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  1. Never heard of "advantages" of annuities claimed by the sales force? My goodness, you need to listen to the agents. The agents are very good at telling those horror stories about the big bad stock market and how you can lose all of your money overnight! So, an annuity protects your assets because you never lose money in a down market, NEVER! (they never mention that insurance companies can go bankrupt too and the fact that the returns in an annuity are so pathetic that they never will keep up with the pace of inflation. SOOO, you lose money to inflation and taxes over time). Another advantage claimed by the sales force is that the agent will hold your hand throughout (they fail to mention that once the ink is dry by the teacher's signature on that terrible contract, the salesperson is gone!) And lastly, the insurance guarantees that you will get your principal back. WOW! Isn't that neat? The agent doesn't tell you that this is rarely if ever used. Yet those absolutely hideous and completely useless M&E charges are up to 1.25% year after year on top of the other expenses.
  2. I was very happy to be there and talk with some of the teachers. Two were from Wisconsin! BTW, one said that "investing is not as complicated as I thought!" That is a huge personal development for anybody interested in financial literacy either for themselves or teaching their students.
  3. Yep, CalSTRS Pension2 https://www.calstrs.com/pension2. It is one of the best 403(b)s in the country.
  4. Yeah! The action that has taken place there on FB so far has surpassed the combined action here for the last six months! Our colleagues just don't like forums as much as they like to post on FB. With all of the FB problems, it is surprising.
  5. Ed, Sorry for the delay. Go to the playing with FIRE homepage CONTACT and email Scott that you want a DVD with the promise that you will show it to friends too. They have a program for this as I am going to do this in the fall with some of my friends. Steve
  6. Yes, it's great the way you said it. We know that was broken and remains broken by the powerful insurance industry lobby at our state insurance commissioners. We can fix it when enough teachers say no to these horrific and costly products. I cannot wait for the WSJ to get their two articles published. It looks like it would put yet another cannonball dent on this annuity ship that refuses to sink. But it is going to sink eventually.
  7. Also joined the FB group. Awesome job Dan. We are going to win this fight against the 403(b) sales abuse that has taken place for sooooo long.
  8. Thanks for fixing. This link did not work for a week. I thought it was the only link, didn't see the archive link. Steve
  9. Anybody going? I might go just to support this wonderful film about a courageous young couple who decided to stop the insane spending and live a more balanced healthful life. https://www.tugg.com/events/playing-with-fire-bqyc Has 40 tickets left and will probably be sold out soon.
  10. The annuity people attend and present at administration associations such as the California School Boards Association and California Association of School Administrators. There are ones in every state.
  11. Congrats Karen. We all have similar stories. Thanks for sharing and reminding newbies that you have to stay on top of this because the 403(b) system, the people and the educational institution will not lift a finger. However, as you and MNGopher found out there is one person somewhere in the system that will help.
  12. pushing this up. Anne is still looking for people.
  13. I have heard from a teacher in a small school district in San Bernadino county that has School's First (I think) for both the 403(b) and the 457(b) plans. He tried to form a committee to oversee the plans but was s down by the Superintendent and no interest among his colleagues. You are probably the only one who cares enough for you and your colleagues best interests that you reported this. The bigger question is who in the district or the union decided to have National Life Group with another 457 plan. LAUSD also has a policy that no 403b agents selling or talking with teachers on school grounds PERIOD! but the agents violate this all the time. A friend of mine called me and reported that they were presenting at district HEADQUARTERS! I was so angry I wrote an email to the board members about this. Where those agents found and disciplined? Of course not. It was I who was chastised in front of the committee by the chair of the committee for going over her head. I WAS CHASTISED while our teachers are still getting a raw deal and agents violated LAUSD policy. (No worries! I am a big boy). You are just getting wind of just how corrupted the entire defined contribution plans are with public k12 school districts with regard to all of the fees that our teachers are paying and they don't even know it. I have been at this for 25 years and I find it totally fascinating that what you are experiencing is still going on. Just think about this, there are thousands of teachers and administrators across the country who must know what we know, but our educational culture absolutely prevents them from speaking out. I am still not sure why people are so afraid. There are many publications over the years reporting how bad the situation is as you know. But none of the published media print articles made much of a dent yet. The WSJ will be coming out with 2 reports soon and she is looking for teachers to talk to as we speak. She wants to know the connection between the unions and their endorsements of products. The teacher I spoke of above just talked with this reporter. Steve
  14. Hi Anon, Very happy you reported this. Takes a lot of courage, but you are not alone. Teachers everywhere in the country are getting a raw deal. As Dan said, only use Calstrs Pension2, it's a great plan offered by our pension plan. Stay the heck away from all of the rest! Steve
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