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  1. Thank you so much, tony and whyme! Bonds: I was allocating 10% to bonds since I'm largely trying to stick to the "three-fund portfolio" I've been reading about on bogleheads. I'm still undecided, but I may indeed forgo all bonds. I've read that bonds are good for rebalancing in down-turns, so I figured I was giving myself a little bit of wiggle room to sell bonds when they're high and to buy more equities when they're low. I've never had a 403b, so I'm now sure how hard/easy it is to make trades within these kinds of accounts. International: I currently hold a bit of VT (Vanguards Total World ETF) and a very small amount of VXUS (Vanguard ex-us ETF) in a taxable account -- so I'll likely keep my international exposure there. (I should have mentioned this in my post, sorry!) Small Cap/VSMAX: I hadn't really looked into this fund, but it has had a great track record, so I think I'll change my allocation to "tilt" to small cap, but will do a bit more research. Comparing VSMAX with VFAIX on Portfolio Visualizer was an eye opener! TIAA: Yes, but unfortunately you are correct, TIAA is the only option I have through this school, so not much I can do about it. I will still seek out more information on their fees though, thanks for the suggestion! I created three portfolios on portfolio visualizer: Portfolio 1) tony's suggestion above: 60% VFAIX; 20% VTMGX; 10% VBILX; 10% VSMAX Portfolio 2) my original plan of 90% VFAIX; 10% VBILX Portfolio 3) and a 50/50 VFAIX/VSMAX And was surprised to see the results (link to portfolio visualizer)! I'll definitely change my plan to something closer to tony's suggestion, or even a bit more like portfolio 3. Thoughts, or am I risking too much by basing this decision on past performance?
  2. Hi all, First, thanks for the site -- I've enjoyed reading it and listened to one of the 403bwise podcasts yesterday and enjoyed it! I'm 31 and will be starting my first year as a teacher at a private high school in a VHOL area. I'll be starting in two weeks, and will have no pension. I'm coming from another job that did not offer a retirement account (I have a Roth IRA that I've maxed out of 2020 and 2019); this is my first employer sponsored account. This school offers Roth and Traditional 403b through TIAA, and I plan to max out the contributions whenever I can. The school matches up to 1% of the employee's salary for the first three years, and then increases the percentage by one each year thereafter until a max of 8% match. Here are the options provided, with name, ticker, and expense ratio: TIAA Traditional Annuity - Retirement Choice: (TC1IO# ) AllianzGI Mid Cap Value Fund Institutional Class (PRNIX) 0.64% American Funds New Perspective R6 (RNPGX) 0.42% BlackRock Total Return Fund K (MPHQX) 0.44% CREF Social Choice Account (R2) (QCSCPX) 0.32% CREF Stock Account (R2) (QCSTPX) 0.39% Federated MDT Small Cap Core Fund Class R (QLSCX) 0.96% JPMorgan Large Cap Value Fund Class R6 (JLVMX) 0.52% MassMutual Select Mid Cap Growth Equity II Fund Class I (MEFZX) 0.71% T. Rowe Price Blue Chip Growth Fund Class I (TBCIX) 0.56% TIAA Stable Value - [[Company Name Redacted]] C RETIREMENT PLAN TIAA-CREF Lifecycle Index 2045 Fund (Institutional) (TLXIX) 0.19% TIAA-CREF Lifecycle Index 2050 Fund (Institutional) (TLLIX) 0.19% TIAA-CREF Lifecycle Index 2055 Fund (Institutional) (TTIIX) 0.22% TIAA-CREF Lifecycle Index 2060 Fund (Institutional) (TVIIX) 0.33% ((**There are also earlier Lifecycle funds, starting in 2010, if that matters**)) TIAA-CREF Lifecycle Index Retirement Income Fund (Institutional) (TRILX) 0.28% Vanguard 500 Index Fund Admiral (VFIAX) 0.04% Vanguard Developed Markets Index Fund Admiral (VTMGX) 0.07% Vanguard Intermediate-Term Bond Index Fund Admiral (VBILX) 0.07% Vanguard Mid-Cap Index Fund Admiral (VIMAX) 0.05% Vanguard Real Estate Index Fund Admiral (VGSLX 0.12% Vanguard Small-Cap Index Fund Admiral: (VSMAX) 0.05% I signed up for 90% to VFIAX (Vanguard 500) and 10% to VBILX (Vanguard Intermediate Bond). Any advice I should be aware of as this will be my first account of this type? Thanks!
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