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Aloha folks! So I learned a new term today... Thanks to this forum and the kind folks here, I started my journey toward fiscal responsibility and found out about my state's 457 "deferred compensation" program and a better 403b option with lower fees and better investment options. I got the 403b new account open and redirected my pre-tax savings into it. Now that that's squared away, I'm finally getting the exchange paperwork done. When I requested the paperwork and the account numbers, the advisor that set up the original 403b contract has suggested the use of a "free corridor" to avoid surrender fees. When I looked up the term, it seems as though surrender fees can vary from contract to contract... some fees drop off completely after a certain amount of time, and some reduce by steps year after year depending on a certain amount of time. Near as I can tell, my contract with AXA specifies that the surrender fee won't fall off until after year 7, and I'm only in year 4. From other internet reading, for some contracts, surrender fees are applied to the date of the monies being deposited , not necessarily the date of the contract start.... so "free corridor" is the money that can be transferred without surrender fees, which can be done in incrementally. The way I look at it now, my surrender fees are high, but not as bad as leaving the money in the account.... where I'd be accumulating an annual fee, expense ratios, and a quarterly penalty for an account under $XX,000. Haha... so my answer to my own question is... it's not worth it for me according to the math. So now, near as I can tell, I have all the information and paperwork that each provider and my state's TPA requires to get this done. Whew!
I've had the great fortune of happening upon 403bwise, and after reading a lot here, I've decided to come forward and seek the wisdom of these forums My mother is a teacher at a public high school in California. She is now 60 years old. About 8 years ago, she signed a contract with Axa for their Equi-vest 403b variable deferred annuity. It very recently came to our attention that this was bad decision. I am sure most of the readers here know of Axa's exorbitant fees, dense contract, and many of the other issues that often come with variable annuities (thanks to these forums I now am one of those in the know too!). Anyway, my first question is: how much should she expect to pay in charges and fees if we decide to surrender this contract and rollover the money into a much more favorable account? If I've understood the contract correctly, there will be no withdrawal charge given that she is older than 59 and a half and had the contract at least 5 years. Are there other potential charges or issues we may not be aware of? My second question is: what option would be recommendable for a rollover? Here is a link to the list of her options: https://www.403bcompare.com/Employee/MyEmployer/EmployerDetail.aspx?eid=107682. Some of her options are Calstrs Pension2, Vanguard, and T. Rowe Price. We are leaning toward Calstrs Pension2 given that they have "Easy Choice" portfolios, which seem inexpensive and simple. Thank you for your time and any help you can provide. :)