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Everything posted by tony

  1. Over the past ten years or so your Vanguard target fund 2055 had an annual average return of 10.33% Actually the Fidelity 85 fund looks similar in allocation and had a ten year return of 9.50 %. These are the figures outside a retirement umbrella. With the additional fees the Fidelity fund would have performed lower. Vanguard would have been a little lower too because of Aspire fees but the fund itself only has a 0.15% expense ratio so your fund probably did better. I'd say you are doing well.
  2. Steve I'm glad you are back viewing and commenting on this board. Tony
  3. Check the Horace Mann fund prospectus booklet. By law they must state the total fees they charge for a certain fund. Read carefully. Then compare it to your Vanguard Fund. Did you use an advisor with Aspire? If you did than even with vanguard your fees may have been elevated. YOU MUST self direct your account into Vanguard to get the best fee and performance through ASPIRE and NOT use an advisor. As you can see its complicated:) If horace mann is charging 1.25% M and E fees and others and the underlying Fidelity 85 Fund fee is 1.04% ( checked) than she is paying over 2% a year or more. And she won't ever figure it out. Also Fidelity 85 also has a 5.8 % load upfront fee. She may or not be paying that.
  4. I can't comment exactly because I don't know everything about your portfolio or anyone else's. It's totally possible that a certain higher fee fund can outperform a lower fee/cost fund in the short term. You would have to know how they calculate a certain return.But do you realize your fund is made up of different funds including bonds? That it gets more conservative as you get closer to retirement? It's for your protection.The Fidelity fund is made up of up to 85% equity and some bonds too so yes the more stocks the better performance in good times but lower performance in a down market. The Target Fund depending on your year you selected has varying allocations. You have to compare apples to apples. Your friend will lose more if things go south. Probably much more. Plus you are in Index funds which out perform active funds over time and that is a FACT. The truth is many of these companies hide their fees because fees matter and hurt long term performance which you can't accurately access short term.I would not chase performance or compare your performance with others. Keep investing where you are and long term you will outperform the higher fee funds.It's complex and complicated on purpose to make things less clear. You need to trust Vanguard and avoid the comparisons. You are in a better place than your Horace Mann friend. Trust me we know what we say here. We don't just say it for the fun of it.
  5. Paige I want to commend you on your persistence and attitude on this issue. You truly are a special person. Years ago when I pushed teachers , many in your age group, to ask for changes in our 403b plans they didn't show much interest. Some teachers also reacted as if I was the Anti-Christ for going against insurance companies. Your stand up attitude will help not only yourself but others as well. Teachers deserve better choices.
  6. Paige Your system will have to add the state program to your choices. This will have to be done through minimal paperwork which your school system can do fairly easily. They can contact the state plan reps for guidance. I would convince your district that the state 457b its a much better low cost plan than what is currently offered and would offer an alternative to what is currently offered-annuities and higher expense ratio products and other fees which your system actually warns you about on their webpage!! Of course remind the powers that be not to consult with mass mutual on this because obviously it would take business away from them so they won't be supportive and may attempt to convince the system from adding it. You need to realize this. The 403b can be a dirty little business and you need to realize this too, that it's not about helping you, its about sales, profits, and commissions. They get the gold mine and the investors get the shaft. Getting your system to the 457b would be a good move because the 457b state plan will have more oversight and ethics AND MUCH LOWER FEES with no salivating salespeople in the middle of it all. Now your system may use the argument that the 457b might not offer Advisor assistance. Remind them that the plans have do it yourself plans that are managed internally making it easy not to use an advisor. Just push that you and others deserve alternatives to what is being currently offered.
  7. Paige I'm glad you are back. I'd see about getting the 457b plan on the district books and then we can help you pick the funds. I think you will need to convince your school system to add it. I would drop it and buy these policies independent of annuities or investments. Look into term insurance and check to see if you may already have liability insurance included in your employment package of benefits. Ask. Are you sure you even need life insurance? Do you have kids? are you married? Yes. Call Vanguard and they will tell you about the paperwork you will need to fill out. Expect to fill out paperwork with Mass mutual as well. If you get stumped we can help you . After the transfer (it can be a slow process sometimes so don't be discouraged)goes through we can help you pick an appropriate choice. I don't want you to be discouraged. You can do this.
  8. Paige We are waiting to hear back from you. Have you made any progress?
  9. Steve I am going to do what you did to me. Where in the hell have you been? I was worried about you. Tony
  10. No help needed. You've got Vanguard. Go Vanguard Index funds, target funds or life strategy funds.
  11. Don't be hard on yourself. We don't know what we don't know. Most of the posters here have made plenty of mistakes, me included. Our mistakes ,if we correct them make us wise. If you find out more please share it here to help others. You are probably not the only person going through this. You will have the opportunity to help others .
  12. Deb I'm sorry to here of your issues. Have you read this book? https://www.amazon.com/Heros-Penalty-Social-Security-Educators-ebook/dp/B07HRZ668S?SubscriptionId=AKIAILSHYYTFIVPWUY6Q&tag=duckduckgo-osx-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B07HRZ668S#customerReviews Maybe it will help.
  13. I've heard these said over and over again. Hopefully this opinion piece has it right. https://www.marketwatch.com/story/these-7-social-security-myths-just-arent-true-no-matter-how-often-you-hear-them-2019-08-27
  14. Is there a retirement “crisis,” or isn’t there? Though this is hardly a new question, it has been brought to the forefront recently by a vigorous debate at the excellent Advisor Perspectives website. While most who posted comments in that debate supported the conventional wisdom that there is such a crisis, a few voiced a vigorous dissent. https://www.marketwatch.com/story/reality-check-is-there-truly-a-retirement-crisis-2019-06-27/print
  15. That's the million dollar question. The advice you just received is a good start. I will simply add my two cents. Your age in bonds is always a good way to go if you are uncertain of allocations and wish to do it yourself. In that case all you would need is maybe 3 funds. Total Stock Market Index, Total International Index plus an allocation to bonds based on your age. It will be cheaper if you do it yourself. So if you are 50 you could go 50% Bonds 25% Total Stock Index and 25% International. Your age in bonds is a general suggestion and can be adjusted if you wish to be a bit more aggressive. BUT. It is still a great value although a slightly more expense ratio ( not that much more)to go into a Target Fund or a Life Strategy Fund and let the fund manager do all the work for you deciding which allocation is best at your particular age and time before retirement. Personally I'm retired and I LOVE the Vanguard Life Strategy Funds concept because I don't have to lift a finger. and I know my allocation will be maintained without me messing with it. Being hands off has its advantages. Most hands off investors do better than most who self manage their accounts and make changes sporadically and emotionally. Check them out and see if you might have access to them in your 403b. The difference between the Vanguard Life Strategy Funds and their target funds is that the LSFunds stay static in allocation while target funds change as you get older. https://investor.vanguard.com/mutual-funds/lifestrategy/#/ Tony
  16. Radio-me . U R Awesome !! Thanks for your help with this. You rock. What say you Paige?
  17. Mn Gopher I can tell you from my past experience that Rich may be a competent employee in his position but that does translate into financial competence. I think he is shooting from the hip with his responses and doesn't really have a clue about why the school district 403b plan is substandard. Paige needs to go in a different direction. AS far as his referring to" the city" I would guess that perhaps the school district and city employees might share the same 403b plans. Why the 457b plan is not available makes no sense as city municipal employees would at least certainly be eligible for it. Then of course I don't know how Massachusetts operates compared to Virginia so maybe things don't work the same there.
  18. Paige Rich as he said himself is no expert. So he will be no help to you. He probably has a high cost plan but is ignorant about the fees. I would not get roped in to this broker/agent he referred you to. You can transfer your mass mutual IRA to Vanguard or Fidelity on your own and into their index funds. I would start there. I know from experience that if you call Vanguard they can help you with this process. A target fund would be a good choice or perhaps as young as you are straight into Vanguard total stock market index. The fees are rock bottom and you money will grow better over time. You can have auto withdrawals made monthly directly from your checking and savings account into the Vanguard IRA. You could put 500.oo a month into an IRA and that would equal 6,000 a year. Of course you could have less withdrawn monthly if your finances donot allow you to max it out. As Dan mentioned I think too that an IRA might be a good choice for starters as you can put $6,000 dollars a year away, get a tax deduction if you chose Traditional and not be beholden to this Mass Mutual nonsense. I would also keep your antennas up about trying to get that 457b added. Call the state 457b administration number and ask them straight up how to get that state plan added to your school system. Then talk to your superintendent about it directly or contact the city treasurer as advise and ask how you can proceed to add better options.. You can do this!!
  19. I went to your district homepage in hopes of finding so info . It's very primitive. Not much information there. Perhaps you have to log in as an employee to search for your benefits page.
  20. Page I have to wonder what else these so called Mass Mutual plans might offer beyond what you showed us. Could you post all the options you have within these Mass Mutual plans? Your district warns teachers against annuities but lets a company like Mass Mutual run the show??? Might a good option be hidden somewhere within your plans? I certainly don't find his response adequate or clear. I would ask for the Massachusetts 457b plan be implemented as an alternative to Mass Mutual Plans as Raido_me has mentioned in a previous post and ask it be made available to teachers in your school district. It Raido had access to it through his school district than why not your school district ? Raido care to comment? how she might proceed?
  21. Chris C I agree with everything you just said. For instance buying mutuals funds in a taxable account can make sense for several reasons. Its good to own a little bit of everything-Taxable , IRA, Roth IRA, Roth403B and taxable 403b as well as 457b options. Variety gives you options since every investment is different when it comes to taxes. However buying individual stocks is not a good idea to recommend to teachers IMHO because if that stock goes south you lose big. Mutual funds own hundreds of stocks so if some go down hard you don't suffer the consequences too much. I know folks who invested in stocks that were too good to fail and they lost their money after years of euphoric gains. I guess the payoff can also be bigger than a mutual fund if things go well but its not worth the higher risk. Their are plenty of Tax efficient mutual funds that can minimize tax consequences in a taxable account. You just have to know what they are. Index funds are highly tax efficient. And of course you never want to invest in bonds in taxable funds unless you need the income. Just my two cents Tony
  22. Please list all options in 403b and 457b.
  23. In my opinion you don't lose much going from fidelity index funds to vanguard funds. So you are good to go. Both offer tremendous value compared to others. Vanguard wins with their overall low fee variety of funds but Fidelity scores a bit cheaper with their index funds. Its a win that even though you lost Fidelity you now have Vanguard. Good for you. I wish others were as lucky.
  24. now that is rare. Wow finally somebody in the main offices gets it.
  25. Paige See if your school district has this available. If not ask them to add it. It's easy to do if you can motivate someone to do the minimal paperwork to add it.Thanks for your input Raido_me. I hope Paige returns to our forum. -
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