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CTinker

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    Maine
  1. I'm new around here and 34 years old so I'm not going to tell you what you should do but I'll tell you how I see it. I am working to get a 457 plan added in my district because I would like to focus there. I have read a lot of "Millionaire Educators" blog posts and heard his story. He focuses on savings and minimizing taxes. He uses the 457 to give himself some freedom. He doesn't really post anymore but the ideas are still relevant. I think the 457 would give me more peace of mind because then I don't need a huge emergency fund. If I lose my job I can tap that. If I save a bunch and hit financial independence, I can decide if I want to separate service on my terms. I don't know if there is a difference in fees for your plans but I have just transitioned from contributing to Roth IRA to 403b. I will continue to fund the 403b until I get to a point where the fees are reduced. Then I will focus on the 457.
  2. The Newport Group is the record keeper and they charge an annual fee of $50 and 3 basis points on all assets. Still seems like a good plan right?
  3. Does this mindset of chasing returns even factor into actively managed funds? My wife had shares of Vanguard International Growth Fund Admiral Shares (VWILX) and I was amazed at their returns compared to the benchmark. Then I dug into their holdings and Tesla was #1, which is confusing to me since the fund is supposed to focus on "non-U.S. companies with high growth potential." I took it as an opportunity to re balance instead of chasing more returns. Also an opportunity to go from a .33 expense ratio to a .11.
  4. Here is the main page. I couldn't find any info on fees which makes me think there are none (maybe I am naive). Their about page has a good write up on their approach to fees. image attached: The funds they offer are: Vanguard FTSE Social Index Fund Vanguard Prime Money Market Vanguard STAR Fund Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 Fund Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 Fund Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 Fund Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 Fund Vanguard Target Retirement 2055 Fund Vanguard Target Retirement 2065 Fund Vanguard Target Retirement Income Fund Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund Admiral Shares Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund Institutional Shares
  5. I talked to the Plan Administrator at MaineSTART and emailed my districts central administration. I BCCed a Union President. Fingers are crossed... They seem like a good plan with exclusively Vanguard Funds.
  6. I tried to find this in other posts but couldn't. I don't fully understand the GPO and WEP other than I'll get less SS. I don't count Social Security in my planning but does a 547 get treated any differently by GPO or WEP vs how it treats a 403b? I already have a pension plan and have started a 403b and was going to advocate to a 547 to my district.
  7. Thanks Krow. I've been to that site and it is a mess. It seemed like there were 3 possible vendors available for the 457 but I wouldn't jump to start an account with any of them. In my digging I did find a program called MaineSTART that is linked from the organization that handles the pensions, MainePERS. There are some districts on the list of employers but not mine. I've sent an email and will report back when I hear something.
  8. My wife and I have Roth IRAs with Vanguard and I am now opening the NEA Direct 403b through employer. Since we are currently in the 12% bracket there are no federal capital gains tax. Reinvestment is turned off. AGI was 53k last year which got me a $56 EITC. If I contribute to 403b to bring income down to 40k I'll get $2,800. I figure it is good to have money in both kinds of tax advantaged accounts. It seems like an extra layer of diversification I can utilize in the future.
  9. Thanks, Ed! Actually reading your write ups was one of the main reasons I went for NEA Direct. There are a couple of reasons I'm going to 403b now over the Roth: My wife has been working part time while also being a stay at home mother for the past 7 years. Our tax bracket has been low due to this so I figured I should pay the taxes now expected our bracket to increase. She could be rejoining the workforce sometime next year when the youngest enters Kindergarten. We have too much invested in taxable and I am going to sell some of it to allow me to contribute $10,000 from the paycheck to 403b. This will shelter some assets before my children fill out a FAFSA. By transitioning to funding the 403b instead of the Roth I can bring my AGI down to get the Earned Income Tax Credit. I hope this switch isn't misguided but it seemed to make sense to me. I had only been contributing around 4k a year to my Roth but I'd like to bump that much higher when my wife is also working. I hope to continue our 1 income lifestyle while using the second income to pay ourselves.... but we'll see about that.
  10. I finished reading Boglehead's Guide to Investing last week and have been making some moves. I had only been contributing to my Roth IRA at Vanguard because I knew 403b's were notorious for fees. After getting some advice at the Bogle Forum and finding you guys, I decided to open a 403b. I was going to go with Aspire after checking 403wise but then saw some posts about the NEA Direct plan on this forum. I sent the paperwork to open the NEA Direct Plan with Security Benefit. Did I make the right call? My options are below. Now I've listened to some of your podcasts and found the "Adding a 457" episode. I was already told by my employer last year that 457s were not available. I wonder if I should keep pushing...
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