Author Topic: Teacher - 403b, General Advice  (Read 1137 times)


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Teacher - 403b, General Advice
« on: March 20, 2019, 06:35:11 PM »

Quick background: I'm 30 years old, public school teacher, $76k gross salary, single, no kids, no debt.

I'm contributing to a Roth IRA through Vanguard up the max. I'm also contributing 8% of my salary to a state pension plan which is mandatory.

I also have a high interest savings account through Ally which I'm using to save up a down payment for a house. Currently I'm at $44k with a goal of $50k. I have my significant other on board as well, and our goal is to have $100k combined. This puts us at the 20% mark for a $500k town home, which unfortunately is the market price for homes in Hawaii. We've discussed moving but it's not an option at this point due to her family circumstances. We know that $500k is stretching for us, but we just want to have the money available in case something pops up. We have our eyes on an upcoming neighborhood in a desirable location and I feel like Hawaii real estate is more stable than other areas of the country. Maybe it's a good idea? Maybe not? We are currently renting at her parent's place for cheap in exchange for helping take care of the mom. This is pretty common practice in Hawaii. We don't plan on having kids, so maybe renting is the better option? We definitely don't need a huge place for just the two of us and a dog.

Once I have the down payment, I will have about $2000 each month to save. I'm deciding between opening a 403b (list below), or just a taxable account through Betterment. The State of Hawaii does not match contributions which is frustrating.

Here is a list of all of the 403b providers that I can choose from in my state.

Many of my coworkers went through AXA, but they told me to stay away. It also appears that very few of these companies offer mutual funds. Do any of these financial institutions look like a good idea?

Any advice about the 403b vs taxable account, real estate, or just general wisdom would be much appreciated.

Thank you!


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Re: Teacher - 403b, General Advice
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2019, 07:07:26 PM »
See Investment Order for generic recommendations.

For your 403b, you might ask each of the mutual fund offerers "what is the lowest expense ratio for me to invest with you in a total stock market or S&P 500 or similar index fund?" and see what you find.  Good luck!