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  1. This link provides the Security Benefit Direct Invest phone # that has worked best for other posters. https://board.403bwise.com/topic/7056-security-benefit’s-nea-directinvest-number/ I would call SB up and find out exactly what they need. If they are already on your school district's 403b vendor list, they should have your employer's plan document. Find out if SB is indeed on your district's vendor list. There's nothing about the NEA Direct Invest 403b that would require anything from the district different from SB's other expensive plans. I think the plan number is a number that the district or the Third Party Administrator assigns to each vendor, although perhaps it can be assigned to each vendor's plan? If the latter, perhaps no one in your district has opted for NEA Direct Invest, so it doesn't have a number yet?? If your district uses a TPA, ask them for the SB plan number. If not, ask your district. Sometimes the TPA's or district's websites provide the plan number. Don't get discouraged. You are in this for the long haul. NEA DI is worth pushing for!
  2. Your welcome, and thanks for reporting back! We're glad it went smoothly. I don't think you can make a real mistake, whether you contribute to the 403b only, or contribute to both the Roth IRA and the 403b. Hopefully as your salary increases, you'll be able to max them both eventually.
  3. Tara Siegel Bernard, a personal finance reporter, recommends apps for budgeting, investments and helping little ones as young as 6 understand the value of money. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/13/technology/personaltech/spending-is-as-easy-as-pushing-a-button-the-hard-part-keeping-track.html
  4. No, no, no! I know enough to no that I don't know much. Just a few things I've picked up from the Boglehead forum, and doing our own taxes (with TurboTax). We do have a taxable retirement account so that can complicate our taxes. Roth IRAs started in 1998 and by then we had been retired 6 years. We did do some conversion of traditional to Roth that first year. They allowed the tax hit to be spread over 2 years which was nice. Maybe we should have done more conversions? Maybe not? Hard to know. The 40k that I converted to a Roth IRA is now 189k. Not bad for an asset allocation of 40 to 50% equities---about 9% over 20 years? I doubt very much that we will ever take a distribution from our Roth IRAs. We have no kids but have a niece and nephew who are the beneficiaries.
  5. The Backdoor Roth comes up a lot on the Boglehead forum. Ed did a great job of explaining it. The final step is dealing with the Form 8606, which keeps track of things so that there's no double taxation. This year, Ed will use a 2018 Form 8606 to report the contribution to a non-deductible tIRA. Next year he will use a 2019 Form 8606 to report the conversion to a Roth IRA. Why bother with a Backdoor Roth IRA instead of putting the 6k in a taxable account? There's no further taxes on the Roth IRA! The taxable account produces taxable dividends every year and capital gains when it's sold. It's a no-brainer.
  6. Ed, perhaps you've read this article by the WCI? https://www.whitecoatinvestor.com/0-income-tax-retirement/ As always the comments are interesting also.
  7. For 2018 tax year, it's a 12% income tax bracket. Due to an oversight by Congress, the top of the 0% cap gains bracket is slightly lower, but let's ignore that and assume it's the same. If your taxable income, excluding what might qualify for the 0% cap gains rate is: A. over the top of the 12% income tax bracket, your cap gains and qualified dividends will not be taxed at 0%, but at 15%. B. under the top of the 12% income tax bracket by 10k and you have 30k of cap gains and QDI, 10k will be taxed at 0% and 20k will be taxed at 15%. Here’s the IRS cap gains worksheet for figuring out whether your cap gains will be taxed at 0%, 15% or higher. https://apps.irs.gov/app/vita/content/globalmedia/capital_gain_tax_worksheet_1040i.pdf It’s a very non-intuitive worksheet, at least for me, but I think you can look at your income tax records and figure out what’s going on. There are a number of excellent BH threads on this subject, including this one: https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=251561&p=3971176#p3970451
  8. Are you assuming that your wife retires when you do but does not start her pension until later? From what you've written previously she enjoys her teaching career and plans to go into administration! If you file MFJ, you have to include her income along with any cap gains, right? Remember that the cap gains are added to all other non-cap gain income, to see which cap gains tax rate applies*. If you have no earned income and the wife's taxable income is 70k, and you have 20k of cap gains, only about 9k will be in the 0% cap gains tax bracket. The other 11k will be in the 15% cap gains tax bracket. * I learned this the hard way, paying 15% on some cap gains that I thought would be taxed at 0%.
  9. OK! Please let us know how setting up the Fidelity 457 goes, and how the 457 transfer from SB to Fido goes. Good luck on the SB surrender fees!
  10. I'm glad that the loads have been waived on your SB 457. I agree that those ERs are way too high. Did you ask them to calculate what your surrender fee would be? I believe that Fidelity offers the same fund selection and fee structure to both their generic K-12 403b and 457 plans. The 403bcompare.com website gives Fidelity's funds and fees. This website is run by the CA teachers pension system and is accurate for CA. Most vendor plans for the K-12 403b market are generic plans used in other states. https://www.403bcompare.com/products/68 I would recommend that you use only Fidelity’s super-low-cost index funds. The custodial fee is $24/yr. Fidelity® Total Market Index Premium, FSTVX, ER 0.02% Fidelity® International Index Premium, FSIVX, ER 0.05% Fidelity® US Bond Index Premium, FSITX, ER 0.03% Or you could use one of the index target retirement funds Fidelity Freedom® Index 20(XX) Investor, ER 0.14%. You would pick out one that has the stock to bond ration you prefer. Or you can just use your expected retirement date.
  11. Yes, this is bad! The first thing I would do tomorrow is to stop your contributions to this 457. The loads are like a sales tax, levied when you buy these funds. It's a one-time fee which will be levied each payday if you are contributing to all those funds. However, it's possible that the numbers you got from M* are not those that this plan uses. To be sure, you should verify the loads and ER numbers with Security Benefit. I think it's likely that the M* numbers are those you are paying. SB is not known for giving investors a break on fees! Because you started with this account 14 years ago, your actual surrender fee is complicated and you should ask SB to calculate it for you. It is likely a "rolling surrender fee", which I believe applies the fee to each year-end balance. So there would be no fee to w/d the year-end balances for years 1 through 7, year 8 (6 yrs ago) would have a fee of 1%, etc. Assuming that your contributions over the last 6 years have been fairly constant, the average fee for those last 6 years might be about 4%. The overall surrender fee for your full account might be only about 2%. These charges are guesses on my part, but SB must inform you of their value and explain them if you request it. If 2% is close to it, I would plan to transfer it all to a Fidelity 457. Remember you are paying at least 1.0% in ERs (depending on the balance in each fund) every year. In addition, these actively-managed funds have other costs that reduce their growth, such as trading costs. I think that Fidelity's super low-cost Total Index funds will outperform the funds in your list, although I haven't bothered to look them up. A load fee is never reasonable these days. In our view on this forum (and other forums I'm familiar with) paying a load for a mutual fund is nuts. As for ERs, you will pay about 0.04% to 0.10% for the Fidelity or Vanguard index funds you need for a 3 fund portfolio. I think Fidelity's 403b admin fee is $24, Vanguard's is $60. That's it! There is no admin fee for IRAs at Fido or VG. There are many studies that have confirmed that low fees are the best predictor of fund outperformance over time.
  12. We subscribe to our local newspaper and to the NY Times M-F. I find the eNYT easier to read due to the small font of the print edition. I also subscribe to the eNewYorker. I agree we need to support good journalism by paying for it! Tara and Ron's articles have been outstanding. I keep checking the My Money section always hoping for another of their articles. I like the Jeff Sommer articles on investing also, for instance: https://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/10/your-money/fees-on-mutual-funds-fall-thank-yourself.html?mabReward=wR3&moduleDetail=recommendations-1&action=click&contentCollection=Your Money&region=Footer&module=WhatsNext&version=WhatsNext&contentID=WhatsNext&configSection=article&isLoggedIn=true&src=recg&pgtype=article
  13. 1. You can not roll the 457 to a 403b unless you leave your employer. 2. If you tell us the name of the Security Benefit 457, we/you may be able to find the fees using 403bcompare.com if it's a similar plan. Is the plan an annuity-based 457 or a mutual fund based 457? The title may help you with this. 3. You are very fortunate in having Fidelity as an option. It has excellent low-cost index funds. There's absolutely no doubt in my mind that a Fidelity 457 can be much lower-cost than a SB 457. Good luck on the surrender fees. 4. I would open an 457 account with Fidelity. Find out how much lead time your district needs to stop the contributions to SB. Start contributions to the Fido account. Talk to Fido about transferring your SB account to them. The paperwork can take weeks or more and may involve paperwork from both parties, signed by you and them. It can be frustratingly slow, so patience is needed. A contribution to a low-cost IRA, either traditional or Roth, at Vanguard (or Fido) is an excellent option. Opening a Vanguard 403b is a great option, but the $60/yr fee makes it a bit more expensive than an IRA or the Fido 457. All 3 are great options. I'd max the 457 first because of the flexibility in distribution if you quit your employer before age 55. Then the IRA, finally the 403b.
  14. As Ed mentioned, NY state teachers have access to the excellent state-run, very low-cost 457 plan (also called a Deferred Compensation Plan): https://www.nysdcp.com/tcm/nysdcp/static/Brochure_NYSDCP_Education_Kit.pdf?r=1 Although your district may not have this vendor on a 457 list, or have a list, it may be possible for you to get it added. You could call up the NYSDCP and ask them about adding it to your district's options. Other posters have been able to get the NYSDCP added in this way. Although 403b plans are often (usually?) very expensive, and often sold as annuities or expensive mutual fund plans, the Security Benefit NEA Direct Invest plan is an excellent, very low-cost 403b plan. It is internet and phone based, not local rep based. Lots of folks that post here and on Bogleheads forum are using it. Please study Ed's link.
  15. RuthD, welcome to the forum! I agree with your points a, b and c. We don't know enough about you to know for sure about d, but I suspect you are correct. How big will your tax-deferred accounts be when you retire? Will you need to make withdrawals in retirement, or will you pension be adequate? If you do not make withdrawals until age 70.5 when Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) are required, have you estimated the size of the accounts? That would give you an estimate of the size of the RMDs which will add to your taxable income. When do you plan to take Social Security? That will add to your income. Rather than make Roth 457 contributions during your working years of peak taxable income, it makes sense to make traditional contributions during those years, as you are doing. Then in early retirement when income is usually lower, do some conversions of the traditional 457 (or 403b) to a Roth IRA. This plan fits in with delaying SS which results in an 8% increase for every year of delay. So I'm guessing you are probably correct in continuing to contribute to the traditional 457 and 403b. Do you contribute to a Roth IRA? It's not a bad idea to have some tax diversification. I hope you are maxing the NYC 403b that pays 7% on a fixed value fund!
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