403b & 457 transfer to IRA after job termination

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403b & 457 transfer to IRA after job termination

Postby curiousg » Thu Jan 17, 2013 9:28 pm

Hello all, I need some advice with what to do with my money. I just left my job in the last week of 2012 and am trying to decide what to do with my accounts. I do not want to leave it with my old employer (large hospital). My new employer (small private practice) only offers a profit-sharing plan but I'm not eligible until my 2nd year of employment. I'm a fairly new physician who has been paying down private student loans aggressively in past 3 years (because I have a cosigner and they are private loans) and trying to max savings allocation given the lost years due to studying & training. I have 2 403(b) plans because my old employer affiliated with a different health system while I was there.

Emergency Funds (ING): 51,000K
Debt: 86,000K private student loans @ 3.6% currently (plan to pay it off by 12/2014 from $230K in 2009)
Tax Filing Status: Single
Tax Rate: 33%
State of Residence: NJ (PA for 2012)
Age: 33
Desired Asset Allocation: 70% stocks, 30% bonds (I want to be reasonably aggressive so open to suggestions)
Desired International allocation: 30% of stocks (if this is reasonable exposure, I'm not averse to international stocks)

Current Assets
Medical center 401(a) vested balance $11,600
Medical center (b) vested balance $17,800
Mass Mutual 403(b) vested balance $63,900
Mass Mutual 457(b) vested balance $35,800 (mostly cash)

Roth IRA @ TRPrice in target 2045 TRRDX $45,000

Investment Account @ TRPrice (I had randomly started these two about 8 yrs ago when I was trying to learn investing and have been contributing $50-100 monthly)
$11,200 PRLAX
$13,800 PRSIX

Investment Account @ Sharebuilder
$1900 in various ETFs (my very first attempt at investing when I was but a poor student, I haven't contributed anything to this in years)

HSA (ACS|BNY Mellon)
$6800 in checking, can no longer contribute, not sure if I can switch it to an investment account, I don't use it.

Questions
1. Foremost I want to consolidate my accounts. I chose TRPrice for my Roth because it's target fund had higher stock % and I was very new to investing so I thought a target fund would be easiest. Am I OK still keep everything in TRPrice or should I open a Vanguard which seems to be popular on the internet?

2. I would like to roll the 457 into an IRA but don't think I'm permitted to. Paperwork seems to indicate that I must cash it out if I don't have another 457 to roll it into. I may have known that going in and that's why I kept it mostly in money market probably? If I cash it out as directed I would pay taxes on it now right? I'm thinking I could either add the cash to my emergency ING account and start a dedicated home down payment allocation or add to proper investment account.

3. I definitely want to roll over the two 403(b) into IRA and if I do that with my current TRPrice, what allocation? I want to keep things simple in terms of the number of funds, yet aggressive, in percentage of stocks.

4. I am open to changing my investment account (prlax, prsix) allocations.

5. I am open to closing down the sharebuilder ETF funds and transferring that to the investment account.

6. If I'm not eligible to contribute to an employer retirement account this year, what should I do instead?

7. I realize professional help would likely be useful. Who/what do I look for? (I've previously done by own taxes with turbotax)

Any other recommendations?

Thanks

Lori

2/9/13 Addendum
Income has been ~ $180K and expect it to continue hovering around there.

Taxable $26,900
TRP Latin America Fd (PRLAX) ER 1.25 (45%)
Pers Strat Income (PRSIX) ER .78 (55%)

Roth IRA $45,000
Retirement 2040 (TRRDX) ER .78 (100%)

Medical center 403(b) & 401(a) combined $31000
Current allocation 9% Bond, 76% stock, 15% balanced
Vanguard Target 2045 ER .29 (3% of account)
Vanguard Wellington ER .30 (12%)
PIMCO Total Return Fd ER .57 (9%)
Vanguard Institutional Index ER .15 (35%)
JP Morgan Large Cap Growth ER .76 (4%)
Vanguard Windsor II Fd ER .38 (4%)
Artisan Mid Cap Value Fd ER 1.31 (11%)
DFA International Value Fd ER 0.56 (22%)

Available funds
Vanguard Prime Institutional ER .20
Vanguard S-Term US Treasury ER .21
Vanguard Total Bond Market ER .18
Lord Abbett Small Cap Value ER 1.04
Wells Fargo Advantage Discovery ER 1.02
Vanguard Target Income ER .28
Vanguard Target 2010 ER .28
Vanguard Target 2015 ER .28
Vanguard Target 2020 ER .28
Vanguard Target 2025 ER .29
Vanguard Target 2030 ER .29
Vanguard Target 2035 ER .30
Vanguard Target 2040 ER .30
Vanguard Target 2050 ER .30
Vanguard Target 2055 ER .30

Mass Mutual 403(b) $63,900
Current allocation 8% Bond, 82% Stock, 10% "asset allocation/lifestyle"
Total Return Fund (PIMCO) ER .71 (8% of account)
MM S&P 500 Index Fd (Nrthrn Tr) ER .26 gross .21 net (28%)
JP Morgan Mid Cap Value Fd ER 1.4 gross 1.25 net (10%)
Amer Fnds Cap Wld Gr & In Fd ER .50 (4%)
Amer Fnds Cap Inc Bldr Fd ER .66 (9%)
AmerFunds EuroPacific Gr Fd ER .85 (4%)
Northern Intl Equity Index Fd ER .63 gross .26 net (16%)
American Cntury Real Estate Rd ER 1.16 (11%)
Mnng&Npier Pro-BlndConTm Fd ER .90 (10% - this is all the Employer match)

Available Cash
Capital Preservation
Premier Money Mrkt Fd (Babson) ER .46 gross/net

Available Bond
Northern Bond Index Fd ER .46 gross .17 net
Prm Hgh Yld Fd (Babson) ER .80 gross .70 net

Available Stock
Sel Fndmtl Val Fd (Wellington) ER .94 gross .79 net
Sel Gr Oppts Fd (Sands/Delaware) ER 1.25 gross 1.10 net
Sel MCG II Fd (TRP/Frontier) ER .96 gross .86 net
Invesco Select Companies Fd ER 1.28

Available Asset Allocation/Lifestyle
American Cent Strt Allc Con Fd ER 1.01
American Cent Strt Allc Mod Fd ER 1.08
American Cent Strt Allc Agr Fd ER 1.21

Current Employer PSP; eligible in 2014
American Cent Mid Cap Value Fd ER 1.01
Alliance Bernstein Global Real Estate Fd ER ?
Dodge & Cox Stock Fund ER 0.52
Fidelity Contrafund ER 0.81
Fidelity Emerging Markets Fund ER 1.07
Fidelity Mid Cap Stock Fund ER 0.86
Fidelity Spartan 500 Index Fund ER 0.10
PIMCO real return bond adm ER 0.87
PIMCO commodities real return strategy ER 1.35
PIMCO Total return fund adm ER 0.75
Prudential Jennison Mid Cap growth fd-z ER ?
Sentinel Small Co Fd ER ?
TRP International Stock ER 0.85
TRP International Discovery ER 1.23
TRP Growth Stock ER 0.70
TRP Prime Reserve ER 0.56
TRP small-cap value ER 0.97
TRP high yield ER 0.95
TRP small-cap stock ER 0.92
TRP Latin America ER 1.25
TRP Value ER 0.85
TRP Emerging Mkts Bond ER 0.94
TRP Emerging Mks Stock ER 1.26
TRP Real Estate ER 0.78
TRP Global Real Estate ER 1.78
TRP inflation protected bond ER 0.56 gross 0.50 net
TRP retirement income ER 0.57
TRP 2005 ER 0.59
TRP 2010 ER 0.61
TRP 2015 ER 0.66
TRP 2020 ER 0.70
TRP 2025 ER 0.73
TRP 2030 ER 0.75
TRP 2035 ER 0.77
TRP 2040 ER 0.78
TRP 2045 ER 0.78
TRP 2050 ER 0.78
TRP 2055 ER 0.78
Self directed brokerage acct
Last edited by curiousg on Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:29 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: 403b & 457 transfer to IRA after job termination

Postby seionage » Fri Jan 18, 2013 12:40 am

One thing to consider:

Depending on the state you live in, an IRA may not be fully protected from creditors in a civil lawsuit. 403's and 401's, on the other hand, are protected 100% by federal law. As a physician, like myself, you need to be vigilant about asset protection. So, before rolling your 403 over to an IRA, check on your state's law on IRA protection from creditors.
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Re: 403b & 457 transfer to IRA after job termination

Postby curiousg » Sat Jan 19, 2013 11:51 pm

Thank you, I will look into that. Do you have any suggestions as to what kind of professional help I should seek for general finances?
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Re: 403b & 457 transfer to IRA after job termination

Postby retiredjg » Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:16 am

Welcome to the forum!

A 457(b) can be governmental or non-governmental. A governmental 457b can be rolled into an IRA. A non-governmental 457b cannot be rolled into an IRA. In fact, I believe it can only be rolled into another non-governmental 457b. If you will likely have one of those in the future, that might be an option.

If you take a lump sum, it will be taxed at 33% federal (that number might be different if you are in some sort of phaseout) and whatever you might pay for state taxes. So ordinarily, you'd want to just leave this alone. However, $35k is soon going to be small change to you - you might just want to put it on your house.

What kind of professional help are you looking for? You might want to start with the Wiki (link in upper right, click on "getting started"). Have you seen the White Coat Investor blog? google it - good stuff for physicians. You might also find The only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need by Tobias - there are many editions so try to find one that is fairly recent. You'll find excellent advice about general finances there.

I would move your accounts to either Fidelity or to Vanguard for lots of choices of low cost index funds. Can you sell the investments in your taxable account without much of a tax hit?
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Re: 403b & 457 transfer to IRA after job termination

Postby Alan S. » Sun Jan 20, 2013 1:37 pm

seionage wrote:One thing to consider:

Depending on the state you live in, an IRA may not be fully protected from creditors in a civil lawsuit. 403's and 401's, on the other hand, are protected 100% by federal law. As a physician, like myself, you need to be vigilant about asset protection. So, before rolling your 403 over to an IRA, check on your state's law on IRA protection from creditors.


NJ fully protects IRA accounts from creditors. See the following:
http://www.assetprotectionbook.com/foru ... 142&t=1566
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Re: 403b & 457 transfer to IRA after job termination

Postby dbr » Sun Jan 20, 2013 1:57 pm

Protection or lack of same under bankruptcy law is not the same thing as protection from civil claims that do not involve bankruptcy, an additional complication.
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Re: 403b & 457 transfer to IRA after job termination

Postby seionage » Mon Jan 21, 2013 5:03 pm

As far as what to look for in a financial planner, please go to whitecoatinvestor.com It's a fantastic financial site geared towards physicians (but also very good for anyone who is investing). Emergdoc (also a Boglehead) runs the site. Click on the "Investing" tab to go to the section on financial advisers. Or, contact emergdoc directly from here. I'm not trying to avoid giving you advice; I just want to direct you to someone much more knowledgeable than I am on this subject. :happy
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Re: 403b & 457 transfer to IRA after job termination

Postby curiousg » Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:22 pm

Thanks for the replies. Even though I've been trying to understand finances for the last 7 yrs or so after completing medical school, I'm not at all savvy so by "professional help" I meant someone I could talk to for guidance who will help me manage my portfolio. I don't intend to give up the reins altogether and will still try to educate myself as much as possible, but I'm at a cross-roads and kinda need someone to guide me down the best path for me at this moment. I will look up the advisors on the whitecoat blog. In addition, do I need an accountant versed with physicians or just any old accountant. I don't own a practice.

I didn't actually think of what being a physician might mean in protecting my assets so thanks for bringing up that point. Sounds like I need to do some homework in the next 60 days before I actually decide what to do.
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Re: 403b & 457 transfer to IRA after job termination

Postby seionage » Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:36 pm

curiousg,
You can hire a financial adviser to review your assets and make recommendations over a few meetings/consultations. You really don't need an adviser to manage your assets.

Also, make sure you go to whitecoatinvestor.com, not whitecoat.com. It discusses what to look for in an adviser and what to look out for.
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Re: 403b & 457 transfer to IRA after job termination

Postby Default User BR » Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:31 am

curiousg wrote:I'm not at all savvy so by "professional help" I meant someone I could talk to for guidance who will help me manage my portfolio.

I thought that's what we were for! Seriously, there's not that much to learn. A few books and wiki articles you'll be there.


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Re: 403b & 457 transfer to IRA after job termination

Postby MN Finance » Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:20 pm

Small note - your 457b is cashable at any age without a 10% early withdrawal penalty. Not that you want to use that, but if you roll to an IRA then that status changes. That could be the case for leaving some money in the 457b (if EF wasn't sufficient, etc).
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Re: 403b & 457 transfer to IRA after job termination

Postby retiredjg » Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:28 pm

Lori, I have a suggestion to make for your accounts.

I think you should just take the tax hit (if any) and move your investments to either Vanguard or Fidelity. I took a look at what TRP has to offer and you can make a decent portfolio there using a few index funds. However, I didn't find all the funds I was looking for and their expenses are 2 or 3 times higher than the same type of funds at Vanguard or Fidelity. It appears that the difference in cost is small (less than 1%) but over many years, this can add up to a significant amount of money. So I think you should just pull the bandaid off and move your assets and get things set up for good low cost long term investing.


Medical center 401(a) vested balance $11,600 <-- I've not be able to find any consistent answer about where this 401(a) money can be rolled. Apparently, it can go into tIRA or Roth IRA, but a better choice would be to roll it into another employer plan (more on this later). But different sources are saying different things, so this is a little up in the air right now.

Medical center (b) vested balance $17,800 and Mass Mutual 403(b) vested balance $63,900 <--I know your current preference would be to roll this to tIRA. However, this will prevent you from doing what is known as "back door contributions to Roth IRA" in the future. Since getting some part of your assets into Roth status is important, I think you should try to preserve your ability to use the back door and you would do this by rolling both 403bs and the 401a (if allowed) into your new work plan when it becomes available to you next year. This link will help you understand what the back door it. http://thefinancebuff.com/the-backdoor- ... ow-to.html


Mass Mutual 457(b) vested balance $35,800 (mostly cash) <--since your current (and presumably future) employers will not be offering a non-governmental 457(b), this is probably going to have to be a legacy account. Edit: I'm assuming from what you wrote that this is a non-governmental 457(b). Your choices are to leave it where it is (fine as long as the expenses are low) or cash it in and pay the taxes on it. If the expenses are low, you can leave it and just consider it part of your emergency and/or house money (remembering that over a third of the value belongs to various governments). If you see your income and tax bracket going up in the future, you might as well just cash it in now. It could go toward loans or the emergency and/or house money.

That leaves you with 5 accounts to work with right now. How you invest them depends on what is available in the 401a and 2 403bs. Please edit your first post to include the lists of things available (name, ticker if any, expense ratio). From those lists, we can figure out your best investment plan until you can move these into your new employer plan in a year.

Taxable $26,900

Roth IRA $45,000

Medical center 401(a)$11,600

Medical center 403(b) $17,800

Mass Mutual 403(b) $63,900




HSA (ACS|BNY Mellon) $6800 in checking, can no longer contribute, not sure if I can switch it to an investment account, I don't use it. <---As I understand it, this is pre-tax money and you can use it for medical expenses and never pay tax on that money. If that is correct, there is no reason to move the money (although you might invest it differently). Are you allowed to invest it in mutual funds? If so, it would be helpful to have an idea of what is available.


6. If I'm not eligible to contribute to an employer retirement account this year, what should I do instead?

Ordinarily, the answer would be to make deductible contributions to tIRA to reduce your taxable income. However, in order to preserve your ability to use the back door to Roth, I would contribute to Roth IRA for this year. And save for a house. Or pay more on the loans.

7. I realize professional help would likely be useful. Who/what do I look for? (I've previously done by own taxes with turbotax)

If you have used turbotax, there is no reason to believe you can't do that in the future. Or at least give it a try. If necessary, use an accountant one year and do turbotax at the same time. Work with the two until you figure out how to do it on your own.

Let's try to get a handle on your real taxable income next year. A quirk in how the law changed earlier this month has made the 35% bracket very very narrow for single filers. So you could jump from 33% bracket to 39.6% bracket by adding only $1651 in taxable income. Wonky indeed. Do you have reason to believe your taxable income can't possibly be above $398,350 this year?

The reason you need to get a grip on this year's taxable income is to try to avoid pushing yourself into the 39.6% bracket as you sell the things in your taxable account and cash in the 457b. This might be a reason to leave the 457b in place, at least until next year.
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Re: 403b & 457 transfer to IRA after job termination

Postby curiousg » Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:24 pm

Hi retiredjg,
thanks for all of that. It's a bit over my head. I updated my original post with the information requested. Mass mutual had both gross and net expense ratios and I listed both as I wasn't sure which was the more helpful. Unfortunately I cannot access my former hospital's retirement webpage and I have not yet received my paperwork from them and I can't seem to find my own records. So I will update that as soon as I can.

I don't think I will be over $250K in taxable income this year (2013) if I cash out the non-governmental 457. However, if I do sell my TRP holdings and transfer to Vanguard, should I be counting that as income as well?
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Re: 403b & 457 transfer to IRA after job termination

Postby retiredjg » Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:31 am

Thanks for the update. Don't worry about things being over your head. It just takes some time to learn, but nothing here is going to be above your abilities.

You have some good choices in the Mass Mutual 403b:

    MM S&P 500 Index Fd (Nrthrn Tr) .21 %
    Northern Intl Equity Index Fd .26% (EAFE only - not a complete international fund, but would work in a pinch)
    Northern Bond Index Fd ER .17%

However, if I do sell my TRP holdings and transfer to Vanguard, should I be counting that as income as well?

The part that has not been taxed already will be taxable income. Contributions have already been taxed. Dividends have already been taxed. Gains will be taxed at two different rates. Long term gains (for the shares held more than a year) will be taxed at 15%. Short term gains (for the shares that have been held less than a year) will be taxed at your ordinary tax rate (probably 28%, but could be more).

While you are getting information about the Medical Center accounts, see if you can find out if that 401(a) can be rolled into a 401k/403b.

At your current position, is there any information available about the plan you will get to use next year? It is not critical, but would be somewhat helpful to know if there will be any index funds available.
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Re: 403b & 457 transfer to IRA after job termination

Postby EmergDoc » Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:45 pm

curiousg wrote:
Current Assets
Medical center 401(a) vested balance $11,600
Medical center (b) vested balance $17,800
Mass Mutual 403(b) vested balance $63,900
Mass Mutual 457(b) vested balance $35,800 (mostly cash)

Roth IRA @ TRPrice in target 2045 TRRDX $45,000

Investment Account @ TRPrice (I had randomly started these two about 8 yrs ago when I was trying to learn investing and have been contributing $50-100 monthly)
$11,200 PRLAX
$13,800 PRSIX

Investment Account @ Sharebuilder
$1900 in various ETFs (my very first attempt at investing when I was but a poor student, I haven't contributed anything to this in years)

HSA (ACS|BNY Mellon)
$6800 in checking, can no longer contribute, not sure if I can switch it to an investment account, I don't use it.

Questions
1. Foremost I want to consolidate my accounts. I chose TRPrice for my Roth because it's target fund had higher stock % and I was very new to investing so I thought a target fund would be easiest. Am I OK still keep everything in TRPrice or should I open a Vanguard which seems to be popular on the internet?

2. I would like to roll the 457 into an IRA but don't think I'm permitted to. Paperwork seems to indicate that I must cash it out if I don't have another 457 to roll it into. I may have known that going in and that's why I kept it mostly in money market probably? If I cash it out as directed I would pay taxes on it now right? I'm thinking I could either add the cash to my emergency ING account and start a dedicated home down payment allocation or add to proper investment account.

3. I definitely want to roll over the two 403(b) into IRA and if I do that with my current TRPrice, what allocation? I want to keep things simple in terms of the number of funds, yet aggressive, in percentage of stocks.

4. I am open to changing my investment account (prlax, prsix) allocations.

5. I am open to closing down the sharebuilder ETF funds and transferring that to the investment account.

6. If I'm not eligible to contribute to an employer retirement account this year, what should I do instead?

7. I realize professional help would likely be useful. Who/what do I look for? (I've previously done by own taxes with turbotax)

Any other recommendations?

Thanks

Lori

Addendum
Income has been ~ $180K and expect it to continue hovering around there.

Taxable $26,900
TRP Latin America Fd (PRLAX) ER 1.25 (45%)
Pers Strat Income (PRSIX) ER .78 (55%)

Roth IRA $45,000
Retirement 2040 (TRRDX) ER .78 (100%)

Medical center 401(a)$11,600
pending breakdown

Medical center 403(b) $17,800
pending breakdown

Mass Mutual 403(b) $63,900
Current allocation 8% Bond, 82% Stock, 10% "asset allocation/lifestyle"
Total Return Fund (PIMCO) ER .71 gross/net (8% of account)
MM S&P 500 Index Fd (Nrthrn Tr) ER .26 gross .21 net (28%)
JP Morgan Mid Cap Value Fd ER 1.4 gross 1.25 net (10%)
Amer Fnds Cap Wld Gr & In Fd ER .50 gross/net (4%)
Amer Fnds Cap Inc Bldr Fd ER .66 gross/net (9%)
AmerFunds EuroPacific Gr Fd ER .85 gross/net (4%)
Northern Intl Equity Index Fd ER .63 gross .26 net (16%)
American Cntury Real Estate Rd ER 1.16 gross/net (11%)
Mnng&Npier Pro-BlndConTm Fd ER .90 gross/net (10% this is all the Employer match)

Available Cash
Capital Preservation
Premier Money Mrkt Fd (Babson) ER .46 gross/net

Available Bond
Northern Bond Index Fd ER .46 gross .17 net
Prm Hgh Yld Fd (Babson) ER .80 gross .70 net

Available Stock
Sel Fndmtl Val Fd (Wellington) ER .94 gross .79 net
Sel Gr Oppts Fd (Sands/Delaware) ER 1.25 gross 1.10 net
Sel MCG II Fd (TRP/Frontier) ER .96 gross .86 net
Invesco Select Companies Fd ER 1.28 gross 1.28 net

Available Asset Allocation/Lifestyle
American Cent Strt Allc Con Fd ER 1.01 gross/net
American Cent Strt Allc Mod Fd ER 1.08 gross/net
American Cent Strt Allc Agr Fd ER 1.21 gross/net


You're doing great, by the way.

1) Yes, consolidation is good. There wouldn't be any issue rolling your Roth over to Vanguard. You'd have more low cost choices. Your $25K taxable account at T. Rowe Price could be consolidated as well, but if the basis is pretty low, it might not be advisable. What's the basis on that money? The taxable account at sharebuilder is so small the tax hit won't be that bad, so you might as well sell and bring that money over to VG.

2) As mentioned above, your 457 may not be able to be rolled over. That's okay, it's a great account to tap first in an early retirement. Cashing it out probably isn't wise given the tax hit. I'd keep it. Just find the lowest cost fund in the plan, put the money there, and build your asset allocation around it.

3) I don't know why you definitely want to roll your 403Bs into an IRA. I would roll them into your 401K/PSP, that would preserve you the backdoor Roth option.

http://whitecoatinvestor.com/retirement ... -roth-ira/

4) I think that's a good idea. But first you need to figure out exactly what allocation you want. 70/30 stock bond with 30% of the stock international only requires 3 funds.

5) I think that's a good idea.

6) Backdoor Roth IRA, taxable account, pay down loans, save up for a downpayment etc.

7) Thoughts on choosing an adviser: http://whitecoatinvestor.com/investing/ ... dvisers-2/

8) Keep the HSA. You'll probably use it again later. But even if you don't, it's your only triple-tax-free account. You might consider rolling it over to HSA Bank, then you can invest it at TD Ameritrade (free trades on Vanguard ETFs).

Good luck investing. It sounds like whatever AA set-up you do now will change in a year when you roll your 403Bs into the 401K, so just try to get close to what you want.
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Re: 403b & 457 transfer to IRA after job termination

Postby curiousg » Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:34 pm

emergdoc, what is a "basis"?

I've requested information about the PSP I will be eligible for next year and they will be giving me that information shortly.

Going into my first job I knew it would be temporary (I was aiming for 5 yrs) - so I went to low cost of living area so I could tackle my private student loans, which is why I contributed to the 457 to lower my taxable income so I wouldn't get AMT thinking that the hospital would be financially safe for a few years and I could get the money when I left, and I always just assumed that old 401/403 plans are best rolled over into IRAs because the options were better. I anticipated that when I left I would return to a city setting (& academics) which would cause my income to drop significantly so I was comfortable with cashing out the 457. As it turns out, I left sooner than desired and did not return to academics, so my income is about the same right now.

The suggestions here are entirely new concepts, but I'm understanding the reasoning behind them, so THANKS a lot. A question though, why does an IRA rollover prevent me from future backdoor Roth contributions?
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Re: 403b & 457 transfer to IRA after job termination

Postby retiredjg » Fri Jan 25, 2013 12:06 pm

curiousg wrote:emergdoc, what is a "basis"?

I'm not emergdoc...but the basis is the money that has already been taxed. If you invested $1000 in a taxable account, the basis starts out as $1000 because that money has already been taxed. If you get a dividend of $200 (HA!) and pay tax when tax time comes around, your basis is now $1,200, even though the value of the investment may be higher or lower due to capital gains and losses. If you sell for $1,500, your basis of $1200 won't be taxed a second time, so you pay taxes on $300. For the shares held less than 1 year, you pay at your ordinary tax rate of 33% (or whatever it is). For shares held more than 1 year, you get to pay less - 15% (unless you are in the new top bracket in which case you'd pay 20%)

A question though, why does an IRA rollover prevent me from future backdoor Roth contributions?

Back door contributions involve doing a conversion from tIRA to Roth IRA as one of the steps. When you do a conversion, ALL your IRA accounts are pro-rated. The rollover doesn't actually prevent you from doing future back door contributions. But it usually makes you not want to do them.
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Re: 403b & 457 transfer to IRA after job termination

Postby curiousg » Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:03 pm

thanks re: basis definition

I still plan to update my original post with the data requested when I get it.

you guys have been quite helpful
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Re: 403b & 457 transfer to IRA after job termination

Postby curiousg » Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:41 am

Hi guys,
I think I'm fully updated.
Took a while to get details of the new PSP plan for next year. Turns out it's at TRP.

My primary goal overall is to consolidate accounts and holdings. I can tolerate an aggressive approach and just want to let things be.

Thanks, Lori
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Re: 403b & 457 transfer to IRA after job termination

Postby retiredjg » Sun Feb 10, 2013 2:47 pm

Thanks for the update. Here's an idea to start your thinking. I'll talk about Vanguard, but the reality is you can do almost the exact same things at Fidelity. My suggestion will be something similar to a "3 fund portfolio" which is the most basic idea that covers all the bases. As mentioned above T. R. Price just does not have a lot to offer in low cost funds, so I would not leave the money there.

    Taxable account $28,800 ($26,900 at TRP and $1,900 at Sharebuilder) <---move this money to an "individual" account at Vanguard

    Roth IRA $45,000 <--move this to a Roth IRA at Vanguard

    Old medical center 401a and 403b $31,000 <--leave there for the time being (to preserve your ability to make back door contributions to Roth IRA)

    Mass Mutual 403b $63,900 <--leave in place for the time being (again, to use back door);

    Mass Mutual 457b <--leave in place or cash out for your house (just depends on the hassle factor of holding this dwindling legacy account for 20 years or more. Note - your tax bracket is NOT 33%, it is 28% federal. I didn't look up the state bracket, but you could.)

Total = $204,500 You would set up your portfolio like this below.

Taxable account 14.1% ($28,800)
14.1% Vanguard Total International Stock Index

Roth IRA 22% ($45,000)
15.1% Vanguard Extended Market Index (completes the 500 Index in Medical Center 401a and 403b and in the Mass Mutual 403b)*
6.9% Vanguard Total International Stock Index

Old medical center 401a and 403b 15.2% ($31,000)
15.2% Vanguard Institutional Index ER .15
0% Vanguard Total Bond Market ER .18

Mass Mutual 403b 31.2% ($63,900)
18.7% MM S&P 500 Index Fd (Nrthrn Tr) ER .21%
12.5% Northern Bond Index Fd ER .17%

Mass Mutual 457b 17.5% ($35,800) (assumed same things available as in 403b)
17.5% Northern Bond Index Fd ER .17%

This is just one possible way to set this up. This idea is 70% stock, 30% bonds, with 30% of the stock (21% of the portfolio) in international. It's a basic 3 fund portfolio (although it took more than 3 funds to build it :D).

For the year in which you can't contribute to the new PSP, you would put $5,500 into the Roth IRA and everything else into the taxable account (or send it to your loans if you want).

However, I made the assumptions that you want to keep the MM 457b intact and that it has the same offerings as the MM 403b. Adjustments would need to be made if these assumptions are incorrect.

* The extended market fund in the Roth IRA "completes" the 500 index. I've actually got this a little overweighted to the extended market fund just to make things simple. The ratio to use is 80% 500 Index + 20% Extended Market to give you Total Stock Market. This is set up with some extra Extended Market just to eliminate having to have another fund. If you do not like this overweight, it will go away in time.

I know this idea does not achieve your goal of consolidating your accounts. Find out if you can roll the Old Medical Center 401a and 403b into the Mass Mutual 403b. Or vice versa. Old Medical Center is slightly better, but either way will simplify things a lot.

Also find out if your new PSP allows you to roll money into it. One idea would be to roll Medical Center 401a and 403b and Mass Mutual 403b into that plan next year. That would simplify things as well. However, your new PSP, while good enough, is not quite as low cost as the old Medical Center or Mass Mutual plans, so you might not want to roll everything into it.

Best choices:

    Fidelity Spartan 500 Index Fund ER 0.10
    PIMCO Total return fund adm ER 0.75

By the way, did you look up those expense ratios on the public internet or are those the expense ratios indicated by your new plan?

Lots going on here and there are several adjustments that could be made depending on your preferences. Let me know if you have any questions.
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Re: 403b & 457 transfer to IRA after job termination

Postby curiousg » Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:39 pm

The ER for the new PSP I looked up on TRP as I already have an account there; they only gave me a list of the holdings. I will confirm that I can actually roll over. The ER for the other accounts come from my billing statements.

My plan had been to cash out the 457 as I don't feel comfortable leaving that with old employer. I could lose that if they run into financial trouble right? I plan to add the money to my home purchasing savings account.

The Mass Mutual and old medical center accounts can't be merged; I tried before I left the job but I didn't have enough years vested.

Thanks for the help. Looks like I will be saying goodbye to TRP this year!
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Re: 403b & 457 transfer to IRA after job termination

Postby retiredjg » Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:57 am

curiousg wrote:The ER for the new PSP I looked up on TRP as I already have an account there; they only gave me a list of the holdings.

These plans are actually contracts. The contracted ER in your new PSP may not be what you found on the TRP site. Before you consider rolling your old plans into this new one, you need to determine if it is low cost or not. If not, you would be better served by leaving your old plans in place even though that does not consolidate your holdings.

But...you also have a self directed brokerage link available. That could be a good opportunity to access lower cost funds via your new plan. Find out where you can invest and the annual cost for doing that (if any).


My plan had been to cash out the 457 as I don't feel comfortable leaving that with old employer. I could lose that if they run into financial trouble right? I plan to add the money to my home purchasing savings account.

Yes, the money in a non-governmental 457 is not protected from the employer's creditors. Moving that money (after taxes) to your house account would be fine.
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