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MNGopher

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  1. The problem with transferring between companies during these periods of extreme market volatility, is that your account will be liquidated and your money will be out of the market for at least a few days. The markets have been up or down 5% or more almost every day for the last few weeks. You might get lucky and make a lot, or just as easily lose a lot if the market jumps back up while you are out of the market. I would wait until things calm down. What you can do in the meantime is open your new account at Vanguard, and redirect your new contributions there instead of to Equitable. Then when the dust settles, transfer the balance over if the surrender fee isn't too high.
  2. Welcome. You did indeed have very good luck with the timing of that transaction. Probably saved yourself 10's of thousands, selling high and buying back in much lower.
  3. I'm sure Skelly has done the math for their situation. As a reminder to others though, if you retire in your late 50's-60ish you could still have over a decade before starting Social Security benefits. This is a great time to spend down an inflated deferred 401k/403b plan and do Roth IRA conversions while you are in a lower tax bracket.
  4. The FA's response confuses me because there is currently no fiduciary standard as a law. Fiduciary is just an adjective that means only about as much as you trust that individual. Without the fiduciary standard, which has been dropped by the current administration, it's basically the same as saying I'm a "good" or "fair" advisor. It sounds nice but doesn't mean a whole lot. If you have absolutely no interest in personal finance, then it might be worth it to find a good AUM advisor to keep an eye on it for you. I think Vanguard's Personal Advisory Service for .30% is about as much as anyone should pay unless their situation is extremely complicated. Or better yet, read a few books, listen to a few podcasts, etc. and you'll learn more than enough in no time.
  5. Welcome to the forum jcarlson8282. I teach just down the road from you in Monticello. We added Vanguard and Fidelity to our approved vendor list about 5 or 6 years ago, in case you want to mention that to your administrators. In the meanwhile Aspire is a good option.
  6. Not to nitpick, because you probably just mistyped, but there is no Traditional Roth. Traditional account means deferring taxes until later, such as: traditional IRA, 403(b), 401(k). Roth refers to accounts where you pay the taxes before the money even hits your direct deposit, such as: Roth IRA, Roth 401(k), Roth 403(b). Which is better for you means comparing your current marginal tax bracket (known) vs. future tax bracket in retirement (unknown). So the exact right answer is impossible to know for sure. I agree with Ed, that for most people in their peak earning years, the traditional route will work out best in most cases. The case where Roth is likely better is if you are in the 12% tax bracket in the year you are contributing (mostly new teachers, low on the salary scale).
  7. MNGopher

    Help!

    In the past when my district eliminated a company from the approved vendor list, current enrollees were considered "grandfathered in" and allowed to continue making contributions. It might be worth asking about if you want to keep contributing to Fidelity.
  8. Yes, that's a neat feeling when your returns are that high compared to your gross salary. Mine were neck to neck, and at year end my returns were only about 2% less than my salary.
  9. MNGopher

    The Secure Act

    I agree with the WCI, that most of these changes are underwhelming to the average investor. More a case of congress wanting to do something before the elections.
  10. Part of my chart got cut off as I copied it. What's missing is that you can also accelerate to Full retirement age.
  11. Here are some projections they ran for me. "No Refund" refers to a single person and no beneficiary (benefits stop at death). The other rows are different beneficiary/survivor options. In my mind the benefit of accelerating is that you can leave more of your own investments alone to grow larger. Whereas if you don't accelerate you would have a larger guaranteed amount in your later years. There is a small COLA across all columns that I think is froze for a year or two, but will eventually be 1 or 1.5% annually. mikeajohns can correct me if that is not correct. Annuity Plan Regular Monthly Accel to 62 After 62 Accel to 65 After 65 Accel to NRA After NRA No Refund $ 4,218 $ 6,618 $ 3,234 $ 6,275 $ 2,601 $ 6,055 $ 2,179 Guaranteed Refund $ 4,213 $ 6,615 $ 3,230 $ 6,273 $ 2,598 $ 6,053 $ 2,177 15 Yrs Guaranteed $ 4,166 $ 6,579 $ 3,194 $ 6,244 $ 2,569 $ 6,029 $ 2,153 50% Survivorship $ 4,088 $ 6,519 $ 3,134 $ 6,195 $ 2,521 $ 5,988 $ 2,112 75% Survivorship $ 4,026 $ 6,471 $ 3,087 $ 6,157 $ 2,483 $ 5,956 $ 2,080 100% Survivorship $ 3,966 $ 6,425 $ 3,041 $ 6,120
  12. Congrats on paying off your student loans. That's a great step towards your future. Also a Roth IRA invested in broadly diversified low cost index funds is a great idea in your lower income, early years of teaching. This is because your tax bracket will likely be higher in the future than it is now, especially if it is true that your pension will be 91% of your highest salary. Who was the "retirement adviser" that spoke to you? If he came into your school he was probably an insurance salesman trying to sell you some type of terrible annuity product. I would verify from reliable sources anything that he told you about your pension. Talk to senior coworkers or call your state pension office to get more detailed information. 91% of highest salary is much better than normal for a defined benefit pension. Even if that amount is accurate, do you really want to teach until you are 65? I would get estimates of pension amounts at younger ages like 57-60. If the pension amount isn't as much as you were lead to believe, that the tax deferred 403(b) will likely be a better option as your wages go up and move into a higher tax bracket.
  13. I really don't like that Third Party Administrators are compensated differently for different vendors. Of course they're going to steer employees towards the companies that give them the biggest kickback.
  14. I agree with the other guys, that your allocation is too stock heavy. I wouldn't go more aggressive than about 70/30 at age 48. Bonds often get a bad rap as being boring and low growth, but there are years when they will out perform stocks, and with a lot less risk. My bond fund is up 8.9% YTD!
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