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Samson

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  1. Samson

    Question

    I found out that one can actually obtain "admiral shares" through Plan Member (due to an agreement between them and Vangaurd). Is .35% too high a price to pay?
  2. Samson

    Roth + 403b

    Thanks for the info...that was very informative.
  3. Samson

    Roth + 403b

    If an individual maxes out their 403b investment can they also contribute to a Roth IRA (assuming they meet all other criteria)?
  4. Samson

    Question

    I am looking for thoughts regarding the following..... My wife's new plan has every hideous insurance company in the world and then this group called "Plan Member". I have read through the Plan Member literature and they have a "self directed" option where an individual can purchase mutual funds THROUGH Plan Member from companies such as Vanguard and a few other decent companies. This issue I have is that Plan Member charges an "Asset-based Account Service Fee" of .35% charged quarterly (I assume that to mean that whatever the account balance at the end of each quarter, Plan Member will deduct 0.0875% of the account balance for their services...whatever those are). Please give me your thoughts on this .35% annual service charge....I think it's high (especially if you wanted to buy a Vanguard index fund with a .15% expense ratio) although it may be better than what those darn insurance companies charge. Thanks for your feedback.
  5. Thanks apteacher. I had a feeling there wasn't anything decent in this list. Do you happen to know the best place to go find out about starting up a ROth IRA?
  6. Below is the list of vendors that my wife's school district is NOW giving her a choice of (they lost Vangaurd). The ones with (ISA) after the name is one who has already signed an Information Sharing Agreement with the TPA (tsacg). Is she in as bad a situation as I think or do any of these companies have any worth for an index investor looking to absolutely minimize fees? 403(b) and 403(b)(7) Tax Sheltered Accounts 1. AIG Retirement/VALIC (ISA) 1-800-892-5558 2. AXA-Equitable/ Equitable Insurance Co. 1-800-628-6673 (ISA) 3. First Investors Corp. 1-800-423-4026 4. Great American Advisors (Broker Dealer) 1-800-854-3649 5. Great American Financial Resources (GALIC) 1-800-854-3649 (ISA) 6. Ind. Alliance Pacific Life 1-425-646-6467 (ISA) 7. Life Insurance Co. of the Southwest 1-800-579-2878 (ISA) 8. Metropolitan Life of Connecticut 1-800-492-3553 9. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. (TSA) 1-800-492-3553 10. Northern Life Retirement (ING) 1–877–669–6877 11. Plan Member Services (Broker Dealer) 1-800-874-6910 (ISA) 12. Security Benefit Life 1-800-888-2461 (ISA) 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plans 1. AIG Retirement (VALIC) 1-800-448-2542 2. Great American Life Insurance Co. 1-800-854-3649 3. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. 1-800-492-3553 4. Security Benefit Group 1-800-888-2461
  7. I just found out today that our community college district has hired a company called "TSA Consulting" to act as our TPA. Does anyone happen to have any knowledge or experiences with this company? In particular, we currently have Fidelity on our vendor list and I want to know if they will still be on our vendor list after TSA Consulting gets done doing it's thing. I have asked our HR department for a contact person at TSA Consulting but figured I would ask the people that frequent this website to see if they have even heard of this company.
  8. You are preaching to the choir apteacher. Having read many articles and forum posts on this site over the past couple of years (along with Dan's book), I realized that, in my misguided early years as a teacher, I had made just about every investing mistake possible. A teacher at my high school was a "part time" agent for MANY companies that offered TSA's through our district and he got many of us involved with saving for retirement. This was a GOOD thing from the standpoint that many young teachers don't even bother to think about the value of investing early on in one's teaching career. Unfortunately, I would learn much later, he was signing everyone up for products that paid HIM significant commissions (and we all know who really pays for those commissions now don't we). My first company was Jackson National Life where I contributed to a TSA AND purchased a life insurance policy with a "vanishing premium" (don't ask me what I was thinking when I was 24 years old). The very next year this teacher/agent had found a "fantastic" product....a double-tiered TSA (GALIC) that would pay a "bonus" of 3% if you met certain criteria at the end of 10 years. Of course I stopped contributing to Jackson National and signed up for the GALIC double-tiered TSA. Many other teachers did the same earning our fellow teacher/agent some nice $$$. A few years later this same agent returned with some other great ideas. It was at this point I realized what was going on. The agent couldn't make any real money unless his customers (teachers) were constantly signing up for new products with new companies. His main mistake was not realizing that all of us had bought into this 10 year double tiered B.S. he had sold us so we knew we needed to keep contributing to it in order to get our 3% bonus at the end of a decade. Needless to say I just continued to contribute to my GALIC double-tiered TSA for the next few years. I ended up leaving that school district to go teach at a local community college and was (initially) horrified that they didn't have GALIC as one of their vendors. I was 6 or 7 years into my 10 year plan and could no longer contribute (there went that 3% bonus!). Out of frustration I signed up with VALIC upon starting the community college because it was most convenient (you know....the agent dropped by my office and had all the paperwork I needed etc.). Fortunately, after two years , I made it a point to finally educate myself on 403(b) retirement accounts and found out what a mess I was in. I "fired" VALIC and started to contribute to a Fidelity account (fortunately my community college had Fidelity as a vendor) that I set up for myself through a 1-800 number. I transferred my GALIC money (at the end of 10 years...the surrender period...without of course my 3% bonus) to Fidelity and did the same with my Jackson National and VALIC money (except of course for the Fixed Account Plus money). I never bothered to go back and figure out how poorly my money had done for 10 years with GALIC in that double-tiered TSA...the medication for the depression that I would have gone into would have been too expensive. I am VERY pleased NOW with Fidelity and my wife (who works in a K-12 district) has taken her money out of VALIC and now has a Vanguard account. By the way....What was I thinking taking financial advice from a "part time" agent? Have any of you ever had dental work done by a "part time" dentist?
  9. I have been reading this forum for a couple of years but have never posted until now. One of the MAJOR downsides to the VALIC "Fixed Accounts Plus" fund is that should you EVER want to transfer your money from this fund to ANYWHERE else (Another Valic product, some other vendor that your district might approve later on or anywhere else if you seperate from service at your current employer) you MUST do so over a 5 year period (or longer...regardless of how long your money has been in that account). Valic only allows 20% of the total money in this account to move to another place every year. When planning to move the total amount you take 1/5th of the amount in the account the first year and THAT SAME AMOUNT for each of the following four years (if you gain money in that account during the five years you may actually have to wait until year 6 to finally be free). I know this personally as I left employment in one school district (K-12) and took a job at a community college. When I changed jobs my new employer offered Fidelity and I wisely went with them. It was an incredible pain in the @$$ to get Valic to set up an automatic transfer for five transfers over five years but after many phone calls I found a manager type person who set this up for me. I am sure the account might look relatively attractive to you now but be sure to read all of the fine print. I know that my money that is sitting in their now is earning about 1% interest or something pathetic like that. I believe the fund is set up to reward "new" contributions with higher rates of return. Since I haven't contributed to it for a few years, it is earning next to nothing. In my case it really isn't that much money BUT if it was I would REALLY be hurting my retirement savings.
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