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  1. Ed is right and that's a mighty quote that says it all. Please persist in getting V and F added. BUT it's imperative that we get away from insurance sold products because they are highly predatory in nature. So Aspire can get you there at a little more cost if you self direct because if you can't get V or Fidelity directly the alternative decent alternatives are few and far between. Aspire and NEA direct invest are some of the few and far between. I believe the better choices are sometimes quietly blackballed because they eliminates adequate profits for middlemen and salemen. There is also the mentality among educator administrators that teachers need handholding and this justifies the extra fees. But I don't think administrators know enough to understand the full impact of that mentality. Teachers need to get a whole lot smarter as a whole about financial 403b-457b choices and pursue change.
  2. This seems to have some good low cost choices. I would consider the target funds even they are not associated with Vanguard or Fidelity. The fees are very low and seem well diversified
  3. Funny. i happen to be in Charleston right now-just visiting as I am from Virginia.. I went to their webpage and this is all I could pull up: These deferred plans allow you to exclude from your taxable income a portion of your salary through pre-tax salary reduction. Deferred Compensation - offers two plans designed to supplement your retirement. 401(k) and 457 Tax 403(b) Deferred Plans - We offer several voluntary provider companies, each with diversity investment options for you to select. I did a few searches but could not come up with much. I would call them and have them e-mail you the vendor list. If you have Vanguard, Spouse should get out of the annuity and go with Vanguard. It's a no brainer. Sounds like she was sold a high fee product she may not need . No worries, it can all be corrected and fixed. Please once you get your vendor list post it here and we can help you/her further. I wouldn't be asking any advisor too many questions about Vanguard -like choices because they are in the commission business and would likely rather keep spouse in a product that would benefit them instead of her. They may steer her in another wrong direction. Interesting that they offer a 401 k. I would be interested to see how it works within the school system because it's rare to find school systems that offer it. update :Your target funds in your 457 seem like a go : https://southcarolinadcp.empower-retirement.com/participant/#/articles/SouthCarolina/investmentInformation
  4. If changes were to finally occur would this be across the board or state by state specific? California and New York seem much more progressive than many states.
  5. It certainly would be great but keep in mind many people love their annuity product (variable and fixed)because of the supposed guaranteed income even though they have no clue how much they are overpaying for it so eliminating them is not going to happen. But teachers don't even really need annuities at all since most teachers have defined state pension plans. They are complex and not easy to understand. I still don't understand them. It will be very difficult to prove that the salesman misrepresented the product to teachers on a person to person basis even though we know they do. Annuities are complex investments that often include a significant amount of fine print. When you sign the documents you pretty much waive your legal rights to a certain degree but you can always stop contributing. (No fiduciary responsibly on the 403b's salesman's part is required). I never even read the 5 pages of docs my annuity salesman put in front of me and I felt somewhat hurried to sign the document quickly in my early years of teaching.The only way to stop these sales IMHO is to warn teachers and administrators, educate them on the fine print, and hope teachers will be savvy enough to avoid them. BUT WHO DOES THAT? EXCEPT US? Districts can refuse to let these salespeople on school ground and that would help but most don't. Despite class action suits here and there, annuities remain a trillion dollar business and with that much money involved the insurance companies will find a way around any regulations. and even price in the legal costs of being sued. I doubt the SEC will do much to prohibit their sale to teachers but fee restrictions would be a start. But hey what do I know, anything is possible.
  6. Don't be part of that 45.5%. Don't Worry Be Happy FYI: In a survey released Wednesday, GoBankingRates.com, an educational and financial information resource for consumers, found that 45.5% of the 2,003 adults of all ages who were polled said they have nothing saved for retirement. https://www.gobankingrates.com/retirement/planning/why-americans-will-retire-broke/
  7. The Securities and Exchange Commission has sent letters to companies that administer retirement plans for teachers and other government workers, opening a probe of practices in a market that consumer advocates contend is subject to abuse. The regulator “is conducting an investigation” to determine “if violations of the federal securities laws have occurred,” said an SEC document The Wall Street Journal reviewed. Earlier this year, Jay Clayton, the chairman of the SEC, expressed concern about the prevalence of high-cost investment products in schoolteachers’ retirement accounts, said Michael Pieciak, commissioner of financial regulation for Vermont. The agency is seeking details on how administrators—which often serve crucial roles in selecting investments for 403(b) and 457 retirement plans for employees including teachers and government workers—choose investment options and police themselves when conflicts of interest arise. The agency also is requesting documents pertaining to any compensation the administrators have received since Jan. 1, 2017 for referring investors to specific investment options or companies. It is unclear what triggered the investigation or how many 403(b) and 457 plan administrators have received similar letters. The SEC didn’t immediately provide a comment. The agency, which characterized the investigation as “a non-public, fact-finding inquiry,” has the authority to issue fines or even revoke licenses to sell the products it regulates, including mutual funds and variable annuities which are staples of these plans. Sponsored by state and local governments, 403(b) and 457 plans are a variation of the better-known 401(k) programs in the private sector. As with 401(k) plans, 403(b)s allow workers to contribute up to $19,000 a year, or $25,000 for those 50 or older, to tax-advantaged investment accounts. While state laws generally require government entities to manage their 403(b) and 457 retirement plans in employees’ best interests, they aren’t governed by the federal pension laws that privately sponsored 401(k) and 403(b) plans must adhere to. The enforcement and penalties for violations aren’t as stringent as with these federally regulated plans, said Bob Toth, an attorney in Fort Wayne, Ind., specializing in employee-benefits law. Mr. Toth said that while “the SEC typically reviews broker dealers to make sure they are doing their job right and in accordance with regulations,” it is unusual for the agency to focus on 403(b) and 457 plans. He added that many administrators of 403(b) and 457 plans fall under the SEC’s purview if they are also registered as broker-dealers or registered investment advisers, which the agency regulates. The SEC also oversees individual registered representatives of such companies, some of whom also work for 403(b) and 457 plan administrators which aren’t otherwise under the SEC’s purview. The 403(b) plans held about $1 trillion in assets in 2017, the most recent year for which figures are available, according to sources including the Investment Company Institute, the mutual-fund industry trade group. In its probe, the SEC also requests “information and documents” pertaining to how administrators provide investment counseling to investors. It asks for explanations of any gifts administrators have received from companies that sell investments. The agency also is seeking organizational charts that show companies that own or have ties or partnership with 403(b) or 457 plan administrators. News of the SEC investigation comes after New York state’s financial-services watchdog last week opened a probe of insurance-industry practices in the 403(b) market. The New York Department of Financial Services has demanded that a dozen major life insurers detail how they market retirement-income products to teachers, in a bid to assess whether insurers or their agents are taking advantage of teachers in selling potentially high-cost and inappropriate retirement-savings investments. Mr. Pieciak said the SEC’s San Francisco office has been scrutinizing accounts and the investment options available to teachers. He said 403(b) plans are on the radar for other state securities regulators as well. Write to Anne Tergesen at anne.tergesen@wsj.com and Gretchen Morgenson at gretchen.morgenson@wsj.com Copyright ©2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8 WSJ opens select articles to reader conversation to promote thoughtful dialogue. See the 'Join the Conversation' area below for stories open to conversation. For more information, please reference our community guidelines. 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  8. Ed Again you are being unrealistic and its annoying. Your fee mantra gets old. If Vanguard and Fidelity were easy to add then certainly that is all we would recommend.We are trying to break away from insurance products LOL any way we can. But Aspire is a reasonable choice in comparison to other choices these folks have. .By telling folks not to add Aspire you are discouraging them from a choice they may be able to add and that would be to their benefit and that adds reasonable cost/benefit . You are also contradicting our advice in a negative way. Maybe I misunderstand your posts . but it seems to me are doing more damage than helping . In fact you are causing confusion. Please try and see the bigger picture in your responses. Try and be more holistic in your responses. Just my two cents and I will not respond further.
  9. S Benedict, welcome!! This topic has been discussed and answered in other recent posts. Take a look and you may answer your own question . Look at the recent posts on this forum from King Cabrera, DJenkins, Nashman 50, and Sara. In a nutshell Aspire SELF DIRECTand Security Benefit Direct Invest are your only good choices. I notice you have American Fidelity but I don't think that is the same as the Fidelity Investments we like here so looks like Aspire and Security Benefit Direct Invest are your only choices BUT READ THROUGH THE POSTS FROM THE POSTERS ABOVE TO GET THE FULL PICTURE. Also read the Forbes article I posted on setting up a basic 3 fund index fund portfolio If that doesn't answer your questions let us know.
  10. https://www.forbes.com/sites/camilomaldonado/2019/10/07/formula-retirement-savings-is-broken/#7bfed07e4ceb The Trinity Study has become so well-known, that it has been adopted by hopeful retirees from all walks of life, including those hoping to retire early. The FIRE movement (Financial Independence, Retire Early) is a lifestyle movement with the goal of allowing individuals to retire as early and quickly as possible. However, one detail that the movement is getting wrong and completely missing, is the fact that the Trinity Study’s 4% rule of thumb was based on a 30 year retirement period.
  11. Good basic info here that spells it out!! https://www.forbes.com/advisor/investing/how-to-create-a-3-fund-portfolio/?utm_source=category&utm_medium=edit&utm_campaign=etfs
  12. this is a direct link to Security Benefit direct invest https://securitybenefit.com/individuals/product/nea-directinvest
  13. You have too many choices, mostly subpar or expensive and overall confusing. Stay away from most of your choices. I would start with these: You have Aspire. You can direct invest without an advisor into Vanguard. Its a decent choice. Read some other recent posts for more info how to self direct. You also have Security Benefit. You can sign up for NEA Direct Invest. Get the paperwork online. See the links below. its an even better choice in some ways if you want a basic simple portfolio but stay away from other products SB might offer. Stay away from advisors. They don't want you to know it exists. this info will help you immensely: https://educatorsfightingforfairness.wordpress.com/security-benefits-nea-directinvest/ https://educatorsfightingforfairness.wordpress.com/aspire/ So things look good for your 403b If you are not happy we can take a closer look at Voya or Lincoln Investing as alternatives
  14. Mine got borrowed over and over again by cheapskate teachers who would'nt buy their own copy but who ironically were all investing in high fee annuities. I never got my copy back. But in between all the borrows it looked like it went through hell a few times and maybe even through a washing machine once. I'm not sure yours is a collector's item because I think he signs all of them.
  15. You have Aspire. You can direct invest without an advisor into Vanguard. Its a decent choice. Read some other recent posts for more info how to self direct. You also have Security Benefit. You can sign up for NEA Direct Invest. Get the paperwork online. See the links below. its an even better choice in some ways if you want a basic simple portfolio but stay away from other products SB might offer. Stay away from advisors. They don't want you to know it exists. this info will help you immensely: https://educatorsfightingforfairness.wordpress.com/security-benefits-nea-directinvest/ https://educatorsfightingforfairness.wordpress.com/aspire/ So things look good for your 403b
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