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Posts posted by krow36

  1. 1 hour ago, tony said:


    It's definitely hit or miss.  I'm just glad I figured out the difference between the two Lincolns. Lincoln Financial and Lincoln Investments. Why would two investment companies want to share the same name and cause confusion and possibly give away their business to a similar sounding company.

    I'm not sure how much they compete. LF is insurance and annuities, LI is custodial accounts, although that may be only in the K-12 403b world. 

  2. nj403bware, welcome to the forum! Tony is right on about being able to use Lincoln Investment's Participant Directed Platform. It's always allowed by Lincoln Investment in NJ districts if LI is on the vendor list. The admin fee is $60/yr and the funds are Vanguard's, very low expense ratios. It's not only a 403b plan, it includes a 457b plan for the same $60/yr! I would stop AXA contributions immediately and get the LI PDP going. Transferring the AXA balance usually takes a month or more and can start after the PDP is set up. You have to transfer the AXA 403b into the 403b PDP, not into the 457b PDP. 

    LI tries to keep the PDP secret and provides no information about it on the internet. The only information we have is from posters that have gotten permission to use it, and from an out-of-date application form which we have a copy of. I'll see if I can post it here. That wasn't possible in the past but the website has been upgraded I thin. To get permission, you have to call a regional LI office. They will email you the ability to download the application form pdf. 

    If you write out LI PDP in this site's search feature, you'll see several threads on the subject. 

  3. 37 minutes ago, tony said:

    I didn't know that they now have a $50,000 min for admiral shares.  Wasn't it less at one time?  If I remember correctly it was $10,000 at some point . I guess that's understandable that I'm not aware of that  since I have no interest in investing in their managed funds. I am sure Newport is better now. I caught them exactly when the 403b transition started.  

    For their index funds, Vanguard eliminated the Investor class and made them all Admiral with a 3k minimum. For most actively-managed funds (non-index) Admiral class has the 50k minimum. https://investor.vanguard.com/mutual-funds/share-classes 


  4. 4 hours ago, tony said:

    Krow  thanks for posting the link. It was hard to get it to link as a PDF on this forum but it does now open for me so maybe it opens now?

    Comparing 2019 with 2020, it would seem that my performance should have been better in 2019 especially since this January I added more to bonds but strangely it seems to me I made more money this past year instead 2019. Can't explain it.

    It still doesn't open for me. The Callan Table is GREAT! I can't help looking for a "trend", and end up concluding again that Total Stock Market Index fund makes the most sense.

    My Excel spreadsheets says we increased 11.1% in 2020 and 12.9% in 2019. I'm not surprised because stock were up about 20% in 2020 and about 30% in 2019. We were about 40/60 in 2019 but it's crept up this year and I may do some rebalancing.

  5. 56 minutes ago, Stillwater007 said:

    HOWEVER, after maxing out my IRA, where else can I invest? A taxable account? Maybe. But wouldn't that be counter to trying to keep my investment tax sheltered?

    Does your district have a 457b plan that you can contribute to? Most districts do, although there can be a lack of a low-cost vendor. About half the states allow school districts to join state employees in a state-run 457b (also call a Deferred Compensation Plan or DCP). What state are you in?

  6. 1 hour ago, tony said:

     I had no idea there was a 50 k min. in an IRA for that fund. WHY ?  In MOST cases Vanguard funds will be cheaper in a regular IRA account but looks like there are exceptions.


    Vanguard has a 50k minimum for all non-index Admiral class funds, whether they are in a taxable account or in an IRA. Vanguard is getting serious about attracting more K-12 403b districts and through Newport Group has reduced some ERs, added the Roth 403b. I think NG has improved a lot since those early days. Scott and Dan have met with NG and VG at the VG HQ last year I think, and were very impressed with the changes. 


  7. I don't think there's a problem with the Vanguard phone rep. The Wellesley Admiral fund has a minimum investment balance of 50k because it's not an index fund. The Newport Group/Vanguard 403b waive the balance requirement and so Wellesley Admiral is cheaper in the 403b than in the IRA. The 403b also has Institutional class Target Retirement funds, ERs of 0.09% instead of the IRA's Investment class ERs of 0.14%. These differences in ERs don't make up for the 403b annual fees compared to zero annual fees with the IRA, at least for smaller balances like those of Stillwater007. 

  8. I agree with Tony that moving your IRA to your 403b is probably not a good idea because of the 403b fees. A difference of 0.07% in ERs is not significant. Even if your 34k was all in Wellesley, the difference in ERs is $23.80. I think the way to lower your ERs is to use index funds rather than actively-managed funds. The only valid reason I can think of to roll your IRA into your 403b is if your IRA was traditional not Roth, and your income was high enough to prevent you from contributing directly to your Roth IRA. Rolling the tIRA to your 403b would allow you to use the Roth IRA backdoor process.  

  9. The Equivest Prospectus for Series 201, on page 11, says the Separate Account fee of 1.20% (which includes the M&E and an admin fee) is applied to “variable investment options”. I think that means that it doesn't apply to the guaranteed interest account.

    The Lincoln Investment 457 account is their Participant Directed Platform which is only available in NJ and a few other districts. It has all Vanguard Admiral class funds and the only fee for both a 457b and a 403b is a single admin fee of $60/yr. They keep it secret and you have to get their permission to use it. But I agree that rolling it into an IRA after retirement or age 59.5 is smart and will eliminate the $60/yr admin fee.

  10. I think you've done a great job getting ready for retirement! I think you should decide on an asset allocation that you can stick with, even with a market crash. We're long retired and at retirement went to 50/50 for about a decade, and since then have been 40/60. If the stock market looses 50% of its value like in 2008-09, our stock funds will be down "only" 20% of our investments, hopefully only temporarily. While interest rates are so low, you might hang on to the fixed annuity paying 4% for a while. That could be a big part of your fixed income asset class. There's always the greed/fear balance that we each have to figure out. I don't see any basic problem with what you have it in now, and you could move the 457b to an IRA when you are 59.5 and invest it at your desired asset allocation. 

  11. I like Balance Index and its ER is 0.07%. It's 60% Total Stock Mkt and 40% Total Bonds, or their equivalents. It has returned at least 10% over the last 1, 3, 5 and 10 years, and 16.4% in 2020. It doesn't have any international stock and if you wanted to be more diversified, you could add some Total International Stock Index. I also have some International Growth which helps out with the TISI's poor return. TISI has, in the past, sometimes done better than TSM. Vanguard's TDFs are all passive and do have international stocks and bonds.  


  12. I'm very experienced in taking RMDs, and they have not been a problem at all for us. Of course individual retirement incomes and size of tIRAs can be vastly different. Because we retired early, our pensions and SS income have been modest. The first 5 or 10 years of RMDs just went into the taxable account and got invested because we didn't need to supplement our income. RMDs started out at 3.6% at age 70.5 in those days, but start at age 72 now so about 3.9%. Our asset allocation is 40/60 stocks/bonds and my tIRA has continued to grow almost every year. Even if larger pensions, SS and tIRA push taxable income into the 22% income tax bracket, I don't see that as something to dread. Only the income above the top of the 12% bracket is taxed at 22%.  

  13. Thanks for the update! The stock market ended up doing amazingly well in 2020. The Fed is keeping interest rates down so Total Bond Mkt is not expected to do much for a while. But TBM does provide some balance to your stock funds. If the stock market takes a dive (like it did in March, 2020) you could rebalance by exchanging some bond fund for some stock funds.  There have been years when TBM outperforms TSM!

    You so have some duplication by using both the 500 Index and the Total Mkt Index funds. About 80% of Total Mkt Index contains the stocks of 500 Index. The rest (20%) of Total Mkt Index is made up of mid and small cap stocks. In effect you are making a bet that large caps will outperform mid and small caps, and that's OK if that's what you intended. The rate of return of 500 Index and Total Mkt Index over time is almost the same, and it's not unusual to use one as the substitute for the other.

    However in 2020, the Extended Mkt Index fund, which covers the mid and small caps that 500 Index is missing, has done significantly better than 500 Index! Which means that Total Mkt has outperformed 500 Index. You might consider moving your 500 Index balance into your Total Mkt Index.

  14. Yes on being suspicious of the three 457b vendors. Although the generic 403b plans they offer to school districts are usually (always?) expensive annuities, those 3 vendors have an arrangement with the state that is much different. They are competing with each other and offering custodial accounts, not annuities. They will have an administration fee that may be included in the individual funds' expense ratios, or it might be separate. So you have to consider the funds you want and their ERs as well as the admin fee. 

    Maybe a phone call to MaineSaves and to MaineSTART will give you some info? Emails are easy to ignore. Good luck!

  15. On 12/19/2020 at 2:37 PM, CTinker said:

    Now I've listened to some of your podcasts and found the "Adding a 457" episode.  I was already told by my employer last year that 457s were not available.  I wonder if I should keep pushing... 

    I believe that the Maine state 457b plan is available to school districts. I can't get the MainSaves457 website to work, but state plans are usually low-cost. It should allow you to check out the 3 vendors, their funds and their fees. You could call the state 457b plan and ask what you could do to make it available to your district's employees. https://www.mainesaves457.com/my-savings-plan/#manage

  16. Deana, welcome to the forum! Don't be too hard on yourself, as there are lots of others that should share in the blame, like school districts which take no responsibility for the crappy products they allow to be sold to their employees! And the teacher unions, and the federal and state regulators. 

    If you will post the list of your district's 403b vendors, we can check for any hidden low-cost vendors. Sometimes an insurance company has a decent product which isn't pushed because it doesn't make them much money. 

    No, don't cash it out. Let it just do its thing while we figure out what options you have. It is an equity index annuity that will probably earn maybe 2% per year. Sort of like a bank savings account some years ago. These days savings accounts earn less than 0.5%! You can not move the balance to an IRA unless you move to a different district, that is change employers, or you are 59.5 years old. Hopefully we can find a lower-cost vendor on the district's 403b list that you can transfer your balance into.  

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