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New job, new 403b

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Hello all - first time poster in this community, heard of you from Bogleheads. 

I’m starting a new job and thus looking for where to stash my retirement funds. I’m hoping to get as close to a 100% US Total Stock Market fund with the lowest expense ratio possible. Also, any advice on the four companies offered through my employer would be greatly appreciated.

Here are the custodians and fund options I’m looking at:

• Equity 500 Index
• Common Stock Index

• CREF Equity Index

• Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund
• Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth Fund
• Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth Fund
These aren't labeled "index" but they are comprised of index funds.

• Voya Index Plus Large Cap
• Voya Index Plus Mid Cap
• Voya Index Plus Small Cap
• Voya Russell Large Cap Index
• Voya Russell Mid Cap Index
• Voya Russell Small Cap Index
• Voya International Index
• Voya U.S. Bond Index


Thank you in advance,



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Welcome! Equitable/AXA, Valic and Voya most likely are going to be more expensive than TIAA. For example, Equitable/AXA charges 1.2% before you even chose investments https://www.403bcompare.com/products/153#/fees. It looks to me like the Equity 500 index fund via Equitable/AXA charges .58% https://www.403bcompare.com/products/153#/investmentoptions so your total costs would be at least 1.7%. Plus there are surrender charges lasting 6years https://www.403bcompare.com/products/153#/fees Yikes! 


TIAA charges a management fee between 0.01 to 1% (if choosing the CREF Equity Index I have to believe the charge would be closer to 0.01%. Is there a way to find out?) : https://www.403bcompare.com/products/154#/fees 
CREF Equity Index charges 0.26% https://www.403bcompare.com/products/154#/investmentoptions


Do you work at a school district? Do you have a 457(b) available? Here is info on the 457(b) https://403bwise.org/education/other including a 403(b)/457(b) side by side comparison chart: https://403bwise.org/pdf/403bwise_457b_Comparison.pdf The 457(b) is often a better choice (lower cost investments). 

Here are two podcasts we have done on the 457(b) 


p.s. We also have a very active Facebook Group called the 403bwise Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/349968819000560/

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This is being discussed in the 403bwise FB Group. It's a large private school organization and the 4 vendors are competing. I suspect they are not using the generic offerings that are made to public school districts. There's an employer match of 3% to 7% so I guess it's a ERISA 403b. 

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