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  1. Hello again everybody! I e-mailed HR on Monday. I never heard anything so just now during lunch I contacted them and ask about the state run 457B. We don't have it at this time (because that was how they made the agreement with Voya to have low fees: no other options would be given), but the lady in HR was really interested once I told her the comparison on fees (.17% versus a flat $30/year fee). So once I got her curiosity up, she told me she'd check in to it. I wonder if you, Tony, would help me guide her, please? I've tried looking it up myself, but since I'm on plan 1 with VRS, there isn't much out there. There's info if you're on the hybrid plan, but not much else. I'm guessing that if I do most of the leg work, Fauquier may join it. So any website links or just a nudge in the right direction would be so appreciated. THANKS!
  2. Good Morning Everyone! Thanks for the tips about how to allocate my money. I didn't realize this info about bonds-at- all! I used a pie chart from my husband's 2040 target fund and they only showed a portion going to bonds once you are almost knocking at the door of retirement. It wasn't apples to apples, but I was trying to use it--quite unsuccessfully. I am not a risk taker so now my thinking is I'd go 55/40/5 (stocks, bonds, international from your earlier suggestions). I talked with the Voya rep and it was just a preliminary call to get information from me to set up a conference call with HM to transfer the money. i thought we would be doing more. After I sent her my latest HM statement, she e-mailed me this. "Do you want to move this into your 403b plan at Fauquier, or do you want to move it to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). The benefits of an IRA would be more robust investment options, more control of funds, easier access to funds at distribution time. Let me know your thoughts and I will have my support staff mail out the appropriate forms to you." So would I do better transferring to an IRA? I will certainly start researching the benefits of an IRA this weekend, but I thought I'd pick everybody's brain before I make any decisions. I honestly don't know why I'd want an IRA other than the reasons she has pointed out, and I like the idea of easier access to the funds at distribution time. While talking with her about fees and be self-directed, she told me that .17% is all that I will be charged even if she gives me guidance and transfer things for me. She said I could use Morningstar, but they charge, and she really never recommends people use them when she can guide them for free. It's the way Fauquier set this up with Voya. I'm feeling better and better about what Fauquier is doing for its teachers. I'm still going to check into the VA state run 457, but I would like to go ahead and move it now while I have the momentum behind me. I'm afraid if it takes months to get a VA state run 457, I might let it slide again for a few years. Is there a board or link with hints on how to go about getting a school system to include the VA 457? I'm sorry to keep asking for help. I'm sure I'll settle down soon. 🙂 And thanks for the compliments. I do feel like my brain is on fire and I'm getting it! It's really exciting and actually becoming fun! Something I never thought I'd say....EVER!
  3. I've never heard this before and really need this info! Glad I stumbled over here!
  4. So I have a 3:00pm phone call with my Voya rep. I am taking Krow's advice to transfer my money to three Vanguard funds he recommended; Vanguard Total Stock Market Index fund (75%), the Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund (15%), and the Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund (10%). Does that seem about right percentage-wise? I am open to any and all suggestions. I am 48 years old if that helps. And there's only about $40,000 (I'm ashamed. I do have a few other investments outside of this Horace Mann account, but this is the one that had me baffled.) Thanks for any and all advice about how to allocate the money. PS- Krow, thanks for the link about trying to change my 403 into a 457. That helped a lot. I guess I will transfer to a 403, and also open a 457. BTW, you are an ace at finding information! You have everything spot on with my husband's retirement. We contribute to his accounts and get ALL of the match and then he puts in above and beyond that. His account is growing like crazy (even subtracting what we are putting in, he is getting up to 13% returns according to their site), but my HM account has been stagnant for at least two+ years. I have the same amount in it after over 2+ years??? I know their has been volatility (like last Christmas), but his account made me really start to dig into my HM account.
  5. Would this be true with Voya, too? The rep told me there is only a .17% fee. I am off today due to a doctor appointment and planned a 3:00pm call with my Voya rep. I am planning to transfer over my HM 403B, but I don't want to pay any extra fees by using the representative!!! It really helps to re-read this board over and over again!
  6. Krow36, thanks! Here is almost everything I'm offered. I left a few out that have over 1% fees. I'm glad it looks promising! And it looks like it has the two things you mentioned with Vanguard; the international and the index fund...with low fees!! While I have you here, what are large cap and mid cap funds? I had them with Horace Mann and was wondering how they differ from an index fund since nobody recommends them? Is there more risk? I did check with my husband's DCP run by VRS (my husband has a 403B and a 457B with matching contributions) and the administrative fees are a flat rate of only $2.54/month so if that plan matches what Tony got for his school, then I would save money even over Voya's fee of .17% and definitely over Horace Mann! I ran the figures, and the more you have invested, the better a low flat rate is! (Not that I have a huge amount invested, but still enough to check into the state run 457!)
  7. I think this is a good idea and one that my dad is encouraging. My parents have done pretty well, but they never talked to us about it. My dad just said we should do it. They figured it out on their own, but they aren't the best at explaining it to me now that I'm asking for their help.
  8. I have to be honest, once we start talking Roth, IRA's, tax deferred, pre-tax, post tax, I get a little overwhelmed. I re-read everyone's comments 3-4 times trying to digest how each one is different and when to do which one. I'll keep reading and posting and hoping I figure this all out. I do truly feel like I'm catching on by just conversing here! It's like learning a foreign language, you must start using it and speaking it to become proficient!!!! Feels so good to have found this. 🙂 Thanks.
  9. Here's a parital copy from Fauquier's info of Voya. There are other choices, but I just took a quick snip of the page so I could ask if I'm on the right track. I set up an account last summer with Voya (but decided not to contribute) so I can still go into my account and get this information. Am I right in understanding the Gross Fund Exp. stands for all fees associated with that particular fund? Then on top of it I pay the .17% that Voya charges.
  10. Well, I could kick myself for not doing this sooner! (I bet everybody has said that at least once on this retirement journey!) After the wonderful advice I have been receiving from everyone, I contacted my Voya representative. I should have moved my money over the summer when I was researching my options, but I was paralyzed with too much knowledge, but too little understanding. Anyway, here is what she wrote back to me in two separate e-mails: 1.) 1st email: Yes, you can open a Voya 457 through FCPS. The fee on that plan is very low - .17%. For your Horace Mann account, you can move it to the new 457 or you can move it to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). There are a few reasons why you may look at an IRA versus a 457, but either can be done with no transfer fees/taxes. What is the approximate balance in the Horace Mann account? Let me know if you have time to get on a call this week so I can help you enroll in the FCPS 457. 2.) 2nd email: This plan is a mutual fund based 457 or 403b, not an annuity. There is no front or back end fee - just the .17% I mentioned (which is way lower than the 1.25% you are currently paying). There is a Roth or after tax option in this plan as well, if you want to contribute some after tax too. Let me know. So, she mentions that an IRA may be better than the 457, and she also mentions the Roth option that Tony has suggested. Any thoughts? I'm sorry to keep asking for help, but I can't explain to all of you how much you have really helped me just from these exchanges, I feel like I'm understanding things A LOT better already and my paralysis is turning into action! Thanks so much for your guidance!
  11. Hi krow36, Thanks for responding. I contacted my VOYA representative using your idea to find out if they custodial 403B and some other questions about fees. I'm just waiting on a response at this time. I am no longer contributing to the Horace Mann account and haven't for quite awhile, but I really want to start dropping some significant money into a retirement account. I had thought that a 403 and a 457 would be a good way to do it to lower my tax liability at this time, but perhaps, after reading everything that everyone is saying, it may not be my best option. I agree with you about the JP Morgan fund. Do I call HM and move it to Fidelity since it has the lowest fees if VOYA doesn't work out? I've never done this. I also wonder if you could explain the 5% surrender fee. That money has been in there way over 5 years...is that what the surrender fee is. I'm sorry to ask dumb questions, but there seems to be so much to know. (Cringe) I truly wish I had started my education about retiring 20 years ago!!! I'd probably already be done and dusted. ha. Thanks again. This board is awesome! PS - where is the site to look up fees. You looked up Horace Mann and I'd love to use whatever you used to look up Voya myself. PPS-My husband is contributing to a state run 457 through his hybrid VRS account and it's great, but I don't have a hybrid account. I fall under the VRS plan 1 so I don't know how to contribute to a state run 457. If you could tell me how to get information on this, I think that would be better than Voya or Horace Mann!!! There's just so much you don't know you don't know!!! HAHAHA!
  12. Tony and Steve, thank you!!!! You're both right, I do need to slow down. It's partly my nature and also partly because I really do want out of teaching; love the kids but hate the disrespect and many other aspects. So, I took the weekend to absorb what you both wrote back to me, and I really appreciate the time and knowledge you shared with me. I did understand that the millionaire educator will have to pay taxes when he takes out the money, but because he pays so little in taxes now, I thought that sounded like a really good way to invest what I would have paid in taxes now, and let it grow over the next 10-20 years. (I was thinking that compound interest effect would more than make up for paying taxes on it later.) Plus, I believe I'll be at a lower tax bracket when I retire, especially since I won't make full retirement, and I'll only get a fraction of my pension. I'll only get about 1/3 to 1/2 of my full pension depending upon if I take it at 50 or 56 even though I will have 24+ years in the pension system. I can hear everyone saying it's only 6 years more years, hang in there! But honestly, I'm not sure I'll make it to the end of this year. It's really gotten bad and unfortunately it's had a cumulative effect on my desire to show up and do my best each day. So, I better take some time to understand all that you've given me here! Unfortunately, we only have VOYA now as a choice at my school. There are no other options. They have switched several times over the years from Fidelity to Horace Mann, to etc. I'm also glad you mentioned Roth's inside of 403B. I didn't even understand that existed. My husband has a state job (Virginia) and his retirement in the hybrid system is so transparent and they do have a ROTH option. I'm not sure if I do, though. Tony, you wrote "Can you tell us what other choice of investments you now have in your 457b or 403b? If you could list your options we might be able to get you to transfer your money NOW to a better option." I'm not sure if this is what you mean, but at Horace Mann, I have attached what I have and it's 50% invested in Fidelity, then 10%, 20%, and 20% down the row. I picked these over 10 years ago when I really had no clue so you can be harsh if these are terrible picks. This is with Horace Mann. Can I transfer it all to VOYA (the company now serving Fauquier) without leaving my school system in the middle of a year? I know I can't take it out to invest elsewhere. I do know with VOYA they have a 2040 retirement choice with fairly low fees, but I don't know what VOYA themselves charge for managing a 403B or 457. Do 403B and 457 have the same fees or is one better than the other? I will try to see what options I have at VOYA and find out their fees. You have no idea how this is helping me to start finding things out instead of trying to figure it out all first. Just contacting Horace Mann and talking with them has made some things more clear already and I wouldn't have done it had I not seen this post!!! Thank you, Tony for that. And Steve, thank you for sharing how you are invested. That will take me some time to digest, but I'm so glad you both agree that when I can, I should transfer it to Vanguard. That is what I have heard over and over again. I should probably stop writing now because I think I am rambling! THANKS AGAIN SO MUCH!!!
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