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Everything posted by tony

  1. Steve You never cease to amaze me, you always seem to be where the action is. By the way , you look very youthful. Tony
  2. If your are new to retirement savings this is a fairly comprehensive but easy to understand guide. Not everyone who lurks here asks questions directly. https://www.nytimes.com/guides/business/saving-money-for-retirement?em_pos=small&emc=edit_my_20190429&nl=your-money&nl_art=7&nlid=20007425emc%3Dedit_my_20190429&ref=headline&te=1
  3. PurpleReign are you out there?
  4. Tony Im not exactly familiar with the college scene 403b But my guess is since both Valic/AIG and TIAA are both being offered you should be able to do a transfer. But there may very well be a surrender charge depending on the product you are in.Is it an annuity? Check your statement or online account. See if it indicates a surrender fee. If not call Valic and ask them for it. If your investments with Valic are outside an insurance product there might not be a surrender charge. To transfer you will need to contact TIAA and ask them for the proper paperwork to initiate the transfer. There may be paperwork needed on both sides to be filled out. You will have to ask both companies what they require for a transfer. i would lean on TIAA to do as much of the work as they can to get the transfer done. Since they are now getting the money they will be much more motivated to get the transfer done than Valic will. The big charge you may be looking at is the surrender fee which I would go ahead and pay and move on from Valic/AIG. You'll recoup that money eventually being in a lower fee product. There might be other small inconsequential fees for closing the account but the biggie would be a surrender charge. I would encourage you to stay on top of both companies to make sure your transfer is front and center and not end up on a back burner. That may require calling them every few weeks on the progress of the transfer if you don't see any movement. There is always a backlog, and the squeaky wheel gets the grease.
  5. Hey 401kers welcome to the 403b world Among the two dozen or so rule changes is a provision that is strongly supported by insurance companies but has consumer advocates worried. It would eliminate some of the liability for employers who add annuities to the menu of options for their 401(k) plans — including expensive and complex products that purport to offer the peace of mind of a guaranteed income . https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/04/your-money/retirement-bill-annuities.html
  6. Despite the jolt to investor confidence, target-date funds have flourished in the decade since, becoming a staple in workplace retirement plans https://ih.advfn.com/stock-market/NASDAQ/t-rowe-price-grp-inc-TROW/stock-news/79837301/what-weve-learned-about-target-date-funds-10-year
  7. Whyme Your comments are well taken and as usual you add rational holistic comments to our discussions. I think we need to all be careful about over attacking advisors based on our experience with insurance annuity salesmen and their sleazy abuse of teachers. I know personally I've had the tendency to lump them all together which is unfair to real certified fee only advisors who do their job honestly. Like you and Ed I don't feel Patrick needs an advisor just to pick an investment fund. He could very well do it on his own. But my experience signing up with Medicare taught me that although I thought I knew it all after personnel research, dealing with an Medicare consultant helped me make sure I got the best deal and made the best choices. The advisor definitely added knowledge and things I did not know. I also admire Ed's desire to get the absolute, best deal, lowest cost product possible. I differ with Ed in that I'm not quite the tightwad he is when it comes to expense ratios. For me Vanguard's fees are low enough even if Fidelity reigns supreme in expense ratio on a few funds. I think we need to focus on giving folks here a more holistic , varied view on investing instead of always focusing on the lowest possible fees. You do that in your posts often and that is why you are such a valuable and respected contributor.
  8. Patrick Confusing the client is the name of the game unfortunately in this arena and information is often purposely hidden as to not be easy to find. After all ,if it was all clear, than you truly, probably, would not need an advisor. Investing in its true form is quite easy but I understand your situation completely. If at very least we have stirred you away from insurance companies and their horrid annuities than we have done well . Looks like Aspire with an advisor connection might be your best choice. If you do decide that route make sure you ask him about the total fee package. From my experiences Aspire advisors are pretty upfront about sharing all relevant fee information. Also once you sign up for your funds, you can request a prospectus for each fund you invest in. You will find full disclosure information there including fees.The Securities and Exchange commission requires these by law. I believe you can find Aspire's fees stated on line on their website although MoeMoney pretty much stated this in her post above. Best, Tony P.S. If I didn't mention it I invested with Aspire for a few years. They are leaps and bounds above anything on your list. Coupled with Vanguard as your fund choices you really can't go wrong. I went the self-directed route but again I get where you are coming from with using an advisor.
  9. I'm mad at Steve for reigniting this thread. Not really but this topic is exactly were we left off when I disappeared for several months. Ed, you and me are equally stubborn.
  10. I don't get where you are getting that Fidelity's prices are lower . Overall they are not. Just a few funds. Just a few funds.
  11. ED I agree that staying away from advisors would be smart and good for your pocketbook. But not all investors feel comfortable doing it on their own or have the knowledge we have. Without some help they might not save at all. A fee only advisor might be appropriate for some. I must admit most advisors i've worked with lied to my face over and over......and only made things worse. But, they were not real advisors. They are all friggin commissioned salespeople.
  12. Moemoney , you seem to get a better deal using an Aspire Advisor than I would have ever gotten with Aspire. Here in my zip code using an advisor with Aspire would cost us 1% plus the cost of the fund plus the 40$ annual fee plus their .15 administration fee. Maybe things have change as I've been out of the loop for a while. I totally understand some folks value using an advisor when making financial decisions. I get that completely as long as they get the right kind.
  13. There truly is no free lunch. MN Gopher is correct. Sure you can buy one or two Fidelity funds cheaper than just about anyone else but is that enough to sustain your total investment needs over a lifetime? Probably not. And, fees alone doesn't define investment success.Certainly it's important but investing is a bit more complicated than that. The lowest cost fund in the world won't help you if you display the wrong investment behaviors .
  14. This is an important distinction. Vanguard is the largest or second largest financial investing company now. Obviously others realize they cannot compete with them on low costs. So they like to say they carry Vanguard or they too have index funds. They are trying to jump on the Vanguard bandwagon but they will charge you more in one way or another with added fees. Beware.
  15. I must disagree with this with all due respect to Ed. It's true Fidelity has a few index funds priced insignificantly lower than Vanguard's. They are worth owning . However, Vanguard's corporate culture is superior as they are a not-for profit organization while Fidelity is very much in the business of making corporate profits. If you were to average the expense ratios of all funds that Vanguard offers and then do the same with all of Fidelity's funds you may be shocked to see the disparity. Vanguard would win by a mile. Steve just posted a very good article about expense ratios and how it is used sometimes to lure investors into not so good or cheap products. I used to own Fidelity funds and the right ones are great but Fidelity is only better than Vanguard in only a very very limited way.
  16. The 457b plans are always the place to look first if possible. More and more states are actually looking after their employees by offering tremendous low cost options. In my state of Virginia I had the state 457b plan added to our vendor list and it was easy as pie to do but no one is our school system thought that we could adopt it. There are usually minimal administration fees. But the fund expense ratios of their funds are so low that it s a minimal expense. Not every 457b plan is great however but its encouraging to see things moving in the right direction. Aspire is a decent enough choice and superior to anything on your list. IF you self direct your account and don't use an advisor and you self direct the account into a low expense ratio fund . Thats the key with using Aspire-you must self direct your account to make the relationship advantageous.. I do not understand why 457B plans seem to be improving while the 403b remains a cesspool of bad choices. Patrick, I am glad you made contact with Nicole Jackson at Vanguard. She is very competent with fantastic follow through. I hope she still works there. Not every customer service rep is great.
  17. As an add on If going with a Target fund you don't necessarily have to pick the one closest your retirement. If You want a more aggressive approach you can pick a different target age fund if you prefer, one with a higher percentage of stocks than bonds. Some people do that. Just as long as you understand that the more stocks the more possible rewards BUT also in a down market more possible risk. Vanguard would probably recommend you stick to the fund closest to your retirement date however. If you don't feel comfortable with your financial acumen than I would suggest you do that too.
  18. Kelly I'm surprised no-one has jumped in to help sooner. Your question is easy to answer. Vanguard!!! Stay away from the others most sell insurance products or higher cost funds. Don't do it!! If you like a hands off approach pick a Vanguard Target Fund closest to your retirement date. This is your easiest choice since its self managed for you on a continuous basis. Go to their website for fund info. Vanguard offers very low fees. You can trust them to do you right. Here is a Target Fund Link :https://investor.vanguard.com/mutual-funds/target-retirement/#/ If you like to do it yourself I would pick individual index funds. Here is a simple but effective model Total stock market index about 60% Total International about 20% Total Bond about 20% I don't know your age so this above portfolio percentage may or may not be appropriate but is just a sample. I think you can't go wrong with a Vanguard Target Fund and that's my suggestion.
  19. Steve If I remember correctly, someone (maybe you) posted this before. It's quite a good site. I remember forwarding it to the teachers at my old work who taught/teach personal finance. I'n not convinced a class in high school will make everyone suddenly financially literate. I learned the most by making hands on mistakes (LOL!!) Still its definitely a start. Tony
  20. I've got to tell you I've been worried for several months because I knew I was being kicked off the medical policy I 've been on for 30 years as a school system employee.I knew I had to learn all I could about my options because I had no clue about Medicare. I felt the same as I felt when I signed up for my first 403b annuity many years ago-STUPID. I didn't want to make the same stupid mistake I made with annuities and end up paying way too much for medical insurance. I remember my dad paying a whole lot more for his Medicare supplement policy than I will be paying because in his last years I was writing his checks I read all I could on the subject and then called Boomer Benefits to help me find the right plan. As as a result I will getting more comprehensive medical insurance at less cost than I was getting with my school plan. I was shocked actually. I'm glad I was able to help. This isn't exactly a medicare discussion board but heck we are like a family here and luckily Dan doesn't yell at us if we occasionally get off topic. P.S.Talk about sales people. I must have gotten a hundred calls(no exaggeration) trying to hook me into a suppliment plan. I got bad vibes from most callers and I told them to go away. Don't have a clue how they got my personal information. I did my own research and found Boomer Benefits. You do get a little wiser as you get older-I think. And if the policy doesn't work out you get to change after a year to something else so you don't have to worry about being locked in with surrender charges (haha)or other penalties. So it's all good.
  21. I had the pleasure of teaching financial literacy for a couple of years before retiring. It was a very rewarding experience.But it open my eyes to the ignorance that exists . If we are to change the financial landscape as it currently stands, financial literacy can eventually make that happen but it might take years. Kudos to states like Virginia for requiring all high school students to take a required financial literacy class plus an exit test before graduating. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/26/your-money/student-loan-debt-financial-literacy.html?em_pos=small&emc=edit_my_20190429&nl=your-money&nl_art=0&nlid=20007425emc%3Dedit_my_20190429&ref=headline&te=1H Here is another even newer NYTIMES article on what every high school student should know upon HS graduation By Ron Leiber-One of the good guys. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/31/your-money/r-financial-preparation.html?action=click&module=MoreInSection&pgtype=Article&region=Footer&contentCollection=Your Money
  22. Nice Video rather relaxed and casually presented. https://thereformedbroker.com/2019/05/31/the-land-that-time-forgot/ A part of this video reminds me exactly Of an instance when I went to the teacher's mailroom, and every box had a yellow postcard in it. It read something like :"Your school board has approved a 403b plan for all teachers and recommends you participate. Call this number ASAP for information and to sign up ''. Turns out it was an insurance company pedaling annuities. The school board did not actually approve anything. Along with the postcard everyone got a 100 Grand candy bar. LOL!! I remember being furious. I trashed the card and ate the candy bar. You will notice the candy bar says 30% less fat. I wish that were true for these annuities because they are loaded with unneeded fat. But teachers aren't the ones getting fatter, it's the insurance companies and their fake advisors
  23. O.K so you have a one time $50.00 maintenance fee a .21%/year maintenance /administration fee based on assets and the expense ratio of each fund. Lower is always better because you keep more of your money. Definitely go the self direct method and pick the lowest cost index funds you can find or maybe a low cost Target Fund Possible choices" Total Stock Market Index Total International Index Total Bond Index You've done a fantastic job looking at your plan and have sought out the opinion of others. I think you are all set. I wish more folks would do what you did before making a choice. Please let us know what plan you go with and what funds you pick. Best, Tony
  24. My Group (private)employer medical insurance ends for me Aug 1 as I turn 65. I was paying about $320 .00 a month for full coverage including dental , vision and prescriptions . I had a 500 dollar deductible, and had to pay co pays when going to a doctor and prescriptions. Now I only pay 98.00 dollars a month for Medigap (supplemental or secondary insurance). All Together with Medicare Part A B, D, plus Medigap I'm getting more coverage cheaper and at less cost through the government. I now pay pretty much nothing past the premium and probably won't ever in the future regardless of any medical condition I might develop. I realize some school systems offer medical insurance for life so some never file for Medicare. Mine did not. Virginia is not as liberal with its benefits. As soon as you turn 65 you are kicked off. BUT it turned out in my favor as I am getting more complete coverage with Medicare at a cheaper cost. If you worked long enough you will qualify for Medicare at 65 . So maybe you don't have to worry. Take a look at this: https://boomerbenefits.com/about-us/. They are insurance brokers. The person I worked with was a great help and helped me work it all out to my benefit at no charge. I totally trust them. I'm sure they can answer any questions you may have about your insurance options in the future. I really thought my premiums would be much higher once on Medicare. Not so. But like any medical cost prices do go up over time. One clarification. Medigap(secondary insurance) is through a private company and not the government but the government standardizes these plans to keep them honest. Premiums can vary by state.
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