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Teacher's Husband

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  1. I am writing this from Afghanistan and am unsure how frequently I will be able to monitor and respond to replies, but thanks in advance for ny advice you can offer: My wife and I started maxing out her 403(b) two years ago. She is a teacher for Lincoln County High School in Georgia, and her school system does not offer many options, and all are annuity based. We chose to go with Midland National, primarily because it is fairly well rated by the big companies and also because they match 10% of my wifes contributions, netting us an additional $1500 a year. The annuity is titled "Flexible Premium Deferred Annuity Veridian Plus" - whatever all that means, and from our online statement (which also does not seem very forthcoing) it appears that we make a paltry 3 to 4% return. Initially I thought that the additional 10% up front would help offset the low returns enough to make this a decent option, but upon reading and doing more research I am now quite skeptical. I cannot find details of our contract on-line (which makes me even more dubious), so I am not sure what the surrender penalties or other fees on the account entail. I have read about and am intrigued with the prospect of doing a 90-24 transfer into mutual funds, but I do not know if I am a candidate for this. We are also maxing out our Roth IRAs annually and are essentially living off of my Army salary. I have recently switched the IRAs to pretty aggressive options, so with that in mind does the annuity make sense as solid asset allocation? Also, we have not been putting anything into my Thrift Savings Plan (the Army's version of a 401(k)) because they also have limited options and the government provides no match, although those options avaialabe certainly seem to outperform the annuity. Should we consider switching our focus from her 403(b) to the TSP? Thanks in advance for your replies, Brian
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