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  1. I found a solution to my district's lack of of low-fee 403b vendor - I got a job in another district that has Vanguard and Fidelity. I would like to say thanks to 403bwise and the forum. You guys helped me a ton and gave me a lot of quality info. Even though I won't be taking advantage of it, your info helped me get the ball rolling for the employees of my former district - I think I started a process that will result in them having access to a low-fee 457 option. Thanks much! -Roger
  2. Roger44

    457 Vs Ira

    I got a hold of a rep for the Oregon 457 plan so I think I may have got the ball rolling there. Which should be funded first and why? 403, 457, IRA (I know the contribution limits for each individually) What if there are no good 403 vendors available, so you’re just doing a state 457 (with fees between 26 and 80 bps but options limited to a dozen funds) with of course the possibility to add an IRA. It seems to me, with an IRA, you can choose Vanguard and have rock bottom fees and great flexibility, so this would make me want to fund it first. No? Also, the IRA can be a lump sum contribution, where the 457 (or 403) typically has to be payroll deductions, right? Comments? Thanks in advance. -Roger
  3. I’m starting a new post since the last one started to go in a little different direction. I’ve been encouraged in my postings, so here goes - Tony and Barney suggested a 457b option. I read 457bwise and looked for an Oregon (my locale) 457b plan. Well what do you know – Oregon Savings and Growth Plan (OSGP). http://www.oregon.gov/PERS/OSGP/index.shtml Never heard of it before now. I looked at the funds and fees and they look good. Any comments on this? Anybody familiar with OSGP? Anyone care to look? Relevant info here - http://www.oregon.gov/PERS/OSGP/docs/fee_structure.pdf and here http://www.oregon.gov/PERS/OSGP/docs/investment_booklet.pdf But it needs to be set up by the employer. I have not asked my district if it is available but I have a strong feeling he would have mentioned it by now if they did. I will ask. It looks to me like if they were willing to bring this in that it could be a solution. I also will ask for The Plan. I took more advice and looked for local districts and found two neighbor districts (one of which is the biggest around) that offer OSGP through a 457b. I also called some districts in Oregon. One very prominent district directed me to the site of their TPA – Carruth Compliance Consulting. It is also located in Oregon. They have a website that educates employees (really!) and posts all their clients’ (districts) plans and each one’s vendor options. Virtually all the districts offered either Vanguard, Fidelity, T Rowe Price, TIAA CREF or a OSGP 457b. The majority had either Vanguard or Fidelity. What a TPA! Here is a link to the district list on their site. http://www.ncompliance.com/guests.aspx I plan to share this with my district. Thanks for responses! -Roger
  4. Thanks very much for the candid response, Tony! Your response very much told me what I wanted to know. I'm getting a better idea of what I'm up against here. Just out of curiosity - assuming I do fail to get a low-fee provider brought in, have people in your situation appealed to any higher authority? Do people write their politicians? I'm not expecting that this would do any good, but are there efforts to try to bring this issue greater public awareness? I was shocked when I first found this forum at how little participation there was (is). Is there opium in the staff room coffee? -Roger
  5. She doesn't have access to Spartan Total Stock Market Index. The only Spartan or index fund available is FUSEX. So maybe a bit more international and some of small and mid caps - makes sense for diversification. They're more expensive though... Thanks for the feedback. -Roger
  6. I am trying to get my district to add a low-fee 403b provider. My district's financial officer says that the only way for a new provider to be added to the plan is for the prospective company's rep to hand him a minimum of ten district employees that the rep has signed up. I have a list of ten signatures of employees committed to any low-fee provider that might be brought in - but that is not good enough. This makes adding a low-fee provider currently impossible since VG, Fidelity, T Rowe Price and TIAA CREFF don't have sales reps in the field - let alone that they would get ten employees pre-signed up. The financial officer is unwilling to contact any of these providers stating that the district is not in the investment business and will not play favorites among providers. I have contacted my local union head to discuss this, but they are out of town until next week. I have not asked the financial officer for a copy of the plan. I am a bit leery of doing so - things have been relatively civil so far... Reaction? Thanks very much for any advice. -Roger
  7. I’m helping my wife with her 403b asset allocation. She’s 40 and a pretty conservative investor. She hopes to retire somewhere around 65. Her 403b has just started this year with Fidelity. The default option was the Freedom Fund 2035, but 80% in stocks is too risky for us/her. Also, the fees are a bit high. We don’t intend to fuss around with the portfolio much other than to rebalance. So we were thinking – 20% - Fidelity Intermediate Government Income Fund – FSTGX 20% - PIMCO Total Return Fund Administrative Class – PTRAX 50% - Spartan US Equity Index Fund Investor Class – FUSEX 10% - Fidelity Diversified International Fund Class K – FDIKX We considered putting in 5-10% of a small cap fund at the expense of the two other stock funds, but the fees are quite high (for Fidelity). Also, I wondered if people think that the conservative nature of index funds should be taken into consideration when allocating assets. I mean, does the heavy investment in the Spartan Fund make this allocation decidedly more conservative than a typical 60/40 split? Comments? -Roger She works in health care, I’m a teacher = she has an excellent 403b vendor option, I have crap (currently anyway).
  8. For the time being, I am in the process trying to bring a decent low-fee 403b vendor to my district. My spouse works part time elsewhere and has a fine 403b with Fidelity. My inclination is for us to use her earnings to heavily contribute to her 403b, and leave my lousy 403b options on the table and live off my earnings. Any considerations in so doing? -Roger
  9. Thanks to all those who responded with helpful advice. I will follow it and report the results. Despite the fact that the powers that be may conspire to force me to pay fees for unwanted services, I am going to do my best to avoid it. If that fails, I will loudly complain. I certainly don't plan to just give up. Nobody on here should allow insurance agents to wind them up. They are, after all, insurance agents (see attached link). -Roger
  10. Hello, I’m new here and I would like to say thanks for the huge amount that I have learned from this site. I recently decided to begin a 403b and set about educating myself. I am in a medium-small district that offers five vendors – three annuity, and two with access to mutual funds - First Investors and Oppenheimer. First Investors rates look outrageous. The better choice appears to be Oppenheimer. I’ve looked through their prospectuses and they appear to be high-ish front-end loads with high-ish fees. Could I get an appraisal? I have contacted my district CFO and she has stated that adding another vendor is an “employee-driven process”. The district has planwithease (owned by ING) as TPA. I plan to organize and lobby the district to add a no-load option (Vanguard, Fidelity, T Rose Price) or TIAA-CREF. I’m not looking for a fight, I just want a decent option. Advice on how to proceed? Thanks in advance. -Roger
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