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Everything posted by krow36

  1. krow36


    Fidelity is by far the best (only?) low-cost vendor on that list. It’s admin fee is only $24/yr. You could use a single target retirement fund such as Fidelity Freedom Index 20XX. This type of fund has a balance of stock and bond funds which rebalances as necessary, and becomes more conservative as the 20XX year approaches. Its expense ratio is only 0.12% which is acceptably low. https://www.403bcompare.com/products/68#/investmentoptions You could also use the following very low-cost funds to construct a Three Fund Portfolio: Total Market Index Premium, FSTVX, ER 0.02% International Index Premium, FSIVX, ER 0.05% US Bond Index Premium, FSITX, ER 0.03% An example Portfolio might be something like: 64% Total Market Index Premium, FSTVX 16% International Index Premium, FSIVX 20% US Bond Index Premium, FSITX Rebalancing to bring the account back to the desired percentages can be done once a year and usually takes only a few hours. An asset allocation is a personal decision that depends on your ability to accept the ups and downs of the markets without bailing out when there is a downturn. https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Three-fund_portfolio https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Asset_allocation
  2. No problem about asking questions about anything anybody says on the forum! We love questions, and we don't always agree. I think I am correct about moving a 403b from your current employer into a 457 also with your current employer. And yes that chart indicates it's possible. But I think the details were omitted from the chart. The reference to a separate account is a requirement of the receiving plan. The 403b balance is not turned into a 457 balance, but is still considered a 403b account within your 457 account. This discussion has come up before in the forum. The best way to find out for sure is to call the 457 plan and ask. That settled it for the NY state 457 plan.
  3. I listened to the podcast also, which I always enjoy and learn from. I think they were talking about distributions, not rollovers. And the word "even" shouldn't be there. If still employed by the plan's sponsor, the 403b allows a distribution at age 59.5, while the 457 did require an employee to wait until age 70.5 before taking a penalty-free distribution if still employed. The new law lowers that 70.5 age for the 457 and makes it age 59.5, the same as that of the 403b. The advantage of the 457 over the 403b remains the same as far as distribution after separation from service---there's no 10% early distribution penalty on the 457 and there is for the 403b. The general rule for the 403b is that there's an early distribution penalty before age 59.5, but there's an exception to that. If the employee separates from service at age 55, there's no penalty on distributions from that last employer's 403b plan. I took advantage of this and took a penalty free distribution from my 403b at age 58.
  4. You are not allowed to transfer your AXA 403b account balance to your SC state 457 account (to-be) unless the 403b account was sponsored by a previous school district (not your current district). You CAN transfer your balance to another vendor that is on your district’s 403b vendor list. I see mostly vendors that sell high cost (mostly annuity) plans on your district's list. So the best solution is for you and your colleagues to get a low-cost vendor (Vanguard, Fidelity or Aspire) added to the district’s 403b vendor list. This can be done but will take some time and effort. Is your AXA 403b account a variable annuity using sub accounts, or a fixed annuity with a low interest rate, say 2%? Is it the Equi-vest Series 201? If so, there is no surrender fee because you have had the account for more than 12 years.
  5. The SC state 457 offers some excellent fund choices. The Vanguard Institutional Index is an excellent, super low-cost S&P 500 index fund (ER = 0.02%). If you can put your bond fund allocation in another account, using only VIIIX would work. The target retirement funds with an ER of only 0.10% are also a great choice. These would be totally diversified and automatically rebalanced. You can pick one that suits your desired asset allocation (stock to bond ratio), rather than using the funds date (which reflects a retirement date).
  6. krow36


    Welcome to the forum! Please post your district’s 403b vendor list. We’ll help you select the lowest cost one. What state are you in?
  7. Sorry for the delay in responding to you sooner! Aspire has a $40/yr fee and adds 0.15% to the ER of the funds you use. Yes, there's a long list of both Fidelity and Vanguard funds available. If you google "Aspire 403b FAQ" you will see lots of information. You can choose to have a self-directed account and not use an advisor, which adds 0.6% to the fees. NEA Direct Invest is for a 403b only, not for a 457.
  8. I agree that Vanguard (403b) and Fidelity (403b and 457) are the best to add to the vendor list. Next best is Aspire (403b and 457). If a NJ district, next best is Lincoln Investment for their low-cost Participant Directed Platform (403b and 457). I would put Security Benefit's NEA Direct Invest (403b) last, and in fact would never recommend that they be ADDED to the vendor list because they would sell annuities to uninformed colleagues. LI sells expensive custodial plans but not annuities.(?) Besides NJ, LI has been reported to allow the low-cost option in a few districts in NY, in Philadelphia and in the Chicago area. Edit: I just learned the although LI doesn't sell annuities in CA, it does sell annuities in other states. So I think you should stick with Vanguard, Fidelity and ASPire.
  9. As a NJ district, I wonder if you are aware of the Lincoln Investment Participant Direct 403 B/457b plan which is only available to school districts in NJ and a few districts in NY and the Chicago area? It's a fantastic plan for those districts if Lincoln Investment Group is on the vendor list. It's also a 457 plan option. The admin fee is $35/yr it would cover both a 403b and a 457 account. Most Vanguard funds are available. It is internet based and must be opened by getting the PDF application form from a regional Lincoln Investment office. Local reps can tell you who to call. This arrangement has been said to have been organized by the NJEA, the NJ state-wide union??Another rep has said that NJ state law requires that be offered??
  10. krow36


    If you google “Aspire 403b FAQ” and scroll down, you’ll see that you are not required to use an advisor. On the Aspire form you download, write in “self directed” and Aspire will not require an advisor. The EJ fees and rep will be out of the loop.
  11. krow36


    Hi Luisa glad you have returned! Aspire is a decent vendor for both 403b and 457 plans. They add 0.15% fee to a $40/yr fee to Vanguard Admiral class funds. Their phone help is professional. The other option is Security Benefit’s Direct Invest. It is very low cost if you use their Vanguard index funds. It is also internet based but their phone support has been reported as sometimes unsatisfactory. Their admin fee is $35/yr for balances under 35k. They are usable if you are determined and patient. If you use the search feature of this site you will find lots of threads on both these vendors and at least one comparing. What state are you in? You may have access to a low cost state run 457 plan.
  12. Often you can google the "district's name, 403b plan" and find a link to the vendor list.
  13. krow36

    NY 457

    Please see my answer on the 403b board.
  14. Yes, it's better! It all depends on the size of the balance. The NY state 457 plan probably has the lowest cost admin fee of all the state run 457 plans. There's a limited number of NY state school districts, municipalities and state employees. The Vanguard 403b plan is potentially open to all school districts and non-profits in the US. It has to deal with transfers from the multiple vendors that most school districts also have. Imagine having to deal with all those insurance companies! The Fidelity K-12 403b has an admin fee of $24/yr which is lower than either the Vanguard or the NY state 457 admin fee. I suspect this is a 403b loss leader, and Fidelity is able to support this loss with the sale of their numerous more-expensive activly-managed funds. My point is that the 403b admin fees of Vanguard, Fidelity and the admin fees of the NY state 457 are all incredibly reasonable! Combined with their low ERs, they are the envy of most of those in 403k plans in the for-profit world. You should be grateful for your access to both the Vanguard 403b and the NY state 457.
  15. From memory, Scott Dauenhauer posted on the FB 403b Group that the OMNI fee for using Vanguard was $60/yr. That is in addition to Vanguard’s Newport Group’s admin fee of $5/mo ($60/yr). So for OMNI users of Vanguard, it’s $120/yr. For a $200,000 balance, that would be a 0.06% fee. Not that significant. (Scott Abrams’ thread of Jan 17). For smaller balances of new accounts $120/yr is more significant. For a $50k balance: $120/50,000 = 0.24%. That’s still not an unreasonable admin fee. After a few years, hopefully maxing out the 403b, the $$$ type of fee becomes less and less significant. A flat $$$ fee is a more favorable fee to larger balances than an assets under management fee, and I think you should welcome it. The often recommended CalSTRS Pension2 403b has an admin fee of 0.25%. CalSTRS Pension2 would levy a fee of $500 on a $200,000 balance. Compare that to OMNI P3’s $60 TPA fee on Vanguard accounts.
  16. On the 403bwise Facebook Group, Scott has recently mentioned NEA Direct Invest as a viable choice in a district with poor annuity choices. He has set up 2 NEA DI accounts, one for his wife, the other for a client I think. So he is not against using NEA Direct Invest if it the only low-cost option. He prefers the CalSTRS Pension2 with its added 0.25% fee over NEA DI if the teacher wishes for some local support, which seems reasonable to me. From the recent WSJ article on unions and K-12 403b plans: “Lisa Sotir, chief compliance officer at the NEA’s Member Benefits subsidiary, said. . . . just 1.5% of the money in NEA-endorsed retirement products is invested in the low-cost option.” So I guess Scott was referring to the 98.5% of the NEA 403b products?
  17. WOW! You've certainly simplified and lowered the costs of your 403b contributions! And you are fully diversified and not on any particular sector. Others might choose different percentages of the 3 funds (more or less bonds, etc.) but I think yours are very reasonable for someone at the start of their investing for retirement. Nice idea to post it in the teacher's room. Hopefully it will generate some discussion! Maybe you could include the 403bwise.org address? Thanks for the update!
  18. A basis point is 0.01%. So a fee of only 0.03% is fantastically low. Because the NYS 457b plan is so large, they have economy of scale. Some of their index funds have ERs of only 0.01%!
  19. When you retire, you will most likely roll the Aspire 403b into a traditional IRA. There is no fee to take a distribution from a Vanguard (etc.) IRA. The $75 transfer out fee will apply and I don't think you should be concerned about that. You'll transfer it ALL out, so it's a one time fee. I don't think it's likely you will be taking distributions from the 403b, but if you need to, you will take them from your IRA. As Ed mentioned, AXA has a surrender fee they levy when you move your balance out. It is usually 5% for the current year and the previous 5 years. You should ask AXA for the exact amount. It depends on how much you contributed in each of those 6 years. Since you are probably paying about 2% per year in annual fees, it usually makes sense to pay the surrender fee and escape the annual fees.
  20. ariel, please start a new thread with this question, if you haven't seen the answer already. It's a good question.
  21. You will find a number of recent threads discussing Aspire and the SB NEA Direct Invest on this forum. For instance: https://board.403bwise.com/topic/7531-ct-vendor-list-for-wife/
  22. The administration fee for Vanguard's K-12 403b plan is $5/month or $60/yr. There is no percentage fee on the balance. If you are interested in getting Vanguard added, it would be helpful if you joined the Facebook 403bwise group where there are a number of posters working to add Vanguard to their district's 403b list. Some have OMNI as their ATP. You can see the link to the group in the stickies at the top of this forum's list of threads.
  23. Thanks for the list. You have 2 possible low-cost 403b vendors. Both options are custodial accounts, not annuity plans. Both options do not use local reps, but use the internet and phone. The easiest to use is Aspire which has good phone help. They allow you to use Vanguard's low-cost index funds. They add 0.15% to the funds' expense ratio, so the total fee would be about 0.20% to 0.25%. There is an administration fee of $40/yr which will cover the TPA fee to OMNI. The other option is Security Benefit's NEA Direct Invest. It is lower cost as the only fee is $35/yr if the account balance is less than 50k. It has 8 low-cost Vanguard index funds available. SB is known to have erratic phone service for NEA Direct Invest and it takes patience and probably persistence to get the account established. Once established posters report being satisfied with this option. It's possible that you could get Vanguard added to the 403b vendor list. OMNI P3 is allowing it to be added. You would need to contact Vanguard, OMNI and your district HR people.
  24. Lucy215, welcome to the forum! The 10% penalty your rep mentioned only applies if you take your money out of the 403b, that is cash it out. It does not apply is you transfer your balance to another 403b vendor that is on your district's vendor list. Can you copy and paste your district's 403b vendor list? You can get the list from the district's HR department or from the district's third party administrator (TPA). Sometimes just googling: "your district's name, 403b plan" will get you to the list.
  25. Maybe I'm confused but it seems to me that they are just saying that vendors cannot be excluded if they qualify. In other words, districts cannot put the plans out for bids and control the number of vendors. I don't see anything about excluding Vanguard or Fidelity, but all I've read is your quote. I think CA and WA have such a state regulation currently. All thanks to the powerful insurance lobbies which have lots of money to give to the elected representatives.
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