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blosky2001

Facebook and this forum

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Hello all,

I have not posted in a very long time but continue to check in once in awhile to read some of the posts. This forum was instrumental for me to start controlling my own investments, rebalancing, etc as well as talking my father out of his annuity (although he just bought expensive life insurance at 70...grrrrr). 

There is a wealth of information here and wondered if it's been mentioned on the facebook group.  I ask because I personally find it easier to navigate this forum than the facebook group.

Hope everyone is staying safe!

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Hi Blosky and Deb,

Really! I don't see a difference in difficulty between FB and here. However, the FB page is much more active than here by a long sho-t! Every day there are two or three questions and several people answering. That hardly ever happens here. About once every couple of months, we might get a discussion thread here but NEVER LIKE FB. 

Dan will have to make a decision to close this website down because it takes time and effort to keep it open for very little action, when FB has about 1000 teachers who have registered and it's growing! It's about ROI, Return on Investment! 

But of course, Dan would be happy that both of you found what you needed here and moved on. That's what this is all about.

Steve

 

 

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Blosky2001, I agree with you that this forum is easier to navigate than the FB Group. It's easier to reference past threads here, it's easier to search topics here, it's easier to avoid high-jacked threads here, etc.

I agree with Steve that there's no denying that the FB Group has attracted LOTS of new teachers to the 403bwise message. So it is more effective. That's why I'm participating in both the group and the forum. The forum does get mentioned from time to time, but that doesn't seem to have much effect.

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3 hours ago, krow36 said:
 
 
 
 
1 hour ago, krow36 said:

Blosky2001, I agree with you that this forum is easier to navigate than the FB Group. It's easier to reference past threads here, it's easier to search topics here, it's easier to avoid high-jacked threads here, etc.

 

Search functions are terrible everywhere, FB, here and on Bogleheads. As far as ease of use, I have been using FB for 12 years and have two pages, personal and one for business. I love the way I can target my audience on the business side of FB.  I sell nothing but try to give away my blog posts to enlighted teachers are the forever corrupted 403(b) with k12, and give away my two books! LOLs. 

This site is very annoying about the deleting of potentially offensive words like ! GIVE ME A BREAK! 

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Now I can't even edit my above message and spell the offensive word with a dash, ho-t. 

The bottom line is that teachers have not been coming here much for years and years, but they are frequenting FB and that site is less than a year. I wish they would have come here, but they just don't and for me and all of us frequenters here, it remains a baffling mystery--this site is 20 years! 20 YEARS! It's not working, sad to say. 

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Another frustration I have with the FB Group is the lack of "memory". It's tedious for new members to find information because it's quickly buried. The Group is great for short posts, but for something a bit more complex, it's inefficient because it's soon gone for all practical purposes. Oh well, I guess the goal is to attract teachers and help them with their retirement accounts. The Group does that well. I hope the forum doesn't disappear and that it can somehow become integrated with the Group.

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I think Facebook is for shorter attention spans. Just my opinion, doesn't mean I'm right. It would be  a mistake to eliminate this discussion forum. What would you say if the Boglehead's  discussion board was eliminated in favor of  a Facebook format?  They have a facebook page but it certainly doesn't try to replace the forum.

This discussion board is now suffering from Cannibalization, the undesirable tradeoff where a new product or service decreases exposure  to existing products or services .  

Not  necessarily a good thing.

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I didn't even know there was a Facebook group until now.  I just check here occasionally and wondered at how little conversation there was. 

Perhaps there's a way to direct FB folks to the site for more explanation/detail/links or maybe there are already links but they're not followed.  Or maybe teachers just like to stay on FB.  Regardless, 1000 teachers is wonderful and if they're getting help, well, that's the point. 

This site was wonderful for me, too, though I was never able to get other teachers to get beyond the nice guys with pizza.  Sigh.  I place a lot of blame on our unions for being accomplices, and HR, too.  I appreciate all the help this site offers.

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Just now, bzribee said:

I place a lot of blame on our unions

I've caught a little wind of this on the site, but what's the trouble that the unions cause your 403b/457 world? 

Faculty and staff at my district are represented by their own independent labor organizations(FA, ACE, POA) and then other staff are represented by larger organizations(CSEA, Teamsters). Collectively they all work with the district to modify retirement plan vendors.

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I'm retired now and perhaps it's changed but when I was teaching I understood that the local union negotiated with our small district re: retirement/insurance plans.  They  (union/HR) released our names and work locations for the insurance companies to speak with us.  I heard (absolutely UNverified) that there was some money that went to the unions for sign-ups (or maybe just for access).  Anyway, I"ve been retired a while now, and retired early and have been very disconnected from the district since then.  Happily.  So take all this with a grain of salt.

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I think a possible solution should be that these two sites (Facebook and discussion board) have a direct link per post so both groups can quickly jump back and forth on related topics and both groups can comment and read comments. That might bring the sites more closely linked.  They need linkage. Don't know if that's possible.

I'm a little scared of Facebook.I've had some serious hacking of my account on facebook including an attempted identity theft  so I  use a fake name on my account now and fake location . Most folks don't think it can happen to them. I've subsequently convinced my wife to use a fake name. I call my account Fakebook. 

I like this discussion board because we carry on some pretty in depth discussions that expands a  reader's knowledge beyond just telling them where to invest among their many choices. Plus we show passion here!! Their work is not done beyond that point.Posters need to realize that there is much more to investing than just picking a low fee option. Low fees are very important but we need to expand the investor's knowledge base beyond that if for no other reason than  because , salespeople are pretty convincing smooth operators . I remember some advisors talking teachers out of good choices and back into bad choices. Better knowledge offers better protection.

I realize that Bogle was once quoted as saying " Don't do something, just stand there" but  he also said that investing is simple but not too simple or something along those lines. 

So our mission should be to holistically educate teachers and others to see the bigger picture. I think the discussion board does that.

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10 hours ago, bzribee said:

I'm retired now and perhaps it's changed but when I was teaching I understood that the local union negotiated with our small district re: retirement/insurance plans.  They  (union/HR) released our names and work locations for the insurance companies to speak with us.  I heard (absolutely UNverified) that there was some money that went to the unions for sign-ups (or maybe just for access).  Anyway, I"ve been retired a while now, and retired early and have been very disconnected from the district since then.  Happily.  So take all this with a grain of salt.

When it comes to retirement advice, retirees are among the best sources to hear from.

My district and none of the five unions at our bargaining table provide names or work locations of staff to vendors. No kickbacks. I've been going to the annual 403b/457 review meetings for three years. Changes are driven by getting 25 people to sign on to an idea(add a vendor, add a plan option, etc.), but I haven't seen a clear vendor selection criteria document(which I'm pushing for.) We have three really good providers(Vanguard, Fidelity, CalSTRS Pension2)and twice as many bad options(VALIC, American Funds, MetLife, Midland Life Ins, Voya, T Rowe Price, Foresters Financial.) I'd really like to make our district a good model by borrowing from what's been accomplished elsewhere. I recognize we're not so bad, but that doesn't mean we can't be better.

4 hours ago, tony said:

I like this discussion board because we carry on some pretty in depth discussions

I was raised on small forums. That big city fakebook livin' just wasn't for me.

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I agree that there are different advantages to both platforms (FB and this forum).  You can usually get quicker responses on FB, but I think it's also easier to miss some of the responses if a discussion thread gets longer.  It's also more difficult to find discussions from the past on FB, whereas here you can just scroll down to it, if you know what you're looking for.  I think younger teachers are much more likely to use social media like FB, twitter, Instagram, etc. than a forum.

 

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