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  1. I was just blowing off steam when I said that. I have made an appointment to see a fee-only CFP to go over everything and set up a plan. And that's a Marine with a capital "M" ;-) He invited himself over when I started asking questions about the policies. He was concentrating only on positives and and brushed all the negatives under the rug. When I questioned him why all the fees were not disclosed before we signed on the dotted line, he said that he did... Liar! Sorry about missing you capital "M" .. I know a few Marines and should have checked my spelling. I had a feeling you were blowing off steam ... But I wanted to make sure. About the rep you used ... If he didn't disclose it you ... Then he is a bad guy ... Stopp using him. I think working with a different CFP is a good idea. Good Luck in the future.
  2. I wish that my local association had the same view. It STILL endorses NEA Valuebuilder and the !@#$%s who flog that sorry product. And why? Because "if something went wrong, we would have some recourse." Can you believe it? If "something went wrong?" Something DID go wrong, and that is why NEA has been hit with that lawsuit. And what do I find in my recent teacher association newsletter? An ad from Security Benefit: "Valuable Advice from a Trustworthy Counselor." No, I'm not kidding. That's really what it says. "You want straightforward answers to your retirement planning questions from someone you can trust." Honest, I'm not making this stuff up. So here is how it works: the association endorses Valuebuilder, and Security Benefit sees its way to steer a few things (like newsletter ads) to the association. Nice, very nice. I just want to ask a question. I honestly just want to know the thought process that went into this decision. I am interested to see how you came to the decision to make the 457 the primary investment and not the 403b. So, please don't attack me for asking a question. You say you don't want any 403(b) vendors on campus. Are you also keeping 457 vendor off campus? How many 403b and 457 vendors are you allowing? If you ARE allowing the 457 vendor on campus, isn't that just a way of trying to tell people they should have their money in a 457 as opposed to a 403b? Why do they have to wait for their 457 to be maxed out before opening a 403b? If you AREN'T allowing anyone on campus, have you considered the fact that you will probably have decreased participation? I mean, this is the truth: Many people who work in the school district are unaware that these plans are available to them or how they work. So, I think if you are limiting it to one vendor or you are not allowing anyone on campus, you will see much lower participation over the next few years. And that brings to light a big question, would we rather have more people signed up for a group of products that might not be low cost or less people signed up for a low cost? It is just something to consider with social security in jeopardy in this country. I mean we all know that state pensions won't do the job for retirement. That is why 403b and 457 ARE so important for everyone working in the schools. That is all. I just wanted to bring to light some of the things I was seeing and to see if you had thought of that and what your thoughts were. Thanks !! Guru: Spoken like a true sales shark! The City School District of New York, the largest school district in the nation (1100 buildings) answered your concerns 40 years ago when it did its due dilligence and decided that to have maximum employee participation the decision must be: WE WILL ONLY ALLOW OUR EMPLOYEES TO INVEST IN NO-LOAD FUNDS(inference: loaded funds are inferior because of their higher operational costs). Result: NYC has, by far, the highest participation rate of any k-12 school district employer in the nation. Guru, I'll leave it to your common sense to tell us all how could this possibly be the result in a school district that has never allowed the 403b shark to give away "free" bagels and coffee in the cafeteria. Guru: Are you telling us that the Federal Thrift Savings Plan, in order to increase participation rates, should use a commissioned sales force to distribute its investment product line-up? The TRS of West Va. adopted that stupidity for its mandatory Defined Contribution Plan---result: the employees were sold a high priced variable annuity which is now the subject of a class action suit alleging fraud. So your position that only with a commission sales force selling higher priced products will you maximize participation rates is a damnable lie, that you specifically know to be a lie, and any plan sponsor that relies on such "advice" is a fool and in breach of its fiduciary responsibilities to its employees. Again, the employer should utilize fiduciary standards when implementing a retirement savings plan. Just a tertiary review of the definition of loaded Vs no-load funds tells the plan sponsor that to offer both types of funds is giving a decided advantage to the loads because they employ sales sharks to distribute the product. Our friend Bruce will attest to this based on figures from his own school district---this breach of fiduciary duty on the part of the nation's employers is a national scandal and is definitely not limited to the nation's school districts or to public employment. "The truth is like a bell ringing in the night." Ethics is "knowing the difference between what you have the right to do, and what is the right thing to do." "Glinda, the good witch said to the wicked witch: "Be gone, you have no power here". Peace and hope, Joel L. Frank Pension Columnist The Chief-Civil Service Leader 277 Broadway New York, NY 1007 What is wrong with you people ... You have got to be the most bitter people on the face of the earth. I only asked for answer ... Why must you always attack. In the end ... I don't care if NY has the highest rate of participation or care what they invest in ... Maybe I was just asking a question to hear from the other side of the coin. So ... LIGHTEN UP !!
  3. Jarhead, I actually have some of these policies in my retirement portfolio. I actually have them through AXA. Now, without seeing the policies and original illustrations, I can not say wether or not your polisies were set up in a favorable manner. I will go over a few scenarios I see: First: Close all the accounts, pay all the surrender penalties, move on. Not a great Idea. I think this idea is where you are letting your bull headed-ness, being a marine, get in the way. You and your wife are getting closer to retirement.You are going to need all the money you can get. Taking huge penalties isn't a great idea. Second: Invite the AXA guy over and MAKE him explain everything to you. Make sure you know those products as well as he does. Ask him why he advised you to put your money in those vehichles. Maybe invite a friend who might be more financially saavy over to help. Third: Ask someone who has similar products in their portfolio why they chose them. I use them for 2 reasons. Everyone needs life insurance and the ability to pull money out tax free later in life. The variable life insurance isn't as good on accumulation as a no load mutual fund is, but it is way better on the distribution side ... if it is set up right. As far as the pension thing ... I know some people who it is great for ... Other ... Not so great. I will NOT make broad statements and say that the pension idea is a bad one for you or a good one for you with out knowing your situation. That is the problem. Many people hear something and start acting like it is the only way to go. In the end, every situaion is different. Good Luck. I hope I was of some help. Guru: Now your telling us that these commissioned products are only sold to those that can actually benefit from them. Common Sense tells us that you could not fill up your gas tank if you limited your prey to such people. Joel L. Frank Joel, what I am telling you is that these products can be set up to benefit the sales person or the client. Unfortunately, people with all the major insurance companies think it is ok to do what is right for them and not the client. It is dispicable. But, the bottom line is that you can't say that all of these products are bad for everyone. Thats the bottom line. You will never talk me out of funding my policies. EVER.
  4. Jarhead, I actually have some of these policies in my retirement portfolio. I actually have them through AXA. Now, without seeing the policies and original illustrations, I can not say wether or not your polisies were set up in a favorable manner. I will go over a few scenarios I see: First: Close all the accounts, pay all the surrender penalties, move on. Not a great Idea. I think this idea is where you are letting your bull headed-ness, being a marine, get in the way. You and your wife are getting closer to retirement.You are going to need all the money you can get. Taking huge penalties isn't a great idea. Second: Invite the AXA guy over and MAKE him explain everything to you. Make sure you know those products as well as he does. Ask him why he advised you to put your money in those vehichles. Maybe invite a friend who might be more financially saavy over to help. Third: Ask someone who has similar products in their portfolio why they chose them. I use them for 2 reasons. Everyone needs life insurance and the ability to pull money out tax free later in life. The variable life insurance isn't as good on accumulation as a no load mutual fund is, but it is way better on the distribution side ... if it is set up right. As far as the pension thing ... I know some people who it is great for ... Other ... Not so great. I will NOT make broad statements and say that the pension idea is a bad one for you or a good one for you with out knowing your situation. That is the problem. Many people hear something and start acting like it is the only way to go. In the end, every situaion is different. Good Luck. I hope I was of some help.
  5. I wish that my local association had the same view. It STILL endorses NEA Valuebuilder and the !@#$%s who flog that sorry product. And why? Because "if something went wrong, we would have some recourse." Can you believe it? If "something went wrong?" Something DID go wrong, and that is why NEA has been hit with that lawsuit. And what do I find in my recent teacher association newsletter? An ad from Security Benefit: "Valuable Advice from a Trustworthy Counselor." No, I'm not kidding. That's really what it says. "You want straightforward answers to your retirement planning questions from someone you can trust." Honest, I'm not making this stuff up. So here is how it works: the association endorses Valuebuilder, and Security Benefit sees its way to steer a few things (like newsletter ads) to the association. Nice, very nice. I just want to ask a question. I honestly just want to know the thought process that went into this decision. I am interested to see how you came to the decision to make the 457 the primary investment and not the 403b. So, please don't attack me for asking a question. You say you don't want any 403(b) vendors on campus. Are you also keeping 457 vendor off campus? How many 403b and 457 vendors are you allowing? If you ARE allowing the 457 vendor on campus, isn't that just a way of trying to tell people they should have their money in a 457 as opposed to a 403b? Why do they have to wait for their 457 to be maxed out before opening a 403b? If you AREN'T allowing anyone on campus, have you considered the fact that you will probably have decreased participation? I mean, this is the truth: Many people who work in the school district are unaware that these plans are available to them or how they work. So, I think if you are limiting it to one vendor or you are not allowing anyone on campus, you will see much lower participation over the next few years. And that brings to light a big question, would we rather have more people signed up for a group of products that might not be low cost or less people signed up for a low cost? It is just something to consider with social security in jeopardy in this country. I mean we all know that state pensions won't do the job for retirement. That is why 403b and 457 ARE so important for everyone working in the schools. That is all. I just wanted to bring to light some of the things I was seeing and to see if you had thought of that and what your thoughts were. Thanks !!
  6. From what I hear ... Vanguard is getting out of the K12 market ... It's too small and requires too much work ... But the will stay in the university and hospital system ... Haven't heard anything about Fidelity though ... And I believe the American has pretty much called it quits !!
  7. Yes But why would you want to do that ?? Lose control of your money ... Let the state decide what rate of return and retirement income you get ... Most states pension plans aren't anywhere close to being funded ... Good Luck !!
  8. Here is the bottom line ... If you are not going to teach anymore, don't put more money in that is tied up in surrender penalties. Open a new IRA at the broker of your choice, whether that is AXA, fidelity, Schwab, etyc ... As far as you AXA 403b goes, just let it grow ... No need in accepting surrender penalties ... I mean it seems to be a fairly balanced potfolio ... So, do your duty as the investor and watch it ... Right now the market is down and if you go all GIA, you will miss the upswing when the market does rebound ... After the market gets back to a good level ... Then consider moving to the GIA and allow it to just grow !! I will inform you that you have opened a can of worms on this website. This is only my opinion. In the end it is your money and your decision. Good Luck !!
  9. Your situation is complicated and you should consult a tax advisor or CPA for answers to the following Q: Q1 Did your mother in law receive her minimumum required distributions (MRD) for 2007 from her 403b plan before her death? Under IRS rules the MRD must be paid out each year and if the owner dies before receiving the payment for the year of death the MRD must be paid to the beneficiary of the account. If the MRD was not paid out by 12/31/07 a 50% tax may be imposed on the MRD amount that was not distributed. If the MRD as not paid you need to consult with a tax advisor. If an MRD was paid to your mother in law in 2007 Oppy would have sent an IRS form 1099 to her showing the amount of the payment. By the way your mother's representative ( your H?) is responsible for filing his mother's income tax return for 2007 depending on the amount of income she received before her death and her estatate will be required to file an income tax return (1041) for income paid to her after her death. Which is another reason for consulting a tax advisor. Q2 If you H is the sole beneficary he should be able to transfer the amount of the 403b annuity to an inherited IRA at any financial institution that sponsors IRAs. Under IRS rules he must take an MRD beginning 2008 based upon his age 56 which would allow payments to be made over about 29 years. IRS publication 590, available free at irs.gov contains instructions on creating an inherited IRA. This is another reason to consult a tax advisor. If he doesnt want to receive MRDs your H can elect to receive a distribution of the entire account balance in a lump sum in 2008 and it will be taxed as as income at tax rates beginning at 10% plus any state income taxes. If you are in the 10% bracket for taxable income up to about 16k then the taxable value of the 403b account will be added to other your income that would be taxed to you in 2008 which could result in taxation rates of 15%, 25% or higher rates depending on the amount of the distribution. This is another reason to roll over the funds to an inherited IRA so as to avoid paying a higher rate of income tax than would be imposed if MRDs were taken. If the funds are transferred to the inherited IRA by 12/31/ 2008 your H can take them over the IRS life expectancy tables or more rapidly if he wants to. If the rollover to the IRA does not occur by 12/31/08 the the entire amount in oppy account would have to be distributed to him no later than 12/31/2012. 3. Since there may be other issues that you are not aware of your H needs to consult with a tax advisor before taking any action. There may also be estate tax issues for which he should consult an attorney. Intruder is 100% right ... Do not seek a fee based financial advisor ... They are not legally authorized to give tax advice ... If you have to ... Go out of state (depending on how big of an account you have) and seek out a respectablr CPA firm !!
  10. You want to know who benefits from the new regs ?? IRS ... They want control and they want to make sure they get every penny of tax defferred money going into these accounts !! They did not write the regs for anyone posting on this website. If your district does what it should ... it will benefit everyone later. Districts will begin to bid out these services ... You will see lower fees in your "full service" vendors like AXA, MET, VALIC, etc ... You will see them not only using the big names, but you will see a mix like this: 1 "full service" where an advisor will be available / 1 "middle of the road" provider where you might see the advisor once a year at your benefits fair or something of the sorts / 1 "low cost" provider where you have a VG or fidelity or the likes and you don't have an advisor you have a 800 number !! SO, what will happen is the district will be able to make everyone happy !! B/C believe it or not ... everyone wants something different !!
  11. Is this a joke ?? Just transfer the money from the old 403 to the new one !! Good Luck !!
  12. Bottom Line: You get what you pay for !! Your SD is using a credit union as a TPA .... It must be one hell of a bargain !! Fidelity hasn't been helpful ... It's an 800 number and a prayer !! You get what you pay for !! Not to say that you have an option either way !! Good luck !!
  13. Honestly, I think it is too hard to pick a company by name. I know for sure that MEt offers like 10 different products ... Same with ING ... So does Valic ... You really should have this conversation with your financial advisor ... I mean it all depends on how much qualified money you have and If you really need the tax breaks ... So thats my advice ... And YES the Opp guy wuld list his home phone number !!
  14. I just got on Moningstar ... And I searched for the top performing funds over the last 10 yrs ... Out of all the funds listed ... Only 1 was an idex fund ... and it was a bond fund ... and it was at the bottom of the list !! So ... I just don't see how you can make a blanket statement like "The evidence is clear that over time index funds with low costs outperform actively managed funds" ... Sounds like a misrepresentation !! PS. The VG500 fund over the past 10 yrs has done about 5.06% and has only been off the S&P by .08 give or take ... While a loaded and actively managed fund like American Funds Fundamental Invs has done about 9.1 over the last 10 yrs ... and beat the S&P by almost 5% ... So not all managed funds are created equally !!
  15. Hi 403bagent---I knew that I would be able to count on you somewhere down the road. Thank You! Having said that, let's see if Guru will acknowledge that he/she stands corrected. Peace and Hope, Joel L. Frank I'll stand corrected ... That if he does not move his money he will still be part of the new plan ... Having said that ... I wasn't trying to contend with that point ... My real poiont was that he can move the money at any time now that he is retired ... so the new regs should have no effect on him in general ... B/c if they make changes that he does not like ... He can just move the money !!
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