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Everything posted by tony

  1. 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.
  2. 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 Of course you could have less withdrawn monthly if your finances donot allow you to max it out.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!!
  3. 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.
  4. 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?
  5. 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
  6. Please list all options in 403b and 457b.
  7. 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.
  8. now that is rare. Wow finally somebody in the main offices gets it.
  9. 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. -
  10. Don't Do It . The sample of 1,000 is not large enough to draw accurate conclusions but I bet it is happening more than we might think. I wonder how many so called advisors are there to counsel their clients along the way after the original contact. A surprising new online survey of more than 1,000 Americans has found that 52% have already started spending their retirement accounts. The survey was funded by MagnifyMoney, and proportioned to equally represent American millennials, baby boomers, and generation Xers. https://www.studyfinds.org/survey-most-americans-already-raiding-their-retirement-accounts/?fbclid=IwAR22v8tKmR8KKjhgtM_WfO_tdWP3P8E6LWS5y7or3uj7x7Ps4TytarTz3tQ
  11. It's probably time after an amazing stock market run to remind investors who may only have seen the market going up to not panic if things start going the other way. Good advice here which I can summarize in fewer words. Stay the course. Keep Saving. Avoid The noise. Don't pull your money out of stocks based on fear. https://theconversation.com/how-to-invest-if-youre-worried-a-recession-is-coming-122003
  12. 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 over charging them and ripping them off in the first place.
  13. Don't blame yourself. I think its often intentional because the fees are usually high.
  14. 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.
  15. 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
  16. 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!!
  17. 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.
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. Folks Tony Isola deserves an award for journalistic excellence for that title. I'm still laughing but also realize it's no joke. Actually its quite sad.
  23. tony


    I think Ed gave you plenty of information that is highly accurate and correct I think you should take a very close look at Vanguard Life Strategy Funds. They come in different allocations and are self managed so you can let them sit and you won't have to worry about rebalancing or diversification. I'm in one of them myself. They will cost you slightly more since they require extra work on the part of Vanguard to keep things balanced but they pretty much have the same index funds you would own if you set up a 3-4 fund index fund portfolio. Ed is a do it your-self kind of guy but he has good knowledge and is comfortable with what he is doing. If you feel the least bit timid about handling details by your self than its hard to beat the Life Strategy funds at Vanguard. https://investor.vanguard.com/mutual-funds/lifestrategy/#/ Tony
  24. yeah I'm on the fence about joining facebook actually.
  25. gotta love this article's title https://tonyisola.com/2019/08/two-steaming-piles-of-403b-s/
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