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Omar

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  1. Thank you Ed and everyone else. Update: I've opened a Vanguard 403(b) and filled out paperwork to redirect my contributions there (away from Invesco) and to rollover the Invesco funds (I had only been contributing for about 2.5 years). I have an additional question at the moment if you are able to chime in. I have emergency funds (6-months of normal expenses; I decided on 6 months as I'm single with no other income sources) that have just been sitting in a low yield savings account. I have now moved those savings to a higher yield savings account and would like to take some of that money to fully fund a ROTH IRA. I plan to replenish my 6-month emergency fund throughout the year and once replenished, again take some of it and fund the Roth account (and on and on). It makes sense in my head, but how does this sound to you? Related to this, after reading your posts I also understand that since the Roth account will grow and all distributions will be tax-free, the best thing to do to take advantage of rules is to use funds that would normally have the greatest tax liability. So should I allocate the Roth account with Vanguard Total Stock and/or Total International Stock, or would you recommend something else since this is what is part of my 403(b) account (along with Total bonds)? Thank you for any advice you can provide. PS: I'm in the 403bwise Facebook group but decided to post my question here to "follow up/update" on my earlier posts. Are you all on the FB page and would it be more convenient/helpful to post any future questions on there?
  2. Thank you Steve! The resources look great. I went ahead and signed up for the March workshop just in case no LA workshop is offered. Looking forward to learning a lot and helping my students be more financially literate!
  3. Thank you for your guidance and thorough responses. I am definitely sharing some of what I am learning with some colleagues already and directing them to this website so they can do a little reading themselves. I will search and read up what has already been discussed on Roth vs Traditional. Thanks Ed!
  4. Thanks for the input everyone! Very helpful and takes away some of the anxiety in making these changes/decisions: I truly appreciate it! Scott, love the worksheet comparison!! I teach high school math and your work immediately brought ideas for finance problems to give to my students when we discuss systems of equations.
  5. Thank you Ed and Krow for your advice. From what I've been reading from your links and other posts I think I am ready to open an account with Vanguard as I did find my school disctrict listed in the Vanguard application website (haven't completed the application yet). Although I really like the idea of a simple, single fund (one with 60/40 stock/bond ratio or a bit higher would be my preference), I'd also like to minimize the fees I pay (part of the reason I got to this website: noticed on a statement several fees that for some reason Invesco was charging for about 3-4 months, and they were high, so I started researching and found 403b). So I'm leaning towards building a 3-funds portfolio with about 70-75% stock and 30-25% bonds. Currently I am contributing $7.5K to my 403b and I'm making some financial changes to try to increase contributions to $10K. Does this seem like a good starting point and/or is there anything else you advise I consider/read before opening the Vanguard account? I will be contacting our TPA to make sure all the paper work is in order. I also have some savings that I've accumulated for "emergency" but I want to take some of that and invest it: would a Roth IRA be best, or just any funds? Would like to have some liquidity in them although it won't be my emergency fund. (but that's not my priority at the moment - want to focus on the 403b to get that growing!)
  6. Hello All, I was able to find information for my District (in California) in the CalSTRS 403bCompare website. It has many options and the lowest cost Mutual Fund options are the ones I listed below. I included what I am using now, Invesco, which clearly has a higher yearly cost/expense ratio than the others. All the other products offer Vanguard as an investment option. In the website each product has a direct link to the product webpage for enrollment. Would my next step be to (1) Stop current transfers to Invesco, (2) open account with one of the products below (Vanguard 403b), (3) and transfer Invesco funds to Vanguard (abour 30K)? Or just talk to the product provider or a CFP for guidance with this next part? Which Vanguard products do people here advice for a middle career teacher (20 years completed) with at least 15 more years still to go? I did find an archived list of the old 403(b)wise Fiduciary Advisory Directory and saw a couple of people in Southern California (San Gabriel/LA) area or would be open to other recommendations in the area if that is a must. Thanks in advance for any assistance (I'm also doing some reading to learn more about all of this!).
  7. Thanks for the input everyone! I will go ahead with the suggestions you outlined for me and go from there.
  8. I've been thinking about finances during the break and planning/thinking about how to plan/invest better for future and retirement. I have a fairly new 403(b) plan that was opened through Oppenheimer Funds (now Invesco) about 2 years ago. I was reviewing my statements and wasn't sure I understood all it showed and I haven't seen the guy I signed up with since the time I signed up (this person was not part of THE "official district contacts" for retirement planning). I have seen that neither of these companies (Oppenheimer/Invesco) are mentioned in any of the recommendations in the posts. I am wondering if the best place to start is to talk to someone in the Credit Union that partners with our District for retirement planning to see what they offer, or to meet with a CFP to discuss this and other retirement/investment options. My hesitation in talking to the "partner" CU is that I feel they'll be another "salesperson" that I've been trying to avoid at school. Any thoughts/guidance would be appreciated.
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