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Killah Bee

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  1. It's definitely not an unreasonable question. I'm not a salesperson anymore but I can assure you the vast majority of agents do not disclose their commissions to clients, at least not verbally. IF it's disclosed in writing, it's buried somewhere in fine print. Insurance companies coach their agents very carefully re: mentioning the "c word" to clients. I'm ashamed to say the coaching worked on me; as an agent, I never told a client what I was being paid unless they asked. Frankly, I'm surprised I only got the question a handful of times, and even more surprised that it never cost me a sale when I answered it (and yes, I answered truthfully). That said, one positive thing that's come out of SOME of the larger school districts consolidating providers is a lot more transparency about commissions and fees on the products that are being offered. I wish this was the case on a universal level, but we all know it's not.
  2. I could have written the same thing, practically word for word! It's awful how these companies claim to be doing the right thing for the clients while training the reps to sell shoddy products. I nearly got fired once because I raised my hand in a crowded meeting and asked a group of managers how come OUR company's retirement plan wasn't an annuity. Good times!
  3. Hi Judy, I spoke with a friend who used to be high up at NEA (she got disgruntled and left, and that could be a whole other, very juicy thread). Anyway, she didn't know for sure, but said she believes Minnesota and Colorado are probably near the top of the list. She said she'd try to find out more info, and I'll be sure to post again if she does.
  4. The district has known about the new regs since the news broke. They did implement certain changes for existing vendors at the time and are now going through the RFP process to figure out which provider(s) to keep. They've done a less than stellar job handling the issue by all accounts. I'd bet money they select a couple big name insurance companies to be providers...a real shame because this is a huge school system and its employees deserve much better.
  5. Does your wife happen to work for a large school district in the northern part of a southern state (county name starts with an "F")? If so, DO NOT have her sign up for a 403(b) right now. That county is currently undergoing bidding to select providers and there's no guarantee that whoever she signs up with will be available in a few months' time, or that they'll grandfather existing contracts. Check the school system's benefits page if you want more info re: this. Even if ING gets selected as a vendor under the new system, they'll probably be changing their product lineup in response to the bid specifications. Regardless of what the very aggressive--and if I'm thinking of the right person, very attractive--ING annuity shark tells you, no one knows if ING will be a choice once the school board casts its votes. If they are, I doubt their product will be anything too great; their current one is certainly nothing spectacular. The only halfway decent provider on that list is Financial Directors; they're the only ones who offer a non-variable annuity. Again, no guarantees they'll be selected under the new system either. Great West has secured the 457 payroll slot for the next three years so if you go with them, you'll at least be assured they aren't leaving anytime soon. Their platform doesn't have a lot of choices but they tout low fees and it's pretty self directed. If you're eager to start something pre-tax for your wife, this is probably the way to go.
  6. You hit the nail on the head with everything you've posted! I'm in the same exact situation as you were and looking to get out for the same reason you did. I couldn't/ wouldn't bring myself to sell a VA once I figured out how crap the products are. It's amazing the lengths these companies will go to in order to gain access to the schools, but you know what? I'm hopeful that things WILL change as people learn and become more savvy. It won't happen overnight, but it will happen. And, I firmly believe a lot of agents have NO idea what they're selling or how badly they can cripple an unsuspecting teacher's retirement goals by putting them in a high-cost, inappropriate product. Companies that recruit agents aren't looking to hire people with a background in finance, and for good reason! If you're young, hungry, inexperienced and have a nice smile, you're filet mignon to an insurance company recruiter! Sad but true.
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