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matt rector

questions to ask my plan manager

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1 hour ago, MoeMoney said:

 What is possible is using, or adding, the Aspire vendor to your lineup. They are approved in most districts and hand-pick advisors who act in your best interests without the high cost. That has been my experience and I have done a bit of research. Once you choose Aspire as your vendor, you can then buy Vanguard or Fidelity funds and get the benefit of their low ER. Aspire will charge you about $40 per year, or something like that (I forget the exact dollar amount ) plus 0.15 in fees in addition to the funds ER.

Something to keep in mind should you decide not to Self DIrect,  or when speaking to a colleague, they don't want to self-direct.

Good luck and keep spreading the word!

Please correct me if I’ve misremembered how Aspire works. I think that the ~$40/year plus 0.15% fee is the cost of using a self-directed Aspire 403b (or 457). Part of the ~$40/year fee goes to pay any Third Party Administrator fees that the the school district might otherwise have to pay. So there is no financial reason for a district NOT to add Aspire to their vendor list. Aspire does not supply investing advice but is available for explanation of how to use their plan, by email or by phone. If you want a financial advisor, Aspire will sign one up from their list, but there is a 0.6% fee added.

I think most of the folks here at 403bwise urge posters to NOT use an Aspire advisor due to the added expense.  In the self-directed mode, Aspire is an internet based plan, low-cost because there is no expensive face to face hand-holding. Just like SB Direct Invest, Fidelity and Vanguard.

I’m long retired but MoeMoney is still in the trenches and trying to help colleagues who think they require a face to face advisor. Perhaps the Aspire-associated advisor with the 0.6% added fee is the lowest cost option for some of these folks? I have no first-hand experience with Aspire, or with their advisors. Just saying. . . .

 

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There is no real need to use an Aspire advisor IMHO but some folks want that support. I get that. Most would be better off using an Aspire advisor if that is the case. but I wonder exactly how they operate and how they are paid  and what else they might sell. With Aspire you self direct (no advisor)into Fidelity or Vanguard funds to either set up a basic three index  fund portfolio or perhaps sign up for a target fund. So it would be foolish to add to your costs by having an advisor do this for you when you could very easily do it yourself. Keep in mind you can just as easily self direct into an expensive non index fund in which case the Aspire association would be of no benefit. So, Its important to understand how to work Aspire to your advantage otherwise its not an advantage at all to add it to your provider list. 

When we added Aspire, a few folks were buying funds without advisor after we explained the self direct option to them, they got that part but some didn't get the memo on how to use ASpire to their benefit . They end up buying expensive funds from American funds and active funds from Fidelity and even Franklin Tempelton funds. So while they were able to tap into any fund they wanted, they didn't benefit from low costs defeating the purpose of adding Aspire in the first place.

 

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Hi Guys

I have submitted the NEA Direct invest paperwork to Security Benefit.... Should my next move be to call the Security Benefit helpline (800 747 3942) to move things forward? Or what should I do next ? I just don't want to do the wrong thing so they throw a roadblock in my way. Thank you for your help on this!!!!!

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I'd give them at least a week and then call and ask for a progress report. Some posters have used email to communicate, and you might ask them about that. Good luck!

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On 2/17/2019 at 4:34 PM, matt rector said:

Hi Guys

I have submitted the NEA Direct invest paperwork to Security Benefit.... Should my next move be to call the Security Benefit helpline (800 747 3942) to move things forward? Or what should I do next ? I just don't want to do the wrong thing so they throw a roadblock in my way. Thank you for your help on this!!!!!

Hi Matt,

i would call and stay on top of them.  You might have to call more than once.  I think your main focus should be getting that account active and getting access to the online platform.

I signed up using the Docusign online application and waited a long time before I had an established DirectInvest account.  In contrast, I helped someone at work set up an account and they were good to go in just one week.

Good luck.  Let us know how it goes 

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I want to thank you all for helping me getting into the Security Benefit NEA Self Directed Plan. My school district and/or plan manager has not hassled me about it all, it seemed to get rather seamlessly. Now I just need to decide if I should set up a Roth IRA to augment it or keep adding all my money into this plan. Thanks again! 

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Ah, the Roth vs Traditional discussion is a fun one. You’ll be fine either way, but I still enjoy the debate. 

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On 3/17/2019 at 2:58 PM, matt rector said:

I want to thank you all for helping me getting into the Security Benefit NEA Self Directed Plan. My school district and/or plan manager has not hassled me about it all, it seemed to get rather seamlessly. Now I just need to decide if I should set up a Roth IRA to augment it or keep adding all my money into this plan. Thanks again! 

The main thing is put as much as you can afford in your tax advantaged accounts.  It's always good to have a mix of tax deferred and Roth.  Higher income years defer more.  Lower income years do more Roth.

 

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On 3/17/2019 at 12:58 PM, matt rector said:

I want to thank you all for helping me getting into the Security Benefit NEA Self Directed Plan. My school district and/or plan manager has not hassled me about it all, it seemed to get rather seamlessly. Now I just need to decide if I should set up a Roth IRA to augment it or keep adding all my money into this plan. Thanks again! 

Your welcome, and thanks for reporting back! We're glad it went smoothly. 

I don't think you can make a real mistake, whether you contribute to the 403b only, or contribute to both the Roth IRA and the 403b. Hopefully as your salary increases, you'll be able to max them both eventually. 

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