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njquestions

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  1. Yes, those articles were what got me started with the research. I also think our unions need to be a better job of educating new members about this. Even just providing a few websites or books with the initial compensation agreements seems reasonable.
  2. Just a quick update that confirms my decision to switch and the reason for my frustration with Met Life. Just got off the phone with one of their representatives and the surrender penalty is $1,622 for a one time full account change; otherwise they have a 12 year surrender schedule. My interest rate was also 3%. Simply absurd. I feel foolish for having signed up but am so glad to have come across the resources on here so this did not continue for the next 30 years. Will definitely be sharing this information with my colleagues.
  3. I really appreciate all the thoughtful responses and everyone taking the time to help out. I wish I had known about this forum when initially starting out; I would have likely saved myself some time and money. I called around to a few advisors and most seemed to offer some combination of either an hourly fee or a flat rate for an overall assessment. I think what I am going to do is take the advice of the previous posters on here and try to plan out as much as I can myself, then pay an advisor for 1 or 2 hours to look everything over and make sure I am not making any obvious or egregious errors. This consultation is just as important for my piece of mind, as I tend to be a little overwhelmed / intimidated by all the financial jargon, products, and fee structures. I am going to stop the payments to the MetLife fund and I think switch to Aspire. After doing a bit of initial research, they seem to have some good low-cost mutual fund options from a variety of different providers. One thing I am still a little confused on: if I pick a target date fund, do those funds allocate and diversify within the fund? Meaning, would my entire allocation be to one target date fund which would then allocate for me, or, would I need to choose a target date fund and pair that with multiple other options of my choosing? If it is the later, what are the primary consideration in the decision process? Again, I really appreciate the help and time, and am looking forward to continuing to learn and become more active on these topics.
  4. Good afternoon, I recently stumbled across the "Teach and Retire Rich" podcast and the NYT article on 403B accounts, which lead to me to this website and what seems like a wonderful and helpful community of people. I also became a father in June, which has made me want to take stock of my family's overall finances a bit more with a unified plan. I am not sure if this is the appropriate forum for my questions, but any advice, guidance, or tips would be greatly appreciated, as I get the sense from the podcast that many educators are grappling with the same issues. Like so many others on here have likely experienced, when I started teaching nine years ago at age 21, I signed up for a 403b account through a representative who showed up at my school without really understanding fees or the long-term financial implications; I heard retirement savings and thought it sounded responsible, so I just did it. In going back and assessing it now, I am hoping for help with 3 questions: 1) If I want to get out of the annuity products / company I am with, what is the best way to do so? I am currently signed up for the MetLife Financial Freedom Select, with a large portion of each contribution going toward a fixed income account. There is currently about $22,000 in the account, and I am not sure what the tax / fee penalties would be to switching a different provider and away from an annuity structure. My wife works for a hospital system and also has a 403b with an employer match, so we max that out; my plan is a supplement to that plan. I also am part of the NJ state pension system at the Tier 2 level. 2) Of the list of providers my school contracts with, does anyone have experience with them or recommendations as to which are best / low fee? Here is the list provided by my payroll department: 403(b) Company Name VALIC AXA Equitable Lincoln Life Met Life Security Benefit Lincoln Investment Planning USAA 403(b)(7) Company Name Aspire 403(b) (formerly 403 ASP) Security Benefit/NEA Valuebuilder AXA Equitable/Pen Serve Lincoln Investment Planning 457(b) Company Name AXA Equitable 3) Is it a good idea to pay for the advice / services of a NAPFA fiduciary in my area? I like researching things myself; however, I feel it may be wise to pay a professional for an initial assessment as I change 403b's and look into setting up a college fund for my daughter and potentially a Roth account. Does anyone have any experience using a CFP as a fiduciary or a recommendation of a good one in the central NJ area? I know there is a lot of information in here, but I am feeling a bit overwhelmed and this seemed like a helpful forum, so I figured it was worth a s. Thank you to anyone who takes the time to read / respond. - Nick
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