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  1. What is most of you opinions and or thought about Fidelity Freedom Funds versus picking your own funds? I was looking at the prospectus and it is kind of tough to tell which way to go.
  2. My district has officially decided to go from 16 403b companies from the '07-'08 school year to to 2 for this upcoming school year. We were told the news today. Overall I think this is good as maybe teachers will be looked out for more now as with less options I think the district or NEA may be able to look at the options with more of a close eye and make sure high cost bad options are not available. Although I have never vested in either of these companies and now have to open a new 403b I was kind of excited to hear the news as I think this will probably help to get rid of the lemons. I guess as we do not get that much information about these products which I think is very sad that the federal government knew they were not being watched as close as the 401k and basically that teachers were getting screwed. Sorry for the language but in truth that is from what I have gathered has been what has been happeing to us. Many disticts I have been told are doing the same thing by goverment mandate needing to get rid of so many options. Now for my question and I know this site is sponsored by Fidelity but I would really like some opinions of non-biased people of which would be the better choice for one to go with Metlife or Fidelity? Please if you know of the apples to apples of both companies spell it out as we have to make a decision by October 25th.
  3. Wouldn't the gross return be:??? 1) 7.5-.25= 7.25 2) 9.0-2.5= 6.50 I am sure 1 is still going to win even though it starts with 3k less to begin with but I want to know by how much. My current situation calls for me to be roughly 3k less than that of what I put in to surrender charges and move my account over and I was told by an advisor to expect AXA to gross 1-1.5% more each year on average than that of the funds of Vanguard. Don't even know if this is accurate because I have yet to find anyone else online say this is true but then again I can't find anyone else who says its wrong either so I do just want to give him the benefit of the doubt and see what the difference is if what he says does indeed hold weight.
  4. I am not a math guy so I need some help on this one. My current advisor (may be changing shorlty) told me AXA funds he estimates would be 1-1.5% a year more over a 30 year period than that of the funds Vanguard offers. Someone please take these two scenarios and spit me out the results 1) $25,000 with company A who charges .25% and the person adds 3k a year for 30 years and the average rate of return in 7.5% how much is this account after the 30 years? 2) $22,000 with company B who charges 2.5% in fees and the person adds 3k a year for 30 year and the average rate of return is 9% how much is the account after 30 years? One more thing to take into consideration is scenario 1 is mutual funds and scenario 2 is a variable annuity. I have heard the two have different tax ramifications from the Feds if this is true when someone pulls these funds out 30 years from now what is the difference after the government gets at it.
  5. I have talked to my finance guy and all he can say is he believes AXA will appreciate better than Vanguard. I have called AXA direct and found out that my surrender charge will be in excess of $1,400 not to mention my account will be cashed out as of the close of the market yesterday for $1,227 less than I have put in. I thought I read something on here once that said that that is one of the if not the only perk of a variable annuity that if you account is less than what you put in you are protected when you cash out in the fact that the variable annuity company will at least give you back the amount of dollars you put in. On the phone I was told this is not the case. Not sure what that extra layer of charges meaning the 1.34% for mortality and all that other stuff is for but apparently it does not allow you to cash out for what you put in. I have one more quick question and that is does the rule of 90-24 (not sure if those are the right numbers) allow me to go ahead take the $1400 surrender loss and have that be my only hit or will the feds step in an give me another hit of some kind? I plan on leaving it all the same just switch companies so they will both be 403b's the only difference would be the old one is a variable annuity thorough AXA while the new one is a mutual fund through Vanguard. Some of you may get a kick out of this as well but through AXA when I close I also have a $8.52 administration charge???? Maybe my agent is like someone else said earlier going on many all expense paid vacations. I know one thing me being a teacher I sure am not! Lastly I can take 10% out a year penalty free would it make better sense to do this? Would waiting ten years be better or is just paying the penalty better. Also is my agent just full of it when he says AXA will more than likely outperform Vanguard? Thanks for all your input from everyone I like hearing what other people out there know rather than just having to hear my agent opinion because maybe his interests are not my best interests.
  6. I am with equitable right now and I am thinking of possibly switching to vanguard, fidelity, TIAA, or T rowe price. TIAA is the only option that is not available in my district that sounds like it has good potential. The product I am vested in through equitable is their 200 series funds. My finance guy I got set up with put me in 8 funds within the 200 series. All funds are charged a 1.34% fee for mortality and then each fund has it own cost on top of that from .67%-1.77%. The funny thing is is the one that charges 1.77% on top of the 1.34% is actually outperforming a handful of the other 7 funds. On top of all these charges I have an annual managment fee of a flat $30. I am really confused as to what to do here. I have a 13 year surrender penalty on my account which I feel is just stupid so I am tied to equitable to some extent. My current surrender is 6%. I question though if switching to vanguard or one of these other companies is really a good thing. I have read a handful of great things about vanguard and a handful where people say that vanguard is not all its cracked up to be and that it still has enough fees and performance problems. However from doing so very thorough reading I do believe that far more people are fans of mutal funds over the variable annuities in general so I fear I have went the wrong way. I went in through the advice of fellow teacher so 4-5 years ago and did not look into it and just assumed that equitable was a good deal so now I need someone who is well educated on the topic to spell it out for me and tell me am I in a decent deal or for future earnings am I just hurting myself for continuing to put more money in a dead horse if you will. One thing I do need to know is it possible for AXA to outperform vanguard, fiedelity, etc.. to offset the 2% or more that they are charging for their load/brokerage fee?
  7. I was wondering what everyone on here (this board) thought of a variable annuity company like equitable compaired to a mutual fund company like vanguard? I am wondering if one will always come out ahead taking the company that has lower cost ratios?
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