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Everything posted by krow36

  1. I don't think you should be concerned that you would be the first person in your corporation to use NEA Direct Invest. You should be PROUD! There may be no hangups. Every district/corporation is different. You can't predict these sorts of things!
  2. Here’s a link to the schools that are participating in the VA state 457b plan: https://www.icmarc.org/prebuilt/apps/downloadDoc.asp Tony is your man to help you get your school added to that list! Setting up an NEA Direct Invest 403b account with Security Benefit was covered in msucurt’s recent thread. After you read it over, please come back here with any questions.
  3. The White Coat Investor article, including comments, is excellent! Thanks MNGopher!
  4. A previous poster some years ago had a match with a Security Benefit 401a and was able to switch his match contribution from SFR? to NEA Direct Invest. The employer contribution continued to go to the 401a using SFR. After your NEA Direct Invest is set up, you will be able to work on transferring your HM 403b balance to the NEA Direct Invest account. HM requires you do this using their transfer form. The transfer will terminate the HM 403b, unless you choose to do a partial transfer. You will probably have a surrender fee which the HM 800 number can tell you about. Because of the high fees of a variable annuity (2% or more), it often makes sense to pay the surrender fee and invest the money in a vender's low-cost 403b (0.1% or less).
  5. M Pearson, welcome to the forum. You are fortunate that Vanguard in on the list. It's an industry leader in low--cost mutual funds, and the first to sell low-cost index funds back in the 1970s. Vanguard does not sell annuity based 403b plans, as do many of the vendors in you list. You could choose one of their target retirement funds which includes stocks and bonds, both US and international. https://investor.vanguard.com/mutual-funds/target-retirement/#/ Have you read the 403bwise investing information on the website? It's a great review of 403b basics. https://403bwise.org/education
  6. I agree with Tony completely! It's a reasonable asset allocation for someone 10 years from retirement who will have a pension and maybe social security. The TBF is not earning very much right now, but it will look great if there's a big downturn in the stock market. The TISF at 10% isn't going to be a big factor no matter what happens, but it adds diversification and you never know when it will do better than it has recently. We own some TISF also.
  7. ClarkandAddison, welcome to the forum! I agree with Tony that being a member of NEA, or working for a district that bargains with a NEA union, is irrelevant to being able to use Security Benefit's NEA Direct Invest. I would stick with the Vanguard funds in NEA DI because the others are more expensive actively-managed funds. You can find a discussion of the Vanguard funds in msucurt's thread. Good luck with getting Fidelity added to the 403b vendor list. Do you have a 457b vendor list? What state are you it?
  8. It's been reported by an employee of an un-named 403b annuity-seller that they would receive a transfer form with 3 mistakes. They would reject the transfer and point out only 1 mistake. Same procedure on a 2nd mistake. The customer would often give up or postpone the transfer. There's lots of blame to go around for the K-14 403b problems, including Congress, the Federal executive branch (SEC, IRS, Dept of Labor, etc.), the States, school districts, unions, the insurance and finance industries, the TPAs, etc. Did I forget to mention K-14 employees and their willingness to trust insurance salespersons? There's been a number of small victories, here and there, but it's slow going. Yes VOYA and NLG have the upper hand now, and you will need to be thorough and patient. Many posters have reported on their experience and that can be helpful. We can help you understand the transfer form if you'd like. Of course calling the companies with questions is always a recommendation. You might find it useful to join the 403bwise Facebook Group. It's full of folks that have dealt or are dealing with transfer forms. I don't use FB, but do participate in this very useful Group. You can see info on the Group with a sticky at the top of this forum's intro page.
  9. Good luck! I think the Roth IRA transfers will be smoother than the 403b transfers to SB.
  10. Step 2 on the SB Direct Invest Incoming Funds Request says: “2. Please contact your current carrier for any form requirements it may have for transferring money to another company. “ This is critical to moving your balances from VOYA and National Life Group. The transfer will not happen unless the transfer forms of VOYA and National Life Group are completed to their satisfaction. After receiving the forms, you will need to talk to them about their requirements. They will not accept SB’s transfer form as sufficient to make the transfer. Other posters have found that annuity company transfer forms can be a serious challenge. They have parts to be filled out and signed by you, and a part to be filled out and signed by Security Benefit, and a part to be signed by your district's TPA, all done in the correct order. Let us know how it goes. Discussing your questions may help other posters in the future.
  11. They are not phasing out 500 Index, just eliminating the Investor class. Everybody gets to use the Admiral class. You do have a choice, don't you.
  12. If you look at the Quarterly Performance page, you'll see that they are using the Admiral class for both 500 Index and for TSM. I think the rep you talked to is incorrect.
  13. Thanks for the info on the plan #. As for the Admiral class of the 500 Index fund, you can only choose funds that are on the SB list for NEA Direct Invest. However, instead of using the 500 Index fund, which only covers large cap stocks and some mid caps, we suggested you use the Total Stock Market Index fund. TSM covers large, mid and small caps---the whole US stock market. It's more diversified than 500 Index, which is desirable. In the past, SB used the Admiral class on TSM. The Vanguard website says that they have done away with the Investor class for Index 500 and TSM---they only use Admiral class now?
  14. Was there an indication that the TPA used the same plan # for all the Security Benefit options? Or did NEA Direct Invest have its own plan #? Getting the plan # has been an annoying snag for many folks who were the first in their district to choose NEA Direct Invest. I think that Security Benefit's Salary Reduction Agreement (which includes the TPA's plan #, is only of use to Security Benefit if the district/TPA has their own. At the bottom of the SB form, it says to mail or fax it to them.
  15. That's great that you got the plan number. Did you get it from the TPA? I guess you also sent the Salary Reduction Agreement to Security Benefit as required? Have you asked for the district's own SRA from the TPA? That's the one that will be required by the school/TPA.
  16. Security Benefit can't provide you the plan #. It's up to the TPA or HR to tell you what they want to use. The plan # of each 403b vendor is usually listed on the TPA's website. The TPA probably doesn't have a unique # for SB's NEA DI, so try using the plan # for Security Benefit. If you submit the SB Salary Reduction Agreement to SB and they say it's the wrong #, then you will have forced the issue with the TPA. It's their job to supply the number. It won't help, but this confusion on the plan # has been reported repeatedly. The TPA will require you to use their Salary Reduction Agreement so SB's SRA is only required by SB, not the district. Can you explain what you mean when you called the TPA and didn't get anywhere? Did you ask for the plan # for Security Benefit? The TPA is unlikely to have any knowledge of a vendor's various options. I think you are jumping the gun on the Incoming Funds Request. I realize that the SB instructions suggest you do so. First things first. Get the SB NEA DI account set up. Then contact the 2 annuity companies and request their transfer forms. You can't do anything with those transfer forms until you have the SB NEA DI account set up. NOTE: You have reported that the TPA supplied you with the plan #, and that it is your social security #. Thanks for that information!
  17. I'm not sure what info you were seeking from SB, but you may find that we can answer your questions a lot more easily. We've been dealing with NEA Direct Invest questions for a number of years. I realize it would be reassuring to talk to a well-informed SB rep and get a sense of the legitimacy of what you are contemplating. Unfortunately many posters have reported an experience similar to or worse than yours. SB doesn't make any money on NEA DI, in fact they make LOTS of money by selling their other products. So dealing with SB reps takes patience and perseverance. I wouldn't bother until it's necessary. NEA DI is a bare bones option for those who do not require hand-holding, but once it's set up, it's a super low-cost option and does an excellent job of allowing you to avoid those super-expensive annuity sellers.
  18. Go ahead and contact the TPA for the NEA Direct Invest plan #. You have to deal with them as they are authorized by the district to administrate their 403b plan. By the way, the NEA Direct Invest option is a Security Benefit option, and is not administered by NEA, but by Security Benefit. All your correspondence should be with SB, not NEA. Yes, you will be able to change the funds and their percentages later. I think it might be wise if you included some bonds in your asset allocation, say 20% VBILX Intermediate term Bond Index. VFIAX 500 Index (large caps) and VSMAX Small Cap Index are covered by VTSAX Total Stock Mkt. There's a lot of duplication if you use all 3 funds. So I'd use 50% VTSAX, 30% VTIAX and 20% VBILX, or something similar.
  19. You should use the 3 funds that Tony and Ed suggested: VTSAX Total Stock Mkt, this covers the complete US stock market, including that covered by 500 Index and Small Cap Index VTIAX Total Int’l Stock Mkt, this covers all international stock markets VBILX Intermediate term Bond Index, this is a good substitute for Vanguard's Total Bond Market Index funds. VBILX is 50% Treasury bonds and 50% corporate bonds. Have you decided your asset allocation yet? That's the ratio of stocks to bonds. Also what percent, if any, of your total stocks do you want in international stocks? OK on transferring your 2 annuity 403b balances to NEA Direct Invest account. Each of those companies will have their own transfer forms that will have to be submitted to Security Benefit and to your TPA. You are doing great, getting started on the process of getting a MUCH better 403b plan! We're sorry that it's as difficult as it is, but we've all been through the same frustrations. We're here to help you get through them as easily as possible. It takes patience. You will feel great when it's all done!
  20. Here’s my thoughts on setting up an account with Security Benefit's NEA Direct Invest: On Step 1, print the Custodial Account Agreement and study it and the Privacy Statement. Your district may have a “plan number” for Security Benefit’s NEA Direct Invest option, or they may use the number for other Security Benefit options. You’ll have to find out from your district’s TPA (Third Party Administrator). On Step 2, your district probably has their own Salary Reduction Statement that you will have to use. You will get it from your district’s TPA. I would wait before submitting this form until Security Benefit tells you your account is set up. On Step 3 on moving the 2 annuity accounts to the NEA Direct Invest account, I would also wait until your account is set up and receiving contributions from you. The transfer will involve using the annuity companies' transfer forms and usually takes several months. On Step 4, choose the method for submitting the Account Application to Security Benefit. If you don’t hear from them in about 2 weeks, call and find out if there’s a problem with your application. So Steps 1 and 4 are all you need to take care of for the time being.
  21. That 5k to 7k that you want to invest for your retirement can be used to fund a Roth IRA for 2020. You can have more than 1 Roth IRA account, so I would set one up with Vanguard. It can be empty until you put money in it. Then you can fund it and then get Vanguard to help you transfer the AF Roth IRA. On this webpage, click on “Enroll Now” to access the steps to get started on the NEA Direct Invest 403b. https://www.nearetirementprogram.com/nea-directinvest Let us know if you need help with NEA Direct Invest forms. Don't expect much help from Security Benefit. And none from NEA. NEA Direct Invest is a super-low-cost 403b plan but there's no hand-holding or advice with it.
  22. Whyme, I retired at age 56 in 1992 and my teacher’s pension didn’t cover our expenses so I took a monthly distribution from my VALIC 403b. I had only 16 years in the pension plan, but for 1 year, the state lowered the required time to 15 years from 20 and lowered the required age to 55 from 60 (as a budget saving measure by replacing expensive employees). My wife postponed taking her small state pension for about 8 years in order to maximize it. We started social security at 62 and stopped the 403b distributions. Perhaps that was a mistake and maybe we should have postponed taking ss and continued with the 403b distributions? We do not have regrets though. In 1993 we moved aboard our small sailboat (28’) and took off, forced but willing to live frugally. We slowly crossed the Pacific, spending time in Mexico (2 yrs), French Polynesia (1 season), short visits to various Pacific Island countries, NZ (2 yrs) and Australia (10 yrs). We flew back every other year to help parents, usually for several months. While we were abroad, our small pensions plus small ss payments were enough to live on and the IRAs continued to grow. We have a taxable account with bond fund dividends that now supplement our income as do RMDs from our tax deferred accounts. We now probably pull out about 2%/year from the investments, as needed, and the balance continues to increase. Our retirement asset allocation was about 45/45/10 stock/bond/cash while we were overseas. Since then it’s been 40/60, +/- 5%. On retirement we chose the same state health plan I had while working, which covered us when we were out of the state or overseas. The COLA for my pension comes and goes (mostly goes?) as per the legislature. After age 65, with Medicare, the state's Medigap plan dropped our health insurance costs a lot. I should mention that we are renters and have never owned real estate. We returned to Seattle in 2008. We’re now land-based and renters again and have spent summers cruising on our boat in SE Canada since then (except for this last summer). We will probably age-out of the boat in a year or 2?
  23. Yes it's aggressive but only you can say it's "too aggressive". It's certainly not what we would suggest for a beginning investor, but I don't think you are a beginner. How did you feel in March when the market dropped like a rock? Would you be able to keep from exchanging into a MM fund if the market dropped 50% like it did in 2008-2009? Your growth funds are certainly doing great these days. I think you might consider exchanging 10% Small Cap and 10% Real Estate for 20% Total Bond Index.
  24. At the end of every day that the stock market is open, the value of each stock (and then each mutual fund) is determined. Let’s say the stock market is open 250 days out of the year. That (end-of-the-day value) times (the expense ratio) times (1/250) equals that day’s net asset value (NAV). The NAV is what is reported in the newspaper, internet, and your statement. The NAV has already been reduced by 1/250 of the expense ratio. Over the course of the year, all of the expense ratio will have been taken by the financial company. Does this make sense?
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