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  1. Thanks Tony. I was comparing the returns to the Vanguard Target Retirement 2055, and I was aware of the expenses so that's why I'm shocked at those returns. For all I know they deduct fees within the fund after the statement, who knows. As we all know, they are less than upfront. The hilarious thing is, the rep from Horace Mann has a little poster that says Expenses Matter that is hung in our faculty lounge. It starts over 1% as the low fee, and goes up to something like 3.5%. 🙄
  2. Haven't posted in awhile. Successfully got Aspire added to our district and people have asked for help signing up. One thing that is difficult is the fact that Aspire spells out clearly every fee that is charged, and places like Horace Mann do not. This makes my fellow teachers think they aren't getting such a good deal because they aren't used to seeing fees. How does Horace Mann deduct their fees? I know they charge 1.25% M & E fee, but do they reduce total number of "units," reduce the unit price ??? Just trying to find where it shows up. Was hoping to just show the results are less, but honestly, a friend showed me her statement for the last quarter and it was slightly better than a Vanguard Target Date Fund. The fund was Fidelity Funds Manager 85%. It does state "The quarterly rate of return above is calculated prior to the deduction of any annual maintenance fee, charges due to early withdrawal or surrender, premium loads or market value adjustments, if applicable to your contract." Doing the math from beginning balance and ending balance does come out to the % they state, however. I realize that the period of time is only a small snaps and has no bearing on results over a long period of time. I was just surprised. Probably a waste of time trying to figure this out, but I would love to be able to explain this. 😀
  3. So discouraging to finally have access to low cost funds and run into this many snags. I love Vanguard, and have an IRA with them, but they can’t ignore all these complaints about Newport. It shouldn’t be that difficult!
  4. My cynical self thinks Security Benefit makes it as difficult as possible because they really didn't want to offer this product, they just did it so they could say they offer it. It disgusts me that the NEA doesn't provide low costs options and instead push more expensive models because they are making money off of it. I just went through the transfer process from AXA to Aspire, and it went pretty smoothly. Aspire actually wants your business, apparently unlike Security Benefit DirectInvest.
  5. I’m a little confused too Jrhorns. Who is this rep? Where is your money being held now? I have to second what EdLaFave said. Do not get involved with a rep. The only one who will make out is the rep. My “rep” did nothing for me for years, I just didn’t have any other options. Direct Invest won’t let you have a rep, I believe, and again, you don’t need one. Read JebJebitz’s post. Those are good funds, except I can’t comment on the bond portion. Your only decision is asset allocation. What percentage of stocks to bonds do you want? If you are not comfortable with that, come back here and ask and I can provide you with a link that would help you with that. The rep will try and make you feel like you can’t do this alone. You can. One thing to be aware of. If your money is already currently in a variable annuity, there is likely a surrender charge. Please come back with more info. People here would love to help you out.
  6. I'm looking forward to see how the guaranteed interest account grows. It's hard to figure out what you're getting when you are still contributing to the account. Math is not my strength! I have no intention of keeping the money there forever, but I'd like to squeeze something out of them that's in my favor at the moment. One reason the financial advisor at AXA gave me for staying with them is I was up 10.9% this year. My Vanguard account with the bond fund that caused a drag on the rest of my account was still up 15% total. It pains me to think how much I lost since I started this 403b 17 years ago. Oh well, better late than never. It does feel good to be free of them. I hope my fellow teachers at school take advantage of this new option.
  7. Makes me happy that when I was trying to push for a low-cost provider for my school I didn't push Vanguard.
  8. I recently completed my transfer from AXA to Aspire, and it went very well. I liquidated all my accounts at AXA and transferred them to Aspire where they were invested according to the funds and percentages I had already chosen. I thought with Aspire if you wanted access to funds that have front loads etc., you have to have an advisor. I could be wrong. In my case, I left my guaranteed interest account at AXA, since I make 3%, so that threw off my asset allocation when the rest of the money was transferred over. In other words, I wanted my future allocation to remain what I set it at, but didn't want the transferred money to go into the bond funds since I kept what would have been my bond portion at AXA in the guaranteed interest account. I was able to go online, click on investments, then transfer and do it totally online. I really didn't want to keep any money at AXA, but 3% is hard to turn down. I will have to do my own rebalancing now, unfortunately.
  9. LibraryLady


    I am a firm believer in the 3 or 4 fund portfolio. What I meant is that some people prefer Fidelity Investments, some Vanguard, some Schwab. You could create your own 3 or 4 fund portfolio using your preferred company.
  10. LibraryLady


    I am in the process of transferring my AXA accounts to Aspire. My experience so far has been very positive. There are thousands of options to choose from in Aspire. I liked that if you liked Vanguard, you could go that direction, if you liked Fidelity, they were they there as well. There was also Schwab. When I opened it, I did not have the $10,000 minimum but I was able to pick admiral shares. I don't want to get into the argument of SB self-direct, but when I looked into it, I did not see a lot of fund options. That was some time ago, so it may have changed.
  11. Just an update. After a feeble attempt to get in touch with me so he could explain the error of my ways, the AXA "financial advisor" sent the paperwork so I could start transferring my funds. He came up with a couple reasons why this was not a good idea; the death benefit guarantee so I can never get less than what I put in, the rebalancing they do, and the guaranteed interest account. If all hell breaks loose, I suppose the death benefit guarantee could be a positive, but mostly because I haven't made a ton of money over the past 13 years, so most of the money in there is what I have put in! My rate of return year to date is 10.9%, which is the most I have ever made, but considering the market, I'm not overly impressed. Anyway, my plan is to keep the 3% guaranteed income there for now, and move the rest. That account has helped my rate of return; the bond funds in my IRA with Vanguard have been a drag on my returns, but that is not why I have them. I have already made the first deposit into my Aspire account, and it went smoothly. At least he didn't insult me by claiming I should stay for his expert advice, when he has always been too busy to meet up with me. Actually, he probably didn't call me because in my email I told him I would spare him my rant about variable annuities and how the high fees over the past 13 years has cost me a ton of money! Thanks everyone.
  12. Definitely better options! I have no experience with any of those companies, just the ones you used to have. If you choose wisely with the Fidelity options, you will make out well. I would encourage you to read and share this with your co-workers. https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Three-fund_portfolio.
  13. Thanks for your reply. I finally did get my account set up at Aspire and am putting through paperwork tomorrow to change my contributions from AXA to Aspire. Then I need to contact AXA to see what paperwork I need to initiate a transfer of all but my guaranteed interest account. I am anticipating it will be a PIA, but necessary. Aspire took longer than it was supposed to, 15 business days, but they answered my questions quickly so that’s what I care about. No doubt AXA will drag their feet but as long as I’m not sending more money their way, I’m happy I don’t know about you, but I am sick of trying to make these financial decisions! ? I will post an update on how this all goes. Thanks! Married to a Library Lady? Obviously you are a smart man.
  14. The administrative charge is $30 a year. If I had less than $10,000 in that guaranteed interest bucket I would transfer that to the new account in a heartbeat. Fortunately or unfortunately I have nearly 8 times that amount. Again, I am assuming I can transfer the stock portion only over and leave the guaranteed interest for now. At the moment, my account setup is not completed yet at Aspire. I plan on calling today to get some info from them. The transfer process will be much more complicated now, but hopefully they will be helpful.
  15. Thank you whyme, I am driving myself crazy over this for some reason. For some people it would be a no brainer, but there's too much emotion involved to make a simple rational decision. So, it's time for a beer and I will see how I'm thinking tomorrow! Thanks!
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