A little background... I've worked in my district since September 2016. Before that, I was working in another neighboring district in New York. I also worked in New Jersey for about 3 years, another school in NY for about a year and a half, and Connecticut for a year. I'm 31 years old and have been a school counselor since I was 22.... crazy how the years have flown by without much knowledge of 403b's and retirement accounts.
I completely fell into all the traps mentioned in the podcasts. I fell for opening up an AXA 403b account at the age of 22, thinking I was being smart for starting my retirement so early. When I started at another school and considered contributing again, I realized my growth was minimal with AXA. Before opening up another 403b account with another company (I was considering Voya at the time), I inquired with AXA about transferring my funds. It was at this point I realized that something wasn't right. Trying to be more savvy, I asked the Voya "advisor" many questions before opening an account with them. I was told I wouldn't be locked into a surrender charge as long as I didn't put any money into guaranteed accounts. So that's what I did.
Fast forward to today, I got very lucky that my district has done the hard work for me. They offer a ROTH 403b with Fidelity and Vanguard 403b. Learning from the podcast, I created a ROTH Fidelity account. I am in the process of transferring my AXA and Voya accounts into Vanguard, but I'm not sure if I should open up a Vanguard 403b or IRA account? Part of me feels like I should open up the 403b account so that I have it with the school just in case anything changes, but another colleague suggested I do a Vanguard IRA account so that my money is more flexible. Does anyone have advice on this?
Thanks so much in advance!