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Everything posted by shirley

  1. Kieran, FYI, Mutual Funds with the designation "R" is another sneaky way (though perfectly legal) of hiding fees. The fees usually come via higher expense ratios, thus draining your returns; over the years this small fee will provide diminished results. Bob
  2. D.D. As Tony stated, your BEST choice is to maximize your employer match. Your next question is whether to use the Traditional or Roth 403b for your investment vehicle and that has a different answer for each of us because there are many variables, i.e., pensions, social security, other income, spouses income, retirement age, etc. I boiled it down to another question: do you want your investment to compound on a tax-deferred basis or tax-free basis. There are many articles re this topic and there is no fit-all answer. Some of us prefer tax avoidance and select the Traditional IRA; some anticipate high income during retirement and select the Roth; and some select a mix of both. As Tony and krow both point out, an investment directly with Fidelity and Vanguard for Traditional or Roth IRA is an excellent choice. Additionally, in larger cities, Fidelity has walk-in and appointments for one-on-one service. Good luck. Bob
  3. MNGopher, I absolutely agree!!! Because you would no longer be employed, you could roll your entire 403b into an IRA. You could then supplement your Option A ($4050/mo. for life) with withdrawals from your IRA. At the same time, once a year compute your most favorable amount for a Roth conversion. Perhaps you could do this until age 70 and then take your maximum SSA benefit. Everybody's arithmetic is different but, personally, I prefer to pay the tax and take advantage of compounding on a tax-free basis. I like what you're doing. Bob
  4. RuthD, Since you expect a pension and the same tax bracket, do you want to compound your savings on a tax-free or tax-deferred basis?
  5. Dan, This is a valuable lesson that is often neglected on your site. I, too, fell into this trap. I became aware at age 65 with 5 years until retirement and started rolling funds into a ROTH IRA from my 403b account. I was able to absorb the tax bite by using my conventional savings account. The entire 403b account was moved and, as you know, was unable to touch the 457b account because I was still employed. My full pension, plus SSA ( I was a classified employee) lifted me into a higher tax bracket. Currently, I have an untaxed Traditional IRA that will generate more income from the RMD. What a problem!!!! Thanks for the reminder to all of the supersavers and longtimers!!! Bob
  6. Krow36, Thanks, Krow36........valuable information!!!!! Bob
  7. shirley


    SJP-3, What kind of 403b is that? Perhaps you need to investigate what you own!!! As Ed pointed out, since all of these funds are under a 403b umbrella there are no tax consequences. However, there is no 403b account that can be liquidated in two days. Every holding will need to be researched to find out if they are a 403b or not!!! Sounds like a can of worms but RELAX....this is all doable. Bob
  8. shirley


    SJP-3 This is an outrage and a good case for elder abuse. Additionally, this should be published in the NYT as a supplement to their excellent article re the state of the K-12 403b product. Don't feel bad as others have said; the salesmen (financial advisors) have no SCRUPLES!!!!! Bob
  9. shirley

    Excessive fees?

    Kal, Since you are retired, roll all your funds into an IRA account with a low cost fund family (Vanguard or Fidelity) and be done with this nonsense. The fellas here will help you with a low cost portfolio. Depending on the size of your pension, perhaps you don't need the annuity and can invest it elsewhere....good luck!!! Bob
  10. MoeMoney, "How to tell the difference".....GENERALLY SPEAKING 1. The company employs a sales force and calls them financial advisors. 2. The company name is patriotic or uses words like security, benefit or trust. 3. The company website is annoying and hard to navigate; the Prospectus requires a magnifying glass. SPECIFICALLY 1. Google: Is Valic a life insurance company? Unfortunately, these companies are relentless in their efforts!!!! Bob
  11. MoeMoney, Re "what teachers ought to know", I have one suggestion. It is absolutely IMPERATIVE that a teacher (investor) learn to differentiate a life insurance company from a mutual fund. This, alone, will eliminate most bad apples. Bob
  12. J, Met Life is an insurance company......get out the magnifying glass and microscope and read the prospectus!!!!! Bob
  13. Dave, Krow is right on target. Years ago LAUSD used Valic as their custodian and they were partnered with Schwab. Later they switched to TIAA and they used their own brokerage window. Currently, CALSTRS Pension 2 uses TDAmeritrade for their self-directed brokerage acct......everything is done through the custodian. Bob
  14. shirley

    Ira Input

    Deb19, Your question is interesting because this site favors low-cost index investing and usually doesn't include brokerage houses. However, since you asked.... 1. I suggest contacting TDAmeritrade (800#) about the termination fees at EJ......oftentimes they will pay the fees. 2. TD has an excellent mutual fund screener for active management....hundreds of no-load, no transaction fee funds but this will require work on your part. It might be cleaner to liquidate the EJ account before the transfer. They also have funds for indexers and make sure to pay close attention to expense ratios. 3 .Individual stocks mean more risk, more work and more monitoring and potentially more profit. Nobody knows your risk tolerance and your retirement demands other than you. 4. A diversified, balanced portfolio can consist of actively-managed funds, individual stocks and bonds, etf's etc. but most people do not want to do the work. Bob
  15. Erich, I had this same problem several years ago and found it to as confusing as the current 403b situation. I found the website savingforcollege.com to be very helpful. Also, in major cities, Fidelity has walk in offices and they were very helpful. However, my recollection was that they all had high fees and limited choices. I opted to go with the Coverdell ESA instead. The website that I mentioned compares the two plans. Bob
  16. shirley


    Tony, What investment does he suggest that will increase your cash flow 8% each year for the next 8 years? Of course, if you need the money or do not have longevity in your genetics that is a different topic!!!!! Personally, I am waiting it out. Bob
  17. whyme, Fundamentally, as you pointed out, higher ed uses a single vendor and that eliminates most all of this nonsense. Perhaps this is why there are no university professors crying on the website. I am very familiar with the UC retirement program and find it to be very efficient and easy to navigate....but I am a DIY'er and have spent many years, like you, trying to understand all of this. Bob
  18. whyme, Don't confuse or compare the higher education and the K-12 programs because they are apples and oranges. If K-12 could pick one we would naturally pick Vanguard, Fidelity, or Tiaa. Steve was part of a team that by-passed the obscene 403 programs and created a premier 457 program for the employees of LAUSD. Because the LAUSD 457 premier program does not have a "guy" giving away "free" sandwiches it is slow to catch on. I have spent hours trying to explain this but, unfortunately, people need a "guy." ...... baffling!!!!! Steve, I just received a letter from the benefits dept. that Voya is taking over the 457. I love TIAA but I guess I will have to learn a new website. Any Idea who will handle the self-directed portfolios? Bob
  19. marcD23, Unfortunately there is not one good choice. I would max out a Vanguard Roth before I gave any of these pirates a dime!!! Bob
  20. April7th, I want to echo the comments from Dan, Steve, and Tony!!! Watching someone blossom brings joy to all of us who read this website. I read that you are "transferring out of EJ to Vanguard...through Aspire" and am puzzled. Are the funds that you are transferring retirement funds? Anyway, nothing makes me happier than seeing someone "get it." EJ is a retail broker that specializes in high fees and full service.....not what we do here!!!!! Bob
  21. Steve, I am glad to read that the LA County Building and Trades Council representing employees in Unit E (skilled crafts) is a pioneer in this progressive action. Listening to the rip-off stories of my fellow employees has been hard over the years and, at the same time, realizing that nobody wants change has been an enigma for me. Perhaps auto-enrollment will help. Thanks!!! (again), Bob
  22. Moe, Debbyk is offering good advice. The brokerage window (if you have one) is a viable work-around for all of the this nonsense. When LAUSD was with VALIC.....VALIC partnered with Charles Schwab. The 403 CalstrsPension2 is partnered with Voya and they use TDAmeritrade. The 457 CalstrsPension2 is with TIAA and they offer their own brokerage window as does Fidelity. The same committee that makes the vendor selections makes this decision. Steve (from this site) can elaborate on this because he was on the LAUSD committee that got this for us. Like Debbyk suggests, the brokerage option offers access to hundreds of no-load, no transaction fees, mutual funds. If you like to do your own research...this is an excellent work-around. Bob
  23. Tony is right on the mark.....cut bait and find a better pond!!!! Not only will you be financially rewarded but psychologically as well. Keep us in the loop!!! Bob
  24. Blosky2001, Good work......this is extremely sound advice. Most of us have had to figure this out by ourselves and you are fortunate to have found this website. Plus, you have access to Fidelity!!!! Double plus......you found 2 teachers who will listen!!!! Bob
  25. Blosky2001, The strategy from Krow36 does work. The only addition is a sizeable emergency fund. This strategy will not only take full advantage of the tax deferral benefit but also the "catch-up" provision that Steve mentioned. This will solve the main challenge (irrespective of vendor choice, allocation, etc) of funding a retirement plan that will make a significant difference. Of course, only you know your budget, cash flow and comfort level. This is not for everyone but it does work.!!!! Bob
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