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FrenchTeacher

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Everything posted by FrenchTeacher

  1. Kinda quiet there, Joel. Is it tough being called out on your own BS? Please consult the preceding thread, wherein I mentioned that NYSUT staff have access to the same financial counseling program that ING clients have access to. This comes as a revelation to you, doesn't it? Despite your earlier claims to have "done your homework"!
  2. Ira, Sounds to me like you consider "fair charges" to be those administered by no-load companies. Which means you're judging various carriers based entirely on their cost structure: i.e., the lowest cost wins. That's fine for some people, as we've discussed ad nauseum in this forum. It doesn't quite fit the bill for others, whose needs are somewhat greater than an 800 number and an anonymous advisor who happens to pick up when they call. Hence my feeling that both formats are well-supported: no-loads for those who need no further assistance, full service for those that require such assistance. As far as comparing agents to teachers is concerned, bear in mind that this is a forum FOR teachers, BY teachers. The comparisons are inevitable.
  3. Your full of BS. You simply want another "advisor" to reaffirm what your ING VA rep has told you. I venture to say that you're looking for a second opinion. If you want a second opinion that is unbiased why don't you call up Earnst and Young, the firm that your NYSUT Benefits Trust has hired to give its members like you financial planning advice. Those guys/gals will be the first one to tell you that you have made a mistake in using a VA for pre-tax investing. Funny...Ernst & Young told me something completely different when I called them. Nice try, though. By the way, did you know that the financial counseling program offered to members like me is EXACTLY the same program that is offered to NYSUT staff members? You claim in another thread to have "done your homework" in that area, so this will no doubt come as no surprise. Ahem.
  4. Having already given you my reasons, I feel no need to repeat myself. And having witnessed how nicely you all treat reps that DO take the time to post here, I think I'll just leave my ING guy out of this, thanks.
  5. An excellent illustration of why I should never even ask you the question in the first place. 1. You obviously don't have the answer yourself. If you did, you would go on at length about how much better they were than ING. 2. If you did provide an answer, it would probably be factually incorrect. You know, like your continued insistence that 500,000 times 6 equals four million. It's $3 million, Einstein, not $4 million, on the endorsement. I ask you again, Joel: who did NYSUT hire as an independent third party for advice/guidance/education for their staff? Here's the answer: they hired no such entity. Which means I've managed to catch you lying your off yet AGAIN. This is actually kinda fun.
  6. Couldn't this be circumnavigated by structuring the severance pay as a NON-elective EMPLOYER contribution, instead of an elective deferral? Our local has this written into our contract, and it has worked really well.
  7. You also stated, "From my prospective, I feel that it's very costly for average(403b unwise) teacher to buy these various load funds and annuities from agents who sell them. It seems to me that the agent operates legally, but misleads and takes advantage of the financially uneducated teacher." Not the more aggressive sales agents, but "the agent." That's an overgeneralization. It's a popular one here, and it'll no doubt score you points with the majority of posters here, but I feel compelled to point it out regardless. As to the remainder of your post... "A question arises, What percentage of sales agents should be allowable to have poor unethical sales behaviors?...I think that the figure should be zero or close to. People who are investing their savings deserve a fair break." I couldn't agree more. And dishonest, unethical agents should be called on it. Indeed, we should keep a separate post here where we can post the names and companies of agents who have pulled the garbage you refer to, so other teachers wouldn't fall prey. By the same token, I just regret the standard implication that MOST agents fall into this category, because that hasn't been my experience. Again, using the teaching profession as a parallel, we all know teachers who aren't giving it their all. Some of them are protected by union contracts...and as a result, I hear frequently that the real key to solving education in this country is to do away with this pesky thing called tenure. How come teachers don't have to "earn" it, I'm asked? The gross oversimplification of the teacher who's coasting on tenure until he or she hits 25 years and can retire with a generous taxpayer-funded pension is at least as insulting, I would think, as the gross oversimplification of the unethical agent who lurks in lunchrooms ready to attack unsuspecting teachers, and ready to promise everything and deliver nothing, all in their zeal to make the sale. Neither one is a terribly accurate indicator of their respective professions.
  8. Without disagreeing with you, TR, perhaps you could write a "Defense of Why One Might Sometimes Want to Invest in a VA." I believe Dan would publish it, though of course I can't speak for him.
  9. Joel, the notion that a commissioned agent is incapable of good advice is a gross oversimplification and overgeneralization, as usual. (Also, as I mentioned, the words you cite as mine are not.) By the way, who did NYSUT hire as an independent third party for advice/guidance/education for their staff? I'm curious.
  10. I'm a teacher, Joel, just like Mia. Please don't insinuate otherwise. I have no reason to influence her one way or the other. If you're referring to the quoted statement that you cite, then that is TR talking, not me.
  11. I would quibble with this, as much as I share a lot of the frustration you're expressing here. There is nothing objective or balanced about the DISCUSSION part of this website, which is dominated by people with a no-load agenda. But the website as a whole takes great pains to present things with a fair degree of objectivity. Dan Otter can surely speak for himself here, as well as provide the necessary links, but there are spots on the site that expound on the virtues of using agents where needed. The general tone of the site, I think, is that people who are motivated to do so can educate themselves about retirement savings to a strong enough degree that they will not need the use of the agents. What SOME people on this site fail to acknowledge is that a huge segment of the teaching population is simply unwilling (not unable) to do so, and as such GOOD agents provide valuable services. It's always tempting (as it is with doctors, lawyers, politicians, etc.) to take the anger created by the "bad apples" and fling it carelessly at the entire profession. Sadly, the discussion board here wallows in that far too often. The website as a whole, though, avoids that, and for that, Dan should get kudos. TR, I hope you stick around and continue to post. If you really want this board to strive for a sense of balance, you should keep coming here and continue to help provide it. I genuinely appreciate all posters, including yourself, that are willing to give a level-headed look at both sides of the equation.
  12. I, too, have seen some despicable behavior from agents in my days teaching. Difference is, I don't extrapolate these things to apply to all agents. By the same token, I've encountered some seriously slipshod work done by teachers that are colleagues of mine. Again, doesn't mean all teachers are bad.
  13. My understanding was that 457 plans were only for employees to contribute their own money; I didn't think employer contributions were possible. Anyone care to confirm that?
  14. Surely SOMEONE else has an opinion to help this guy out? Or do we really have to let another potentially useful thread turn into NYSUT v. ING again?
  15. Annuities may have been an option. Opp Plus, which is very specifically A 403(B) PLAN, was not. As for why the union made a different choice for its much smaller, more centralized, (presumably) higher-paid staff, ask them. I don't presume to know. I suggest you ask them, and report back to us with your findings. But if you simply jump to your usual set of conclusions without an iota of evidence to support them, I will absolutely call you on it. Again.
  16. You may want to take another read of MY post, above. The one that mentions "apples and oranges" a lot. And while it is "more than obvious" to you that if my union loved the Opp Plus program so much it would have extended it to its own workforce, it's more than obvious to me that their workforce uses a 401(k) plan, NOT a 403(b). So of course, Opp Plus wasn't an option. If you don't understand the differences between a 401(k) and a 403(b) plan, perhaps you could do a little reading on the side and rejoin the discussion when you're better prepared?
  17. The union is not getting any fee at all. The non-profit benefit trust is, to the benefit of us, the members. The benefit trust is NOT a subsidiary of the union. And they're not getting a $4 million fee. They're getting a $3 million fee. The union is not getting any fee at all. The non-profit benefit trust is, to the benefit of us, the members. The benefit trust is NOT a subsidiary of the union. And they're not getting a $4 million fee. They're getting a $3 million fee. The union is not getting any fee at all. The non-profit benefit trust is, to the benefit of us, the members. The benefit trust is NOT a subsidiary of the union. And they're not getting a $4 million fee. They're getting a $3 million fee. The union is not getting any fee at all. The non-profit benefit trust is, to the benefit of us, the members. The benefit trust is NOT a subsidiary of the union. And they're not getting a $4 million fee. They're getting a $3 million fee. The union is not getting any fee at all. The non-profit benefit trust is, to the benefit of us, the members. The benefit trust is NOT a subsidiary of the union. And they're not getting a $4 million fee. They're getting a $3 million fee. The union is not getting any fee at all. The non-profit benefit trust is, to the benefit of us, the members. The benefit trust is NOT a subsidiary of the union. And they're not getting a $4 million fee. They're getting a $3 million fee. Since I'm clearly going to have to repeat it a few more times before it sinks in, I thought I'd condense future posts into this one. Perhaps you can study the above sentence, repeat it quietly to yourself, and at least quote accurate facts the next time you attempt to take on this subject.
  18. Sadly, TR, I think Ira knows exactly what he's saying, as well as the scope of it, and doesn't care. It's infuriating to see people's intellectual laziness. It's much easier to deal in generalities than to do the heavy lifting of seeing both sides of an equation, so the oversimplications fly. We see it all over the place in our society: "Republicans are all self-centered greedheads." "Democrats are tree-hugging liberals." "Teachers have it so easy, with their nine-month work year." And of course, "Sales agents do whatever they have to to make the sale, with no sense of professionalism or caring about clients."
  19. Sorry to have apparently hijacked the discussion here, MIA-MD. To return to your question, given that matching contributions aren't on the table, I would strongly favor a 403(b) over a 401(k), only because the 403(b) allows the employer the flexibility to offer a number of different financial providers, which would accomodate both those who need financial assistance as well as those who don't. TIAA-CREF, from what I can gather from others' postings, is a different company now than it was a few short years ago, and they are walking away from smaller pieces of business in favor of larger ones. I guess that's economies of scale, but I don't know. Anyway, I'll let others who have direct dealings with them elaborate more.
  20. To the extent that some of these are excellent questions, you should address them to the professional and administrative employees of the union, not to me. But the answer to your big question: it'd be great if there were any such thing as a multi-provider 401(k). And yes, I'd be a staunch advocate of choice in those circumstances. But I've never heard of any such creature. Is it possible for an employer to have a 401(k) that offers more than one provider? If not, the majority of these questions are moot.
  21. No fooling, Dan, I usually like reading your stuff, but I can't even imagine you were sober writing this. I have no freaking idea what you're trying to say.
  22. Sounds to me like they are not aggressively pursuing new business, but they'll keep existing plans going. I agree that that is disappointing. I've always heard good things about TIAA-CREF from those that use them, and I don't understand why they're walking away from the K-12 marketplace.
  23. PS. In general, I also think it's over the top to suggest a parallel between unethical business practices among certain financial professionals and widespread pedophilia among teachers, but that's just me. Perhaps that's because I'm a teacher, or perhaps that's because pedophilia is a genuinely more disturbing crime than aggressive sales practices.
  24. TR, I thought the general tone of your response did sound defensive, which is why I responded that way. That said, the appearance of a defense usually indicates the presence of an offense. For someone to post something that says, in essence, "I've heard the 403(b) marketplace--with the exception of me, of course, saintly fee-only CFP that I am--is so corrupt that they [insert offensive practice here]" is pretty much a generalization that we can live without. I stand ready to be corrected, of course, if this has actually occurred somewhere. Or if it's actually a regular practice of any company in particular, or insurance companies in general. But the general lack of a response so far would seem to indicate the contrary.
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