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Everything posted by krow36

  1. I wonder if the 401(k) is actually a 401(a)? In any case, are you sure that your 403(b) can be moved to it? It's not allowed to move a 403b into a 457 plan unless the 403b was a previous employer-based account.
  2. Welcome to the forum MikeR! I'm glad you are making use of a good state 457 plan. Aspire can be a very decent 403b provider but there is an additional charge of 0.6% if an "advisor" is used. The Aspire basic fee of 0.14% is added to the funds' expense ratio, and there's a $40/yr admin fee. Vanguard and Fidelity low-cost index funds can be used. The advisor can be avoided by specifying "self-directed" on the application form instead of an advisor's name. Do you have the list of 403b vendors at your wife's district? Please copy and paste the list here. There could be an unrecognized low-cost vendor. It's not clear if you work in the same district as your wife, but if not, please list the vendors in your district also.
  3. krow36

    457 Mass Mutual

    Paul, welcome to the forum. I’m sorry no one has responded to your post, but you need to copy and paste your post and start a new thread. That should get the attention your post deserves. In fact this 457 part of the 403bwise forums does not get as much attention as the 403b part. So try posting on the 403b part and you’ll get more replies. You are certainly correct that the OR state 457 plan is vastly superior to Mass Mutual plan. Have you talked to the OR state 457 people about getting for your district? This sometimes helps. Don’t give up! Try to get other employees to ask for it .
  4. Ottakee, as Ed has suggested, it might be a good idea for you to list your district’s 403b vendors. It’s sometimes the case that a high cost vendor offers a very low cost option that is easy to overlook. Also Ed’s suggestion to consider a low cost state run 457 plan rather than a relatively expensive 403b plan is a very good idea. What state are you in? It’s often fairly easy to get a district to add the state 457 plan if it’s not already offered.
  5. I agree with Tony on using VOYA Total Stock Market. Maybe you can do bond and into stock in your 401k account?
  6. krow36

    457 Mass Mutual

    AXA and Met Life may tell you that they offer mutual funds in their annuities. Their annuities usually have added high expense ratios, often over 1%, also an M&E fee of 1% and also an admin fee. You may avoid some of these fees by choosing a Fixed Annuity, but that earns a very low return, and isn’t invested in the stock or bond mkts.
  7. krow36

    457 Mass Mutual

    I have another few minutes of wifi. If you can find another district employee that will ask for the low cost CalSTRS 457 option that would help get it added. Also, ask to talk to someone higher up. Be nice, but keep at it. It is very reasonable that the district employees should be able to contribute to a mutual fund based 457, not just an expensive annuity based 457. You may have to educate them about this. I think it’s likely that you would be ahead by moving your AXA 403b balance to your Vanguard 403b. Even if there’s a surrender fee. If you are likely paying 2% or more per year, you might be ahead by paying the surrender fee. Are you familiar with the 403b.compare.com website? It is also run by CalSTRS. All venders are required to list all the fees of their 403b plans. Check to to see if the Met Life 403b offerings are similar to their 457 offerings.
  8. krow36

    457 Mass Mutual

    I have WiFi for only a few minutes. You need to ck into the 403bwise forum. CA teachers have access to 457 plan run by your pension plan, CalSTRS. They may be on your 403b vendor list. Don’t accept a not possible. It IS possible if you keep pushing. TALK TO THE FOLKS ON THE 493b FORUM!! Your reasons for liking the 457 are valid.
  9. krow36

    457 Mass Mutual

    tnewin, welcome to the forum. Sorry for the delay in getting a reply to your questions. I'm traveling in Canada with only rare wifi. I suggest you ask further questions on the 403bwise forum, as this 457 forum doesn't get near as much attention. Folks on both forums that have experienced what you are dealing with. The first thing you should be aware of is that 457 plans (like 403b plans) can be either annuity based or mutual fund based. You should avoid the much more expensive annuity products. On MM's fees and ERs, you'll have to dig it out from the rep. He should refer you to online verification of the fees. I would strongly recommend that you do not sign up for anything at the meeting with the advisor. Just get information. Are you contributing to a 403b and maxing it? If not, that would be a good idea before using an expensive 457. Are there low-cost vendors for the 403b? Adding a 457 vendor usually involves talking the HR office and any third party administrator. What state are you in? About half the states have state-run low-cost 457 plans that are available to school district employees. If your state does have such a 457 plan, it's often relatively easy to get it added to the vendor list. Any questions are welcome! We all started at an elementary level and most of us have lost a lot of money in the process of investing. Most of us are teachers, retired teachers or teachers' spouses.
  10. If SB is not on your district’s vendor list, I think you can’t use SB’s NEA Direct Invest. It sounds like OMNI is giving you the runaround IF SB is on the vendor list. GWN should not be involved?
  11. That’s great that you are set up with Fidelity! You have probably figured out that if remaining SB money is charged an average of 3%, you might be better off paying the surrender fees. Thanks for the update.
  12. You could transfer your 403b account with SB to a Vanguard 403b if Vanguard is on the list. What kind of account did you open at Vanguard? IRA, taxable Individual or 403b? You'll get advice here from other retired and working teachers. This website maintains a list of fee-only Certified Financial Advisors that have been checked out. It's at the top of the forum topics
  13. Because of the ongoing fees of the SB variable annuity (VA), I don't think there's a reason that is good enough to hang on to it. I would guess that you are paying at least 2% per year in fees. Every fund has an expense ratio (ER) and your VA probably has a "mortality & expense" fee of about 1%. By transferring your variable annuity to the SB NEA Direct Invest, your only fees will be the Vanguard Admiral class index fund expense ratio of about 0.05%. That's about $4,100 for the VA, and about $104 for NEA DI, every year! Do you know the surrender fee schedule? If the fee varies over the 9 years, it's probably a rolling surrender fee. That means that last year's contributions might have a 9% fee, and contributions made 8 years ago might have a 1% fee? You really need to know the total surrender fee in order to decide whether to pull the band-aid off and transfer it all, or just transfer that amount that is surrender fee free. You can call SB and ask for this info.
  14. I don't think the @ does anything on this forum, although I could be wrong. A PM generates an email on this forum, and the BH forum works the same way. A quote generates a notice in the upper right corner, but only if someone is checked in.
  15. It looks like the OP last checked in on Jan 24. Maybe you should try a Private Msg which will generate an email?
  16. Sorry I have no experience with your situation, but I'll give your thread a push. In general I would rank your retirement ahead of your child's post-grad schooling. Is your 403b plan with a low-cost vendor? Are you invested with say at least 50 to 60% in equities, so that your account is growing significantly? By withdrawing 24k, you will slow the account's growth rate won't you?
  17. Of course it's legal. Their previous 403b fee was $25 per fund per year I think, which could easily add up to more than $60. There is now no per fund set fee, just the $60/yr and each fund's low expense ratio. Their ERs are still between 5 and 10 times less expensive than the industry's average. Either fee schedule is a bargain. They have added a Roth 403b option and have Admiral class available. Granted, the $60/yr fee is a high percentage of a $10,000 account balance (0.6%), but is only 0.06% fee on a $100,000 account balance. Maybe that will help motivate you get your 403b balance up here! That's how you "can fight it".
  18. Yes, another thread!!? I'm loosing it! My apologies. I'm glad to learn about avoiding the 10% withdrawal penalty for 6 months after April 15. So the 10% penalty is because you are under 59 1/2? And the 6% is the penalty for withdrawing gains from a non-qualified Roth IRA, meaning your first Roth contribution is <5 yrs old. Is that right?
  19. If the NEA Direct Invest plan offered low-cost Vanguard target date funds, I think I would agree with whyme. However, unlike the Lincoln plan's Vanguard TR funds, NEA DI's target date funds are TR Price actively-managed funds with ERs between 0.79% and 0.97%. Suggesting them would conflict with the very low-cost index fund message. None of the links seem to work?
  20. I think you've done a great job, sticking to the essentials. Have you considered placing the "PLEASE NOTE:" after the plans? The LI PDP could include a comment: "This platform is also available for a 457 plan for no additional annual fee." I wish Dan would include an example of lower fees, at least as low as 0.09%, in the bar graph. Of course the average Vanguard fees for a 3 fund portfolio is probably about 0.06% or less? The "average index fund" fees have probably come down since the graph was made? In any case, a difference of over $200,00 should serve to get their attention. In the paragraph below the graph where you introduce the 2 plans, maybe you should mention that Vanguard index funds fees are below average, around 0.05% to 0.10%. That would tie the graph to the reason the 2 plans have outstandingly low cost. Is the LI PDP annual fee $60 or $35 in NJ? Or does it vary? Nitpickings: Make all 403b with small b. " " around the NYT article title. ". . . a rep from either these companies. . ." "The plan gives . . ."
  21. Unfortunately I think filing an extension on your 2018 return will not allow you contribute to an IRA for 2018 after April 2019. And: I was also under the impression that an extension allowed an IRA contribution so a relative I help missed out on a contribution for 2018. A contribution to their taxable account for retirement was accepted as next best.
  22. Perhaps you could slip in that having access to these two plans is the envy of countless K-12 employees in districts across the nation that have no low-cost mutual fund based option?
  23. As jebjebitz suggested he wanted, keep it short. Maybe just focus on the fact that there are 2 very low-cost providers 403b (and one 457) available. The target is teachers with variable annuities. Both the plans are somewhat hidden aren't they, especially LI's PDP. Maybe mention that expensive accounts can be transferred into a low-cost plan? I think a bar graph illustrating cost over time is necessary! As Steve suggested, anything more is too difficult and complex for a short letter.
  24. First thoughts: Is your audience the 70% who do not have a 403b? Or is it the 25%-30% who have annuity-based, expensive 403b plans? Maybe you should focus on the latter? And of those, focus on those with a variable annuity, not those with a fixed annuity? How about starting out something like: Your national union, the NEA, has developed a super low-cost 403b plan based on Vanguard index funds. It’s the Security Benefit NEA Direct Invest 403b. Why would they do that? They realized that there was a need for a low-cost 403b for K-12 employees. This plan is available in districts where Security Benefit is on the 403b vendor list. Meanwhile, your state union, the NJEA, has arranged for a super low-cost 403b and 457 plan, also based on Vanguard index funds. It’s the Lincoln Investment Group Participant Directed Platform (PDP). This plan is available in NJ districts where Lincoln Investment is on the 403b (and 457) vendor list. In my experience, I get folks’ attention when I show them the large amount of money they are paying in fees, compared to the much smaller amount they would pay at low-cost plan. I think an example is needed, for example, comparing an AXA fund with total fees of say 2%, with a Vanguard fund with a fee of 0.04%. For a $10,000 account, that’s $200 vs $4 in fees per year. For a $100,000, that’s $2000 vs $40 in fees per year. A bar graph is very eye-catching way to illustrate the difference. Maybe use an estimate of the average 403b account balance, and calculate the fees over 5, 10 and 20 years? (The annual account maintenance fee of $35 for NEA Direct Invest for balances under $50,000, and $60 for the PDP are relatively insignificant compared to the fees based on a percentage of the fund’s balance.) I think you can avoid the use of terms like “expense ratio” and others that most teachers are not familiar with, by just sticking to terms like cost, fees, percent and $$$. Make it as simple as possible. Maybe a second letter describing the 2 plans in more detail would be allowed by the union? Or you could provide links to threads on this forum? Trying to convince teachers to invest in a 403b(7) plan that uses the stock and bond index funds, rather than contribute to a fixed annuity, is maybe a discussion best left out of this letter? It seems most teachers prefer the fixed annuity, and we'd like to change that, but that is a complex challenge.
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