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  1. Thank you, Tony. That sounds great and I appreciate your input. In regards to your question, I do have some international exposure as well. I'll let you know if I have any other questions in the meantime! Best, Dan
  2. Thank you, krow36. Security Benefit is offered as a 403b in my district. I already previously switched 403b vendors from MetLife to Aspire over a year ago. I guess I circle back to my original question of whether or not I should switch over from Aspire to NEA Direct Invest through Security Benefit. I have done some reading and it looks like there is a some shady behavior on behalf of Security Benefit and maybe still perhaps some learning to do with Direct Invest? Wondering if I should just be satisfied with Aspire.
  3. Actually, I just checked my allocation. I am 100% invested in Vanguard Total Stock Market Idx Adm (VTSAX). This is the best I'll get, correct?
  4. Okay great! This is really great information, Tony and krow36. I appreciate it! I will follow up with Aspire now and will circle back to this forum. Thank you once again! Best, Dan
  5. I am currently maxing out my 403b through Aspire. They only charge 15 basis points and $40 annually. I am invested in the low-cost Vanguard Total Stock Market Index. I think this is a fairly low-cost option since the expense ratio, to my knowledge, is under .5% and is, in fact, around .3%. What are your thoughts on Aspire vs. NEA Direct Invest through Security Benefit? To my knowledge, the Direct Invest program only charges $35 annually on accounts with balances under 50k and no annual fee with accounts on balances over 50k. I don't believe they charge an administrative fee or have an expense ratio, but I'm not positive. Should I switch? Or, stay with Aspire? I do not know much about Security Benefit. Thank you and I look forward to hearing back from you!
  6. Hi Tony, I agree with you. I plan on contacting the school board next. Thank you once again for your input! Best, Dan
  7. Thank you, Tony and krow36! This is all great advice. I really appreciate it! I have already spoke with a union rep at my school and am putting things in motion to contact the school board in order to get Aspire listed as an option for 457 vendors. In the meantime, I am planning on splitting my 18.5k between my Voya 457 and a low-cost taxable account. I will keep us updated. Thank you once again for your time! I will likely have more questions soon.
  8. Thank you, krow36. I followed up with Voya twice about the fees and they insist it's just the .95% contractual fee plus the weighted average of the individual mutual funds. Yes, the plan does have a surrender fee : 5% of the balance if I roll over the funds within the first 5 years (i just opened the account last year). After 5 years, that surrender fee goes down until there is no surrender fee at all at the 10 year mark. I contacted the payroll supervisor in my district asking about adding Aspire as a 457 option. She said they board is not currently interested in adding any additional 403b or 457 vendors to the list. Looks like I'll have to attend some board meetings soon. In the meantime, there's not much more I can do. I agree - we deserve at least one low-cost vendor. I really like your idea about splitting the 18.5k contribution between my Voya 457 and a low-cost taxable account. I do not have a spouse contributing to my taxable income and yes, my 1099 is a significant addition to my taxable income. Maxing out my 457 does generally put me in at least a slightly lower tax bracket and saves me some money in taxes (to my knowledge).
  9. Hi krow36 - I just found out that my Voya 457 is annuity-based. As it was explained to me - it has an "annuity wrapper" on it, but I don't have to elect for it to be paid out as an annuity. Does that make sense? Of course, the individual funds that I'm invested in are mutual funds. I'd love to know your thoughts on that and the other aforementioned information. Thank you so much! Best, Dan
  10. Thank you, krow36. This is great information. I am currently 31 and only a few years into teaching, so I am a ways away from retirement. I will check and see if my Voya 457 plan is a mutual fund based plan. My allocations are as follows: - 55% Voya Russell Large Cap Index -- ER = .38% - 15% Voya Russell Mid Cap Index -- ER = .44% - 10% Voya Russell Small Cap Index -- ER = .46% - 20% Voya Russell International Cap Index -- ER = .55% PLUS the .95% contractual fee. In regards to your other questions - I am maxing out everything else. I max out my Roth IRA annually at $5500 (some years I do Traditional IRA), as well as my 403b at $18,500. My 403b is through Aspire and I am 100% invested in the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index with a low ER. Aspire only charges 15 basis points annually and a $40 fee - that's pretty low right? So, I should keep maxing that out and let it sit? I also max out a SEP IRA and my HSA every year as well. I do sub-contractor (1099) work outside of school, so my income is higher than most teachers (although I do have an aggressive accountant). So, to recap - I am currently maxing out the following accounts every year: 403b, 457, Roth IRA, SEP IRA, and HSA. In regards to my 457. What do you recommend I do? Should I keep pumping money into it? Or, should take that money and invest it in a low-cost index fund (taxable account) through Vanguard with post-tax dollars? I'm just concerned about Voya's fees eating away at my growth over time, but if you feel it's worth still putting money in there given the current fees, I'd still do it. Also, what are your thoughts on a 529 plan? Should I take some of my 457 contributions and put them into a 529 plan for future education for myself or my nieces/nephews? Or put them in a taxable account? Or keep them in the 457? Or a little of all three? Sorry for all of the questions - you are very sharp and I'd love to hear your opinion. Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing back from you! Best, Dan
  11. Hi krow36 - sorry for the delay! Yes, I am maxing out my 457 as well as my 403b. With my Voya 457, I am concerned about the fees. I am invested in the Voya Russell Large, Mid and Small Cap indices as well as the Voya International Index. Their fees are 38%, .44%, .46% and .55%. Does that mean I take an average of those 4, or add them all up? Also, they charge a contractual fee of .95% as well. I would love to hear your opinion. The only other option that my district offers for a 457 is Security Benefit, which I heard their fees are high. Is that true? Should I keep maxing out my Voya 457?
  12. Thank you, krow36. Did you see my reply to your response on the 403b thread? I am going to transition to Aspire and max that out at 18k per year. I am also maxing out my Voya 457 plan as well. I want to contribute to/max out a 457 plan as well, but don't have many options besides Voya or Security Benefit. Thoughts?
  13. I appreciate your insight, krow36. I have decided to move over to Aspire immediately, however I will be avoiding the MetLife surrender fees by rolling over my 10% penalty-free money and then moving the rest over as of 2020 (when the surrender fees expire). I appreciate the help that everyone has given me with respect to this situation. Kindest Regards, Dan
  14. Okay so I am back after speaking with MetLife. I absolutely want to start a new 403b account with Aspire since their fees are exorbitantly lower, more transparent, and they offer much better investment options. I have two 403b accounts open with MetLife. Here is what I found out: ACCOUNT 1 Under 10K in account - 9% surrender fee until 5 years is up. After 5 years there is no surrender fee - opened on January 26, 2015 - 5 years is up on January 26, 2020. I get to move 10% penalty-free, and then the rest is subject to 9% surrender fee. ACCOUNT 2 10-20K in account - 9% surrender fee until 5 years is up. After 5 years there is no surrender fee - opened on September 2, 2015 - 5 years is up on September 2, 2020. I get to move 10% penalty-free, and then the rest is subject to 9% surrender fee. As a side note, I also have the option to move this money into a fixed-interest rate at 3% with MetLife (take it out of the market) until the 5 years (2020) is over to avoid surrender fees. Here are my three options: 1) Do nothing and stay with MetLife (not preferable). 2) Open a new 403b account with Aspire and keep my current money in MetLife until the 5 years is up, avoiding surrender fees. Move the money over to Aspire as of 2020. *If I do option 2, am I losing "steam" in terms of compounding money in the market since my balance with Aspire would now start at zero? This is important to me. 3) Open a new 403b account with Aspire and immediately roll my money over from MetLife, taking the hit on surrender fees. What do you all think? What do I do??? Thank you! Best, Dan
  15. Hi All - I recently started a 457 plan with Voya. I am a public school teacher in Connecticut. The only two options that my district offers for 457 plans are Voya and Security Benefit. Is it good to stay with Voya? They seemed to have good investment options, and I don't know much about Security Benefit. Thank you! Best, Dan
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