you know you aren't going to succumb to behavioral errors like panic selling. Your concerns, I would assume, are more longevity and maybe inflation. I think that this ties back to many people's responses to Tricia's original question; that your risk tolerance is a very personal decision based on a compromise of your own need, ability, and willingness to take risk. My biggest concern with your plan, Ed, would be sequence of return risk. I'm sure you have researched this and taken it in to consideration. If someone achieves FIRE status at a young age and pulls the trigger, the first 5-10 years of retirement becomes very important. A long bear market or a sharp drop with a stagnant recovery can put a FIRE plan at risk because you would be forced to sell depreciated stock for (possibly) many years, thus reducing the odds of success. On the other hand if the decade after you retire has above average returns, you will likely do very well, and could even increase your withdrawal rate and still not outlive your portfolio. Personally I'm at about 70/30 (65/35 if you count emergency and new vehicle fund as part of portfolio), with 2-3 years until retirement. I plan to stay somewhere between 60/40 and 50/50 in retirement. Full disclosure: my pension will keep me housed, fed, and the utilities on, so I am investing for the "wants" more than the needs. I plan to use some type of "variable withdrawal rate", starting at 4% but will adjust based on the economy.
  12. Tricia has the right approach. These discussions can get too technical at times with no proof of outcomes. I do think people's attitudes about risk does change as you get older. While you are building your portfolio most younger people optimistically want a lights out 100% stock portfolio. I did. But after experiencing some setbacks and with the realization that money is hard to save and to grow and easy to lose ( if you don't know what you are doing)your perspective does change a bit. That's why target funds made up of index funds at low cost are an ideal choice for most people. No one approach is going to be right for everybody however.
  13. Thanks for reading my book! In the appendix, with Vanguard's permission, I published Vanguard's Model Portfolios. Since my late 50s, I used the 30/70 AA which I explained in detail the reasons on pages 80 and 81. Your current 75/25 is fine for your time horizon and you made it through (so far) this latest decline without losing sleep or worse yet panicking and getting out. You graduated! You have great risk tolerance. Congrats. I thought I had it back in the day with the tech bubble crash which lasted over two years and i was younger but what I had was not risk tolerance but overconfidence. That's just as deadly. Bill Bernstein wrote about if you won the game why continue playing. That was just one of the major mistakes I made. You asked about increasing your fixed account allocation as you age. That depends on how much you need the money when you retire. Some people can live comfortably with their pension and other sources of income (side gigs etc) and if that's the case, heck go 100% stocks and let your descendants benefit. But if you need the money, like I do, take the conservative approach.
  14. Hi, Steve. Sorry, but I accidentally skipped over your earlier post and only read it now! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Very sound advice for sure. Thank you! I think I am leaning toward adjusting my AA to be more conservative with age. I don't think I could stomach the volatility as I get closer to retirement (planned at age 62). I will be leaving my investments as they are right now, and plot out future adjustments based on resources you, Krow & Scott have mentioned (Boglehead and Vanguard). Although, I do find Ed's approach intriguing and way cool! I wish I had similar acuity with numbers and financial scenarios. Definitely will take some more study and reflection on my part 🙂 On the side, I did purchase your Late Bloomer book some time last year, but have yet to make time to finish reading it (..a bad habit of mine with any book I pick up 😞 ).
  15. I’m planning on using a 3% withdrawal rate. According to that chart, after a 60 year retirement my portfolio’s inflation adjusted value will be greater than or equal to the value it had on day one of retirement. As far as the final asset value, I’m not quite sure. I’ve priced out several different lifestyles that require a net worth ranging from 1 million to 1.5 million. Right now I’m at 1.15, but at the moment my energy is focused elsewhere so I’m not rushing to retirement. Maybe I’ll wake up next week and pull the trigger, maybe I’ll wake up two years from now and hit the 1.5 maximum, or maybe I’ll decide I want a slightly more expensive lifestyle (unlikely). So who knows, but I’ll definitely choose a lifestyle that doesn’t require me to exceed 3%.
  16. Tricia You asked about an AA with age. What are your thoughts so far? Steve
  17. What final asset value are you targeting? What are you planning for a withdrawal rate?
  18. Last week
  19. Absolutely. In the context of retirement, the "risk" that I'm afraid of isn't volatility, it's the likelihood of running out of money. I like to use this chart (also shown below) from from the early retirement now blog as a rough approximation of that "risk". Please feel free to critique or poke holes in my logic!
  20. @EdLaFave Do you plan on staying 100% stock in retirement while you're drawing down?
  21. This is maybe a bit philosophical/semantic, but in this context I prefer to use the word volatility rather than risk. In my mind at least risk has a connotation of irreparable loss that you might suffer from investing in a single stock whereas volatility has a connotation of large/temporary market swings you expect from a total market index fund. It’s hard to tell how close it is to 1%, let’s call it 0.8%. I personally view this the same way I view fees and a 0.8% fee is huge! Of course it is easy for me to say that because I don’t mind volatility.
  22. Yes, 100% stock had better performance than 70%, but it was less than 1% better (for this particular time period), while taking on considerably more risk. I am also in a higher allocation of stocks than is typically recommended for my age. The thing I don't like about 100% though, is it's tough to rebalance during sharp downturns like we've had this year. During Bull markets rebalancing is a preservation/safety move, but during Bear markets rebalancing from bonds to stocks can improve performance.
  23. I found that main takeaway to be very counterintuitive. It’s interesting that a 0% stock portfolio is actually more volatile and lower performing than a portfolio with somewhere around 25% stocks. However the other extreme, 100% stocks, still meets my expectations for being the highest performing.
  24. Wow. Thanks, MNGopher. That is what I am learning--it is a very personal decision. The resources and discussion all help me to formulate one that I can feel confident about. Thank you!
  25. The Efficient Frontier graph can be helpful when trying to balance risk vs. reward. The -axis is expected return (although it seems too high) and the Y axis is volatility/risk. For most people the sweet spot is in the 60-70 stock zone where you get the most return for the risk level. The main takeaway for me is that anything more than about 75% bonds actually increases risk while reducing return, and as you approach 100% stock, risk increases considerably more than return. As others have said it is ultimately a very personal decision based on a great number of factors.
  26. Update. The portfolio is now down about 2.0% YTD at the closing of markets last Friday, May 22. From the highs of my portfolio in the middle of February to the lows of March, my portfolio was down about 12%. My thoughts. For most people market crashes are memorable but what's not so memorable is watching the markets recover. Buy and hold and long-term investors are able to just observe this fascinating stock and bond world. Passive investors participate by going along with the ride with all that is going on with thousands of corporations around the world with millions of hard-working employees, all of that energy is at our fingertips. Wow! Sorry but I get a little emotional about this! But this has little to do with me, its how my portfolio was constructed to go along with the flow, up over the last 11 years, down for a while and now up. Fascinating!
  27. Earlier
  28. Thank you Tony and EdLaFave for your responses! I will read more into direct invest.
  29. Tricia, I like VG and Bogleheads philosophy also. Both have done great things for over 20 years (Bogleheads) to help us ordinary folks get a s at Wall Street using Vanguard index funds: Reasonable returns with reasonable risk with rock bottom costs and core asset classes. Nothing fancy, just plain and ordinary investing in the broadest and most diversified stock and bond market indices around the world. How cool is that! I have saved so much in fees it has paid for a lot of good stuff in my retirement life. I used that model portfolio allocations years ago to set up my stock-bond split that is suitable for my willingness to take equity risk and the need for the $$ for retirement. There are a number of Bogleheads who take 100% stock allocation for years and are perfectly happy with the volatility.
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