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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Investor Alley => Topic started by: decisionprof on September 08, 2013, 03:12:38 PM

Title: Looking for Advice on our Investments
Post by: decisionprof on September 08, 2013, 03:12:38 PM
Hello - My husband (police officer) and I (teacher/now college prof) are looking for any help or advice on moving our investments to Vanguard, TIAA-Cref, etc. or leaving them where they are.  Here are the quick stats (and please let me know if you need more specific information) - this is certainly an area we need to learn more about....
Hubby - 457 account with ICMA - $67K   (he will be retiring in Feb 14')
Me - Mass Mutual (annunities) - Flex Extra - $30K, Artistry - $53K, TIAA-Cref - $14K (this is through my current employer and they match 10% which I take full advantage of), Calvert Roth Capital Accumulation - $11K, Calvert Roth Equity Portfolio A - $8K, and Oppenhemier Capital Appreciation Fund A

Any thoughts/help would be appreciated.  We are reading through all the posts in this thread but we think we are paying way more than we need to in admin costs.  Thanks!
Title: Re: Looking for Advice on our Investments
Post by: Frankies Girl on September 08, 2013, 05:59:19 PM
I'm not an expert by any means, but I'm slowly getting my financial ducks in a row now, so based off of what I've learned so far, this is what I'd suggest.

I'm moving my accounts (have many unfortunately) into one bucket with Fidelity (that's where my 401k was and one of my biggest accounts as well, and I like them). It looks like you too have many different accounts/assets scattered over several investment companies. With my setup, I can now view all my accounts at the same time and do apples to apples comparisons. Makes it WAY easier to take care of everything.

It made sense to me to move everything together as I wasn't earning great returns and some expense ratio/fees were much worse, but you'll have to take a good look at the fees and performance of each of your investments - what everything is doing where they are, and see if you could beat it if you moved them all to be under the same investment house (most likely you can if you're considering Vanguard; they're the best as far as low fees/expenses).

Title: Re: Looking for Advice on our Investments
Post by: Another Reader on September 08, 2013, 06:31:49 PM
Your husband's situation is straightforward.  He's probably retiring with a pension.  You can leave what I'm guessing is a 457 plan with ICMA or you can roll it into a traditional IRA.  Although the ICMA choices are usually not the greatest, leaving the money in a 457 plan allows him to access it without penalty before age 59 1/2.  Many police officers retire at 50 or 55, so if that's his situation, you might want to leave the money there for now and just make the best selections out of what is offered.  If he would rather have the money in an IRA, then Fidelity and Vanguard are good choices.

Your situation is messy.  It sounds like whatever you are being offered through work now and what you have from the past is expensive and not very good.  Annuity wrappers around mutual funds are never beneficial to the customer.  Do you have any non-annuity choices through your current employer?  What kind of plan is this - 403b or 457?  Have you looked into what it would cost to roll the annuities from your prior work into an IRA?  There are folks here more knowledgeable about these products that can give better advice about what to do with the annuities.

The Calvert funds - are they in an IRA?  Who is the custodian of these accounts?  Looks like you have Class A front load shares.  If this is an IRA, you would probably be better moving the money elsewhere. Fidelity or Vanguard can handle the actual transfers for you.  If you like bricks and mortar offices with people to answer questions, you may prefer Fidelity.

You are right to take a careful look at this now, before your husband retires.  If you post more information about the account types and fund names, you may get more detailed responses.
Title: Re: Looking for Advice on our Investments
Post by: decisionprof on September 08, 2013, 07:43:52 PM
Hi and Thank You for the prompt replies-

@ Frankies Girl - I'd LOVE to have "one bucket" - just not sure if that will all work out because of how many accounts I have and the rules involved.

@ Another Reader - My husband is just 55 and will have a pension.  The ability to access his 457 before age 59 1/2 is a nice option if we would ever need it for anything.  I knew that my situation was messy but the 403b's all seem to be tied to these high cost annunities... I've been told TIAA-Cref is much better than the others I have though.  The rep from Cref told me we could roll everything into my account there but she didn't mention costs.  I need to check on that.  Here are more specifics if they can help anyone address my "mess" and offer some suggestions -

Mass Mutual 403b Annunities- Flex Extra - MML Equity 20%, Oppenheimer Discovery Mid Cap Growth 40%, Oppenheimer Global 30%, Oppenheimer Strategic 10%       Artistry - MML Babson Blend 20%, MML Income and Growth 20%, MML Rainier Large Cap Growth 20%, MML T. Rowe Price Mid Cap Growth 20% and MML Templeton Foreign  20%

TIAA-Cref 403b - Lifecycle 2030 Fund Retirement Class (TCLNX)

Calvert Roth IRA's (I am the custodian) - Capital Appreciation A

Oppenhemier Roth IRA Capital Appreciation A  (which I have $2500 in - it didn't show up in the last post)

I hope I included the details that provide more information.  (I hate not even knowing what details are important in all of this!!) Again - thanks to any of you for helping me clean up the mess.  I am happy that I will also have a pension (from 23 years of public school employment) and we will have income from managing our 10+ rental units.  We have just spent our time working on everything other than this and feel a bit lost.
Title: Re: Looking for Advice on our Investments
Post by: Another Reader on September 08, 2013, 08:11:28 PM
If you want some hand-holding, Fidelity is your best choice.  That's especially true if they have an office nearby.  Ignore the pitches for them managing the money or selecting funds and just ask them to roll over the IRA's.  You can sit down with them later, once you know what you want.  If you want the usual choices recommended here, look at Fidelity's Spartan Fund series.  These are very low cost index funds, similar to what Vanguard offers. 

It would behoove you to fund IRA's for both of you for 2013 and 2014 if you can afford it.  If your husband works in January, he can contribute up to the amount of his earned income for 2014 or $6,000, whichever is less (unless the limit is raised).  Again, set those up at Fidelity or Vanguard.  The rollover IRA will be a traditional IRA, you can do Roths with after tax money if you make too much for the tax deductible traditional IRA.

Where are the Calvert and Oppenheimer accounts held?  That's who Fidelity or Vanguard will have to go to get the funds rolled over.

I can't really help you with the annuities.  You can roll them over into an IRA, but I don't know what the costs would be or what you might lose by doing this.  My personal choice would be to move them to Fidelity or Vanguard, and skip TIAA-CREF. 

Looks like TIAA-CREF put you in a target date fund that charges expenses of 0.25 percent over whatever the underlying funds charge in your 403b.  You can probably do better.  If you post all the choices available in that plan, you will get suggestions on what to do. 

With ten rental units and two pensions, I suspect you will be just fine financially.  Optimizing the retirement accounts will be icing on the cake!