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kat92128

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  1. Darn....wished I hadn't missed this contest! What great entries! I've been too busy retiring! Kat
  2. No conversions to Roth for me! I will be living very frugally indeed, and my tax rate will be low! As for the investment part, that will be kept very simple: Index funds and bonds with Vanguard. Quick, easy, good yield and very low expense ratios. Tony, Steve, and Dan....I've learned from the best! Only 7 more work days and counting! I literally drive out of California on June 26. Yee ha! Kathy
  3. Wow! I thought this thread was dead because nobody responded, but today a flurry of activity. Anyway, I easily rolled over my "dormant" 403b with Vanguard into my regular IRA with Vanguard with just a simple phone call. It was painless. At the same time I emailed TIAA-Cref and asked them about my options for rolling my active 403b into my personal Vanguard IRA. Initially I received wrong information. The respondent stated that I would have to pay taxes. I knew this was not true since this would be a direct rollover from a 403b to a Traditional IRA. She corrected herself when I responded in kind. Fortunately, I already knew the answer, but it bothers me that someone without as much knowledge would have been given incorrect information. I never stated that I would be moving it into a Roth. Bad form, TIAA... Anyway....between my 59 1/2 birthday and now, I have decided to leave education in CA, take my STRS and move to Austin, Texas, where my family lives. I'll be leaving when the school year ends, and I couldn't be more excited. At that time, I will rollover my 403b with TIAA Cref directly into my IRA with Vanguard. Vanguard will handle all of the paperwork, they said, OF COURSE they will! Think of all the new money they will be getting. I'll still have to work at least part-time in Texas, but I'm going to coast for a while. I haven't decided whether I'll go back to education or try something entirely new...I'm leaning towards the latter!
  4. It's MINE! All MINE! Maybe reaching age 59 1/2 doesn't mean much to most people, but it does to me! As of Tuesday, my investments are now my own - if I need them. The first thing I did was call Vanguard and had them roll my dormant 403b into my personal IRA. This was accomplished quickly over the phone. Now I can add to it, rebalance it, even withdraw from it if necessary. And I have also reduced the fees. (This "dormancy" occured a few years ago when investing with Vanguard directly was no longer an option under my district's 403b plan.) The second thing I did was send TIAA-Cref a message: Can I roll over my current and active 403b into my personal IRA with no penalties? I don't know the answer to that, but maybe one of you do. The Vanguard rep said it would depend on whether the plan was "erisa" or "non-erisa." The third thing I did was arm-twist my 27-year-old daughter into contributing to her 401K. I am so glad I saved the money I did, I just wish I began at her age. Did any of you celebrate 59 1/2? kat
  5. Hi everyone, I've gotten such great advice from the sages here, so I'm going to throw out this topic and see where it goes. There is a very good chance that I will be leaving education after this school year. I will be moving out of California to Texas to join my family. Although I only have 15 years in STRS, (CA's teacher retirement system), I will take my pension, and I plan to get a part-time job in Texas to make ends meet. I have two 403b accounts: 1.) Current with CALSTRS Pension 2/TIAA Cref and 2.) a dormant 403b directly with Vanguard. My inclination is to roll them both out of the 403b status and into an Traditional IRA. I would use Vanguard. My current overall asset mix is about 50 stocks/50 bonds, and my 2012 return was almost overall. I'd like your thoughts on this rollover idea and also asset allocation. Thanks is advance! Kat
  6. Hi guys, I've been busy with work and haven't had much time to view the forum. There's a good chance I'm going to retire in June and I will definitely need your help with what to do with the 403b! That said...here was my 2012 performance: 1. Vanguard accounts that include a Traditional IRA; Roth IRA; and dormant 403b = 9.6% return with 50/50 bonds/stock mix. This includes mostly the Vanguard Target 2015 funds, Wellington, and some TIPS 2. CALSTRS Pension2 403B with TIAA-Cref - 10.1% return for 2012; all in targeted retirement portfolio 40% guaranteed; 43% stock; 2% real estate; 8% multi-asset Considering that my investments are conservative, I'm happy with it.
  7. No problem Dan. Take the post down if you like. I understand!
  8. I don't disagree, Steve. I just couldn't resist as I listen to "solutions" where insurance companies will have a say in our healthcare options. But you are right; for the purposes of this board, providing sound information on beneficial 403b choices and advocating against bad ones is the the correct target. Education is always the key...if we, as consumers of 403b products, were more educated, I choose to believe that the outcry against TSAs would be so great that there would be no choice but to outlaw them.....I can dream, can't I? Regards, Kat
  9. I've been off the board for a while because I'm very busy at work, so I just spent some time catching up with the posts. As usual the board is brimming over with complaints about the unscrupulous practices of insurance companies in advertising, selling improper products, and collecting high commissions among other things. The rest of the time is spent lamenting the lack of knowledge of our HR departments (many don't even know what an annuity is...) and the lack of choice for our 403b. Before you vote, think about this as it applies to other issues, namely healthcare. Do you really trust that insurance companies, if not regulated, will miraculously change their policies to actually benefit consumers? Do you trust insurance companies to do anything with integrity? I don't. Some things need regulation - Wall Street and insurance practices, just to name two. I'm probably crazy posting this since politics is such a charged issue...but here goes....
  10. I've been off the board for a while because I'm very busy at work, so I just spent some time catching up with the posts. As usual the board is brimming over with complaints about the unscrupulous practices of insurance companies in advertising, selling improper products, and collecting high commissions among other things. The rest of the time is spent lamenting the lack of knowledge of our HR departments (many don't even know what an annuity is...) and the lack of choice for our 403b. Before you vote, think about this as it applies to other issues, namely healthcare. Do you really trust that insurance companies, if not regulated, will miraculously change their policies to actually benefit consumers? Do you trust insurance companies to do anything with integrity? I don't. Some things need regulation - Wall Street and insurance practices, just to name two. I'm probably crazy posting this since politics is such a charged issue...but here goes....
  11. Interesting and sad discussion. This has me laughing out loud: When asked why CTA didn’t share concerns with CalSTRS, Vogel reportedly said they didn’t know how to contact CalSTRS. I guess the state of education is so bad that Vogel never heard of Google... The other thought that comes to mind is that many charter schools are not in collective bargaining units, i.e., CTA. I wonder if this miracle product will be offered to those in CTA. I suppose it will depend on the structure of the charter school. Many charter schools tag onto the 403b offerings of their county office of education or sponsoring district. Those entities would most likely be heavily unionized. As to the question of "why?", for me, it's a simple case of follow the money...and the greed...and the power. CTA is no different than any other highly politicized organization: its members are the last thing it cares about.
  12. I just received a letter from CALSTRS Pension2 announcing that they have lowered expenses on two Vanguard funds. Vanguard Mid-Cap Index will go from 0.26% down to 0.12% expense ratio Vanguard Short-Term Bond Index will go from 0.11% to 0.07% expense ration These become effective May 30, 2012. As an investor with Pension2, I couldn't be happier. When do you get a notice that fees are being REDUCED...ON ANYTHING? I switched to Pension2 almost a year ago now with the guidance of this board. Glad I did and bravo Pension2.
  13. Again I'm on the same page with Whyme. (Good point about the divorce laws and community property angle! I didn't think of that). My final answer: 1. Roll that old-job 401K into a TRAD or ROTH IRA with Vanguard. Trad if you need the tax deduction/Roth if you don't. 2. I wouldn't roll a red cent into a company that takes 5% on the way in, or anything on the way in! Come on....and no one should be telling you that you can "easily" make up the cost of the rollover/surrender. What a bunch of sharks. Unless you tell us otherwise, you have rotten options 403b-wise. Do what you can on your own and sleep at night.
  14. I'm award of Valic's mutual fund "platform," but it's still fee-heavy. Maybe they're finally understanding that more and more of us are educating ourselves and voicing our displeasure with the 403b game. And maybe, one day, they will offer something reasonable, but I'm not holding my breath and I'm sticking with CALSTRS Pension2 for now. The only way I would switch is if Vanguard became a direct option again, like it was with my district before the new regs. It's all about greed with these players, but if it ultimately benefits teachers and lower fees, I don't care who the players are... just give us some good options. And transparency...how about a little of that.... I'm glad you are making headway, Steve, and that you are happy about the outcome. Thanks for all your hard work on this. It's still a sad day when CTA is opposing a bill that will benefit teachers.
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