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  1. Hi all! I have decided to go with ASPire, and I called the company today to gather more info about Vanguard funds. The representative told me that when using a financial planner (which in my case would be through Edward Jones) that person would most likely not assist me since he or she would not get a commission, but if they do help they would charge a fee for their assistance. Since I am new to the entire 403b, do you think it would be okay for me to use a representative now until I find out more about self-directing my account? I also called Vanguard and was able to use online tools and it recommended the "Life Strategy Moderate Growth" however, I was also interested in using the Target plan, because the Vanguard rep said that that one becomes less risky as you age. After deciding the plan, I have to choose funds in which to invest, how do you recommend I go about differentiating between funds? I have another meeting with a different ASPire (through Edward Jones) representative later today.
  2. WhyMe, Thank you for the response! I was hoping to get the advice of actual educators and others who use the 403b plan and are not a provider. I will contact Aspire again to answer a few questions and mention the Vanguard funds.
  3. Thank you for the advice! I will starting doing more independent reading as opposed to meeting with providers who are offering sales pitches more than anything else. Also, I have met with Aspire before and the representative did say that they were the lowest cost. I have also called payroll just to inquire as to what most teachers in the district do and the top four providers given to me were: AXA, Security Benefit Life, MetLife, and Valic. I was thinking about going with MetLife, could anyone tell me why this would not be a good option? (Using specifics and possibly a comparison with a more beneficial provider) Also, does any one know the surrender fees for Aspire? Lastly, I saw a post which spoke of TIAA-Cref and I've heard great things about them as a company and I even called to confirm that they were not an option for my district. P.S. I saw some of the earlier posts and it's Miss BrandNew to clear any confusion :)
  4. Hi Tony! Thank you for getting back to me. I have met with a representative from Aspire, and he stressed to me that this provider was the lowest cost. However, I wanted to make sure that I was getting a good cost as well as going with a company that is trusted and reliable. I will keep Aspire in mind, but keep my options open as well. Concerning the question of going with an annuity, I thought that was my only option? I was told that I could bypass the annuity by going with an investment company, where my money would go directly to mutual funds. However, I was told the annuity would provide me with more options. I was also told about the ROTH, but I am not interested in doing that just yet. Are there any other options besides those listed? Also, are there any other educators or people who have 403b accounts, not provider representatives, that can share their experiences and advice? Thank you!
  5. Hi! I am a first year elementary teacher and need help choosing a 403b provider. I don't know anything about the 403b, or what questions to ask providers. I have met with insurance and investment companies, but they all seem to offer the same things, but contradict each other at the same time (for instance whether I should do a variable or indexed annuity). I am 23, single, and don't have children. I hope someone with experience in this area could offer advice! Here are the providers I have to choose from: Aspire Ameriprise AXA CitiStreet First Investors GALIC Horace Mann IA Pacific ING Life Insurance of the Southwest Lincoln Financial Group Lincoln Investment Planning MetLife Symetra Security Benefit Thrivent VALIC
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