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Everything posted by LibraryLady

  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!
  16. Sorry, I messed up my post. Just wanted to edit it to show I was responding to krow36!
  17. I know what you mean. I'm having a hard time with this decision. I'm so disgusted with how these companies conduct business with teachers, I don't want to leave a cent there. Even if it's poor decision, and it probably would be, I may roll the whole thing over. I won't be touching it for at least another 10 years when I will take my RMD.
  18. The administrative charge is the lessor of $30 or 2% of the account. The withdrawal charge is who the heck knows. I would not keep it at AXA and start withdrawing funds at some point. I would roll it over to my IRA at Vanguard when I retire in probably 4 years. There is no charge to transfer the funds to another 403b.
  19. I collected a year's worth of statements and was able to confirm I am earning 3% in the guaranteed interest account. I also just looked at another post here from poster grw in the thread called "Our Recent Experience with AXA" and a supervisor at AXA confirmed the guaranteed interest account has no fees. Finally, I did find a part in the contract that said-"The fixed maturity options and the guaranteed interest option are not covered by the fee table and examples. However, the annual administrative charge, the withdrawal charge, the third-party transfer or exchange charge, and the charge if you elect the Variable Immediate Annuity payout option do apply to the fixed maturity options and the guaranteed interest option. A market value adjustment (up or down) will apply as a result of a withdrawal, transfer or surrender of amounts from a fixed maturity option." This actually depresses me. I want to be done with AXA, and feel they have taken advantage of all of us for many years. On the other hand, emotion aside, my best option may be to leave that portion of my account there, and roll over the rest. Any thoughts? I may post this on bogleheads as well to get a broader response. Who would think the ability to earn 3% would leave me feeling bad???
  20. Thanks for all your replies. My contract goes back to 2004, and the minimum guaranteed interest rate for this contract is 3.%. It's a series 200, if that means anything. The newer teachers have 1%, but things were different back in 2004. It's not a stable value, it's guaranteed interest rate. My contract shows 3% up through 2027 when it goes to 3.05%. As everyone knows, the language in these contracts is as muddy as they can make it. I thought they took the 1.34% in fees off the total account value, but I don't think they do. Believe me, I do not want to keep a cent at AXA, but I don't want to be stupid either. I will keep looking to see if I can make sense of this in the contract, but I was hoping someone else had posed that question to AXA before....
  21. As I have mentioned, we successfully added Aspire to our 403b choices, which I am very happy about. However, I was going over some figures, and it seems my guaranteed interest account does actually pay 3%. This is a shock to me. On the AXA statements, there is a column Net Investment Portfolio results. When I add these up for the year it does amount to 3%. I thought fees were deducted from this as well. Can anyone confirm this? This would become the bond portion of my account at Aspire, so I'm wondering if I should just leave this part at AXA and transfer the rest. I really don't want to, but I don't want to cut off my nose to spite my face, as they say.
  22. My daughter switched and got a phone call and a 4 paragraph email and she had about $7000 in the account. I have low 6 figures, so we will see. This is a different guy, different district. I am strangely looking forward to sharing my views on variable annuities with him!
  23. I'm getting optimistic I can just jump to Admiral shares. Love all the choices Aspire gives as to where to invest your money. I'm hoping the people I work with take advantage.
  24. Tempted to just fax in my paperwork with the admiral shares and see what happens. Worst that could happen is I lose a couple days. I've waited 16 years for a reasonable 403b provider, I can wait a few more days to start. krow36, I just noticed those minimums because I was clicking around on the links to see if there was any explanation. I wasn't even thinking there was a $3000 minimum for the Investor shares. Will let you know what happens!
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